Mudcat Café message #2413614 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #113441   Message #2413614
Posted By: M.Ted
14-Aug-08 - 11:52 AM
Thread Name: What murder ballad is the saddest? [songs]
Subject: RE: What murder ballad is the saddest?
Kent, you're forgetting something I know that you know, which is that formal religious doctrine often has little to nothing to do with the day-to-day practices and customs in a religious community--

"Religion" is often a thin veneer that covers layer upon layer of superstition, unexamined belief, and ritual whose original meanings often have been lost or changed over the course of many generations.

Thanks for your description of the "sin eaters", Jayto. I grew up in a Northern factory town, and many of my playmates were transplants from Appalachia.   I never saw the "sin eaters" first hand, but knew that it happened, from things that I heard from friends.

I was disturbed by the descriptions of the custom--it was not until many years later that I realized that the little cakes that my elderly relatives baked and sent to the homes of the bereaved were a vestige of the same custom.