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Origins: Songs about women killing men

GUEST,.gargoyle 18 Dec 07 - 07:11 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 18 Dec 07 - 07:09 PM
Jim Carroll 15 Dec 07 - 02:57 PM
Jim Carroll 15 Dec 07 - 02:55 AM
Jon Bartlett 15 Dec 07 - 02:20 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 14 Dec 07 - 08:14 AM
Jon Bartlett 14 Dec 07 - 12:52 AM
GUEST,Les B. 14 Dec 07 - 12:44 AM
Bonecruncher 13 Dec 07 - 10:21 PM
Doc John 13 Dec 07 - 03:59 PM
GUEST,Young Buchan 13 Dec 07 - 10:44 AM
topical tom 13 Dec 07 - 09:37 AM
Snuffy 13 Dec 07 - 08:32 AM
Rowan 12 Dec 07 - 10:20 PM
Jack Campin 12 Dec 07 - 07:43 PM
Bert 12 Dec 07 - 06:55 PM
Jim Carroll 12 Dec 07 - 08:12 AM
Grab 12 Dec 07 - 06:16 AM
Bonecruncher 11 Dec 07 - 11:37 PM
Beer 11 Dec 07 - 09:46 PM
Beer 11 Dec 07 - 09:18 PM
Joe_F 11 Dec 07 - 09:13 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 11 Dec 07 - 07:05 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Dec 07 - 05:11 PM
Melissa 11 Dec 07 - 05:05 PM
Doc John 11 Dec 07 - 05:00 PM
GUEST,Flatpick 11 Dec 07 - 04:59 PM
Herga Kitty 11 Dec 07 - 04:29 PM
Herga Kitty 11 Dec 07 - 04:09 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Dec 07 - 04:05 PM
GUEST,leeneia 11 Dec 07 - 03:40 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 11 Dec 07 - 03:25 PM
Jim Carroll 11 Dec 07 - 02:12 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Dec 07 - 12:45 PM
Beer 11 Dec 07 - 09:52 AM
cptsnapper 11 Dec 07 - 09:50 AM
greg stephens 11 Dec 07 - 09:32 AM
Rapparee 11 Dec 07 - 09:14 AM
Jim Dixon 11 Dec 07 - 09:01 AM
Newport Boy 11 Dec 07 - 08:43 AM
theleveller 11 Dec 07 - 08:38 AM
GUEST,PMB 11 Dec 07 - 08:19 AM
GUEST,Darowyn 11 Dec 07 - 08:09 AM
maeve 11 Dec 07 - 07:31 AM
Newport Boy 11 Dec 07 - 07:25 AM
oldhippie 11 Dec 07 - 07:23 AM
GUEST,PMB 11 Dec 07 - 06:49 AM
Grab 11 Dec 07 - 05:51 AM
John MacKenzie 11 Dec 07 - 05:40 AM
GUEST,DWR 11 Dec 07 - 02:31 AM
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Subject: RE: Origins: Songs about women killing men
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 18 Dec 07 - 07:11 PM

The above reminds me of Hamlet's mother (no doubt a real B---)

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Origins: Songs about women killing men
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 18 Dec 07 - 07:09 PM

ORIGINS - original story-lines???

For graphic detail, KJV - JUDGES Chapter 4 (and retelling in Ch 5)

17. ...Sisera fled away on his feet to the tent of Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite: for there was peace between Jabin the king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite.

18. And Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said unto him, Turn in, my lord, turn in to me; fear not. And when he had turned in unto her into the tent, she covered him with a mantle.

19. And he said unto her, Give me, I pray thee, a little water to drink; for I am thirsty. And she opened a bottle of milk, and gave him drink, and covered him.

20. Again he said unto her, Stand in the door of the tent, and it shall be, when any man doth come and inquire of thee, and say, Is there any man here? that thou shalt say, No.

21. Then Jael Heber's wife took a nail of the tent, and took an hammer in her hand, and went softly unto him, and smote the nail into his temples, and fastened it into the ground: for he was fast asleep and weary. So he died.

22. And, behold, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him, and said unto him, Come, and I will shew thee the man whom thou seekest. And when he came into her tent, behold, Sisera lay dead, and the nail was in his temples.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Origins: Songs about women killing men
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Dec 07 - 02:57 PM

Gosforth Tragedy
"She ripped him, she stripped him, she tore him in three,
Because he had murdered her baby and she"
Didn't pull her punches, did she?

Likewise, Willie's Fate

1 For Willie's gane o'er yon high, high hill.
And doon yon dowie den;
For it was there he met a grievious ghost
That would fear ten thousand wen.

2. For he's gane doon by Mary kirk.
And in by Mary's stile.
Wan and weary was the ghost
On him that grimly smiled.

3. "Oft hae ye travelled this road, Willy,
Oft hae ye travelled and sang;
Nor thought what would come of your poor soul
When your sinful life was done.

4. Oft hae ye travelled this road, Willy,
Your bonny new love tae see.
Oft hae ye travelled this road,
Willy, Nor thought of pooren me.

5. Oft hae ye travelled this road, Willy,
Your bonny new love tae see.
But you'll never travel this road again.
For this nicht avenged I'll be."

6. Then she has ta'en her perjured love.
And reived him gair by gair.
And ilka side o' Mary's stile.
Of him she hung a share.

7. His father and mither baith made moan.
His true love muckle mair;
His faither and mither baith made moan.
And his new love reived her hair.

Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Origins: Songs about women killing men
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Dec 07 - 02:55 AM

Jack Campin has already mentioned my favourite - the wonderful 'Laird O' Wariston'.
Prince Robert's mother poisoned him.
Young Willie's mother didn't actually kill him, but she caused him to drown in Clyde's Water.
Then there are the two who took part in the Burke and Hare murders: (guilty before the fact)
Two women there were in the plot; the wife of William Hare,
The other named McDougal, and travellers they did snare,
They got them to the lodging-house, and when they'd drunken deep,
Hare and me, we smothered them as they lay fast asleep.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Origins: Songs about women killing men
From: Jon Bartlett
Date: 15 Dec 07 - 02:20 AM

Bonnie Shaljean, PM me with your phone no.and I'll sing it to you.

Jon Bartlwtt


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Subject: RE: Origins: Songs about women killing men
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 14 Dec 07 - 08:14 AM

WOW Jon, what a brilliant song that is - thanks so much for posting it. Yes, somebody please put it in the DT - a.s.a.p.

Do you have any clue as to the Child tune it's sung to, any fragments of words or story to help jog the collective memory? Though there are a large number of good trad tunes you could fit those words to, including some strong bluesy ones. (Can't you just imagine someone like Etta James singing it in a blues style?)

And: Can you tell us any more about Peter Boyd? Not a familiar name to me, though I don't live in the US or UK anymore so may be a bit out of touch.

Thanks again Jon, a new song, great - you made my day :-)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Songs about women killing men
From: Jon Bartlett
Date: 14 Dec 07 - 12:52 AM

I've finally found the words to the song that jumped into my head when I saw this thread. It's called "The Tenant" and is sung to a Child ballad tune (which I can't quite place). Could some kind elf top and tail it to be harvested for inclusion in DT?

The Tenant

The tenant worked a part time job
While her kids were at school.
All she could find was assembly line
Sittin' on a metal stool
Sittin' on a metal stool.

The landlord worked out on his yacht,
Polishing its brass
His cheeks were pink from his tall cool drink.
You know, he had a lot of class -
His initials were etched in the glass.

She picked her kids up after school
In a smoking tan Corvair
And parked in back near the S.P. tracks
And creaked up the apartment stairs,
And creaked up the apartment stairs.

The landlord walked back to his club
And changed into his Gucci shoes
And slipped into his black Cadillac
To see which properties he'd choose
To see which properties he'd choose.

Eviction notice on her door
Meant pay up quick or go -
But she wouldn't pay with the plumbing that way
And rain dripping through to the floor.
And rain dripping through to the floor.

The landlord drove back to his home
High up on the hill,
Where he took a look at the work of the cook,
And sat back to take his fill,
And sat back to take his fill.

The tenant took her pound of round
And mixed it with sauce and bread
And a big plate of rice to cut down on the price
To keep her and the children fed
To keep her and the children fed.

The landlord finished with fine aged wine
And swaggered to the phone
To make him a deal to top an elegant meal
If that little tenant was at home
If that little tenant was at home.

She answered, saying, "You've got the law
And the lawyers to see you win.
But if you're coming here it's not for love and a beer
But to see the shape your building's in
To see the shape your building's in."

His hands were sweaty as he stood at the door,
A cocky grin on his face.
When she showed him the sink he didn't look or think
His arms tightened 'round her waist
His arms tightened 'round her waist

She drove an ice-pick into his chest,
Blood dripped to the floor.
When she saw it spurt from his monogrammed shirt,
She stuck him a few times more.
She stuck him a few times more.

Now she felt bad about her kitchen floor,
But her rage was more than fear
So she reached for a mop instead of calling a cop -
She had better plans for twenty years.
She had better plans for the next twenty years.

She made a noose and tied him to a caboose,
Underneath so he dragged along.
He was ground away from Oakland to L.A. -        
She doesn't think she did it wrong -
That's why it' s not a tragic song.        

By Peter Boyd, from the singing of Ruthie Gorton of LA. I met Ruthie at Lou Curtiss' San Diego Folk Festival one year in the 'seventies, and we did a few gigs together, including a little tour in BC, but I've lost sight of her since. You all may know here as the author of "Voices from the Mountains", a fine song in (and used as a title for) a book by Guy Carawan et al. A fabulous singer!

Jon Bartlett


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Subject: RE: Origins: Songs about women killing men
From: GUEST,Les B.
Date: 14 Dec 07 - 12:44 AM

Also contemporary song writer Tom Russell's "Hallie Lonagan,"
where her drunken lout of a husband stumbles against a butcher knife in her hand and crawls off through the mud, never to return. Great song, especially when done by a full-voiced woman.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Songs about women killing men
From: Bonecruncher
Date: 13 Dec 07 - 10:21 PM

Following on from Rowan's story about the sheep:-
As the ram said as he saw the farmer approaching with the elastic bands - "I Know There'll Never Be Another Ewe".
Colyn.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Songs about women killing men
From: Doc John
Date: 13 Dec 07 - 03:59 PM

Childe Owlett - although she has him executed rather than doing the job herself.
John


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Subject: RE: Origins: Songs about women killing men
From: GUEST,Young Buchan
Date: 13 Dec 07 - 10:44 AM

Willie in The Mother's Malison was killed by his mother who cursed him because he wouldn't stay with her that night.
Well, no he wasn't. He was killed by his girlfriend Maggie who forced him to recross the river instead of staying with her.
Well, no he wasn't. It turns out that it was Maggie's mother pretending to be Maggie.
So that's three women did for him! Or not, in case I get accused of trying to guilt trip them. Obviously he was killed by the river. Which was male. ... because its name was Clyde Swaters!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Songs about women killing men
From: topical tom
Date: 13 Dec 07 - 09:37 AM

Lizzie Borden:


                                     http://www.guntheranderson.com/v/data/lizziebo.htm


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Subject: RE: Origins: Songs about women killing men
From: Snuffy
Date: 13 Dec 07 - 08:32 AM

BIDDY MCGRATH

I'll tell you a story that will give you all a shock,
It's about a double murder on the Ringsend dock.
The person in question was young Biddy McGrath
She strangled two sailors with the straps of her bra.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Songs about women killing men
From: Rowan
Date: 12 Dec 07 - 10:20 PM

There is a wonderful poem by Thomas Hardy about a woman whose husband who comes home drunk each night and beats her, is sewn up into a blanket so he starves to death.

While I note the subsequent corrections, I'm reminded of the fate of a bloke in East Gippsland. There are lots of sheep there and one particular bloke did a lot of work for the sheep cockies round about; he regularly came home drunk and ripped into his wife, beating her up. She took it for years and then, one night, snapped.

One of the jobs in sheep country is "marking the lambs", involving drafting them onto a rotating table with up to five positions, with one task for each position. Vaccinating, drenching, tailing (removing tails), and castrating are the usual tasks done in "marking". Tailing and castrating may be done with a knife but are usually done with a small. tightly elastic ring that is fitted over the tail or scrotum; it rather painlessly cuts of the blood supply and the distal bit withers without loss of blood and drops off after a few days. The rings are spread with a spreader known as an elastrator, the tail or scrotum is inserted and the elastrator removed. Everyone in sheep country has their own elastrator.

No prizes for guessing his fate. Gives new meaning to the phrase "ringing endorsement". By the time he woke up in the morning it was too late, even though he hightailed it down to the doctor's to get it removed carefully.

Didn't exactly kill him but his testosterone levels and reputation were both rather diminished.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Origins: Songs about women killing men
From: Jack Campin
Date: 12 Dec 07 - 07:43 PM

Clerk Colven/Colvill (she gives him the world's fastest-acting venereal infection).

The Cruel Mother

The Laird o Wariston

any number of mostly-forgotten execution broadsides (I rather like the ghoulish ones about Mary McKinnon, the prostitute hanged for a fatal stabbing in Edinburgh in 1839)

The Black Freighter (from The Threepenny Opera)

Puccini's Turandot (and probably quite a lot of other operas)

There must be some great Indian songs about Phoolan Devi.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Songs about women killing men
From: Bert
Date: 12 Dec 07 - 06:55 PM

Stone Cold Dead in The Market


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Subject: RE: Origins: Songs about women killing men
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Dec 07 - 08:12 AM

'I don't think he actually starved to death, J C. As I recall it, he just got hungry and beaten, and learned the error of his ways.'
Whoops - sorry, you're right
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Origins: Songs about women killing men
From: Grab
Date: 12 Dec 07 - 06:16 AM

There is no evidence that Barbara Allen or Lord Randall's unnamed lover killed anyone.

Barbara Allen, sure. But all three versions of Lord Randall in DT are pretty clear on him being murdered by poison (by his lover in 1 and 3, stepmother in 2).

http://www.mudcat.org/@displaysong.cfm?SongID=3723
http://www.mudcat.org/@displaysong.cfm?SongID=9882
http://www.mudcat.org/@displaysong.cfm?SongID=9883

Colyn, as regards "seeing out their 3-score-and-10", in pre-medical times if you'd made it to 40 then odds were fairly good that you'd make old bones. The majority didn't reach 40 though. The stats make this pretty clear, when 10 children was the norm and the average survival rate to reproduction was only a little over 2. Also, those reaching 40 were usually richer; all manual occupations were significantly dangerous, as was warfare (a major source of male mortality for most of history).

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Songs about women killing men
From: Bonecruncher
Date: 11 Dec 07 - 11:37 PM

Guest Leenia
Life expectancy in earlier centuries was NOT neccessarily shorter. In my own family history, as well as the histories I have done for others, Many persons died in their sveties or eighties.
It is true that many people died young, usually from the childhood diseases such as measles, whooping cough, mumps and chicken pox. Influenza was also a big killer.
Consequently, although the AVERAGE age of death appears lower, most people saw out their allotted three score and ten years.
Colyn.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Songs about women killing men
From: Beer
Date: 11 Dec 07 - 09:46 PM

Never heard that song (Fanny Blair) before Bonnie. Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Songs about women killing men
From: Beer
Date: 11 Dec 07 - 09:18 PM

Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts by Bob Dylan


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Subject: RE: Origins: Songs about women killing men
From: Joe_F
Date: 11 Dec 07 - 09:13 PM

Queen Eleanor's Confession (Child 156)

Ballads in which a woman indirectly causes a man's death include McPherson's Lament (throws a blanket over him) & Child Owlet (frames him for attempted rape).


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Subject: RE: Origins: Songs about women killing men
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 11 Dec 07 - 07:05 PM

Lucky for the guy in Sovay Sovay that he didn't give her that ring or he'd be another statistic on here.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Songs about women killing men
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Dec 07 - 05:11 PM

Ah, but he got away from Captain Farrell, in spite of that business with the pistols, Kitty, so sporting Jenny's little trick didn't work out, and he didn't actually get killed.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Songs about women killing men
From: Melissa
Date: 11 Dec 07 - 05:05 PM

I guess I always thought 'little girl' was up to murderous ructions "In The Pines"?


"Long Black Veil"...Indirect, but she sure played a part in the guy being hanged.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Songs about women killing men
From: Doc John
Date: 11 Dec 07 - 05:00 PM

The Three Butchers, Banks of Sweet Dundee

Doc John


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Subject: RE: Origins: Songs about women killing men
From: GUEST,Flatpick
Date: 11 Dec 07 - 04:59 PM

'Caleb Mayer' by Gillian Welch


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Subject: RE: Origins: Songs about women killing men
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 11 Dec 07 - 04:29 PM

And indirectly, Lady Erskine in Child Owlet

My own sporting Jenny who filled the pistols up with water before sending for Captain Farrell to be ready for the slaughter.

The woman who lay naked on the road to entrap Young Johnson, who was attacked and killed when he stopped to help her.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Origins: Songs about women killing men
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 11 Dec 07 - 04:09 PM

Sarah Gray / Sally Gray who shot young William Taylor.

The banks of the Sweet Dundee (her pistol drew and her uncle slew)

The Outlandish Knight

Lie there, lie there, thou false hearted knight
Lie there and drown – Said she
Six pretty maids has thou drowned here
And the seventh drowned thee!

And of course, Lord Randall and all its variants

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Origins: Songs about women killing men
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Dec 07 - 04:05 PM

I don't think he actually starved to death, J C. As I recall it, he just got hungry and beaten, and learned the error of his ways.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Songs about women killing men
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 11 Dec 07 - 03:40 PM

There is no evidence that Barbara Allen or Lord Randall's unnamed lover killed anyone. The songs are just laying a guilt trip on a woman who didn't knuckle under a suitor just because he fancied her.

Life expectancy was much shorter in earlier centuries, and the reason is obvious. People, especially men, died of love all too easily.

Sweet Willie and Lady Margot comes to mind.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Songs about women killing men
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 11 Dec 07 - 03:25 PM

Fanny Blair - not a woman but an 11-year girl who kills a man with a lie. The song is absolutely chilling.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Songs about women killing men
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Dec 07 - 02:12 PM

There is a wonderful poem by Thomas Hardy about a woman whose husband who comes home drunk each night and beats her, is sewn up into a blanket so he starves to death.
I believe Mike Waterson made a song based on it.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Origins: Songs about women killing men
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Dec 07 - 12:45 PM

Most of the time in the songs the blokes who get killed have rather asked for it.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Songs about women killing men
From: Beer
Date: 11 Dec 07 - 09:52 AM

Dixie Chick: "Goodbye Earl"

Beer (adrien)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Songs about women killing men
From: cptsnapper
Date: 11 Dec 07 - 09:50 AM

That's The Way The Girls Are From Texas


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Subject: RE: Origins: Songs about women killing men
From: greg stephens
Date: 11 Dec 07 - 09:32 AM

While Betty didn't exactly kill Dupree(Betty and Dupree Blues, or Dupree Blues), she caused his death indirectly.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Songs about women killing men
From: Rapparee
Date: 11 Dec 07 - 09:14 AM

Barbara Allen
The Maid of Fife-e-o
Nancy Whisky


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Subject: RE: Origins: Songs about women killing men
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 11 Dec 07 - 09:01 AM

There's Bessie Smith's SEND ME TO THE 'LECTRIC CHAIR, which has been posted several times at Mudcat: 1, 2, 3, 4.

The genders can be easily switched, though--see David Bromberg's version.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Songs about women killing men
From: Newport Boy
Date: 11 Dec 07 - 08:43 AM

Did that one an hour ago - Yawn!

Phil


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Subject: RE: Origins: Songs about women killing men
From: theleveller
Date: 11 Dec 07 - 08:38 AM

"And she has shot her false willie"??????????

No, I won't go there.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Songs about women killing men
From: GUEST,PMB
Date: 11 Dec 07 - 08:19 AM

Then there's that song about the servant girl who sees off numbers of would be assailants "with her box on her head"... Staffordshire Maid?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Songs about women killing men
From: GUEST,Darowyn
Date: 11 Dec 07 - 08:09 AM

Rikititikititin!
A song about Lizzie Borden- pretty indiscriminating as to the gender of her victims.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Songs about women killing men
From: maeve
Date: 11 Dec 07 - 07:31 AM

"The Great Silkie of Sule Skerry

Cap't Bob"
*********
Sorry, Cap't Bob, I don't understand the inclusion of this one. The lady's husband kills the Great Silkie and his son. Do you have a different version?

Thanks,

maeve


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Subject: RE: Origins: Songs about women killing men
From: Newport Boy
Date: 11 Dec 07 - 07:25 AM

"She has taken a brace of pistols
And she has shot her false willie-o."

That's just a serious injury!! "...shot her false Willie-O" is nearer.

Phil


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Subject: RE: Origins: Songs about women killing men
From: oldhippie
Date: 11 Dec 07 - 07:23 AM

I like Holly Near's rendition of "Step It Out Nancy".



Wasn't there a song "Another Man Done Gone"?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Songs about women killing men
From: GUEST,PMB
Date: 11 Dec 07 - 06:49 AM

She has taken a brace of pistols
And she has shot her false willie-o.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Songs about women killing men
From: Grab
Date: 11 Dec 07 - 05:51 AM

Lord Randal/Randall is poisoned by his lover.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Songs about women killing men
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 11 Dec 07 - 05:40 AM

Miss Otis Regrets.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Songs about women killing men
From: GUEST,DWR
Date: 11 Dec 07 - 02:31 AM

A couple that haven't been mentioned, though they are relatives of ones that have, are Henry Lee and The Willow Tree or The Lonely Willow Tree.


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