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What murder ballad is the saddest? [songs]

GUEST,keberoxu 27 Aug 16 - 05:47 PM
GUEST,Desi 28 Aug 16 - 04:55 AM
Jim Carroll 28 Aug 16 - 06:36 AM
Mrrzy 28 Aug 16 - 09:43 AM
Elmore 28 Aug 16 - 11:24 AM
GUEST,George Henderson 28 Aug 16 - 03:22 PM
GUEST 29 Aug 16 - 03:14 AM
GUEST,DeanofRochester 30 Aug 16 - 12:54 PM
mkebenn 31 Aug 16 - 12:56 PM
GUEST,HiLo 31 Aug 16 - 02:26 PM
cetmst 31 Aug 16 - 04:55 PM
GUEST 31 Aug 16 - 05:25 PM
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Subject: RE: What murder ballad is the saddest?
From: GUEST,keberoxu
Date: 27 Aug 16 - 05:47 PM

if you venture into sean-nós and Irish Gaelic, then there is a case for "Sail Óg Rua."

from the Joe Heaney archives, in his own words:
"The fellow who murdered his sixteen-year-old girlfriend. And lamented it the minute he's after doing it. When he saw her blood flowing, he composed the song. There's a lot of that happening in the Gaelic songs, you know. Lots of it."

"Now the Connemara way is like this. Now this is a story about a young girl, she was only sixteen, her lover killed her. And when he saw the blood, that's when he started writing....composing the song."

© Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh 2010 - 2011


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Subject: RE: What murder ballad is the saddest?
From: GUEST,Desi
Date: 28 Aug 16 - 04:55 AM

For me it'd have to be Joe Hill


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE BALLAD OF SHARPEVILLE (Ewan MacColl)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 28 Aug 16 - 06:36 AM

"and so deserved what he got"
Depends on whether you support the barbaric practice of state induced murder, of course!!
"Sad" is an odd word - it certainly isn't the only emotion evoked by murder.

THE BALLAD OF SHARPEVILLE (1960)
Written by Ewan MacColl

From the Cape to Southwest Africa,
From the Transvaal to the sea,
In farm and village, shanty town,
The Pass Law holds the people down,
The pass of slavery, DOM PASS!
The pass of slavery.

The morning wind blows through the land,
It murmurs in the grass;
And every leaf of every tree
Whispers words of hope to me:
'This day will end the pass, DOM PASS!
This day will end the pass.'

The sun comes up on Sharpeville Town
And drives the night away;
The word is heard in every street:
'Against the Pass Law we will meet,
No-one will work today, DOM PASS!
No-one will work today.'

It was on the twenty-first of March,
The day of Sharpeville's shame;
Hour by hour the crowd did grow,
One voice that cried, 'The pass must go!'
It spoke in freedom's name, DOM PASS!
It spoke in freedom's name.

Outside the police headquarter's fence,
The Sharpeville people stand;
Inside the fence the white men pace,
Drunk with power and pride of race,
Each with a gun in hand, DOM PASS!
Each with a gun in hand.

The Sharpeville crowd wait patiently,
They talk and laugh and sing;
At eleven-fifteen the tanks come down
Roll through the streets of Sharpeville town
To join the armoured ring, DOM PASS!
To join the armoured ring.

Neighbour talks to neighbour
And the kids play all around,
Until, without a warning word,
The sound of rifle fire is heard
And men fall to the ground, DOM PASS!
And men fall to the ground.

The panic-stricken people run
To flee the wild attack;
The police re-load and fire again
At running women, children, men,
And shoot them in the back, DOM PASS!
And shoot them in the back.

Sixty-seven Africans
Lay dead there on the ground;
Apartheid's harvest for a day,
Three times their number wounded lay,
Their blood stained all around, DOM PASS!
Their blood stained all around.

There's blood on the men who fired the guns,
On the men who made the laws;
There's blood on the hands of the Whitehall ranks
Who gave the thugs their guns and tanks,
Who help in oppression's cause, DOM PASS!
Who help in oppression's cause.

Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What murder ballad is the saddest?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 28 Aug 16 - 09:43 AM

Not a murder, but The Baggage Coach Ahead destroyed me.


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Subject: RE: What murder ballad is the saddest?
From: Elmore
Date: 28 Aug 16 - 11:24 AM

Not traditional. Not a murder. Killing in self defense. Plenty sad. "Leather Glove" by Carol Noonan.


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Subject: RE: What murder ballad is the saddest?
From: GUEST,George Henderson
Date: 28 Aug 16 - 03:22 PM

Prince Heathen is about the saddest I can think of. Just listened to Frankie Armstrong singing it on You Tube.

I assume that she died after the trauma of being dragged through briars etc while tied to the tail of a horse and giving birth at the same time to a child born after a rape. The song does not confirm that though. Nor does it confirm that the child died either but surely neither could have survived.


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Subject: RE: What murder ballad is the saddest?
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Aug 16 - 03:14 AM

The saddest element here is the grammar employed in the title. Murdering people is one thing but murdering The Queen's English?


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Subject: RE: What murder ballad is the saddest?
From: GUEST,DeanofRochester
Date: 30 Aug 16 - 12:54 PM

Can I throw in 'Have a Go Hero' from a few years ago by Queensbury Rules ? A truly haunting, beautiful and tragic true story ... I guess it may be adjudged a manslaughter ballad, if there is such a thing 😊


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Subject: RE: What murder ballad is the saddest?
From: mkebenn
Date: 31 Aug 16 - 12:56 PM

Pro'bly mentioned. Rose Conely/Willow Garden by anybody Mike


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Subject: RE: What murder ballad is the saddest?
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 31 Aug 16 - 02:26 PM

Not strictly speaking a murder ballad, but Clerk Sanders is very sad indeed. It is also a great story. I don't know if it has been mentioned but Miles Weatherhill and Sarah Bell by Nick Jones is a very sad one as well.
Interesting thread, thank you.


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Subject: RE: What murder ballad is the saddest?
From: cetmst
Date: 31 Aug 16 - 04:55 PM

Is The Griesly Bride a murder ballad?


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Subject: RE: What murder ballad is the saddest?
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Aug 16 - 05:25 PM

The 'Twa Corbies' gets my vote as it's what we all must come to.
'Nae body kens, nae body cares,
O'er his white bones when they are bare
The wind sall blow for evermair...'


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