Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Murderous, Modern and Urban?

Much has been written, and much more doubtless will be, about the corrasion (rather than mere corrosion) of some modern 'urban' music and in particular that it dwells heavily on themes of injustice, death, violence, and murder.

That is true but equally it is nothing new - the folk canon is replete with such themes in all forms --- from the night songs (of lovers lost) to the murder ballads in which the boot is on the other foot.  The stories are often old, the telling of them not always so much so:
Charlotte Dymond
In early April
I heard you talking
By the barn door
You agreed to go with him
To a church upon the moor
You planned to leave me
You'd be mine no more
Two years I loved you
Two years you were mine
I swore I'd love you
Until the end of time
But now you've found a new love
You crossed the line
Oh what have I done
I'll hang for my crime
You went walking up on Bodmin
An early start that day
Never said where you were going
But I could walk with you some of the way
Well you never reached that chapel
You never got away
For by the stream I killed you
And there I hoped you'd stay
On my return I told the others
New work you had found
They did not believe me
And with your absence I was bound
Oh, curse you Charlotte Dymond
Where you lay on the ground
For along with my boot prints
Your body was found
I tried to hide it
Tried to save my own skin
But the Mistress turned against me
With all her kith and kin
I know that I must suffer
For this dreadful sin
Now the gallows await me
Hell's gate says welcome in.
Lyric: Charlotte Carrivick (2011), based on traditional sources including the twenty-three four-line verses of Charles Causley's 'The Ballad of Charlotte Dymond'.  Fiddle and backing vocals: Laura Carrivick.
Matthew Weekes was convicted of the murder of Charlotte Dymond and was sentenced to death by hanging. This took place in Plymouth.

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