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Songs about capital punishment.

GUEST,Brother 31 Jul 03 - 07:20 PM
Gareth 31 Jul 03 - 03:41 PM
GUEST 31 Jul 03 - 02:58 PM
GUEST,cittern 31 Jul 03 - 03:53 AM
Padre 30 Jul 03 - 11:21 PM
SINSULL 30 Jul 03 - 10:27 PM
akenaton 30 Jul 03 - 06:41 PM
GUEST,Pamela 30 Jul 03 - 06:03 PM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Mar 00 - 02:52 PM
GUEST,The Beanster 18 Mar 00 - 12:20 PM
The Shambles 18 Mar 00 - 11:41 AM
The Shambles 16 Feb 00 - 09:58 AM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 16 Feb 00 - 06:34 AM
GUEST,Okiemockbird 15 Feb 00 - 12:37 PM
Willie-O 15 Feb 00 - 11:27 AM
Charlie Baum 15 Feb 00 - 11:21 AM
Peg 15 Feb 00 - 10:47 AM
GUEST,T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird) 15 Feb 00 - 09:19 AM
The Shambles 15 Feb 00 - 08:48 AM
GeorgeH 15 Feb 00 - 06:42 AM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 15 Feb 00 - 06:25 AM
AKS 15 Feb 00 - 04:23 AM
Metchosin 15 Feb 00 - 04:07 AM
Callie 15 Feb 00 - 01:51 AM
Joe Offer 15 Feb 00 - 01:23 AM
Sorcha 15 Feb 00 - 12:37 AM
GUEST,Nancy Blevins 15 Feb 00 - 12:28 AM
northfolk/al cholger 14 Apr 99 - 12:08 AM
Mark Clark 13 Apr 99 - 11:54 PM
reggie miles 13 Apr 99 - 11:24 PM
Susan A-R 13 Apr 99 - 11:02 PM
Gene 13 Apr 99 - 08:44 PM
Sandy Paton 13 Apr 99 - 01:34 PM
AlistairUK 13 Apr 99 - 07:12 AM
AlistairUK 13 Apr 99 - 07:11 AM
skw@worldmusic.de 13 Apr 99 - 05:01 AM
02 Apr 99 - 06:20 PM
Bruce O. 02 Apr 99 - 06:08 PM
MAG (inactive) 02 Apr 99 - 05:46 PM
Jerry Friedman 02 Apr 99 - 04:38 PM
Jerry Friedman 02 Apr 99 - 04:05 PM
Susan A-R 01 Apr 99 - 09:41 PM
Bob Schwarer 01 Apr 99 - 06:14 PM
Den 01 Apr 99 - 05:22 PM
DonMeixner 01 Apr 99 - 03:24 PM
Bert 01 Apr 99 - 01:18 PM
carverconroy@beaufort.com 01 Apr 99 - 12:28 PM
O'Boyle 21 Dec 98 - 02:18 AM
Barry Finn 20 Dec 98 - 11:42 PM
Barry Finn 20 Dec 98 - 09:46 PM
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Subject: RE: Songs about capital punishment.
From: GUEST,Brother
Date: 31 Jul 03 - 07:20 PM

Might I recommend my brother Pete Bonds Song "Circuit Eleven" I always thought it a very powerful song about this subject.


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Subject: RE: Songs about capital punishment.
From: Gareth
Date: 31 Jul 03 - 03:41 PM

Mmm! They man they could not hang ?? John 'Babbacombe' Lee ???

I am sure there is a ballad abot him. ??? Did 'Fairport Convention sing this ??

Gareth


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Subject: RE: Songs about capital punishment.
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Jul 03 - 02:58 PM

From memory, Matt McGinn had two which mentioned hanging;
The Man They Couldn't Hang and The Foreman O'Rourke ( about a guy that was hanged for killing his boss my pulling the toilet plug on him. )

The latter is definitely light hearted ! Anyone got the lyrics ?


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Subject: RE: Songs about capital punishment.
From: GUEST,cittern
Date: 31 Jul 03 - 03:53 AM

Steve Earle is well known for his anti-death penalty stance.   Can't name a specific song off the top of my head, but I am sure a web search can generate more than one.

Hope his helps.

Best regards
John Robinson
http://www.JulieEllison.co.uk


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Subject: RE: Songs about capital punishment.
From: Padre
Date: 30 Jul 03 - 11:21 PM

There's a [Billy Edd Wheeler?] song called "The Last Public Hanging in West Virginia." The event took place (according to the song) in 1897.


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Subject: RE: Songs about capital punishment.
From: SINSULL
Date: 30 Jul 03 - 10:27 PM

Rose Connelly
The Croppy Boy


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Subject: RE: Songs about capital punishment.
From: akenaton
Date: 30 Jul 03 - 06:41 PM

Ewan Macolls "Go down you murderers"is the most effective anti capital punishment song of all,as it shows the our culpability when an innocent person is killed.I remember the way people viewed crime in the 50s and 60s and im glad opinions have changed for the better.
However I feel it would not take much to turn the clock back.Thats why we should keep these songs alive...Ake


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Subject: RE: Songs about capital punishment.
From: GUEST,Pamela
Date: 30 Jul 03 - 06:03 PM

Thanks so much. This song has been running around in my head for a month now, but the only words I remembered were "the green green grass of home." Now I can sing the whole dang thing!


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Subject: RE: Songs about capital punishment.
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Mar 00 - 02:52 PM

I wonder if "dead man walking" comes from The Ballad of Reading Jail by Oscar Wilde?

At last the dead man walked no more
Amongst the Trial Men,
And I knew that he was standing up
In the black dock's dreadful pen,
And that never would I see his face
In God's sweet world again.


Though of course it might have been a term used in prison at the time. A bit too long to sing, but a powerful piece - more so because there is no pretence that the condemned man is innocent of killing.

"Shoot me like an Irish soldier, do not hang me like a dog" is of course Kevin Barry, which is in the DT. Songs about patriots getting executed are really a separate category from songs about the death penalty in ordinary circumstances. Lots of them already in the thread - we haven't had Grace, or God Save Ireland so far. Not that there's a clear line to be drawn - for example there are several good songs about Ned Kelly, whom some (not me) would see as primarily a criminal.

And another category is about legal lynchings. For example there are versions of the Gypsy Davey in which the gypsies are all hanged.


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Subject: RE: Songs about capital punishment.
From: GUEST,The Beanster
Date: 18 Mar 00 - 12:20 PM

I've gotta say, barbaric as it is, I like this idea. I know there will be many who are appalled at this opinion but the reason I say that is because the survivors of the victims (from what I've heard) are all for it. And if that's true, I think they should get their wish (although I can't imagine that this sentence would actually be carried out). If this kind of execution of the criminal can assuage any amount of pain, no matter how small, these families should be allowed to have their day, if that's what they want.


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Subject: RE: Songs about capital punishment.
From: The Shambles
Date: 18 Mar 00 - 11:41 AM

Extract from the Daily Mail 17th March 2000.

A serial killer who sexually abused 100 boys, before strangling them and dissolving their cut-up bodies in acid has been sentenced to die in the same way. A judge in Pakistan yesterday told Javed Iqbal that he will be publicly strangled, cut into 100 pieces and dumped in a vat of acid.

Prosecutor Burhan Moaazam said the sentence on Iqbal was fitting as a warning to others. 'the accused was not a man, he was a beast', he said. 'What was announced by the learned judge was right for him'. However Pakistan's interior minister said such public executions were not permitted and would be challenged in the High Court. Moinudeen Halder said 'we are signatories to the Human Rights Commission. Such punishments are not allowed'.


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Subject: RE: Songs about capital punishment.
From: The Shambles
Date: 16 Feb 00 - 09:58 AM

Willy-O.

Some time has passed since I wrote the song and some things have (duh) dawned on me slowly.

I greatly admired the movie 'Dead Man Walking'. I considered it to be a fair treatment of the issue, for it did not 'ram home' a message but pretty much let you make up your own mind, if it wasn't already made up.

I honestly thought that my song did that too. Of course what I had overlooked is that my mind must have been pretty made up too and that also the song was written it from the point of view of the one to be executed. He was quite understandably, against the idea of being executed. I was genuinely a bit shocked when someone described it as an 'anti capital punishment song', as that was really not my intention but of course, that is exactly what it is.

I am beginning to come to the conclusion that, I did not (consciously) have much to do with the creation of this song at all?…….. Cue 'Twilight Zone' type music….Doo Doo Doo Doo…..


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Subject: RE: Songs about capital punishment.
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 16 Feb 00 - 06:34 AM

It's been a long time ( mid 1960s I guess)since I saw a production of Brendan Behan's "The Quare Fella" which deals movingly with a prisoner in the condemned cell. I seem to remember it had songs, whether by Dominc Behan or traditional I can't now recall [surprise!]. Irish 'Catters may know if particular songs were included in the play or just varied according to local director.
RtS


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Subject: RE: Songs about capital punishment.
From: GUEST,Okiemockbird
Date: 15 Feb 00 - 12:37 PM

I believe that at least one person who was bereaved by the destruction of the Murrah Building is working against putting McVeigh to death. I don't have the citation on me, though. I vaguely remember seeing it in the Oklahoma Gazzette.

The Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty will eventually be part of any effort to spare McVeigh's life, if they aren't already.

T.


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Subject: RE: Songs about capital punishment.
From: Willie-O
Date: 15 Feb 00 - 11:27 AM

Strangest thing is that in the vast majority of these songs, the writer has identified with the condemned person no matter how heinous the crime(s). Now I am firmly opposed to capital punishment on the grounds already cited, that it's carried out unevenly according to class and race considerations, and that it's irreversible despite the obvious fallibility of judicial process. (And that I figure organized killing, of someone who is already restrained from doing further harm, is just plain wrong.)

Also the argument that the public shouldn't pay the expense of keeping some killer in jail for life doesn't stand up either; it's more expensive to execute someone, since the appeal process is necessary, inevitable and extremely expensive (I've heard an average of $5 million/case in the US.).

A couple of years ago, though, I heard a "New Country" song on the radio in the MidWest (I'm not sure whether it was an American or Canadian station) which was explicitly pro-execution. The chorus went in part:

"The Bible says, an eye for an eye... ...Billy Walker has to die."

Now that was weird.

Then again, anyone up for writing a plea for Timothy McVeigh's life? Maybe he'll have a change of heart and become a better person...anyone who campaigns to save him is going to be regarded with deep suspicion from both sides of the great political divide.

W-O


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Subject: RE: Songs about capital punishment.
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 15 Feb 00 - 11:21 AM

THE STREETS OF DERRY and, of course, all versions of The Hangman, Stay Your Rope, The Briery Bush, etc.

--Charlie Baum


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Subject: RE: Songs about capital punishment.
From: Peg
Date: 15 Feb 00 - 10:47 AM

there is a song called "Young Waters" in which a handsome young man is put to death by a Scottish king after the queen declares him the handsomest man in the kingdom...I think June Tabor does it on Airs (is that her? I have the album but I cannot remember the singer's name for some reason...) anyway it is great song.


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Subject: RE: Songs about capital punishment.
From: GUEST,T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird)
Date: 15 Feb 00 - 09:19 AM

No one has yet mentioned "Were You There?", or "Pange Lingua" or "O Sacred Head Sore Wounded."

T.


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Subject: RE: Songs about capital punishment.
From: The Shambles
Date: 15 Feb 00 - 08:48 AM

George. If you look at the date of the original post, you will understand that the reference to events in Iraq was a (then)topical one (we were bombing them). It was not connected to capital punishment or comparing their legal systems to the US.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE EASTER TREE (Dave Goulder)^^^
From: GeorgeH
Date: 15 Feb 00 - 06:42 AM

Shambles, why ever do you see the situation in Iraq as so much worse than that in the US? The US carries out more judicial murders than most states on this earth. The US president has EVEN more innocent blood on his hands than does Saddam Hussein; far, far more.

But in response to the original request, here's Dave Goulder's "The Easter Tree" (stolen from an earlier Mudcat thread; I really must learn to do those blue clicky things). Imortalised by June Tabor on her "Ashes and Diamonds" LP, now available on CD.

Rain falls upon the Easter tree
The squirrel shakes his head and shivers in his red and sodden fur
The wind and water flatten out his ears and cause his streaming eyes to close
The smell of death lies heavy in his nose

The sun dries out the Easter tree
The rabbit looks around, sees a shadow on the ground and runs for home
The songbird finds a strange and novel perch to shout his challenge to the day
The hair beneath his feet is turning grey

A man hangs from the Easter tree
His deathbed is a rope; four strong nails have killed his hopes of climbing down
His jaws are locked in agony, are open for the flies to come and go
His eyes are in the belly of the crow

A dog sits by the Easter tree
Beneath the naked heels his master or his meal will surely fall
When the rope is broken by the wind or the rusty nails release their withered load
The dog, well fed, continues down the road

Bones lie beneath the Easter tree
The skulls now full of sand could never understand the reason why
The thread of life was broken by a hand that never cared to know their names
They played and lost in someone else's game

The leaves upon the Easter tree
Are red with human blood since justice chose the wood to make a sword
When a man was hanged at Tyburn tree or crucified along the road to Rome
His blood and tears have stained the face of stone

As a second offering I'd nominate "Bently and Craig", written by Ralph McTell and featured on June's Aleyn CD. . only I don't have a copy of the words to that at present. That, by the way, DOES commemorate the last execution in the UK. And the victim received his official pardon last year.

These days, with our "ethical foreign policy", we simply export the victims back to Afghanistan for them to do the dirty work.

G.


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Subject: RE: Songs about capital punishment.
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 15 Feb 00 - 06:25 AM

"Send me to the 'Lectric Chair", learned mainly from performances by British blues singer George Melly,who based his on the Bessie Smith version with the sexes reversed, is one I sometimes inflict on my loved ones but I had always assumed the knife was a "Bowie", interesting that it could be a "Barlow".
There's also "Frankie and Johnny" of course: "The last time I saw Frankie she was sittin' in the 'lectric chair,
Waitin' to meet her maker with the sweat drippin' out of her hair
RtS


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Subject: RE: Songs about capital punishment.
From: AKS
Date: 15 Feb 00 - 04:23 AM

Sam Hall, chimney sweep, if I'm not mistaking, wasn't mentioned yet, and belongs to this sad category (is in the DT).

AKS


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Subject: RE: Songs about capital punishment.
From: Metchosin
Date: 15 Feb 00 - 04:07 AM

MacPherson's Lament


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Subject: RE: Songs about capital punishment.
From: Callie
Date: 15 Feb 00 - 01:51 AM

What about "The Night Before Larry Got Stretched" and Cole Porter's "Miss Otis Regrets"? Callie


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Subject: Lyr Add: Strange Fruit^^^
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Feb 00 - 01:23 AM

Boiy, I'm glad somebody resurrected this thread.
My daughter introduced me to Billie Holiday's powerful song, "Strange Fruit":

Strange Fruit - Billie Holiday
Southern trees bear strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.

Pastoral scene of the gallant south,
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,
Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh,
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh.

Here is fruit for the crows to pluck,
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop,
Here is a strange and bitter cry.


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Subject: RE: Songs about capital punishment.
From: Sorcha
Date: 15 Feb 00 - 12:37 AM

Nancy Blevins, Where ARE you>? Are you in Wyo?


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Subject: RE: Songs about capital punishment.
From: GUEST,Nancy Blevins
Date: 15 Feb 00 - 12:28 AM

The song Long Black Veil by the org. Jimmie Rodgers. It's from the 30's I think.


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Subject: RE: Songs about capital punishment.
From: northfolk/al cholger
Date: 14 Apr 99 - 12:08 AM

I appreciate all of the history of Capital Punishment songs...to put it into perspective, the ILWU, International Longshore Workers Union has pledged to shut down all shipping on the West Coast, to bring awareness to the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal, on April 24...demanding a new/fair trial....the good part of the music we all love is that it doesn't happen in a vacuum, but is rooted in the issues of the times.


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Subject: Lyr Add: I'm On My Way^^
From: Mark Clark
Date: 13 Apr 99 - 11:54 PM

Logan English recorded a song with a chorus that went:

Hang me oh hang me I'll be dead and gone,
Hang me oh hang me I'll be dead and gone,
I wouldn't mind the hangin' but to lay in the grave so long,
Lay in the grave so long.

An old friend, Dwight Saunders, once taught me a song he learned in an Alabama jail called "I'm On My Way." The verses are:

I'm on my way, and I won't be long (three times)
Great God a'mighty, I'm on my way.

I killed a man, beat in his head (three times)
Great God a'mighty, I'm glad he's dead.

Sheriff Colson come, throw'd me in jail (thrice)
Great God a'mighty, I ain't got no bail.

This Durant jail, no jail at all, (thrice)
Great God a'mighty, been here since fall.

That ofay judge, gonna see me fry, (thrice)
Great God a'mighty, I don't wanta die.

But I'm on my way... (repeat first verse)

I've never run across it anywhere else and thought some of you might be interested.

- Mark


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Subject: RE: Songs about capital punishment.
From: reggie miles
Date: 13 Apr 99 - 11:24 PM

Don't know if this was mentioned previously but there's a book that I have collecting dust here called "American Murder Ballads And Their Stories". This edition is from 1958 by Olive Woolley Burt, Oxford University Press. It seems to touch on some of this. Reggie


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Subject: RE: Songs about capital punishment.
From: Susan A-R
Date: 13 Apr 99 - 11:02 PM

I also remember Margaret McArthur doing one about a man who kills his sweetheart, and is caught.

Something lke this (dredged out of 15 year storage in an increasingly leaky memory)

Come all you wicked young men and hear what I do tell
My name is William Smael and in London I did dwell
I've lately done some murder there, and that is known full well
For my offense I must die

The last line of the verse repeats, and some of the images are pretty chilling. Anyone else have it so I can fill in the gaps in my poror memory?


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Subject: RE: Songs about capital punishment.
From: Gene
Date: 13 Apr 99 - 08:44 PM

Marty Robbins recorded 'THE CHAIR'


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Subject: RE: Songs about capital punishment.
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 13 Apr 99 - 01:34 PM

Has no one mentioned "Captain Kidd" or "Maid Freed from the Gallows," or "Mary Hamilton" (The Four Marys)or "The Cruel Mother?" I may have overlooked them in the thread. If so, sorrry!

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Songs about capital punishment.
From: AlistairUK
Date: 13 Apr 99 - 07:12 AM

It doesn't seem to be in the DT can someone add it.


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Subject: Lyr Add: Clūn Malla^^^
From: AlistairUK
Date: 13 Apr 99 - 07:11 AM

There's the beautiful Irish ballad "Clūn Malla" (sic) which goes:

CLŪN MALLA

How hard is my fortune
How vain my repining
The strong rope of fate
For my young neck is twining
My strength has departed
My cheeks sunk and sallow
As I languish in chains
In the gaol of Clūn Malla

No boy in the village
Was ever yet milder
I could play with a child
And my sport be no wilder
I could dance without tiring
From morning til evening
And my goal ball I'd strike
To the lightning of heaven

At my bedfoot decaying
My hurley is lying
Through the lads of the village
My goal ball is flying
My horse 'mongst the neighbours
Neglected may fallow
While this heart young and gay
Lies cold in Clūn Malla

Next sunday the pattern
At home will be keeping
The lads of the village
The fields will be sweeping
And the dance of fair maidens
The evening will hallow
While this heart
Young and gay
lies cold in Clūn Malla

Repeat First Verse.

I love singing this song, I think I got it from a Dubliners Album many years ago, the name of the album I can't remember.


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Subject: RE: Songs about capital punishment.
From: skw@worldmusic.de
Date: 13 Apr 99 - 05:01 AM

What about Bonnie Susie Clelland (Child #65), burned at the stake for being in love with an Englishman? And Eric Bogle wrote a moving song about South Africa, Singing the Spirit Home, from the album of the same title.
Incidentally, Tim Evans was not the last man by a long way to be hanged in Britain. He was hanged in 1950. However, MacColl's song is credited with helping towards clearing Evans' name - which was finally done in 1966.
One of the last to be hanged must have been James Hanratty, the alleged A6 murderer, in 1962. I've just read he is about to be pardoned - strange word! - 37 years after. Another irreparable miscarriage of justice. Derek Bentley is another that comes to mind.
C. P. must have been abolished about 1964, for I remember Hamish Imlach introducing 'Tim Evans' in 1989 with the words 'It was twenty-five years last month since they last hanged someone in Britain. Mrs. Thatcher wanted to celebrate by hanging several people again.'
Hamish DID have a strange sense of humour. He used to introduce 'MacPherson's Lament' by saying that there was a time when simply being a gypsy was a capital crime in Scotland. Unfortunately, this was nothing but the truth!
Who's to decide? I don't believe in C.P., especially if, as in the US, people wait for years and change greatly in the process, and if, as Barry Finn points out, the law favours better-off and better-educated people and leaves the burden to be borne by the poor and uneducated. On the other hand, reading about what sexual offenders and paedophiles do to their victims and learning that a great number of these people are considered mentally ill but untreatable - what are we to do with them? Wait till they strike again? Lock them up for life? Also, what do you do to stop the Milosevic's of this world? I don't know. - Susanne


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Subject: RE: Songs about capital punishment.
From:
Date: 02 Apr 99 - 06:20 PM

Add Gilderoy, MacPherson's Farewell, John Felton, The Cutpurse, Ann Askew, Arabella Stuart, John Careless. There's one "Behold our Saviour Crucified" in Rollins' 'Old English Ballads', and another on Anne Saunders. There's also the three part one on George Sanders,and others involved in a murder. Bannister. Faux, Catesby, and Garnet involeved in the Gunpowder Plot.


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Subject: RE: Songs about capital punishment.
From: Bruce O.
Date: 02 Apr 99 - 06:08 PM

For some old ones see my broadside ballad index, Babington & Ballard, Luke Hutton, Earl of Essex, Walter Raleigh, William Grismond (William Guisman in traditional versions). Stafford, Russell, Johnson, Golden Farmer. The bloody Miller. King Charles-I, and numerous other ones (search on 'execute' and 'murder/murther' and 'traitor/traytor') www.erols.com/olsonw


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Subject: RE: Songs about capital punishment.
From: MAG (inactive)
Date: 02 Apr 99 - 05:46 PM

Barbara Dane used to do an old blues number where the narrator is a woman whose man is about to hang. I'll see if it's on the one piece of vinyl I still own by her.

Mary Ann


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Subject: RE: Songs about capital punishment.
From: Jerry Friedman
Date: 02 Apr 99 - 04:38 PM

...neither one of which is in the DT. Here's the one from The Beggar's Opera (1765), by John Gay. I may have thought the poetry was good because I liked the music. This is sung by MacHeath when he's about to be hanged on the gallows at Tyburn.

Air LXVII.--Green Sleeves.

Since Laws were made for ev'ry Degree,
To curb Vice in others, as well as me,
I wonder we han't better Company,
Upon Tyburn Tree!
But Gold from Law can take out the Sting;
And if rich Men like us were to swing,
'Twould thin the Land, such Numbers to string
Upon Tyburn Tree!


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Subject: RE: Songs about capital punishment.
From: Jerry Friedman
Date: 02 Apr 99 - 04:05 PM

There's the Irish song about "Shoot me like a soldier,/ Do not hang me like a dog,/ For I fought for Ireland's [memory fading out here]..."

Also the one to "Greensleeves" about Tyburn Tree--surely the musical and poetic high point of The Beggar's Opera.


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Subject: RE: Songs about capital punishment.
From: Susan A-R
Date: 01 Apr 99 - 09:41 PM

There are a bunch of songs about both Joe Hill and Sacco and Vanzetti (my spelling is supect here, I know) I particularly remember "Two Good Arms" believe it's on a Holly Near/Ronnie Gilbert album called Lifelines. Also Is it Andy Irvine who does Vanzetti's Farewell? There's also an entire compendium of Joe Hill songs out. Its interesting in these instances because the judges in question (and the "State") decided that although it wasn't clear that the fellows had committed the crimes in question, the politics of the criminals were out of line enough with society to warrant their deaths. Then there's Annathea (not trad, although it sounds it) Also, did Leadbelly do any of these? It seems that he must have. Also, there's the one verse in "We Who Believe in Freedom" "Until the Killing of a black man, black mother's son Is as important as the killing of a white man, white mother's son, we who believe in freedom shall not rest. . ." Not sure if it partains to the death penalty (the statistiics here are interesting) or not. Ah well, running out of steam.

Susan


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Subject: RE: Songs about capital punishment.
From: Bob Schwarer
Date: 01 Apr 99 - 06:14 PM

How about "Burke & Hare", a couple who get hung for their quaint way of supporting themselves.

Bob S.


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Subject: RE: Songs about capital punishment.
From: Den
Date: 01 Apr 99 - 05:22 PM

There's no lights on the Christmas Tree Momma They're burning big Louie tonight.


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Subject: RE: Songs about capital punishment.
From: DonMeixner
Date: 01 Apr 99 - 03:24 PM

I too would recomend The Iron Lady by Phil Ochs, Sam Hall

andm/or Tallow Candles. Hang on The Bell Nellie and Long Black Veil are favorites.

Don Meixner


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Subject: RE: Songs about capital punishment.
From: Bert
Date: 01 Apr 99 - 01:18 PM

There's Anne Boleyn.
With her 'ead tucked underneath her arm.

Didn't Jimmie Rodgers do one about
I will go the gallows at sunrise?

Then there's Robert Emmet & Roddy McCorley

Bert


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Subject: RE: Songs about capital punishment.
From: carverconroy@beaufort.com
Date: 01 Apr 99 - 12:28 PM

I've always like Tim Evans that was sung by Judy Collins back in the early 60's. Tim Evans was the last person executed in Great Britain (he also happened to be innocent-a now undisputed fact but a little late for him). cc


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Subject: Lyr Add: JAMES CONNOLLY ^^^
From: O'Boyle
Date: 21 Dec 98 - 02:18 AM

I've always enjoyed the song "James Connolly" and was going to link to it in the database when I found that the "James Connolly" in the database was the OTHER "James Connolly". So I had to type this thing out. I hope you find it as powerful a song as I do.

JAMES CONNOLLY

A great crowd had gathered outside of Kilmainham
Their heads all uncovered as they knelt to the ground.
For inside that grim prison lay a true Irish soldier,
His life for his country about to lay down.

He went to his death like a true son of Ireland,
The firing party, he bravely did face
Then the order rang out, "present arms! Fire!"
James Connolly fell into a ready-made grave.

The black flag was hoisted the cruel deed was over
gone was the man who loved Ireland so well,
There was many a sad heart in Dublin that morning
When they murdered James Connolly, the Irish rebel.

Gods curse on you England. you cruel-hearted monster,
Your deeds they would shame all the devils in hell
There are now flowers blooming, but the shamrock is growing
On the grave of James Connolly, the Irish rebel.

Many years have gone by since the Irish rebellion
When the guns of Britannia, they loudly did speak
And the bold IRA stood shoulder to shoulder
And the blood from their bodies flowed down Sackville street

The Four Courts of Dublin the English bombarded,
The spirit of freedom they tried hard to quell
But above all the din, came the cry, "No surrender!"
Twas the voice of James Connolly, the Irish rebel.


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Subject: RE: Songs about capital punishment.
From: Barry Finn
Date: 20 Dec 98 - 11:42 PM

I should've added to the above a version of the "Newry Highwayman" called "Allen Tyne Of Harrow" (not in the DT) & the hanging of the Earl of Derwentwater for treason during the Jacobite Rebellion of 1715 called Derwentwater's Farewell" (in the DT). One more for the lighter side, "Hanging Johnny". Barry


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Subject: RE: Songs about capital punishment.
From: Barry Finn
Date: 20 Dec 98 - 09:46 PM

As Dan mentions above "Danny Deever" is one of the great capital punishment songs along side of "The Night That Poor Larry Was Stretched". A few more well known 'Goodnight Songs' are Captain Kidd & Jack Hall. Not a death penatly song but surely one of the more haunting of all the hanging songs, from Billy Holiday ( & from those that brought us lynching) "Strange Fruit".

I believe I recently saw mention in a thread that this is the only instance where the criminal recieves the same treatment for which they had been convicted of. This form of an eye for an eye justice is supposed to be above us. We don't steal from the thief of force drugs into/onto the dealer (maybe Bill Clinton would perfer this form of reform).

Here's a true story about one of our fellow Mudcatter's, John Nolan. John used to be a cop in Glasgow before coming to the US (see his posting in the thread 'Hamish Imlach' Oct 3, 98 for a little backround) maybe 20 yrs ago when I first met him. He's been thorn to some & a relief to others by his use of the pen for the papers he writes for in southeastern New Hampshire. His writing brought him to sitting in on a criminal case where a death row inmate was trying to get his case reheard. I'm not sure on the little details, dates & how John got involved but he thought something wasn't right in the way the process had or was presently working. What was, is that an innocent man sat on death row & without John's investigating & getting to expose the way the case was originally handled, the man's fate would still remain sealed. The man was released & John is the hero. Now the crime here is that an innocent was forced to lay on death row until a stroke of luck brought about a miracle. Death row is mostly made up of the poor, the undereducated & the Blacks, those that have never seen a miracle or couldn't afford one (ask O.J. if it doesn't cost much to get away with murder). Anyway, it seems as if this death penalty system is to faulty & flawed & does not dish out justice on an equal basis, is definitly blinded to the poorer & is not a determent. If one innocent life is taken, there is no recourse. Does the victim sue the judge, the jury, the DA, the police & the court appointed attorney to regain their life? In these cases there's no room for error & if it exists then there should be no room for this form of reform. Don't hang me for going on so long, sorry. Barry


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