DESCRIPTION: A rich lady asks poor Willie to marry. She gives him 15000 pounds for their passage to a country where he can be a gentleman. He throws her in the deep. A wave reveals the corpse. Good Friday her ghost testifies against him and he is sentenced to die
EARLIEST DATE: 1960 (Creighton-SNewBrunswick)
KEYWORDS: execution trial homicide river gallows-confession ghost
FOUND IN: Canada(Mar)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Creighton-SNewBrunswick 90, "Murder Song" (1 text, 1 tune)
ST CrSNB090 (Partial)
NOTES: Well, almost a gallows-confession. The last verse is truncated but has his parents standing by for the execution on April 29, but -- while the ballad starts with a hope that the listeners will pray for him -- he doesn't get to repeat that request at the end.
Creighton-SNewBrunswick: "The place name may be Lipper or Lifford; it was difficult to make out." I repeat that here because it may help connect this tale with some other ballad or some specific murder. - BS
My obvious conjecture would be "Liffey." But that doesn't really help -- though obviously a lot of Irish emigrated to America, so it could connect with the emigration theme. Nor does the April 29 date, though of course that could have been garbled. - RBW
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