Meeks Family Murder (III), The [Laws F30]
DESCRIPTION: Nellie Meeks recounts her fate. Her family (father, mother, and three children) are lured from home by the Taylors. The parents and two children are killed, but wounded Nellie escapes to report the crime and tell of being an orphan
EARLIEST DATE: 1915 (Randolph)
KEYWORDS: homicide family children orphan
May 11, 1894 - Gus Meeks, his wife, and two children are killed by William and George Taylor (who are suspected of cattle stealing). William Taylor was hanged; George escaped and was not recaptured
FOUND IN: US(So)
REFERENCES (6 citations):
Laws F30, "The Meeks Family Murder III"
Randolph 152, "The Meeks Murder" (4 texts, 1 tune, but Laws considers only the "A" text -- which has the only tune -- to be part of F30; "B" and "C" are F28 and "D" is F29)
Randolph/Cohen, pp. 151-153, "The Meeks Murder" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 152A)
Cohen-AFS1, pp. 372-373, "The Meeks Murder" (1 text)
Burt, pp. 235-236, "(Nellie's Lament)" (1 text, 1 tune)
DT 796, MEEKMUR3
cf. "The Meeks Family Murder I" [Laws F28]
cf. "The Meeks Family Murder II" [Laws F29]
cf. "The Meeks Family Murder IV"
cf. "The Meeks Family Murder (V -- Nellie's Lament)"
NOTES: For more historical details on this piece, see the notes to "The Meeks Family Murder" (I).
Rumor has it that Nellie (elsewhere called Sadie) Meeks herself sang this variant in the 1890s. One person who claimed to be a family relative denied this, saying that Nellie stayed with her grandmother until she married, gave birth, and died at the age of eighteen.
To tell this piece from the other Meeks ballads, consider this first verse:
We lived upon the Taylor's farm
Not many miles from town;
One night while we were all asleep
The Taylor boys came down.
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