Murder of Alan Beyne, The
DESCRIPTION: A young man is to be hanged for the murder of Alan Beyne. He repeatedly protests his innocence, but judge and jury condemned him. Just before the sentence is carried out, a rider rides up, and proves to be Beyne. The singer is saved
AUTHOR: Will Carleton ?
EARLIEST DATE: 1935
KEYWORDS: execution punishment reprieve mother homicide
FOUND IN: US(MW,So) Australia
REFERENCES (5 citations):
Meredith/Anderson, pp. 243-245, "The Murder of Alan Beyne" (1 text, 1 tune)
AbrahamsRiddle, pp. 100-103, "Allen Bain" (1 text, 1 tune)
McIntosh, pp. 8-12, "Alan Bane" (1 text, 1 tune)
Cohen-AFS2, pp. 438-439, "Allen Bayne" (1 text)
Almeda Riddle, "Alan Bain" (on LomaxCD1707)
NOTES [152 words]: Said to be based on an actual event of the 1860s. - RBW
According to the notes in Lomax, W. K. McNeil says this originated in Australia. McNeil tends to be right a lot. - PJS
Maybe not in this case, though. Cohen, p. 440, gives what he believes is the original, in which a man named McMahon went missing. A Mr. Williams was accused of murder, but was found innocent when McMahon turned up in court to say he was alive. McIntosh, pp. 8-9, prints the newspaper account of the proceedings.
Will Carleton published this piece, but it is noteworthy that the plot has been changed in several ways -- the victim's name is altered, and the missing man appears not at the trial but at the gallows. So it is difficult to be sure whether Carleton rewrote an existing piece, or picked up a bit of folklore and turned it to his own ends, or perhaps just made up the whole thing. Still, an American origin seems very likely. - RBW
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