FS02: The death of Bill Brown

“The death of Bill Brown” is an eighteenth-century song about an encounter between a gamekeeper and two poachers. The gamekeeper, Tom Green, shot and killed one of the poachers; his friend, who is supposed to be singing this song, went back the next night and shot Tom Green.

I learned the song from Peter Bellamy’s version; you can see him performing it here. Bellamy (or his source) doctored the song fairly extensively, particularly the melody: as collected it had quite a jolly upbeat tune, complete with a fol-de-rol refrain. I think Bellamy’s minor-key tune and his aggressive, declamatory reading fit the song much better, so I followed him.

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Filed under folk song, O my name is, Peter Bellamy, traditional

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