Week 47: The poor murdered woman, The scarecrow

Continuing the cheery, life-affirming mood so characteristic of folk songs, here are two songs about dead bodies.

The poor murdered woman is a straightforward account of a true story, bizarrely characterised by Martin Carthy as a ‘non-event’. It’s true that there isn’t much in the way of plot, but I’d still call it an event.

The scarecrow is one of Lal Waterson’s strangest and darkest songs, which is saying something. Lal and Mike, I should say – Mike (who sang it on Bright Phoebus) added the third verse to Lal’s first two, turning a painfully morbid near-hallucination into a song.

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