Monday, 7 August 2017

Murder Ballad Monday--Polly Vaughan (Martha Tilson)

Hello and welcome to Murder Ballad Monday. I continue my journey into various forms of the murder ballad Polly Von.

This version, entitled Polly Vaughan, is sung by English folk-based singer Martha Tilson on her 2006 CD Of Milkmaids and Architects. The only version I could find was of her singing it live in 2008.
                        Image result for swan illustration snow
I like the simplicity of it-- just her voice with a bit of simple percussion-- with parts of it a-cappella. There is a sinister quality to it (almost a slipperiness to it) that harks back to the version by the Oysterband. There is also a bit of a “mean girls” element to it. Polly was so beautiful and every girl in the country was after Jimmy, so they are all glad to see her laid so low, but even in death they pale in comparison to her.

You can listen to it here:

I have included the lyrics below if you would like to follow along.

Then home ran young Jimmy
With his dog and his gun
Crying uncle oh uncle
Have you heard what I've done
I met my own true love
Mistook her for a swan
And now I've shot her and killed her
By the setting of the sun

So out runs Jimmy's uncle
With his locks hanging gray
Crying Jimmy oh dear Jimmy
Don't you run away
Don't leave your own country
Till the trial do come on
Sure they never will hang you
For the shooting of a swan

All the girls of this country
Are glad we know
To see young Polly Vaughan
Brought down so low
And you can take all them cruel girls
And set them in a row
And her beauty would outshine 'em
Like a fountain of snow
And her beauty would outshine 'em
Like a fountain of snow

That’s all for this week, stay tuned next week for a version entitled Molly Bawn. 

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