BUTCHER'S BOY, The

Latest update on 02/02/2015

Artist: Kelly Harrell
Author: traditional
Label: Victor
Year: 1925

Old murder ballad. Recorded Butcher Boy twice; once without, once with electricity. Reissued on JSP box set Worried Blues. Harrell wrote Away Out In The Mountain, a big hit for Jimmie Rodgers.

Covers:

1928:

Buell Kazee [as The Butcher Boy; version also appeared on Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music]

1929:

Henry Whitter

1940s:

Blue Sky Boys

1940s:

Almeda Riddle

1955:

Peggy Seeger

1956:

Ewan MacColl

1959:

Shirley Collins [as Died For Love]

1960s:

Jeannie Robertson

1960s:

Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem

1960s:

Dave Van Ronk

1961:

Joan Baez [as The Railroad Boy; Joan & Bob performed it together during the Rolling Thunder Tour in '76]

1961:

Bob Dylan [as Railroad Boy on Minnesota Tape I]

1963:

Jean Ritchie & Doc Watson [as Go Dig My Grave]

1969:

Martin Carthy [as Died For Love]

1979:

Dan Crary

1998:

Kirsty MacColl [on the audiocassette version of Patrick McCabe's novel The Butcher Boy]

1998:

Ginny Hawker

2000:

Lambchop

2003:

Damien Jurado [on Holding His Breath EP]

2006:

Elvis Costello [on The Harry Smith Project Revisited]

2010:

Brendan Croker & Bruno Deneckere [live]

2010:

GrĂ¡da

2011:

Ollabelle

The storyline of the young woman more inclined to hang herself than to admit her pregnancy, echoes 18th century old English ballads as The Cruel Father, There's An Ale House In Yonder Town, In London City Where I Did Dwell and In Tarrytown. The story also circulated as a broadside in the 18th century (The Berkshire Tragedy and The Wittam Miller). The Butcher Boy is also an Irish film and an Irish bestselling novel by Patrick McCabe.

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