The Knoxville Girl

Language: English

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Un’“Appalachian murder ballad”, la cui prima incisione risale al 1924 e resa famosa nella versione dei Louvin Brothers (1956), che deriva da una ballata ottocentesca inglese, “The Wexford Girl”, che a sua volta deriva da un’altra precedente, “The Oxford Girl”, ispirata ad una “broadside ballad” di epoca elisabettiana (‘5-‘600) intitolata “The Cruel Miller” e basata cedrtamente su di un episodio di violenza realmente accaduto.

La versione qui riportata – dal solito imprescindibile Mudcat Café– è quella classica dei Louvin Brothers, ma molti artisti vi si sono cimentati, per esempio Nick Cave ed Elvis Costello.
I met a little girl in Knoxville
A town we all know well
And every Sunday evening
Out in her home I'd dwell
We went to take an evening walk
About a mile from town
I picked a stick up off the ground
And knocked that fair girl down;

She fell down on her bended knees
For mercy she did cry
Oh, Willie dear, don't kill me here
I'm unprepared to die
She never spoke another word
I only beat her more
Until the ground around me
Within her blood did flow.

I took her by her golden curls
And I drug her 'round and 'round
Throwing her into the river
That flows through Knoxville town
Go down, go down, you Knoxville girl
With the dark and roving eyes
Go down, go down, you Knoxville girl
You can never be my bride.

I started back to Knoxville
Got there about midnight
My mother she was worried
And woke up in a fright
Saying, "Dear son, what have you done
To bloody your clothes so?"
I told my anxious mother
I was bleeding at my nose.

I called for me a candle
To light myself to bed
I called for me a handkerchief
To bind my aching head
Rolled and tumbled the whole night through
As troubles was for me
Like flames of hell around my bed
And in my eyes could see.

They carried me down to Knoxville
And put me in a cell
My friends all tried to get me out
But none could go my bail
I'm here to waste my life away
Down in this dirty old jail
Because I murdered that Knoxville girl
The girl I loved so well.

Contributed by Bernart Bartleby - 2014/9/17 - 09:05

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