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Nova Baker and Lila Vanover, vocals - Ellen Flannery

from Survey of Traditional Music, Vol. 5: Grown on American Soil by Field Recorders' Collective



For an in-depth discussion of this track, see the album notes: tinyurl[dot]com/V5NATnotes


Come you of you good people and listen to a tale of woe
That happened in Kentucky not very long ago.

Floyd Frazier was lodged in prison for the murder on the first degree
For the murder of an innocent woman, this world can plainly see.

He killed poor Ellen Flannery, and he hid her in the woods.
He hurriedly traced her footsteps and washed away the blood.

Then he went home to his cabin and there he stayed all night
Realizing his crime was hidden from everybody's sight.

There were four little children they ran from door to door
A-crying, “Mother, Mother” but still no mother came.

At last their hearts grew weary and they fell fast asleep
To rise in the morning only to mourn and weep.

At last they alarmed their neighbors, they gathered one by one
And soon they formed a search party to see what had been done.

In little groups they squandered, they wandered up and down
At last Joseph Williams found her, she’s deadly wounded now.

They hid her in the brook on the cold and dewy ground
And the rocks that’s piled upon her weighed more than a thousand pounds.

They took her home to her children, but she did not long to stay
They took her to the graveyard to stay ‘til Judgment Day.

Now this young man was arrested, placed in the county jail
For doing such a murder no one could go his bail.

They took him down in Pikeville and they locked him in a cell
For the crime that he committed would send his soul to hell.

The jurors all cried out, “Hang him,” on the gallows he was hung
For the murder of an innocent woman that’s mouldered in her tomb.


from Survey of Traditional Music, Vol. 5: Grown on American Soil, released August 7, 2023
Recorded by Barbara Kunkle, Pound, VA, 1974. Previously unissued.


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