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Who Killed Cock Robin? : British Folk Songs of Crime and Punishment

Sedley, Stephen, Carthy, Martin
Format: Hardback
Publisher: REAKTION BOOKS (N/A)
Published: July 12, 2021
ISBN: 9781789145038
216 pages
Country of publication: United Kingdom

£14.99

At the heart of traditional song rest the concerns of ordinary people. And folk throughout the centuries have found themselves entangled with the law: abiding by it, breaking it, and being caught and punished by it. Who Killed Cock Robin? is an anthology of just such songs compiled by one of Britain’s most highly regarded judges, Stephen Sedley, and best-loved folk singers, Martin Carthy.

The songs collected here are drawn from manuscripts, broadsides, old songbooks and oral tradition. They are grouped according to the various categories of crime and punishment, from Poaching to The Gallows, and each section contains a historical introduction. Every song is presented with a melody, its lyrics and an illuminating commentary that explores its origins and sources.

Together, they present a unique, sometimes comic, often tragic, and always colourful insight into the past, while preserving an important body of song for future generations.

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