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The Three Butchers
Last updated: 22.04.17
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The Three Butchers was collected in 1906 by D Hammond and published in The Hammond And Gardiner Manuscript which in turn was published by Frank Purslow in his Marrow Bones. The text was taken down in Wareham, Dorset, from Frank Stockley and the tune in Bath, Somerset from William Cousins. It derives from a 19th century broadsheet.
This is a fine, true-to-life tale of a brave man struck down in his prime by a treacherous lady who tricked him, by laying naked in the road no less, and lured him into the hands of highwaymen companions. It ended fatally for both: he was stabbed in the back by the one he was rescuing and she went to the gallows. Such is the stuff of ballads.
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