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The Cruel Mother
Last updated: 10.03.22
There are very many, many versions of this song of great antiquity. I know of English, Scottish and American versions. I have even heard the The King's Singers singing it on radio. The version I sing is taken from 80 English Folk Songs  collected by Cecil Sharp & Maud Karpeles during the years 1916 to 1918. I found this songbook in a second-hand bookshop in Auckland, New Zealand in 1994 and I suspect this proves something of immense importance.
Recently (October, 2013), I found another grim 11-verse variant given in Marrow Bones.
  Issue Performer
     
  DBE MP3 Sample   
audiodbemp315.gif Ditty Box Geoff Grainger
     Performer CD Title Supplier
       
cd15.gif Frankie Armstrong Lovely on the Water CD(s) & MP3 Album(s) flag15us.gif flag15uk.gif flag15de.gif flag15fr.gif
cd15.gif Shirely Collins False True Lovers CD(s) & MP3 Album(s) flag15us.gif flag15uk.gif flag15de.gif flag15fr.gif flag15ca.gif flag15it.gif flag15es.gif
cd15.gif Geoff Grainger Ditty Box dbe15.gif
cd15.gif Rebecca Pidgeon Four Marys flag15us.gif flag15uk.gif flag15de.gif flag15fr.gif flag15ca.gif flag15it.gif flag15es.gif
cd15.gif Maddy Prior Flesh & Blood CD(s) & MP3 Album(s) flag15us.gif flag15uk.gif flag15de.gif flag15fr.gif flag15ca.gif flag15it.gif flag15es.gif
cd15.gif Steeleye Span Tempted And Tried CD(s) & MP3 Album(s) flag15us.gif flag15uk.gif flag15de.gif flag15fr.gif flag15ca.gif flag15it.gif flag15es.gif
     Title Performer
     
youtube15.jpg The Cruel Mother (2:50) Peggy Seeger