Corkery’s Farewell (1875): a Peaky Blinders ballad.
May 17, 2022 10:09 PM   Subscribe

Corkery’s Farewell (1875): a Peaky Blinders ballad.
The term “Peaky Blinders” was still a decade away from being coined when Jeremiah Corkery and his thuggish mates murdered a Birmingham policeman called William Lines in March 1875. But it's only the name they lacked. Corkery's execution four months after the killing produced at least two songs about him and a great deal of press coverage lamenting the lawless state of the Victorian city's streets. PlanetSlade’s latest gallows ballads essay has the full story, plus a look at how the real Peakies differed sharply from their TV counterparts.

My research into Corkery’s ballads also uncovered a wry street song of the 1930s sung by the gangs’ abandoned baby-mamas. (“Never trust a Peakie an inch above your knee,” one verse warns.) Finally, there’s news of an unusual football match played by the Peakies’ girlfriends in 1896 while stripped down to their bloomers on Birmingham’s Gravelly Hill. Gallows ballads previously.
Role: Researcher & writer.
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