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Pretty Polly's roots in the England of 1726

"She went a little further and what did she spy? / A newly-dug grave with a spade lying by." Pretty Polly is one of America's most chilling murder ballads, but did you know every key scene and image in the song first appeared in an English ballad of the early 18th century? PlanetSlade's latest essay traces Polly's roots back to The Gosport Tragedy, visits her last resting place and names the guilty - or perhaps not so guilty - man. Includes interviews with Kristin Hersh and many other singers who've performed the song.
posted by Paul Slade on Feb 9, 2012 - 1 comment

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