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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Thursday, November 13, 2008
    All alone and so lonely
     
    A three-month-old boy and a boy aged three have been found dead at a property in Greater Manchester. Officers discovered the bodies at an address in Kilmington Drive, Cheetham Hill, on Wednesday night. A Greater Manchester Police spokesman said that officers were alerted after reports of "concern for welfare" were made to them. A 21-year-old woman has been arrested on suspicion of murder and is in custody awaiting questioning. The police spokesman was unable to confirm or deny reports that the children had been stabbed to death. A neighbour, who did not want to be named, said the residents were in shock at the news of the deaths. "It's heart-breaking, just tragic - hard to believe," she said. [Source: BBC]
    THE CRUEL MOTHER
    traditional

    she leaned herself against a wall
    all alone and so lonely
    and there she had two pretty babes born
    all down by the green wood sidey

    and she took off her ribbon belt
    all alone and so lonely
    and then she bound them hand and leg
    down by the green wood sidey

    smile not so sweet my bonny babes
    all alone and so lonely
    if you smile so sweet you'll smile me dead
    all down by the green wood sidey

    she a penknife long and sharp
    all alone and so lonely
    and she pressed it through their tender heart
    all down by the green wood sidey

    she digged a grave beyond the sun
    all alone and so lonely
    and here she buried those sweet babes in
    all down by the green wood sidey

    she stuck her penknife on the green
    all alone and so lonely
    and the more she rubbed the more blood was seen
    all down by the green wood sidey

    she threw the penknife far away
    all alone and so lonely
    and the further she threw the nearer it came
    all down by the green wood sidey

    as she was going by the church
    all alone and so lonely
    she saw two pretty babes in the porch
    all down by the green wood sidey

    o babes o babes what have I to do
    all alone and so lonely
    for the cruel thing I did to you
    all down by the green wood sidey

    seven long years a bird in the wood
    all alone and so lonely
    seven long years a fish in the flood
    all down by the green wood sidey

    seven long years a warning bell
    all alone and so lonely
    and seven long years in the deeps of hell
    all down by the green wood sidey

    Spent twenty-three minutes this morning once replaying Martyn Bates and Mick Harris's spare, terrifying version of The Cruel Mother, as a way of soaking in this sobering news from Cheetham Hill. Sometimes only being enfolded in some raw honest traditional English song will do as a way of ruptured praying.

    [Hear / buy Bates and Harris's The Cruel Mother: mp3]

    [I'm having a brief blog break for a few days... back next week]