Gloriana's Crime Blog

Ballads of Murder not Love

Although all of the ballads involved someone killing someone else it was actually hard for me to take some of them seriously because some of the lines didn’t quite work for me. In the Belle Gunness reading for example, the line “she weighed about three hundred pounds, and that is quite some weight” made me laugh and then I found out that she killed a ton of people and we never found out how many.

I had to reread¬†the Omie Wise ballad a couple times to fully understand it. The switching between the tenses confused me, one line says “I got up behind him, and straightway did go” and then further down “he wretch then did choke her, as we understand”. I couldn’t figure out who was telling this story.

I did like how much detail they were able to get into the poems though. I basically knew who killed who or who did what  all while the authors kept a rhyme scheme, which is pretty impressive.

I really enjoyed the Stackalee ballad especially since he killed Billy Lyons because he “dun ruint [his] Stetson hat.” I also liked the warning the author put into the end of the poem, it reminded me of the warnings people would give before being hanged in our previous readings like Esther Rodgers.


    2 comments already | Leave your own comment

  1. 10/10/2013 | 5:15 pm Permalink

    Haha I thought the same thing. Some of the ballads were sad but some of them made me think that I was reading a Dr. Seuss novel. They had some humor to them, which made them more interesting to read.

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  2. 10/10/2013 | 5:20 pm Permalink

    this may sound a little cynical but i thought reading murders in poems like these made it extremely fun and entertaining. And one of my favorite parts was where they described Belle as a 300lb woman who could kill a hog easily by herself for fun and men for real

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