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At the heart of traditional song rest the concerns of ordinary people - the folk. And folk throughout the centuries have found themselves entangled with the law: abiding by it, breaking it, and being caught and punished by it.
Who Killed Cock Robin? is an anthology of just such songs compiled by one of Britain's senior judges, Stephen Sedley, and most respected and best-loved folk singers, Martin Carthy. The songs collected here are drawn from manuscripts, broadsides and oral tradition.
They are grouped according to the various categories of crime and punishment, from Poaching to The Gallows.
Each section contains a historical introduction, and every song is presented with a melody, its lyrics and an illuminating commentary that explores its origins and sources. Together, they present a unique, sometimes comic, often tragic, and always colourful insight into the past, while preserving an important body of song for the pleasure and performance of future generations.
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