Murder, They Sang (The American Spectator)

A century ago there was scarcely a small town murder that wasn’t memorialized in song. This was especially true of the non-literate musically inclined mountain folk of the Border States. It was a trait they carried with them from Scotland, but one that has not survived modernization, which is too bad.

via The American Spectator : Murder, They Sang.

Bookbread wonders whether the popularity (and vivid viciousness) of Capote’s In Cold Blood (1966) might have aided in the demise of the great American murder ballad. My personal favorite, though it might not qualify as a true murder ballad, might be Lead Belly’s rendering of “In the Pines“.