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What's with the name?

Allow us to explain.

i'll just leave this here

“Old Time Angels” Puts a Revenge Spin on Some Old Time Folk Songs


The Murder Ballad is an old form of folk song, part folk tale, part true crime, part triumph (of mortal justice), part tragedy (of the death of an innocent). In them, a beautiful innocent is brutally murdered and the culprit is brought to justice and hanged (if male) or burned (if female). That said, the majority of the real popular and long lived ones are about the deaths of women like The Knoxville Girl, Pretty Polly, Little Sadie, and Darlin’ Cory, who are all mentioned in Jim Lauderdale‘s “Old Time Angels.” In his song, however, instead of recounting their pitiful deaths and the story of their killers, he paints the rest of the tale: when these wronged girls rise from the grave to protect all people from violent men, using the very implements their killers employed to kill and bury them.

…I just thought you guys might be interested in that sort of thing. For more on the song and the Murder Ballad genre, you can listen to the All Things Considered segment on “Old Time Angels.”

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  • Rita Lyons

    Thank you for posting this!

  • Laura Truxillo

    “the majority of the real popular and long lived ones are about the deaths of women”

    Huh. I wouldn’t've thought so. The two murder ballads I’ve heard the most (and heard the most variations of) are “Frankie and Johnny” and “Stagger Lee”–the former being about a woman killing the man who done her wrong, and the latter being about one guy killing another guy.

    Either way, looking forward to listening to this one when I get off of work.

  • LifeLessons

    I’ve got some new music to buy. :)

  • Lisa Liscoumb

    And don’t forget “The Night The Lights Went Down in Georgia”, about a woman killing her brother’s lover and essentially framing him for it.