The Knoxville Girl

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For the punk band, see Knoxville Girls.

"The Knoxville Girl" is an Appalachian murder ballad. It is derived from the 19th-century Irish ballad The Wexford Girl, itself derived from the earlier English ballad "The Oxford Girl". Other versions are known as the "Waxweed Girl", "The Wexford Murder". These are in turn derived from Elizabethan era poem or broadside ballad, "The Cruel Miller".

Although the lyrics are less explicit than those for "The Wexford Girl", the song is generally considered to be creepier or spookier in its rendition.

Intro lyrics:

I met a little girl in Knoxville,
A town we all know well,
And every Sunday evening,
Out in her home I’d dwell.

Possibly modelled on the 17th century broadside William Grismond's Downfall, or A Lamentable Murther by him Committed at Lainterdine in the county of Hereford on March 12, 1650: Together with his lamentation., sometimes known as The Bloody Miller.

Related or derived broadsides include:

  • "Hanged I Shall Be" (Philip Henry's Diaries and Letters, 20 February 1684, ed. M. H. Lee, 1882, p. 323)
  • "Rose Connelley," (various spellings, also known as "Down in the Willow Garden").
  • "Knoxville Girl," (a related version by the Outlaws in their 1975 debut album, with different lyrics but the same basic melody).

Recorded by[edit]

Sampled by[edit]

  • Plan B in the bootleg mash-up "Paint It Blacker" (2007) as a reference to violent music existing before modern rap.

Parodied by[edit]

References[edit]