Talk:The Maid Freed from the Gallows

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Former good article nominee The Maid Freed from the Gallows was a good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
November 27, 2006 Peer review Reviewed
February 28, 2008 Good article nominee Not listed
Current status: Former good article nominee

Led Zep[edit]

Having made some additions to this page I returned to find they had been removed without discussion! I have been polite enough to to raise my ideas on this board before making changes. I wish others would do the same!-- (talk) 15:50, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

Having suggested the addition of the Led Zep Lyrics and other changes (see below) there have been no comments in over a month. I have now made the changes and have included references to the lyrics the banjo and chord progression. --ManInStone 09:59, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

The article mentions the stinged instruments used for their version of the film, but negelects to mention that a banjo is used.

I would suggest adding the song full lyrics of the Led Zep version. There should not be a copyright issue as it is credited on the album as a traditional song.

[Copyright infringement removed]

I think there are only three chords in the song (variations of A and majors of D and G). --ManInStone 13:29, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

I was very disappointed to see that someone had removed some of my changes without any mention of the edits on this discussion board! I have added them back and think that anyone altering this text should raise a discussion point first. --ManInStone 08:42, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
Although the song itself is out of copyright, the Led Zeppelin version has sufficient original content in its modifications of the original lyrics to sustain a separate copyright. Therefore, reproducing the entirety of the lyrics is indeed a copyright violation. bd2412 T 13:01, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
The Led Zep album credits the song as being traditional, so surely there is no copyright issue? ManInStone (talk) 16:29, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
Led Zeppelin's "traditional" credit is not enough. Although the inspiration was clearly traditional, it is equally clear that the Led Zeppelin lyrics contains elements not found in any traditional version. Although Led Zeppelin can not prevent anyone else from posting or performing a different version of the song, the specific changes made by Led Zeppelin in creating their version are sufficient to impart upon them a copyright controlling that version. I am an intellectual property attorney by profession - this stuff is my bread and butter, and I can assure you that irrespective of the credit given, a court of law would find copyright infringement for our posting of the full lyrics.
In any event, we do not post full lyrics to songs on Wikipedia even if the songs are in the public domain - that is what Wikisource is for. Cheers! bd2412 T 17:03, 21 January 2008 (UTC)



Just a question about the lyrics to the end of the Zepplin version; where are they sourced from? I have always heard it as "SHE is swinging from the gallows pole" (i.e. the sister) and understood that treachery to be why the hangman is laughing so hard. I just listened to it again and still here "she is" rather than "see you". Any thoughts? Lordjim13 (talk) 17:31, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

I've listened at it again, and to me, it seems that the first time (at 2:42) sounds more like "see you swinging", and the second time (at 2:50) sounds more like "she's swinging". But most of the versions I got by searching for "Gallows pole lyrics" with Google only say "see you swinging". A r m y 1 9 8 7 ! ! ! 18:28, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
"She is swinging" makes no narrative sense - why would the sister be swinging from the gallows pole? The whole idea is that the hangman accepted the bribe (sex with the sister) intended to free the condemned man, and than executed the condemned man anyway. bd2412 T 00:48, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
I've heard it again, this time from the CD, and (as well as noticing that the times cited above were wrong of about ten seconds, I had heard about a bug with VBR in LAME which confuses many players) for some reason I clearly heard "see you swinging". But I think it's more a problem of "the human brain interpret things whichever way it wants" than a compression artifact of MP3. That said, I'm putting a Resolved tag at the top. --A r m y 1 9 8 7 ! ! ! 11:50, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

With all due respect, I don't believe this should be resolved. I have listened to this song for many years and in different formats. The lyrics are 'She is swingin from the Gallows Pole'. It does make lyrical sense because it is irony. The sister sleeps with the Hangman and the Hangman replaces the protagonist with the sister. It is implied then that the protagonist is free while the sister is hanging from the gallows pole. The only one who could really resolve this issue is Robert Plant. JL- 12/03/09. —Preceding unsigned comment added by [[Special:Contributions/21:10, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

Male gender of convict is NOT unique to Led Zeppelin[edit]

The current version of the article states that the idea of the convict being male was a unique innovation of the Led Zeppelin version. In fact, this is the case in Dylan's "Seven Curses" and in the version of "Ana Thea" performed by Dayle Stanley (and, I would assume, Judy Collins). It is probably a very, very old variant.


I don't think the merge is needed, or indeed wise, as one is about a specific group's song and the other the folkloric one.

But, certainly the "merge from" is wrong. "The Maid Freed from the Gallows" is the older and therefore its variant, if appearing in the same article, should fall under it, and not the other way around. Goldfritha 02:32, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

I concur. --AsaRoast 23:11, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

Nevertheless, they are the same song, and the best known title is that of the later versions, beginning with the Leadbelly version. Absent the existence of the Twentieth Century versions, I doubt that "The Maid Freed from the Gallows" is sufficently notable to merit its own article. bd2412 T 00:43, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
You underestimate the significiance of the Child ballads to folklorists. Goldfritha 22:48, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
If "The Maid Freed from the Gallows" redirects here, folklorists will have as easy a time finding the song as Leadbelly fans or Led Zeppelin fans. bd2412 T 02:23, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Redirection works both ways. If "Gallows Pole redirects there, Leadbelly fans or Led Zeppelin fans will have as easy a time finding the song as folklorists. Goldfritha 03:03, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
I venture that more people have heard the name "Gallows Pole", and would be confused to be redirected to "The Maid Freed from the Gallows", than have heard of the latter and would be confused to be redirected to the former. bd2412 T 03:23, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Then they will find the merged article confusing, as it will be dealing with both. Confusing to neither would be not merging them and directing people who read the Gallows Pole one that the historical background is in the other. Goldfritha 23:46, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Ok, see how you like this: Gallows Pole/temp. bd2412 T 02:00, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

By the accounts I have seen, "Gallows Pole" is Leadbelly's version of it. Which is to say, "Gallows Pole" is not the title of a centuries-old song, any more than "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" is the title of a centuries-old fairy tale -- both are the titles of twentieth century adaptions of the folk version. Goldfritha 23:59, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Still the same song. Do we have an article on the centuries-old fairy tale from which "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" was adapted? And why, then, should "The Maid Freed From the Gallows" not be under "The Golden Ball"? Or Lunastettava neito? bd2412 T 00:10, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Also, I think the article I put together at Gallows Pole/temp is a helluva lot better than anything either of us had come up with before. I'll agree to it being under "The Maid Freed From the Gallows" if that keeps all the information together, but I think most people will think of it as "Gallows Pole". bd2412 T 00:18, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
Ah -- yes, actually, we do have an article on the centuries-old fairy from which "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" was adapted.
Furthermore, the article lists variants that are not variants on Leadbelly's version, such as Dylan Thomas's. To put those under Gallows Pole is create confusion about what they are variants on. Just as modern retellings of "Snow White" are listed under "Snow White" the folkloric fairy tale and not "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs", we should put all the variants under the folkloric song. Goldfritha 00:52, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
Point taken - done. bd2412 T 01:18, 4 August 2006 (UTC)


I think this has worked out well - in fact, I think we have a potential featured article on our hands! bd2412 T 00:34, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

Definitely has potential. Goldfritha 03:00, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

Derry Gaol redirect[edit]

Should Derry Gaol really redirect here? It would be preferable for Derry Gaol--the actual place--to have an article (or at least a stub) at that location. Redlinks (or now former redlinks) meant to point to the place now point to this song. Robert K S 19:31, 14 October 2006 (UTC)

Would be suitable. A note up top that the song is in this article would be wise. Goldfritha 00:42, 15 October 2006 (UTC)

Peer review[edit]

Please check out Wikipedia:Peer review/The Maid Freed from the Gallows/archive1. Cheers! bd2412 T 13:52, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

I was just re-reading the peer review and noted a comment about Child's thoughts. The place to find them would be The English and Scottish Popular Ballads by Francis Child. I just checked my library's catalogue and some local libraries have it. But I'd thought I mention it here just in case someone can beat me to the library. Goldfritha 03:56, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
I have gotten my hands on the copy and put in Child's comments directly from the book. Goldfritha 02:11, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

Child ballad number 95[edit]

The revision to make the lede more accessible removed the phrase "Child ballad number 95".

I have put it back in, and no revision should take it out.

Removing it is like altering a sentence that says "The Pastoral is Beethoven's Sixth Symphony" to say "The Pastoral is the sixth among the symphonies Beethoven wrote" -- it is removing information (and making Wikipedia look uninformed). This is not merely the 95th ballad listed in the Child collection, it is "Child ballad number 95" just as the Pastoral is "Beethoven's Sixth Symphony." Goldfritha 15:24, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

Okay, how about two sentences? Would this do? The Maid Freed from the Gallows is one of many titles of a centuries-old folk song about a condemned pleading for someone to buy their freedom from the executioner. In the collection of ballads compiled by Francis James Child, it is Child ballad number 95. The ballad... Any good? Telsa (talk) 00:02, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. Goldfritha 02:42, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:GallowsPole-Leadbelly.jpg[edit]

Nuvola apps important.svg

Image:GallowsPole-Leadbelly.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images lacking such an explanation can be deleted one week after being tagged, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot (talk) 18:58, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Taken care of. bd2412 T 01:38, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

GA on hold comments[edit]

After some minor copy editing, here are my comments:

  • The entire "'Gallows Pole' and the era of recorded music" section is unreferenced.
  • Use a standard method of quoting song lyrics.
  • References need standard formatting. I would suggest {{cite web}}, {{cite book}}, etc. You also haven't used <ref name="[...]"/> tags, so, for example, there are two occurrences of the "Francis James Child, The English and Scottish Popular Ballads, v 2, p 346, Dover Publications, New York 1965" ref, instead of one with "a" and "b" links.
  • Wikification is needed throughout. Just run through and link some more relevant things.

Kakofonous (talk) 00:56, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

  • Thanks, I'll work on it. Cheers! bd2412 T 01:37, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
I'm failing this article because the issues I mentioned were not attended to in a seven day period. When they have been addressed, feel free to nominate it again. Thanks for the work you've done so far, Kakofonous (talk) 03:46, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, I need to scare up some of these actual print sources. Thanks, though. bd2412 T 04:28, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

Bot report : Found duplicate references ![edit]

In the last revision I edited, I found duplicate named references, i.e. references sharing the same name, but not having the same content. Please check them, as I am not able to fix them automatically :)

  • "Child2" :
    • Francis James Child, ''The English and Scottish Popular Ballads'', v 2, p 346, Dover Publications, New York 1965.
    • Francis James Child, ''The English and Scottish Popular Ballads'', v 2, p 347-50, Dover Publications, New York 1965.

DumZiBoT (talk) 02:09, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

  • Fixed. Cheers! bd2412 T 20:01, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Male gender of convict is NOT unique to Led Zeppelin[edit]

The current version of the article states that the idea of the convict being male was a unique innovation of the Led Zeppelin version. In fact, this is the case in Dylan's "Seven Curses" and in the version of "Ana Thea" performed by Dayle Stanley (and, I would assume, Judy Collins). It is probably a very, very old variant.Sojambi Pinola (talk) 17:58, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

Feher Anna/Ana Thea needs citation[edit]

I simply don't know how to add citations, and I don't have time right now. I found information on the Dylan/Collins variants in the book "Revolution in the air: the songs of Bob Dylan 1957-1973" by Clinton Heylin, p 135-136. This is now mentioned in two places in the article.

The Dayle Stanley information comes from the actual album, which is Squire Records # SQ-33002. This rendition is currently up on youtube.Sojambi Pinola (talk) 18:34, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

Proposed breakout of Led Zeppelin version[edit]

There is enough material on the Led Zeppelin version to support a separate article. I propose moving this material to Gallows Pole (Led Zeppelin) and reducing the material on the current page to a brief summary with a "see main" template directed to the new page. This will also allow the new page to contain categories not appropriate for this page. Thoughts? bd2412 T 19:05, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

Someone Sure Loves Led Zeppelin In This Article[edit]

While I know that fans see everything through rose-tinted glasses I find the claim that some mediocre band from the 1970s has produced "the most famous version" of this ballad highly problematic. Also that it is "the most familiar version today." According to who? Please provide third-source citations to prove this, otherwise I request it be removed. Xenomorph erotica (talk) 21:29, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

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Probably a case of misheard lyrics....[edit]

... but I had always understood that it was her (i.e. the sister) swinging from the gallows pole in the last verse. That of course takes the song in an even darker direction. Is there an authoritative source? Search engine finds no authoritative version. - Smerdis of Tlön - killing the human spirit since 2003! 03:50, 18 September 2017 (UTC)