The Knoxville Girl

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For the punk band, see Knoxville Girls.

"The Knoxville Girl" is an Appalachian murder ballad.

Origins[edit]

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".[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

Lyrics[edit]

First lines:

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

Variants[edit]

Related or derived broadsides include:

  • "The Wexford Girl"[1]
  • "Hanged I Shall Be"[2] (Philip Henry's Diaries and Letters, 20 February 1684, ed. M. H. Lee, 1882, p. 323)
  • "Rose Connelley"[3] (various spellings, also known as "Down in the Willow Garden").
  • "Knoxville Girl"[4][note 1]
  • "William Grismond"[5]

Recordings[edit]

Year Artist Release Notes
1924  ?  ? Earliest recording[citation needed]
1937 The Blue Sky Boys  ? [6]:167
1956 The Louvin Brothers Tragic Songs of Life [7] (US Country #19)
1959 The Wilburn Brothers "The Knoxville Girl/Which One Is To Blame" [8] (US Country #18)
1961 Kevin Shegog  ?
1963 John Duffey and the Country Gentlemen Hootenanny - A Bluegrass Special [9]
1969 Jim and Jesse Saluting The Louvin Brothers [10]
1982 Jimmy Martin  ?
1996 BR5-49 Live From Robert's
1996 The Lemonheads Car Button Cloth [11]
1996 DQE Move into the villa villakula
1996 Nick Cave "Henry Lee/Knoxville Girl" [12]
2002 Pine Valley Cosmonauts w/Brett Sparks The Executioner's Last Songs [13]
2003 The Handsome Family Smothered and Covered
2005 Okkervil River Black Sheep Boy [14]
2005 Sweetwater The Ballads [15]
2005 Roger Alan Wade All Likkered Up [16]
2006 The Singing Hall Sisters Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus [17]
2008 Rachel Brooke Rachel Brooke [18]
2008 The Boxmasters  ?
2013 Vandaveer Oh, Willie, Please... [19]
2014 John Gillette Answers [1]
2014 Beaches In Boise Autocantata [20]
2015 The Ghosts Of Johnson City Am I Born To Die?

Samples[edit]

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

Parodies[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Collin Escott. Roadkill on the Three-chord Highway: Art and Trash in American Popular Music. New York: Routledge, 2002.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The Outlaws recorded a related version on their 1975 debut album, Outlaws; this version has different lyrics but the same basic melody

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Wexford Girl". mudcat.org. The Mudcat Café. 
  2. ^ "Hanged I Shall Be". mudcat.org. The Mudcat Café. 
  3. ^ "Rose Connelley". mudcat.org. The Mudcat Café. 
  4. ^ "Knoxville Girl". mudcat.org. The Mudcat Café. 
  5. ^ "William Grismond". mudcat.org. The Mudcat Café. 
  6. ^ Cohen, John; Seeger, Mike, eds. (1964). The New Lost City Ramblers Song Book (1st edition ed.). New York: Oak Publications. ISBN 0-825600464. 
  7. ^ "The Louvin Brothers ‎– Tragic Songs of Life". discogs.com. 1956. Retrieved March 1, 2017. 
  8. ^ "The Wilburn Brothers ‎– "The Knoxville Girl/Which One Is To Blame"". discogs.com. 1959. Retrieved March 1, 2017. 
  9. ^ "John Duffey and The Country Gentlemen ‎– Hootenanny: A Bluegrass Special". discogs.com. 1963. Retrieved March 1, 2017. 
  10. ^ "Jim and Jesse ‎– Saluting The Louvin Brothers". discogs.com. 1969. Retrieved March 1, 2017. 
  11. ^ "The Lemonheads Car ‎– Button Cloth". discogs.com. 1996. Retrieved March 1, 2017. 
  12. ^ "Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds & PJ Harvey ‎‎– "Henry Lee/Knoxville Girl"". discogs.com. 1996. Retrieved March 1, 2017. 
  13. ^ "Pine Valley Cosmonauts w/Brett Sparks ‎‎– The Executioner's Last Songs". discogs.com. 1996. Retrieved March 1, 2017. 
  14. ^ "Okkervil River ‎– Black Sheep Boy". discogs.com. 2005. Retrieved March 1, 2017. 
  15. ^ "Sweetwater ‎– The Ballads". discogs.com. 2005. Retrieved March 1, 2017. 
  16. ^ "Roger Alan Wade ‎– All Likkered Up". discogs.com. 2005. Retrieved March 1, 2017. 
  17. ^ "The Singing Hall Sisters ‎– "The Knoxville Girl"". discogs.com. 2006. Retrieved March 1, 2017. 
  18. ^ "Rachel Brooke". discogs.com. 2008. Retrieved March 1, 2017. 
  19. ^ "Vandaveer ‎– Oh, Willie, Please...". discogs.com. 2013. Retrieved March 1, 2017. 
  20. ^ "Beaches In Boise ‎– Autocantata". discogs.com. March 2014. Retrieved March 1, 2017. 

External links[edit]