“The Folkestone Murder”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1905 (Gardiner ms.)
Keywords: grief courting violence warning crime execution homicide punishment death gallows-confession family
Found in: Britain(England(South)) Canada(Newf)

Description

(Switzerland John) asks Caroline to walk with him. Her mother tells her she should take her sister Maria along. He stabs both girls and cuts their names into the turf. The murderer is taken and sentenced to death; in the last verse he bids farewell

Long description

(Switzerland John) asks Caroline of Dover to walk with him to Shorncliffe Camp; she agrees, but her mother tells her it's not fit for them to walk alone, and that she should take her sister Maria along. They go, but before they reach Folkestone he stabs both girls to death despite their entreaties for mercy and cuts their names into the turf. Their parents grieve; the murderer is taken and sentenced to death; in the last verse he bids farewell, tells others to take warning, and hopes to meet Caroline in heaven

Notes

Although the song is not properly a gallows-confession, the last verse is (it seems tacked on, and is similar to the warnings found at the end of many songs of this type). - PJS

Historical references

References

  1. Kennedy 320, "The Folkestone Murder" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Greenleaf/Mansfield 61, "Maria and Caroline" (1 text)
  3. Leach-Labrador 11, "Mary and Sweet Caroline" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. Roud #897
  5. BI, K320