“The Triplett Tragedy”

Author: Lyrics: Ed Miller/tune: traditional
Earliest date: 1962 (recorded by Sophronie Miller)
Keywords: fight violence abuse crime homicide law prison punishment revenge death drink brother family
Found in: US(SE)

Description

On Christmas the Triplett brothers are drinking Marshall Triplett's wife tries to stop a fight, but Lum Triplett stabs him to death. Lum meets Marshall's son Gran and confesses. Gran beats him; he dies. Gran is sentenced to 18 months on the chain gang.

Long description

On Christmas the Triplett brothers are drinking together when a fight breaks out. Marshall Triplett's wife tries to stop them, but Lum Triplett stabs him to death. Lum goes away, intending to surrender, but he meets Marshall's son Gran, a deputy, and confesses the murder. Gran beats him severely and takes him to jail, where his injuries become inflamed and he dies. The brothers are buried together; Gran is arrested and sentenced to 18 months on the chain gang. Listeners are warned about the perils of drink

Notes

The singer, Sophronie Miller, was the widow of Columbus Triplett; this is the only ballad of which I'm aware that was verifiably collected from one of the principals in the story it relates. - PJS

I don't know if this is the Ed(ward B.) Miller who is also credited with "The Rich Man and Lazarus," but time and place make it possible. - RBW

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