Music is the best means
we have of digesting time.
~W. H. Auden
Shirley Collins

—The Cruel Mother

"This cautionary ballad has everything, including one of the greatest tunes.  Ewan MacColl taught it to me when I was twenty.  A flat, documentary opening, reporting a private act by a conscience-torn young girl.  Then the confrontation of the young mother by the ghosts of her murdered twin babies, and her damnation.  The refrain has the quality of an incantation, raising one wretched being to an archetype of remorse."

— Shirley Collins. Liner Notes, The Sweet Primroses (1967).

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    This is a haunting and brutally frank song that obviously linked to ‘Green grow the rushes’. It somehow goes with the...
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    Shirley Collins - The Cruel Mother (Child #20)
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