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Burke & Hare Ballad Sheets (1829)

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  • Burke & Hare Ballad Sheets (1829)

    Last month, I gave a talk on Burke & Hare ballad sheets at an Edinburgh Fringe event devoted to that unlovely pair. My subject was the many ballad sheets produced about their 16-corpse career, knocked out by enterprising Edinburgh printers and sold among the crowd watching William Burke's execution in January 1829.

    Steve Byrne from the Scottish folk band Malinky closed my talk with his own rendition of Poor Daft Jamie, one of the 1829 ballads I'd just been discussing.

    I've now put all this material up online as a free essay, YouTube video slideshow and SoundCloud recording of Steve's performance. You'll find links to all of it here.

  • #2
    Murder Ballads: Catherine Eddowes, Burke & Hare

    Hi Paul. Thanks very much for posting this information!

    I haven't had a chance to look through all the links, but your page on Burke's execution and your examination of the illustration is excellent.

    I hope other Casebook members will take a look.

    Not sure if you're aware of this, but Ripper victim Catherine Eddowes had also been a seller of 'Murder Ballads'. Below is a link to a Casebook dissertation on the subject.

    'May My End A Warning Be: Catherine Eddowes and Gallows Literature in the Black Country' by Jarett Kobek:

    Now I'll get back to reading your link and watch the YouTube slideshow.

    Thanks & best regards,
    Last edited by Archaic; 11-02-2014, 07:50 PM.


    • #3
      Excellent lecture Paul, and I liked Steve Byrne's music to the Daft Jamie ballad.

      There is a film version of the story called "Mania" where Donald Pleasance is Hare, and at the end he is blinded by a mob (who burn his eyes out with a torch). Apparently the same desire for real justice for both killers is still strong (or was in 1960 when that film came out).