I’d like this to be be one of my own, “Murder in the Red Barn” (it does start off much like Waits’ “Shore Leave”), or my own Murder Ballads, or perhaps even my own “The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll.” More likely than not, though, it will probably just turn out to be my own “Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.” Come to think of it, that might not be such a bad thing given the commercial success that one had.
From a real incident in Huntington, New York in 1872:
From the Long Island Geneology site:
The Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported a most unusual funeral in the small village of Huntington, Long Island, in its issue of September 13, 1873. The coffin contained only the lower part of the tarred and feathered body of Charles G. Kelsey, wealthy bachelor, farmer, school teacher and poet. The upper part of the corpse was never found and the search for it attracted attention in the national press for several years.
Kelsey’s romance with Julia Smith, a plump young lady just out of her teens, ten years his junior and a former member of his Sunday School class, had brought mob violence upon him and thrown the village on the North Shore of Long Island into turmoil.
I am not sure what else to say about it that is not already in the song or here in the annals of doomed lovers in New York. The 1873 book that it links to tells the story (it was probably a pamphlet, by the looks of it) is worth a look and a read.
Though the previous post (from May!) said it might be the last song, I think there will be one more for the project, which my friend Tom referred to the other day as a “rock opera.” God, I hope not. It’s not even a concept record. It’s not even a record — well, yet.
All of my Facebook “likes” done got wiped out when we switched to the new splash page at billjanovitz.com.It’s a damn shame.
Previous songs collected here. Please pass along to others and spread the word. I have no publicist!
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