Tuesday, May 19, 2015

My race is run, beneath the sun

In 1973 my parents brought home the newly released Angel Clare by Art Garfunkel, his first solo record album. I was nine years old and I used to play this record by myself in the living room until the grooves practically wore out. I'd stare endlessly at this man's face who was my parent's age. He seemed so very nice from the picture and his voice and the percussion of the instruments would transport me so that I quite forgot myself.

This one song though (the second one on the album) left me puzzled. I'd listen carefully to the lyrics and wonder why in the world would sweet Art do these things to this girl Rose Connolly. It wasn't until I read the WIKI on it that I understood the origins of this ballad. To think that there is a whole genre of music called murder ballads is noteworthy and something a nine year old wouldn't really understand anyway. My Irish heritage understood some deep connection though for which this song can still touch me the same way all these years later.

To listen, click here :

"Down In The Willow Garden"

Down in the Willow garden
Where me and my love did meet
As we sat a-courtin'
My love fell off to sleep
I had a bottle of Burgundy wine
My love she did not know
So I poisoned that dear little girl
On the banks below

I drew a sabre through her
It was a bloody knife
I threw her in the river
Which was a dreadful sign
My father often told me
That money would set me free
If I would murder that dear little girl
Whose name was Rose Connolly

My father sits at his cabin door
Wiping his tear-dimmed eyes
For his only son soon shall walk
To yonder scaffold high
My race is run, beneath the sun
The scaffold now waits for me
For I did murder that dear little girl
Whose name was Rose Connelly

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