Friday, February 27, 2015

the death of affect

I finally caught up with the first episode of Reginald D Hunter's Songs of the South (passim) which has introduced me the extraordinary murder balled "The Knoxville Girl."

The narrator meets a girl in Knoxville and spends every Sunday evening at her house. One day, they go for walk and, the next thing you know, he's at her with a makeshift club. She begs for her life, but he ignores her pleas, continues the beating even more viciously, and doesn't stop till the ground is awash with her blood. He dumps her dead body in the river, then returns home, fending off his mother's queries about his stained clothes by insisting he's had a nosebleed. After a tortured night, he's thrown in jail for life. His last words before the music fades out are to assure us that he really did love her.

Pondering this, I was wondering if the motiveless serial killer might turn out to be one of the USA's main contributions to the world's culture and mythology.

But hold on, according to Wikipedia:
It is derived from the 19th-century Irish ballad The Wexford Girl, itself derived from the earlier English ballad "The Oxford Girl". Other versions are known as the "Waxweed Girl", "The Wexford Murder". These are in turn derived from Elizabethan era poem or broadside ballad, "The Cruel Miller".
I guess the hillbillies are off the hook.

Prodnose: What's the matter, boy? I bet you can squeal. I bet you can squeal like a pig. Let's squeal. Squeal now. Squeal.
Myself: Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

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