Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Ballad of Fisherman's Holler

For today's post, I thought I'd share with you a song from my wife Shirley's upcoming a capella CD titled "Been to the Mountaintop". The song is titled, "The Ballad of Fisherman's Holler", and Shirley said when she wrote it, the song was given to her while she was sleeping. It woke her up and needed to be written. She had everything but the ending of the ballad when she started, and she tried to change the outcome of the song, but as she puts it, "the song had other plans".

Shirley and I both wonder if this is a true story that we just haven't heard about. The names and events are pretty specific. Anyone know?

Here are the lyrics to the ballad, you will have to click here to go to Youtube to hear Shirley sing it.

The Ballad of Fisherman’s Hollow

Verse I
I had but one love, Charming Luther.
I loved him like no other man.
He held me close and swore he loved me
and we’d be married come the Spring.

He became my one obsession.
His honeyed words they doused my ears.
His warm embrace, his sweet caresses
could not ebb my lingering fears.

I followed him one night after he left me.
I followed him to the riverbed
for I had seen him with pretty Jane Price
who I thought was my dear friend

I’m going down to Fisherman’s Hollow.
I’m going to see my next of kin.
For the place where I am going, I never shall see them again.

Verse 2
From his pocket, he withdrew a box
and from the box a wedding band.
As she held it in her fingers,
I shot them both ‘til they were dead.

I approached the lifeless bodies,
jerked the ring from her lovely limb.
I looked down and saw the paper
clutched tightly in her other hand.

I stood over the bodies trembling
Could not believe my mortal sin.
for it was my ring she was admiring.
It was my surprise of which they spoke


Verse 3
I pushed the bodies into the river
With rocks tied to their feet and hands.
In two wee hours, it would be sunlight
I bid farewell to life as it had been

I only pray that God will forgive me
for two lives are gone at my hand.
I’m too frightened to face a jury.
I am a coward to take the stand.

So I’ll steal away and they’ll not find me.
I’ll go away to some distant shore.
Where I will linger in my misery
until I die to knock on Hell’s vast door.


© 2000 Shirley Louise Stewart

Click here to hear Shirley sing this song.


Shirley Stewart Burns, Ph.D. said...

Interesting you would post this one. I believe this is my song that you like the least. :-) It completely caught me off guard (when the song came to me). I am interested, too, if anyone knows about a story like this.

Granny Sue said...

there are many similar, Shirley, but not with the twist this one has, unless you consider Molly Vaunder. In that one he kills his own love when he mistook her for a swan. But that's still not quite the same as your story. Yours is good, the stuff of old-time ballads--love, jealousy, revenge and murder.

Janet, said...

I enjoyed the singing. That was quite a story that came to her in her sleep.

Tipper said...

Songs as good as this one-are given to the writer. Loved the song-and the singing was wonderful!!