Jon says, “From Bellamy again. Strange tune – I wonder if Bellamy wrote it. It’s great though and a really dark song. I think the implication may be that the step mother has instructed big brother John to stab his step brother, and he’s done so despite loving his brother like… Er, a brother. Horrific really, or maybe it’s just an accident.” It’s another song that Fay has recorded for Looking Glass.” Also known as The Two Brothers and Child Ballad #49, Mainly Norfolk adds to the story quoting the sleeve notes written by A.L. Lloyd to Bellamy’s recording found originally on his LP The Fox Jumps Over The Parson’s Gate. Follow this link and you’ll see Lloyd describe this song as having many variants across many different cultures, with differing reasons behind the deadly deed, everything from arguments over land to incestuous love. I rather like Jon’s interpretation though, as it seems to fit this set of lyrics well. Mudcat will offer a few variations and this link here makes the Child/Scottish connection obvious, scroll down the lyric set to find related posts at the bottom. Those looking for Ballamy’s version are directed to the double CD set Fair England’s Shore on Fellside (FECD216), a massive 38 tracks!
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