The Butcher's Boy

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Lyrics - Credits - Discography - Covers - Bootlegs - Chords


She went upstairs to make her bed
And not one word to her mother she said
Her mother she went upstairs too
Said, "Daughter, oh daughter, what troubles you?"

"Oh mother, oh mother, I cannot tell
That railroad boy I love so well
He's courted me my life away
And now at home he will not stay
There is a place in London town
Where that railroad boy goes and sits down
And he takes that strange girl on his knee
And he tells to her what he won't tell me"

Father he came in from work
He said, "Where's daughter, she looks so hurt"
He went upstairs to give her hope
But he found her hanging from a rope
He took his knife and cut her down
And in her bosom these words they found:

"Dig my grave both wide and deep
Put a marble slab at my head and feet
And over my bones put a snow white dove
So this world can see that I died for love"


Elvis Costello - vocal, acoustic guitar
Bill Frisell - acoustic guitar
Eliza Carthy - fiddle
Don Byron - clarinet



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Various Artists collections:

Alternate Versions:

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Recording by other artists

  • Buell Kazee, 1928 (collected on Harry Smith's Anthology Of American Folk Music, 1952)
  • Jeannie Robertson, on Songs Of A Scots Tinker Lady: Traditional Scots Ballads And Songs, 1960
  • Joan Baez, on Joan Baez Vol. 2, 1961 ("Railroad Boy")
  • Tommy Makem, on Songs Of Tommy Makem, 1961
  • Frank Proffitt, on Frank Proffitt of Reese, North Carolina, 1962
  • Peggy Seeger, on 124 Folk Songs As Sung And Recorded On Folkways Records, 1965
  • Kirsty MacColl, on "Caroline" CD single, 1995
  • Sinéad O'Connor, on The Butcher Boy soundtrack, 1998

Internal links

External links