Lizie Wan

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"Lizie Wan" is Child ballad 51 and a murder ballad.


The heroine—Lizie, Rosie, Lucy—is pregnant with her brother's child. Her brother murders her. He tries to pass off the blood as some animal he had killed—his greyhound, his falcon, his horse—but in the end must admit that he murdered her. He sets sail in a ship, never to return.


This ballads, in several variants, contains most of the ballad "Edward", Child 13.Francis James Child, The English and Scottish Popular Ballads, v 1, p 167, Dover Publications, New York 1965

Other ballads on this theme include "Sheath and Knife", "The King's Dochter Lady Jean", and "The Bonny Hind".Francis James Child, The English and Scottish Popular Ballads, v 1, p 185, Dover Publications, New York 1965

Cultural references

The Ballad of Lizie Wan was the inspiration for the title song from English recording artist Kate Bush's album The Kick Inside. It is directly referenced in an early demo recording of the song in the second verse: "You and me on the bobbing knee / Welling eyes from identifying with Lizzy Wan's story." The final version of the song replaces the direct reference and describes the ballad as "old mythology."

See also


External links

  • with variants
  • with notes and more variants

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