“The Meeks Family Murder (V -- Nellie's Lament)”


The singer laments, "Once I had a mamma, likewise a papa too." She recalls a beautiful, sunny day; the next thing she can remember is a pain in her head and the bodies of her family. Having told her tale, she regrets her fate


For more historical details on this piece, see the notes to "The Meeks Family Murder" (I).

This is item dF50 in Laws's Appendix II.

To tell this ballad from the other Meeks Murder songs, consider the first line above and the chorus:

Sad, sad to be an orphan here,

No more to see my little sisters dear,

They are in heaven, the voices they are still,

The fatal blows were given upon the Jenkins Hill. - RBW

Historical references

  • May 11, 1894 - Gus Meeks, his wife, and two children are killed by William and George Taylor (who are suspected of cattle stealing). William Taylor was hanged; George escaped and was not recaptured

Cross references

  • cf. "The Meeks Family Murder I" [Laws F28]
  • cf. "The Meeks Family Murder II" [Laws F29]
  • cf. "The Meeks Family Murder III" [Laws F30]
  • cf. "The Meeks Family Murder (IV)"


  1. Belden, pp. 404-412, "The Meeks Family Murder" (11 texts, 2 tunes, grouped into types A-E; the "C" text is this song, while "A" is "The Meeks Family Murder (I)" and "B" is "The Meeks Family Murder (IV). Belden's "D" is too brief to categorize, and "E" is not traditional)
  2. Roud #2270
  3. BI, Beld407B


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1913 (Belden)
Found in: US(So)