"I Am Trying To Remember" is not really a song but a broken narrative set to music; Frank also contributes in an extremely nervous voice, as he might well done.
Frank was convicted primarily on the evidence of Jim Conley, who admitted helping him cover up the crime. Like Lee, Conley was a Negro, and although to this day the consensus is that Conley rather than Frank was the villain of the piece, the motive for the murder of Mary Phagan was clearly sexual; she was almost certainly killed because she rejected her attacker's advances. And bearing in mind both that this was the Deep South and 1913, it is barely conceivable that any Negro would have propositioned a young white girl under such circumstances. Frank's conviction was upheld, and neither his reprieve nor his posthumous pardon in any way invalidates the trial jury's verdict.
Although "I Am Trying To Remember" is not per se an inferior composition, the first song written about this tragedy
- by Fiddlin' John Carson shortly after the murder - stands head and shoulders above anything written about it since.
Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 2