Christians Fundamentalists and others who have attacked rap, heavy metal and even rock 'n' roll for obscenity would do well to study history. "Child Owlet" (or "Childe Owlet") is Child Ballad 291 and Roud Ballad 3883; it appears to have orginated in the North of Scotland. It is also a murder ballad of which Ted Goia writes in his 2015 monograph Love Songs: The Hidden History
: "I challenge anyone to find another song that, in just 48 short lines, deals with incest, seduction, adultery, self-mutilation, rape, torture, and murder."
"Child Owlet" was one of numerous songs that came to the attention of the California Society For The Suppression Of Vice in the late 19th Century, but was cleared, which prompted Goia to comment, "One wonders what took place in the songs seized by the authorities, if the ballads approved by the scholars broached such taboos."
Although never a popular song, it was recorded by Steelye Span in 2004.
Alexander Baron - London, England