Child Owlet

Album: They Called Her Babylon (2004)


  • 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. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Little Big TownSongwriter Interviews

"When seeds that you sow grow by the wicked moon/Be sure your sins will find you out/Your past will hunt you down and turn to tell on you."

Did They Really Sing In That Movie?Fact or Fiction

Bradley Cooper, Michael J. Fox, Rami Malek, Reese Witherspoon, Gwyneth Paltrow and George Clooney: Which actors really sang in their movies?

Harry ShearerSongwriter Interviews

Harry is Derek Smalls in Spinal Tap, Mark Shubb in The Folksmen, and Mr. Burns on The Simpsons.

Psychedelic LyricsMusic Quiz

Whoa man! Do you know which band came up with these cosmic lyrics?

Charlie Benante of AnthraxSongwriter Interviews

The drummer for Anthrax is also a key songwriter. He explains how the group puts their songs together and tells the stories behind some of their classics.

Lip-Synch RebelsSong Writing

What happens when Kurt Cobain, Iron Maiden and Johnny Lydon are told to lip-synch? Some hilarious "performances."