Also known as “Down on the Banks of the Ohio”, this 19th-century murder ballad was written by unknown authors. In the song, “Willie” invites his young lover for a walk during which she rejects his marriage proposal. Once they are alone on the river bank, he murders the young woman.
Hear a sample of the full band track:
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Watch below as Clarence Ashley sings it (with fiddle by Fred Price and guitars by Clint Howard and Doc Watson) at Alan Lomax’s West Third Street apartment in New York City.