• Coming Soon 2019

    Lots of Lizzie to look forward to in the early months of the new year. Available in March and ready to pre-order on Amazon now


    In addition to the hoped for opening of Maplecroft in the very near future is the debut in NYC of the rock musical LIZZIE.  Follow the production news on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/LizzieMusical/

     

  • Legend of Lizzie Borden to be released on DVD

    Released on May 13th,  most likely prompted by the recent popularity of the Lifetime Channel’s Christina Ricci effort- the 1975 version with Elizabeth Montgomery can now be pre-ordered on Amazon.com  http://www.amazon.com/Legend-Lizzie-Borden-Elizabeth-Montgomery/dp/B00HZVX14O/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1394644302&sr=1-1&keywords=Legend+of+Lizzie+Borden

    For many, this made-for-TV movie was the starting point for interest in the Borden case.  Highly recommended viewing, as Montgomery gives a compelling performance in the title role and the script stays closer to the real story than the recent Lifetime Channel effort, even though some liberties are taken and some key figures left out.  Youtube has had the film online, albeit chopped up in segments, for some time but it will be a treat to see it start to finish uninterrupted. The film’s signature musical theme is unforgettable.

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  • Lizzie’s favorite hymn

    Much has been speculated about why Lizzie chose to have this particular hymn sung at her wake at Maplecroft.  Here is yet another, and very romantic version about the background on the hymn- one which probably appealed to Lizzie who was somewhat sentimental.

    http://www.hymntime.com/tch/htm/m/a/i/mainctry.htm

    Vida Turner, who sang the hymn as requested, then never mentioned it again, would be amazed that it is still a topic of interest and discussion so many years later.  Perhaps there is no secret message here- it may simply have been the romantic story behind the writing of it which captured Lizzie’s attention.

  • Fall River Legend

     

    Over the holiday weekend, the Boston Pops paid tribute to New England icons, including Lizzie Borden, by playing selections from the Morton Gould musical score for Agnes DeMille’s FALL RIVER LEGEND of 1948.

    Miss DeMille was one of the very few allowed into the Second Street home of the McGinns as she worked on the choreography for the ballet featuring the Borden case. This Youtube sampler from the ballet suite was composed by Gould in 1947. Gould died in 1996.

    http://youtu.be/Die9HrBWnE8

    ( Prologue & Waltzes 03:30 – Elegy 06:25 – Church Social 10:27 – Hymnal )

  • Mike Troy’s “Lizzie”

    Although living in Somerset, Mike’s  a Fall River local and his folksy-bluesy original songs can be heard in many venues in the area.  The Belmont Club is a favorite haunt.  To hear a sampling of “Lizzie” (lyrics below) and to order Mike’s three CD’s visit his site at http://www.folkmichaeltroy.com/ “Lizzie” is on the Whispers in the Wind CD http://www.folkmichaeltroy.com/cdpage1.htm .  Great tunes- and a phenomenal guitarist!

    Lizzie lyric and music by Mike Troy
    Lizzie waits, a giggling child, in an excited sway.
    They’ve loaded and hitched the wagon,
    For the country summer stay.
    The summer home is a City girl’s Camelot
    It gets hot in the city. It gets hot.

    Abby’s in the parlor with Uncle John and Daddy said
    He’d put the Swansea farm in Abby’s name,
    And Lizzie saw red.
    Was the stone that honed the ax that played the plot,
    It gets hot in the city. It gets hot.

    I’m gonna take the wagon to the Swansea farm
    And spend the day.
    I got supplies, I got fishing line, I got sinkers
    I got a friend of mine.
    We’ll go wading in the Taunton River.
    Daddy gave her everything she’d need
    He went out of his way to give her.
    He crept into her dreams sometimes in the
    Black of night.
    It gets hot in the city. It gets hot.

    Revenge would feed a hungry heart that fatal day.
    Abby went upstairs to make the guest room bed,
    Destined to Pay
    With her life for the love that a poor child never got.
    It gets hot in the city. It gets hot.
    Daddy come home, to her surprise,
    A change in plan.
    Well I got no time for alibis, he’s a suspicious man.
    She took his coat. He took some time to relax.
    She kissed his cheek. Then she gave him the ax.

    I’m gonna take the wagon to the Swansea farm
    And spend the day.
    I got supplies, I got fishing line, I got sinkers
    I got a friend of mine.
    We’ll go wading in the Taunton River.
    Daddy gave her everything she’d need
    He went out of his way to give her.
    He crept into her dreams sometimes in the
    Black of night.
    It gets hot in the city. It gets hot.

    A brutal attack, a maniac, a wild goose chase.
    Gave her time to shadow the mess,
    Hide the ax, burn the dress,
    A poor rich girl who cheated the hangman’s knot.
    It gets hot in the city. It gets hot.

    Lizzie died and the mourners came, too late again.
    The funeral was held the night before
    Under the cover of darkness by black clad men.
    Why again it seemed she escaped the heat,
    She’s in an unmarked grave at her father’s feet.

  • A Little Death Metal?

    The list of Lizzie Borden tunes grows ever-longer.  Here’s the latest from death metal band, Macabre, track 10 off Grim Scary Tales.  Here is what “Gruesome Greg” has to say about the album, released in 2010:

    “Thematically, it’s a concept album about historical murderers. Whereas their previous work dealt with Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy and the Nightstalker, here we have tunes named after Dracula, Lizzie Borden, a demented take on “The Big Bad Wolf” and a competent cover of Venom’s campy classic “Countess Bathory”.   (Well, that explains Vlad the Impaler on the cover).

    Third track “The Black Knight” is another one of those catchy, I-can’t-believe-I’m-singing-along-with-this songs that Macabre does so well. A driving, punky chorus alternates with slower tempos and clean, monotone singing. “Dracula” is old-school Macabre, blast-beats and guitar-synth-a-plenty. It’s also the first time on the album that Corporate Death unleashes his trademark wail—a whole four songs in! As previously mentioned, “The Big Bad Wolf” is awesome. I know I’d buy an album of Macabre singing children’s campfire songs—oh wait, they’ve already done that…

    Anyways, if you’re one of those weirdos like me who worship Macabre, you’ll want this one. Although the production is a lot better and the sound slightly more modern, there are enough shades of Sinister Slaughter on Grim Scary Tales that oughtta make solid additions to their live set next time they’re in our vicinity. (I’m already looking forward to it!)”

    And here you can hear Lizzie Borden by Macabre, and probably understand some of the lyrics ! Turn your volume down.

  • Another Lizzie Borden ditty

    On MTV news in August 2010- just in case you missed it. “How Heavy the Axe” by Sword. You may want to turn down the volume a little first if you are over 40. If you can catch the lyrics- you have great ears! First, you’ll need to endure a commercial for Cotton- the Fabric of our Lives- not a bad connection to Fall River, the former Cotton Capital. Link below.

    how heavy the axe

  • Lizzie Borden The Rock Musical

    This just in from Andy Propst via Theatermania.com for all those wondering about Lizzie Borden, the rock musical which is included as part of  new theatre projects during the National Alliance for Musical Theatre’s Festival of New Musicals in Manhattan this fall.

    The annual Festival of New Musicals will held in New York City on Thursday, October 21 and Friday, October 22, 2010 for a select audience of NAMT members, producers and other musical theatre industry professionals

    http://www.namt.org/

    “Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer, Alan Stevens Hewitt and Tim Maner’s musical about murderess Lizzie Borden will feature Carrie Cimma in the title role, along with Jenny Fellner, Marie France Arcilla and Beth Malone. The piece will be staged by Victoria Bussert, with music direction by Matt Hinkley.”  The production website is at   http://lizziebordentheshow.com/index.php/axe/about/ for more.

    For a sampling of some of the musical selections  http://lizziebordentheshow.com/index.php/axe/media/

    “A rock roadshow retelling of the bloody legend of America’s first and favorite axe-wielding double-murderess and Victorian hometown girl
    by Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer, Tim Maner, and Alan Stevens Hewitt.”

    Most recently the show ran for six weeks in fall 2009 at the Living Theatre in New York as a full-length original rock musical, produced by Took An Axe Productions.

  • Chad Mitchell Trio to visit Lizzie Borden house

    You Can’t Chop Your Poppa Up in Massachusetts was a hit for the popular 1960’s folk group, and second only to “Lizzie Borden Took an Axe” as Borden -related tune most people know.  Made popular in a Broadway production, Leonard Sillman’s New Faces of 1952 as the Fall River Hoedown, the single was released by the Chad Mitchell Trio in 1961. The trio will be visiting the Lizzie Borden house this week- should be great fun for everyone. Hopefully they will sing a chorus in the parlor where a copy of the sheet music has been on the piano since the house opened as a museum in 1996.

    http://www.chadmitchelltrio.com/

    Lyrics by Michael Brown

    Yesterday in old Fall River, Mr. Andrew Borden died
    And they got his daughter Lizzie on a charge of homicide
    Some folks say she didn’t do it, and others say of course she did
    But they all agree Miss Lizzie B. was a problem kind of kid

       ‘Cause you can’t chop your papa up in Massachusetts
       Not even if it’s planned as a surprise
       No, you can’t chop your papa up in Massachusetts
       You know how neighbors love to criticize

    She got him on the sofa where he’d gone to take a snooze
    And I hope he went to heaven ’cause he wasn’t wearing shoes
    Lizzie kinda rearranged him with a hatchet so they say
    Then she got her mother in that same old-fashioned way!

       But you can’t chop your mama up in Massachusetts
       Not even if you’re tired of her cuisine
       No, you can’t chop your mama up in Massachusetts
       You know it’s almost sure to cause a scene

    Well, they really kept her hoppin’ on that busy afternoon
    With both down- and up-stairs chopping while she hummed a ragtime tune
    They really made her hustle and when all was said and done
    She’d removed her mother’s bustle when she wasn’t wearing one

       Oh, you can’t chop your mama up in Massachusetts
       And then blame all the damage on the mice
       No, you can’t chop your mama up in Massachusetts
       That kind of thing just isn’t very nice

    Now, it wasn’t done for pleasure and it wasn’t done for spite
    And it wasn’t done because the lady wasn’t very bright
    She’d always done the slightest thing that mom and papa bid
    They said, “Lizzie, cut it out,” so that’s exactly what she did

       But you can’t chop your papa up in Massachusetts
       And then get dressed and go out for a walk
       No, you can’t chop your papa up in Massachusetts
       Massachusetts is a far cry from New York

       No, you can’t chop your papa up in Massachusetts
          Shut the door, and lock and latch it, here comes Lizzie with a brand new hatchet
       Can’t chop your papa up in Massachusetts
          Such a snob, I’ve heard it said, she met her pa and cut him dead
       You can’t chop your papa up in Massachusetts
          Jump like a fish, jump like a porpoise, all join hands and habeas corpus
       Can’t chop your papa up in Massachusetts
       Massachusetts is a far cry from New York

  • Lizzie Borden’s hymn

     My Own Country (My Ain Countrie) was the hymn said to be that which Lizzie chose to be sung at her private wake in her home.  Soprano Vida Turner was instructed to sing it, received her check and was told not to tell anyone what transpired on the day at Maplecroft. 

    The hymn shown below, based on a poem text and in Robert Burnsian dialect, was found in a period hymnal called The White Ribbon Temperance Hymnal.  The Borden household was a temperance home, and perhaps Lizzie first heard this hymn at a meeting of the Women’s Temperance Society.  In Lizzie’s library mantel at Maplecroft, At Hame in My Ain Countrie is carved along with Scottish thistles. It’s hard to know for sure if Lizzie had this done, or it was already there when she bought the house.  She indicated an admiration for things Scottish, so it is possible she was responsible for the carving.

    I am far from my home, and I’m weary after whiles,

    for the longed for home -bringing and my Father’s welcome smiles”

    is text which causes one pause!  The “F” in Father is capitalized, thereby referring to God, but perhaps she was thinking of Andrew Borden! Try this on your piano.  This was played at Maplecroft and sung, on August 4, 1992 for the centennial of the crimes.

    I am far from my home, and I’m weary after whiles for the longed-for home-bringing and my Father’s welcome smiles,

    But I’ll not be full content, until my eyes do see, the garden gate of heaven in my own country.

    The earth is flecked with flowers, many tinted bright and gay,the birdies warble blithely, for the Father made them say.

    But these sights and these sounds will as nothing to me be, when I hear the angels singing in my own country.

    I’ve his good word of promise that some gladsome day the King, to his own royal palace his banished home will bring.

    With eye and with heart running over we shall see,

    The King in his beauty in our own country.

    My sins have been many and my sorrows have been sore,

    But they’ll never vex me nor be remembered more.

    For his blood has made me white, and his hand shall dry my eye,

    When he brings me home at last, to my own country.

    He is faithful that has promised, and he’ll surely come again,

    He’ll keep his tryst with me, at what hour I do not know,

    But he bids me still to wait and yes, ready,

    To go at any moment to my own country.

    So I’m watching, yes, and singing of my home, as I wait,

    For the sound of his footfall, this side the garden gate.

    God give his grace to all, and who listens now to me,

    that we may go in gladness to our own country.

    To hear more hymns from the White Ribbon Hymnal of 1892, visit this link http://dig.lib.niu.edu/gildedage/songs/whiteribbon.html

  • Songs about Lizzie Borden

    “You Can’t Chop Your Poppa Up in Massachusetts” is a well-known Lizzie tune but a few others have tackled the subject.  Flotsam and Jetsam, a thrash metal band from Phoenix, on the 1986 album Doomsday for the Deceiver put their spin on the old story.  You may just want to turn the volume down a little!

    Lyrics

    A young maiden with a demon in her soul,
    A twisted mind with secrets to unfold.
    An innocent face, a deceiving smile,
    Under no suspicion, servant to Belial.

    The axe came down… Blood all around…

    She lurks possessed, without a sound,
    Butchers her Dam when no one is around.
    The next day her Sire feels her wrath,
    She has no remorse in her merciless bloodbath.

    She’s Miss Lizzy, she feels no pain
    The axe came down
    She’s Miss Lizzy, she strikes again,
    The axe came down… Blood all around

    Lizzy Borden took an axe, gave her mother forty whacks,
    When she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one.

    Now before the jury with a solemn face,
    These legendary murders… she left not a trace.
    Lizzy found it so simple to take their lives,
    Today she walks free… Axe by her side…

    She took an axe.

    The Dubious Brothers are a very popular UK band, playing gigs for charity in a style which can only be called ecclectic.  To sample a taste of their Lizzie tribute, “O, Mother Borden,” click on this link and scroll down to the song. Click the arrow for a few moments of the song, or download the entire selection.  http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/thedubiousbrothers

  • Don Hammontree sings about Maplecroft

    Fall River musician, Don Hammontree may not be a Fall River native, but he certainly knows the city and its history. With a folk-rock, “alternative” sound, Hammontree has released three CDs, Mount Hope Days in 2003, The Mumbai in 2005 and the latest, Brutalist School in 2010.  You can sample Mp3 offerings, including “Maplecroft” on the Mount Hope Days CD at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/hammontree

    To hear about  Don’s next  performance live, visit his MySpace page at http://www.myspace.com/donhammontree

  • Another Lizzie Ditty

    axeTo the growing catalogue of Lizzie-related tunes, here’s one from a “thrash metal” band album called Doomsday for the Deceiver. To learn more about this band and their music, visit the link at http://www.flotsam-and-jetsam.com/band.html or listen to the Lizzie song, She took An Axe at this Youtube link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_Jq35QPWVE

    SHE TOOK AN AXE

    A young maiden with a demon in her soul,
    A twisted mind with secrets to unfold.
    An innocent face, a deceiving smile,
    Under no suspicion, servant to Belial.

    The axe came down…Blood all around…

    She lurks possessed, without a sound,
    Butchers her Dam when no one is around.
    The next day her Sire feels her wrath,
    She has no remorse in her merciless bloodbath.

    CHORUS
    She’s Miss Lizzy, she feels no pain
    The axe came down
    She’s Miss Lizzy, she strikes again,
    The axe came down…Blood all around

    REFRAIN
    Lizzy Borden took an axe, gave her mother forty whacks,
    When she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one.

    REPEAT REFRAIN

    REPEAT REFRAIN

    Now before the jury with a solemn face,
    These legendary murders…she left not a trace.
    Lizzy found it so simple to take their lives,
    Today she walks free…Axe by her side…