AUK’s Chain Gang: Dave Von Ronk “Hang Me, Oh Hang Me”

Following on from last week’s link in the Americana chain (The Milk Carton Kids’ ‘Hope of a Lifetime’) the Internet has been scoured to form the next addition. The song which has been selected is linked via the film ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’ (2013) directed by the Coen Brothers. T Bone Burnett produced a live concert film of the movie called ‘Another Day, Another Time: Celebrating the Music of Inside Llewyn Davis’ (2013).  The Milk Carton Kids performed in this live concert film. The movie ‘Inside Llewyen Davis’ (about a folk singer in Greenwich Village and their tribulations and travails) is based loosely on the life of Dave Von Ronk – a musician and social activist who played a range of styles of music including folk and blues. He may be best known for his version of ‘House of the Rising Son’ but I have chosen ‘Hang Me, Oh Hang Me’ as it follows on thematically from the Milk Carton Kids’ song.  Von Ronk sings about his travels and it coming to a rather gruesome end by hanging (as you may have guessed from the title).  As he sings “I wouldn’t mind the hanging but the layin’ in a grave so long, poor boy. I been all around this world” you feel like he knows he is a condemned man but has accepted his fate.

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