'Of rope & arsenic'-
Written in August 2008/ After researching killer Mary Ann Cotton .
Sung after the noose made its killing.
For slaughter, is not absent of laughter.
The killing of a murderer put to death,
For the children and husbands hereafter.
An English heart habitual of the cold.
Arsenic poisoning and insurance could present a finer life,
For this wretched black widow, once a loveless wife.
Persuasive emotion soon lost its effect;
As the hour soon saw this Venus flytrap sentenced to death.
A daemons reserved demeanour asserts innocence:-
And petitions fail.
When presented to the home secretary to no avail.
Sung were the words that she’d be forgotten,
The opposite effect for the rhyme gave life through history;
To this Mary Ann Cotton.
Reference to the English Victorian rhyme after her hanging in 1873.
“Mary Ann Cotton,
Dead and forgotten
She lies in her bed,
With her eyes wide open
Sing, sing, oh, what can I sing,
Mary Ann Cotton is tied up with string
Where, where? Up in the airSellin' black puddens a penny a pair.”