"I ain't got long, I aint got long, in this murd'er's home..."
We return for a second cassette reissue of penitentiary field recordings, in the form of the Alan Lomax compiled 'Murderers' Home' LP - a collection of work songs and field hollers performed by inmates of the Mississippi State Penitentiary (also known as Parchman Farm) in 1947. Originally released in 1957 on the UK's Pye Nixa label, many of these recordings also found their way onto the 1958 LP 'Negro Prison Songs', released by US label Tradition.
"These songs belong to the musical tradition which Africans brought to the New World, but they are also as American as the Mississippi River. They were born out of the very rock and earth of this country, as black hands broke the soil, moved, reformed it, and rivers of stinging sweat poured upon the land under the blazing heat of Southern skies, and are mounted upon the passion that this struggle with nature brought forth. They tell us the story of the slave gang, the sharecropper system, the lawless work camp, the chain gang, the pen." - Alan Lomax