Note: This ballad is based a true incident, one of several notorious cases of "fragging" of officers by enlisted men that took place in the 1860s and which ultimately helped to bring about much needed military reforms in 1871. According to newpaper accounts, Patrick M'Caffrey was born in Ireland in 1842 and brought up in Lancashire in the household of his former wet nurse, a Mrs. Murphy, after the death of his mother in the potato famine and departure of his father for America. He worked in the cotton mills at Mossley and Stalybridge, and enlisted in October 1860 into the Cornwall Light Infantry, the 32nd Regiment (not the 42nd). He was hung for murder in 1862.
About the session: Ballads, work songs, and diddling songs performed by Ewan MacColl in London.
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