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“Pretty Little One” — Steve Martin with the Steep Canyon Rangers
“There’s a class of songs in bluegrass called murder ballads….but I’m making this sound funnier than it is.”
Got a chance to see them at a show in my town and fell in love with this song. The murder ballad is a terrible (and luckily mostly outdated) convention in bluegrass/ folk music. What makes this song great is that it follows the letter of the genre law but not the spirit — I wouldn’t call it parody, but more of an inversion through using the form of the surprise comic ending.*
I also like how her name is used not to objectify the woman (“pretty little Sadie”) but to empower her:
“My name is Lucy Allen Cott, and you should know that I was not your pretty little one.”
*Is there a more specific name for that kind of song? I’m thinking things like “Johnny Be Fair,” “Seven Drunken Nights,” or “The One” by Gaelic Storm.