April 26, 1913

On this day in 1913, a 13 year old girl named Mary Phagan was found murdered in the basement of a pencil factory at Atlanta, Georgia. Her death inspired the song “Little Mary Phagan.”

Written by Fiddlin’ John Carson in 1915, ten years later it was recorded by his singer-guitarist daughter Rosa Lee Carson.

It was also recorded twice in 1925 by Al Craver, and again (under the name Vernon Dalhart). The song is also known as “The Ballad Of Mary Phagan”, and there are variations on the words depending on what version you are listening to.

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