Catnach broadsheet from Wikipedia
Adieu adieu, my loving friends my glass is almost run,
On Monday next will be my last when I am to be hang'd.
So all young men who do pass by with pity look on me,
For murdering of that young girl I was hang'd upon a tree.
Versions of this ballad also travelled orally through the 19th century throughout England but as Warren Fahey points out, "Ballads such as The dreadful murder of Maria Marten and the red barn door were sung all over Great Britain and taken to Canada, the USA and Australia." When Australian composer/folk music collector Percy Grainger recorded Joseph Taylor in 1908 at Brigg, Lincolnshire, he sang an abbreviated version of this ballad.
If you'll meet me at the Red Barn
This lad went home and fetched his gun,
To meet her love did go.
He murdered her all in the barn
And he laid her body low.
Information on Joseph Taylor can be found here at the (Mostly) English Folk Music website.
Joseph Taylor from the (Mostly) English Folk Music Website
Taylor's version of the ballad can be listened through the EFDSS website (listen here).
The Catnach ballad has also been recorded by Shirley Collins and the Albion Country on their album No Roses. Using the same melody as Taylor it incorporates some very inventive folk rock instrumentation that emphasises the very striking and evocative quality of Shirley Collins' voice on this track.
Other modern interpretations of the Catnach broadsheet ballad:Maddie Southorn - The Murder of Maria Martin
Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman - The Red Barn
White Swans Black Ravens - Maria Martin