The Dreadful End of Marianna for Sorcery

from by Stray Hens

  • Streaming + Download

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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    The Confluence is a 12 track album featuring Sally Taylor, Richard Grace, Ryan Tews, Carmen O'Brien and Mandy Connell.

    Each artist leads a song (Vocals) and the CD features

    Tom Paine's Bones (Graham Moore
    Mad Tom of Bedlam (Arr Stray Hens. Tune by Nick Jones and Dave Moran)
    Diamantina Drover (Hugh McDonald)
    Song of the Inland Rain (Roger Montgomery / Jack Sorenson)
    (With Tune "The Confluence" by Ryan Tews
    The Dreadful End of Mariana For Sorcery (Karine Polwart)
    The Cruel Mother (Trad Arr Mandy Connell)
    Pot & Tinker (Mandy Connell)
    The Handweaver & THe factory Maid (Trad/ A L Lloyd)
    Riddles Wisely Expounded (Trad)
    Ballad Of Accounting (Ewan MacColl)
    The Recruited Collier (Trad Arr Mandy Stray Hens)

    Includes unlimited streaming of The Confluence via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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    ships out within 12 days

      $25 AUD or more 



Writtn by Karine Polwart, Mandy heard this song on Last Leaves, an album produced by the band Malinky (released at Celtic Connections in the year 2000).

Mandy Connell and Sally Taylor of the Stray Hens were drawn to this song because of it's strength of character, and because it is spoken from a woman's perspective. Written in what feels like a traditional style and sung by Polwart in a very scots dialect/style, you can be forgiven for thinkign the song is very old upon first listen.


Dreadful End of Marianna For Sorcery

Marianna o' the Howe was a young lassie wi' gowden hair
Sweet and honest, true and bonnie, and lover of one John Sinclair
Marianna met the factor at the dawning, at the fold
And he said, "Lie with me now, Marianna, and you will not want for gold"

"Well, I thank you for your offer, but I fear it canna be
I maun lie with John Sinclair, for he's the only one for me"
So the factor, sore affronted, whispered evil of her name
Every sorrow and misfortune 'twas Marianna was to blame

Soon there came a deputation Marianna for to see
For to slight her reputation, "The de'il has laid his hands on ye
Ye've soured the cream and blighted the corn and danced wi' fairies on the hill
Ye who are of devil born and ye who bow to no man's will"

Seven evenings, seven mornings they spoke of Marianna ill
There they shamed her, stripped her and maimed her, but they never tamed her will
"Let her sweetness not deceive you, evil hides itself right well
Once within, it will never leave you, Marianna, you'll burn in hell"

"Who are these who stand against me?
Who are these who slight my name?
Let them tell their lies before God and let them hang their heads in shame"
Then she saw a sight that grieved her, all the hope inside her died
John Sinclair all clad in satin standing at the factor's side

"I was child and now a woman, but I shall be no man's wife
For my love has me forsaken, and I want no more of this life"
They've shorn the hair from Marianna, the witch's snare o' gowden thread
Marched her tae the Gallowsha' and whipped her sair until she bled

In the crowd she spied her lover, and he had his new coat on
Soon the flames danced all above her, and the people danced 'til the dawn
Marianna o' the Howe, was a young lassie wi' gowden hair
Sweet and honest, true and bonnie, betrayed by the factor and John Sinclair


from The Confluence, released December 2, 2016
Stray Hens
Sally Taylor (Vocal and Fiddle)
Mandy Connell (Vocal and Guitar)
Carmen O'Brien (Vocal and Fiddle)
Richard Grace (Double Bass
Ryan Tews (Drums)




Stray Hens Melbourne, Australia

Three stunning frontwomen, on fiddles, vocal and guitar, backed by drums & double bass. No one in Australia is arranging folk revival songs with such passion. Complex harmonies, jazz & old-timey inspired rythms, & anceint anglo ballads create a theatrical show.
Formed in March 2013, & already booked for some of the country's Premier festivals, their debut EP has us anticipating the full album!
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