freedomduck (freedomduck) wrote in ramblingwriters,

Assignment #23 - "Stagger Lee Shot Billy DeLyons Assignment"

Hundreds of singers have recorded their versions of the old Stagger Lee song. The Grateful Dead have one, Bob Dylan has one, Mississipi John Hurt did it, too - I have one coming and so should you.

Here's a little background on the subject of your assignment - the 1895 Murder of Billy Lyons (aka Billy DeLyon) by Lee Sheldon (aka Stagger Lee, Stag-O-Lee, Stagolee, Stack-A-Lee, Skeeg O'Lee, and Stack O'Lee). The suspect is considered "so bad that the flies wouldn't even fly around his head in the summertime, and snow wouldn't fall on his house in the winter." according to Julius Lester, author of Black Folk Tales.

Your work is to write an original poem of the events surrounding the murder. The only stylistic requirement here is that you'll need to include the phrase "That bad man, oh, cruel Stack O' Lee."

Here is a good site with some more background about the story
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