Rats!
(Lydia Sherman, Archmurderess of Connecticut)
for mezzo-soprano, piano, bass (or vcl), and percussion
with video by Jacob Richman
2008
5 minutes

Recorded live January 12, 2012
Sleeping Weazel Inaugural Party and Performance Mix
Lauretta Pope, voice
Kirsten Volness, piano
Jacob Richman, bass
Bill Solomon, percussion

--------------------------------------------------
Text adapted by Kirsten Volness
from traditional American murder ballad text and 1873 article, "The Confession of Lydia Sherman
"
--------------------------------------------------

Lydia Sherman is plagued with rats,
Lydia has no faith in cats,
So Lydia buys some arsenic,
and then her husband, he gets sick...

"Doctor! Doctor! He is very sick!
He began to fail to fast, and fail so very fast..."
And in the morning, her husband, he does die,
And Lydia's neighbors wonder why.

Lydia moves but still has rats,
And she still has no faith in cats,
So Lydia finds her arsenic,
This time, her children, they get sick...

"I only gave them a little at a time,
and after I gave it to them
I was afraid they would die."
Two little children, two little children...
Mary Ann, six, and Edward, four.
"He was a beautiful boy and did not complain.
He vomited frequently."
And in the evening, her children, they do die,
And Lydia's neighbors wonder why.

Lydia lies in Wethersfield jail,
And loudly does she moan and wail,
She blames her fate on a plague of rats,
She blames the laziness of cats,
But her neighbors' questions she can't deny,
So, Lydia now in prison must die.