#MM — Tale Weaver — Visiting — Long Black Veil


Image result for long black veil

image link is to Dave Matthews Band version of the song but the first “h” is missing so it won’t load

Michael is the host of Mindlovemisery Menagerie’s Tale Weaver.  Michael says:
This week the task is to compose a tale in which the term/word ‘visit’ features.It could be visiting, visited, visitation……you go where the prompt takes you.

OK, I’m going to try something a little experimental here.  I’m going to give you song lyrics as an origin story that will serve as a sort of haibun paragraph(s) section, follow it with a video of the song, then the song lyrics, then two tanka that speak to it all.  Hopefully it comes together the way I have planned it in my mind.  Thanks also, to Michael, for the wonderful prompt!  This would never have happened without it.

Per wikipedia:
“Long Black Veil” is a 1959 country ballad, written by Danny Dill and Marijohn Wilkin and originally recorded by Lefty Frizzell. It is told from the point of view of a man falsely accused of murder and executed. He refuses to provide an alibi, since on the night of the murder he was having an affair with his best friend’s wife, and would rather die and take their secret to his grave than admit the truth. The chorus describes the woman’s mourning visits to his grave site, wearing a long black veil and enduring a wailing wind.

In 2019, Frizzell’s version of “Long Black Veil” was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Recording Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

Long Black Veil” has been covered by a lot of different people/bands, including Sammi Smith, The Band, Johnny Cash, Dave Matthews Band, Joan Baez, David Allan Coe, Marianne Faithfull, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Bruce Springsteen, Bruce Hornsby, Mick Jagger & The Chieftains, Mike Ness of Social Distortion, Phil Lesh of the Grateful Dead, and many others. I haven’t heard most of the versions; the one I’m most familiar with is The Band’s version.

Ten years ago on a cold dark night
There was someone killed ‘neath the town hall light
There were few at the scene and they all did agree
That the man who ran looked a lot like me

The judge said “Son, what is your alibi?
If you were somewhere else then you won’t have to die”
I spoke not a word although it meant my life
I had been in the arms of my best friend’s wife

She walks these hills in a long black veil
She visits my grave where the night winds wail
Nobody knows, no, and nobody sees
Nobody knows but me

The scaffold was high and eternity neared
She stood in the crowd and shed not a tear
But sometimes at night when the cold wind moans
In a long black veil she cries over my bones

She walks these hills in a long black veil
She visits my grave where the night winds wail
Nobody knows, no, and nobody sees
Nobody knows but me


momentary loss
of reason ripples lifetimes
corpse lives in limbo

with a living corpse –angels
weep at nuclear passion


together, separate
dead, alive, vice versa
through eternity

intimate moments shared
fused souls transcend all




11 Comments Add yours

  1. Carol Anne says:

    Awesome! That was cool! And worked well! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks Carol!


  2. badfinger20 says:

    I know it’s a cover song but one of my all-time favorites by The Band. Rick did such a wonderful job of singing it. He sounds like he lived the song.


  3. Michael says:

    Great response Jade, when I was much younger the Long Black Veil was a song I played a lot, great to see it here today. Thanks for adding your contribution this week and I hope it achieved all you set out to do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks a lot for the thoughtful comments, Michael. My pleasure.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Jules says:

    I’ll have to come back to listen to the music. I think you scored very successfully.
    (OK scored… as in music and unintended but appropriate pun.)

    During my retreat some of us thought our cabin might have been haunted. Others just thought it was the wind through the eaves. Either way we had an interesting visit 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      What happened? And what are your theories on it? Did you have fun at the retreat?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Jules says:

    I didn’t have my ear phones handy and my hubby was home so I didn’t put the music on. I’m by no means an expert – sounds a bit honky-tonk. I liked the Ghost and Mrs. Muir – the original black and white movie… in the end (spoiler alert)… they got together.

    I thought the Ghost was the cabin pressure shifting. And since it didn’t seem malevolent… I’ll tell you more in an email if you want. Since what happened at the retreat (except for the learning stuff) stays at the retreat – like Vegas 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      The Band could definitely be considered honky tonk in my book. I saw the Ghost & Mrs. Muir years ago but should watch it again. Sure, send me email about the Ghost if you get a chance 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Jules says:

        The black and white version, not the TV series. I didn’t see the new remake so I don’t know how that ends. 😉

        Done. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.