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It's not a story too many folks know about. Though lots of people seem to idolize Fiddling John Carson, few are aware of his virulent anti-Semitism and active participation in the lynching of Frank. Hopefully my tale will set a few records straight.


Come gather round good people
A story I will tell
I sing today of Leo Frank
It’s a tale not known so well

You may have heard the ballad
Or you might have heard the songs
About poor little Mary Phagan
And how it was that she was wronged

Well my stories not about the crime
Not about his so-called trial
Where Leo Frank the innocent
Was found guilty and given time

Leo Frank is gone
But the memory lingers on

Convicted by all press accounts
Railroaded by the Court
Thousands came from all around
Frank’s fate was made a sport

Out on the courthouse steps
Ol’ John Carson could be heard
Singing songs made on the spot
For the throngs gathered there
..he sang..

“Let’s hang the little Jew”
Lets’ hang the little Jew”

- solo -

On the 17th of August
It was on that fateful day
6 cars filled with angry men
to the Midgeville prison came

They drained the gas tanks of the cops
Cut down the telephone wire
Handcuffed the friendly warden
And with Frank they bid goodbye

Outside of Marietta
At a spot they did prepare
There’s old oak branch and a length of rope
And a rickety old chair
..they sang..

“Let’s hang the little Jew”
They hung the little Jew”

And when the killing had been done
All the men had gathered round
To get a picture of themselves
By Frank’s body a’ dangling down

There were prominent politicians
Policemen, sherff’s too
Captains of local industry
And the founder local Scout troop

We’re the “The Knights of Mary Phagan”
The Klansmen cried with glee
Burned a cross on ol Stone Mountain
For all the world to see
..they were singing..

“We hung the little Jew”
We hung the little Jew”

The Jews of old Atlanta
Thought they’d had it made
But thousands left ol’ Georgia now
For the safety of a Northern State

No menorahs in the window
No more sukkahs built outside
Them Jews that did not leave right off
Learned to hide it deep down inside

Leo Frank is gone
But the memory lingers on

For Little Mary Phagan’s song
John Carson we can thank
But next time you’re at services
Say a Kaddish for Leo Frank


from The Triumph of Assimilation, released June 1, 2021


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Mark Rubin, Jew of Oklahoma New Orleans, Louisiana

Oklahoma-born, Texas-reared, and now living in New Orleans, multi-instrumentalist Mark Rubin is an unabashed Southern Jew.

Known equally for his muscular musicianship and larger-than-life persona. Over an accomplished 30+ year career, he has accompanied or produced a virtual who’s-who of American traditional music. With Danny Barnes, he founded Pioneer Proto-Americana band the Bad Livers
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