History in Music- ‘The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll” -Bob Dylan. It is Bob’s 78th birthday and I thought I’d pick out one of his ‘historical’ songs and this is the one that immediately came to mind. Bob Dylan wrote this song in October 1963- and it was released on his 1964 album The Times They a-Changin’ in 1964. The song tells the story of a 51 year old African American barmaid Hattie Carroll who was killed by a 24 year old named William Zantzinger in Charles County, Maryland in early 1963. The song deals with the racial injustice of the era- Zantzinger got off with a six month sentence in the county jail for assault. Dylan was in his folk period at this time and writing protest songs. Zandzinger died in 2009 at that age of 69.
Attached an article from The Guardian on the case- and the song.