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Anna Dixie

[Lal Waterson]

Norma Waterson sang her sister Lal’s song Anna Dixie in 1996 on her eponymous first solo album, Norma Waterson.

Bob Hudson notes:

Lal Waterson’s song Anna Dixie is based on a true event that took place in the early 1800s. Anna Dixie was the daughter of Sir Wolstan Dixie, the fourth baronet of Bosworth Hall (Market Bosworth, England). She had fallen in love with a local farmer, but her father, enraged that she would consider marrying beneath her station, secretly constructed a "mantrap" to catch her suitor, should he ever try to sneak onto the Bosworth grounds. One night, however, Anna crept from her bedroom for a tryst with her lover. As she ran through an alley of trees on the estate, she herself fell into the mantrap and died from her injuries a few days later. Her ghost is still said to haunt Bosworth Hall, which is now a hotel.

Debra Cowan sang Anna Dixie in 2019 on her CD Greening the Dark. She noted:

Based on a true story from the early 1800s, the late Lal Waterson tells this sad tale of a girl meeting her lover and falling into a “mantrap” set by her father. As with many of Lal’s songs, the poetry in the lyrics and the music come together in a haunting piece of storytelling. Thank you, Norma Waterson, for guiding us in our version.


A yeoman farmer he loved me dearly
So did my father but not that clearly
Trying to spoil things for my man and me
He set a trap would break the back of any tree

Now my man and me went walking
My man did all the talking
Down by Bosworth Park
Greening the dark
Taking the long way back
I fell in my father’s trap
Causing the birds above to wake up

Over there and under him
The horse supporting Richard my king
Began galloping too fast for him
The horse’s hooves came tumbling down
Close by my burying ground
Forever we are bound on Redmore plain

Oh my name is Anna Dixie
My father killed me
Resting peacefully Oh no not me
Lay me beyond Cheyney lest I come search for thee
Dress me up grandly lest I scare thee

A yeoman farmer he loved me dearly
So did my father but not that clearly


Thanks to Bob Hudson for the note.