Quantrill and Tennyson

Little known fact: Quantrill’s Raiders would recite Tennyson’s “Ring out the Old” at hangings. When they reached “Ring in the True”, one of them would give a hardy slap to the flank of the horse of the doomed man, who was left swinging as the pendulum sounds of Tennyson faded away. In the movie Dark Command, John Wayne refused to participate in the Tennyson hanging scene because he did not think having PJ Harvey (who played one of the Raiders) sing the verses was appropriate. The Duke’s concern was that her voice would reveal her to be either a woman, or effeminate, and Wayne thought neither appropriate. This scene was deleted, but you can find it as an extra on the 2006 Criterion Collection DVD.

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