I pretty much would forgive Joan Baez more or less anything if she sang something to me in way of apology.
Christopher Stasheff once said of this ballad that it was the one a wise minstrel performed when he was called in to distract his patrons from an unfortunate dispute, on the principle that whatever had happened, it was unlikely to have been worse than the plot.
Yes, I know that there’s half a dozen reasons why Chris Stasheff was spouting off nonsense there. And?
PS: It’s a murder ballad. They all incorporate poor lifestyle decisions on the part of their participants. And this isn’t even the version with the typical ending.