Skip to comments.1741: Jenny Diver, a Bobby Darin lyric?
Posted on 03/17/2023 9:52:30 PM PDT by CheshireTheCat
On this date in 1741,* at Tyburn‘s largest mass-execution of the mid-18th century, renowned cutpurse Jenny Diver was hanged along with 19 others.
Born Mary Young in Ireland around 1700, the girl was abandoned as a child but deserted a benefactor’s household to take passage to London where she meant to work as a seamstress.
What the Newgate Calendar reads as ingratitude, the modern reader might more sympathetically see as the allure of a burgeoning city for a teenager full of dreams.
Dreams may nurture the spirit, but flesh must have bread. Like countless others through time — indeed, like countless other clients of Tyburn — Jenny found metropolis less than convivial to aspirations of honest labor.
Unable to live on her stitching, Jenny found more lucrative employment for her manual dexterity in a sizable gang of thieves — of which her uncovered criminal puissance gave her mastery.
The Newgate Chronicle bursts with almost doting memoirs of her agile fingers, like this one...
(Excerpt) Read more at executedtoday.com ...
Thank tou! I wondered where those names were from.
Jenny Diver was a character in Berthold Brecht’s “ThreePenny Opera”, a German play based on an earlier British play “The Beggar’s Opera”, of whom Mack the Knife was the principle character. One of the songs in the play was “Pirate Jenny”. It’s possible the name for the play came from the historical character, but the Bobby Darin song was referring to the play.
The song also mentions Lucy Brown, another character, and Lotte Lenya, an actress, and IIRC, Brecht’s girlfriend, or maybe songwriter Kurt Weill’s. Lotte Lenya was the Rosa Klebb, the lesbian Russian officer in To Russia with Love.
Lotte was married to Brecht.
What kind of moron would chose to live in the DDR, like Brecht did?
Brecht was a rather weird man and I can't explain WHY he chose to live where he did.
Lotte Lenya lived in the States, from 1935 until her death.
There's a movie, all in German, with Lotte and the cast of the German THREE PENNY OPERA and it's really good!
There's a Brit movie of the original play, THE BEGGARS OPERA, starring Laurence Olivier, that is sometimes shown on TCM.
Very interesting. Bobby Darin died too young from a heart condition as his physicians predicted would happen. He was divorced from actress Sandra Dee and left behind one son.
A true-believing Communist.
Originally (in Threepenny Opera) Jenny Towler. Played by Lotte Lenya.
“Jenny Towler was found with a knife in her chest, and...Mackie knows nothing about any of it.” (trans. Buttons)
Lotte Lenya was married to Weill.
“Pirate Jenny” was a very creepy song. From a very creepy play.
No, she married Weill.
I thought Jennys number was 867-5309.
But, no. She was hooked on a life of crime and high living.
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