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Music / To Keep My Love Alive

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♩Yet remember those sweet words, "Till Death Do Us Part"♩
From the intro to the song.

To Keep My Love Alive is a 1943 Murder Ballad with music by Richard Rodgers of Rogers and Hammerstein fame and lyrics by his former partner Lorenz Hart about a woman who's had at least 15 husbands, but was never untrue to any of them—because she's killed every single one.


This song was true to the following tropes:

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  • Asshole Victim: A few of the deceased, especially the murderous Sir Atherton.
  • Black Humour: It's a happy little ditty about murdering husbands.
  • Black Widow: The narrator.
  • Cain and Abel: Sir Atherton murdered his brothers as well as his father. And then his wife did him in.
  • The Coroner Doth Protest Too Much: Really, Sir James died of angina pectoris! Honest!
  • Deadly Doctor: What the narrator was to Sir Charles.
  • Deadly Euphemism: Many, which is the source of much the song's humour.
  • Hunting "Accident": Sir Alfred (who enjoyed hunting) was sent on a hunting trip. His fate's mentioned below.
  • Improvised Weapon: Sir Philip's harp and Sir Philip's skull—she used the latter to bust the former; the former to bash in the latter.
  • Killed Offscreen: Exactly what she did to Sirs George, James, Frank, Alfred, Peter, Ethelburg, and Marc is never actually stated.
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  • Lyrical Dissonance: Has husband-murdering ever been set to such a light, bouncey tune?
  • Murder Ballad: Specifically, a Black Widow Ballad.
  • Never Found the Body: The song says of Sir Alfred "They're hunting for him still".
  • Off with His Head!: The fate of Sir Marmaduke.
  • One Head Taller: Sir Marmaduke was actually too tall for the bed—until his wife fixed that (see above).
  • Patricide: Sir Atherton (as mentioned under Cain and Abel)
  • Really Gets Around: Sir Peter and the girls he collected. Also, Sir George. And, arguably, the narrator.
  • Rhyming with Itself: A few stanzas have the third last word changing, with the last two the same. Examples: "ton/none/one of them", "cussed/bust/just the thing", "dish/wish/fish he ate". Why this works 
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  • Sir Swears Alot: Sir Ethelburg, much to his wife's displeasure.
  • Slipping a Mickey: What she did with Sir Frank and his girlfriends.
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: Several times: gave Sir Charles a deadly dose, slipped a mickey to Sir Frank and his ladies, and did... something... to Sir Curtis's fish
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