April 5, 2009
Aoife O’Donovan Found to Be Witch, Burned Alive By Locals During New England Concert
Rises from flames, sings encore on flying broom
ESSEX COUNTY, MA — An otherwise lovely Crooked Still concert in New England came to an unexpectedly violent end when a mob of angry local men accused lead vocalist Aoife O’Donovan of witchcraft and proceeded to burn her at the stake following a very brief ad hoc trial.
Pandemonium ensued when Ms. O’Donovan rose from her still-burning pyre and flew through the air on a broom, singing a chilling rendition of “Ain’t No Grave Gonna Hold My Body Down” as what remained of the terrified audience ran for the exits.
The indictment against Ms. O’Donovan charged her with the capital felony crimes of “enchanting and destroying Christian men in vast multitudes,” “afflicting them with witchcraft,” and “willfully, nefariously, and repeatedly casting songlike spells of devastating consequence.”
The indictment also included several non-capital counts alleging “shameless and lascivious displays of womanly flesh,” but Ms. O’Donovan was acquitted of those charges following sworn testimony from her bandmates.
“I do solemnly swear that I personally check Aoife’s entire wardrobe before she goes onstage, and never has an outfit been inappropriately revealing,” said Crooked Still banjo player and moral paragon Greg Liszt.
Ms. O’Donovan is also a member of the all-female trio Sometymes Why, whose new CD, Your Heart is a Glorious Machine, contains allusions to witchery and magic within the album’s cover art.
The other members of that group, Kristin Andreassen and Ruth Ungar Merenda, while under general suspicion, have so far not been charged with a crime or burned to death.
Ms. O’Donovan’s maternal lineage traces directly back to Rebecca Nurse, one of the original Salem witches and a character in the Arthur Miller play “The Crucible.”
Throughout her career, Ms. O’Donovan, whose luscious and seductive voice inspired USA Today to call her “the darling of the Americana set”, has frequently led men to ultimate ruination. This practice has aroused suspicion among folk fans in puritanical New England where she lives.
“Why do these guys just repeatedly destroy themselves chasing after Aoife when they know for a fact that it means certain disaster, no matter who you are?” asked Corey DiMario, bassist for Crooked Still and longtime confidante of Ms. O’Donovan.
“Think about it: why would any righteous and upstanding man just cast his whole future into a blazing inferno? She uses witchery and magic against them, and leads them to a hopeless oblivion,” said Tashina Clarridge, an expert in witchcraft who once taught Ms. O’Donovan to speak backwards.
“It is not fair and it is not right. You would basically have to be a warlock, or an elf or some s—t to escape from her spell,” said one anonymous complainant in the case against Ms. O’Donovan.
Ms. O’Donovan, who maintains her innocence, stated bluntly, “Are you f—king kidding me? These allegations are totally unfounded.”