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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 6:54 pm 
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Only just become aware of the use of 'Down by the Water' in Paula Hawkins's second thriller (the first was The Girl on the Train, made into a movie), Into the Water, published in 2016. The novel concerns a series of drownings of women in a fictional Northumbrian town and the gradually-revealed connections between them. The site is The Drowning Pool which has been the location of the death of 'troublesome women' over the centuries, a sequence of 'swum' witches, suicides, and murdered wives. On p.220 the closest thing the book has to a protagonist, Jules, sister of the last victim, is staying in the family home she hates to look after Lena, her niece and the victim's teenage daughter:

I collapsed, drifting in and out of dreams until I heard the door go downstairs, Lena’s footsteps on the stairs. I heard her going into her room and turning her music on, loud enough for me to hear a woman singing.

That blue-eyed girl
Said ‘No more,’
That blue-eyed girl
Became blue-eyed whore.

… When I woke again the music was still playing, the same song … I wanted it to stop, was desperate for it to stop … I couldn’t breathe, couldn’t move, but I heard the woman singing still.

Little fish, big fish, swimming in the water –
Come back here, man, gimme my daughter.


Not very likely that a 15-year-old in 2013 would be listening to this, but one can forgive that. The song neatly expresses the central motif of the book, and I wonder how Ms Hawkins came across it. Note that she uses the official version of the lyric, not what Polly actually sings (which would be 'she said "No more" ').


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