Lizzie Andrew Borden (19 July, 1860 – 1 June, 1927) was an American woman who gained infamy for being tried and acquitted for the 1892 axe murders of her father and stepmother in Fall River, Massachusetts.
The case was memorialised in a popular skipping-rope rhyme sung to the tune of the then-popular song Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay.
- Lizzie Borden took an axe
- And gave her mother forty whacks.
- When she saw what she had done,
- She gave her father forty-one.
Folklore says that the rhyme was made up by an anonymous writer as a tune to sell newspapers. Others attribute it to the ubiquitous, but anonymous, “Mother Goose”.
In reality, Lizzie’s stepmother suffered 18 or 19 blows; her father suffered 11 blows.