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Songs about bad men (or women)

PHJim 16 Nov 22 - 05:12 PM
GUEST,henryp 16 Nov 22 - 06:28 PM
GUEST,henryp 16 Nov 22 - 06:34 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 16 Nov 22 - 07:04 PM
GerryM 16 Nov 22 - 09:20 PM
Richard Mellish 17 Nov 22 - 09:33 AM
GUEST,gillymor 17 Nov 22 - 10:19 AM
gillymor 17 Nov 22 - 03:34 PM
oldhippie 17 Nov 22 - 09:03 PM
leeneia 18 Nov 22 - 01:07 PM
Felipa 18 Nov 22 - 04:02 PM
Big Al Whittle 18 Nov 22 - 06:04 PM
gillymor 18 Nov 22 - 08:00 PM
Phil Cooper 21 Nov 22 - 06:39 AM
gillymor 21 Nov 22 - 08:45 AM
oldhippie 21 Nov 22 - 04:39 PM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 22 Nov 22 - 05:10 AM
GUEST,James Phillips 22 Nov 22 - 12:53 PM
GUEST 25 Nov 22 - 09:56 AM
Joe_F 25 Nov 22 - 05:50 PM
Steve Shaw 26 Nov 22 - 01:03 PM
Stewie 26 Nov 22 - 10:26 PM
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Subject: Songs about bad men (or women)
From: PHJim
Date: 16 Nov 22 - 05:12 PM

I am looking for songs about people who display moral turpitude.

For example:
-Little Sadie
-Tennessee Waltz
-Louisville Burglar
-Such A Night

Murdering someone is definitely bad. Burgaling is also bad, but stealing a friend's woman is also a bad thing to do.


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Subject: RE: Songs about bad men (or women)
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 16 Nov 22 - 06:28 PM

The cruel murder ballad Pretty Polly is a shortened version of The Cruel Ship's Carpenter / The Gosport Tragedy (Laws P36A). Although no clear line between both ballads can be drawn, the Traditional Ballad Index tends to call the piece The Cruel Ship's Carpenter if it includes the ghost and Pretty Polly if it doesn't.

“Polly, pretty Polly, come go along with me,
Polly, pretty Polly, come go along with me,
Before we get married some pleasure to see.”

Thanks to Mainly Norfolk.


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Subject: RE: Songs about bad men (or women)
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 16 Nov 22 - 06:34 PM

Bad, Bad Leroy Brown by Jim Croce

And he's bad, bad Leroy Brown
The baddest man in the whole damn town
Badder than old King Kong
And meaner than a junkyard dog


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Subject: RE: Songs about bad men (or women)
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 16 Nov 22 - 07:04 PM

Songs about outlaws, gunfighters, bad guys
Favorite Badman Ballads
Favorite Badman Ballads II

Origins: Delia / Delia's Gone


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Subject: RE: Songs about bad men (or women)
From: GerryM
Date: 16 Nov 22 - 09:20 PM

Wouldn't about 90% of the Child Ballads qualify? (and the other 10% feature the Devil)


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Subject: RE: Songs about bad men (or women)
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 17 Nov 22 - 09:33 AM

And all those "last goodnight" broadsides concerning highwaymen and other such baddies.


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Subject: RE: Songs about bad men (or women)
From: GUEST,gillymor
Date: 17 Nov 22 - 10:19 AM

BILLY THE KID

I'll sing you a true song of Billy the Kid,
I'll sing of the desperate deeds that he did,
Way out in New Mexico, long long ago
When a man's only chance was his own 44.

When Billy the Kid was a very young lad
In the old Silver City he went to the bad
Way out in the West with a gun in his hand
At the age of twelve years he first killed his man.

Fair Mexican maidens play guitars and sing
A song about Billy, the boy bandit king
How ere his young manhood had reached its sad end
He'd a notch on his pistol for twenty-one men.

'Twas on the same night when poor Billy died
He said to his friends: "I am not satisfied.
There are twenty-one men I have put bullets through
And sheriff Pat Garrett must make twenty-two."

Now this is how Billy the Kid met his fate,
The bright moon was shining, the hour was late
Shot down by Pat Garrett, who once was his friend
The young outlaw's life had now come to its end.

There's many a man with a face fine and fair
Who starts out in life with a chance to be square,
But just like poor Billy he wanders astray
And loses his life in the very same way.

This is one of my favorite outlaw songs, particularly the way Ry Cooder recorded it. Cooder altered the lyrics slightly, and for the better, IMO, and left out the last verse, also for the better.


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Subject: RE: Songs about bad men (or women)
From: gillymor
Date: 17 Nov 22 - 03:34 PM

Me and My Uncle, written by John Phillips. The Grateful Dead did my favorite cover.


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Subject: RE: Songs about bad men (or women)
From: oldhippie
Date: 17 Nov 22 - 09:03 PM

Step It Out, Nancy - by Robin & Linda Williams, covered by Holly Near....."On the Sunday came the wedding, the town folks gathered at noon,
They saw Nancy pull the pistol and shoot down that wealthy groom.
Step it out Nancy, pretty darlin',...."


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Subject: RE: Songs about bad men (or women)
From: leeneia
Date: 18 Nov 22 - 01:07 PM

A song on the radio in the 1950s - Stago Lee or Stagger Lee

Hang down your head Tom Dooley

The Lily of the West


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Subject: RE: Songs about bad men (or women)
From: Felipa
Date: 18 Nov 22 - 04:02 PM

I thought first, as Leenia did, of "That bad man
Cruel Stagolee," as the song specifically describes Stagolee as a bad man. Another spelling is Stackerlee.


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Subject: RE: Songs about bad men (or women)
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 18 Nov 22 - 06:04 PM

My own humble attempt at a murder ballad. A homage to George Joseph Smith, hanged in 1915.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aylgH0nYgas


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Subject: RE: Songs about bad men (or women)
From: gillymor
Date: 18 Nov 22 - 08:00 PM

Missippi John Hurt called him "Stack O'Lee".


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Subject: RE: Songs about bad men (or women)
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 21 Nov 22 - 06:39 AM

My wife, Susan Urban, wrote a song about a "bad woman" titled Anna & Tim. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nAkfngNHd4A


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Subject: RE: Songs about bad men (or women)
From: gillymor
Date: 21 Nov 22 - 08:45 AM

Then there's James and Red Molly from Richard Thompson's "1952 Vincent Black Lightning".


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Subject: RE: Songs about bad men (or women)
From: oldhippie
Date: 21 Nov 22 - 04:39 PM

"The Badmen" compilation LPs

https://www.discogs.com/release/4698695-Various-The-Badmen


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Subject: RE: Songs about bad men (or women)
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 22 Nov 22 - 05:10 AM

Liberty Valance was a pretty bad man, as played by Lee Marvin in the 1961 film about the man who shot him...... pity the song hadn't been written by then


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Subject: RE: Songs about bad men (or women)
From: GUEST,James Phillips
Date: 22 Nov 22 - 12:53 PM

Hanged I Shall Be. Just pure unadulterated evil with no motive given. Albion Country Band did a great version with Martin Carthy. Interestingly, Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer adopted the ACB version for their hilarious "Singalongasong" series on YouTube.


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Subject: RE: Songs about bad men (or women)
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Nov 22 - 09:56 AM

For the ladies...Hard Hearted Hannah

In old Savannah, I said Savannah
The weather there is nice and warm
The climate's of a Southern brand
But here's what I don't understand

They got a gal there, a pretty gal there
Who's colder than an arctic storm
Got a heart just like a stone
Even ice men leave her alone.

They call her Hard-hearted Hannah,
The Vamp of Savannah
The meanest gal in town
Leather is tough, but Hannah's heart is tougher
She's a gal who loves to see men suffer

To tease them and thrill them, to torture and kill them
Is her delight, they say
I saw her at the seashore with a great big pan
There was Hannah, pouring water on a drowning man
She's hard-hearted Hannah
The Vamp of Savannah, GA

They call her hard-hearted Hannah,
The Vamp of Savannah
The meanest gal in town
Talk of your cold, refrigerating mamas;
Brother, she's the polar bear's pajamas

To tease them and thrill them, to torture and kill them
Is her delight, they say
An evening spent with Hannah sitting on your knees
Is like traveling through Alaska in your BVD’s

She's hard-hearted Hannah
The Vamp of Savannah, GA
Can you imagine a woman as cold as Hannah?
She's got the right name, the Vamp of Savannah
Anytime a woman can take a great big pan
Start pouring water on a drowning man
She's hard-hearted Hannah, the Vamp of Savannah, GA


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Subject: RE: Songs about bad men (or women)
From: Joe_F
Date: 25 Nov 22 - 05:50 PM

This story only goes to show
That there ain't no good in men.


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Subject: RE: Songs about bad men (or women)
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Nov 22 - 01:03 PM

Well Pretty Boy Floyd was quite a naughty boy, though Woody's song painted him as more of a Robin Hood figure...


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Subject: RE: Songs about bad men (or women)
From: Stewie
Date: 26 Nov 22 - 10:26 PM

I am pleased to have added all the Lomax southern journey albums to my collection many years ago. The prices on Amazon for these are now mind-boggling. For example, the price that someone is asking for 'Bad Man Ballads' is $A202! Fortunately, this fine album may still be had via Discogs for almost next to nothing.

Bad Man Ballads

--Stewie.


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