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contemporary murder ballads

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TinaP 10 Apr 06 - 04:16 PM
GUEST 10 Apr 06 - 07:51 PM
Big Al Whittle 11 Apr 06 - 01:59 AM
SINSULL 11 Apr 06 - 10:30 PM
Gene 11 Apr 06 - 11:00 PM
DannyC 11 Apr 06 - 11:04 PM
Scoville 11 Apr 06 - 11:31 PM
Dave'sWife 12 Apr 06 - 12:46 AM
GUEST,willow 12 Apr 06 - 03:50 PM
Windsinger 12 Apr 06 - 04:01 PM
Fibula Mattock 12 Apr 06 - 04:07 PM
GUEST,Willow 12 Apr 06 - 05:46 PM
TinaP 12 Apr 06 - 07:41 PM
Stilly River Sage 12 Apr 06 - 10:17 PM
Scoville 12 Apr 06 - 11:33 PM
Scoville 12 Apr 06 - 11:47 PM
Willow 13 Apr 06 - 12:54 PM
Rain Dog 14 Apr 06 - 05:30 AM
Susanne (skw) 16 Apr 06 - 07:25 PM
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Subject: contemporary murder ballads
From: TinaP
Date: 10 Apr 06 - 04:16 PM

So how many of you out there are Nick Cave fans? On the Ute Lemper album, "Punishing Kiss", she sings one of his tunes describing the feelings of the victim in a murder ballad.....her hair full of silvery bubbles as she drowns. It is quite chilling. http://www.culturevulture.net/Books/Lemper.htm
Nick Cave is not the only current singer/group putting out albums with new or traditional murder ballads. There is also Mick Harris & Martyn Bates, and the Handsome Family. I would like to open a discussion of these and other "revival" folks. What do you think? TinaP


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Subject: RE: contemporary murder ballads
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Apr 06 - 07:51 PM

A Scotsman called Alasdair Roberts put out an album of death-themed traditional ballads (not all murder ballads) last year called 'No Earthly Man'.


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Subject: RE: contemporary murder ballads
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 11 Apr 06 - 01:59 AM

Here is one of my songs on the subject of George Joseph Smith, the brides in the Bath murderer, hanged 1916 or thereabouts

http://www.wovenwheatwhispers.co.uk/Demos/Big_Al/01%20Track%2001.mp3


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Subject: RE: contemporary murder ballads
From: SINSULL
Date: 11 Apr 06 - 10:30 PM

InObu's tribute to Amadou Diallo is brilliant.


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Subject: RE: contemporary murder ballads
From: Gene
Date: 11 Apr 06 - 11:00 PM

this is my all time favorite...really hits home

Nobody saw him running from 16th avenue.
They never found the fingerprint or the weapon that was used.
But someone killed country music, cut out its heart and soul.
They got away with murder down on music row.

The almighty dollar and the lust for worldwide fame
Slowly killed tradition and for that someone should hang
(oh, you tell them Alan).
They all say not guilty, but the evidence will show
That murder was committed down on music row.

[chorus]
For the steel guitars no longer cry and fiddles barely play,
But drums and rock 'n roll guitars are mixed right up in your face.
Old Hank wouldn't have a chance on today's radio
Since they committed murder down on music row.

They thought no one would miss it, once it was dead and gone
They said no one would buy them old drinking and cheating songs
(I'll still buy 'em)
Well there ain't no justice in it and the hard facts are cold
Murder's been committed down on music row.

[chorus]
Oh, the steel guitars no longer cry and you can't hear fiddles play
With drums and rock 'n roll guitars mixed right up in your face
Why, the Hag, he wouldn't have a chance on today's radio
Since they committed murder down on music row
Why, they even tell the Possum to pack up and go back home
There's been an awful murder down on music row


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Subject: RE: contemporary murder ballads
From: DannyC
Date: 11 Apr 06 - 11:04 PM

Didn't Fairport Convention devote a substantial portion of an LP to the stories around Babacombe (sp?) Lee?


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Subject: RE: contemporary murder ballads
From: Scoville
Date: 11 Apr 06 - 11:31 PM

Not that I need to tell any of you Brits this, but there's "Go Down, You Murderers" by Ewan MacColl, about the wrongful hanging of Tim Evans in 1950. Not exactly contemporary, but more contemporary than "Pretty Polly" or the one about William Corder.


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Subject: RE: contemporary murder ballads
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 12 Apr 06 - 12:46 AM

Bruce Springsteen may not be known for Murder ballads but he does seem to write them and record them frequently. The starkness of the story is often masked by a very lovely melody or a ctachy tune. My favorties are:

Nebraska - about Charlie Starweather and Carol Ann Fugate's Murder Spree (the subject of the film THE BADLANDS)

Johnny 99 - someone actually adapted this for film. it's about an out of work fellow who kills a cop and gets 99 years. John Hiatt and Steve Earle have both recorded great covers of this.


Rockaway The Days - a lively beat and nice strumming pattern disguises a tragic story of a parolee who finds love who tries to go straight but winds up killing a guy with a razor in a fight. This is one of Springteen's "Mary' songs. The narrator is relating the story to the familiar Springsteen character, Mary, who is often referred to on his albums. Most notably, she is the wife of the narrator of the song 'The River."

From Small Things Mamma, Big Things One Day Come - another lively murder ballad and love story combined. Dave Edmonds covered this nicely.

There's plenty more, but those are my favorites of his.


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Subject: RE: contemporary murder ballads
From: GUEST,willow
Date: 12 Apr 06 - 03:50 PM

The ever wonderful Martin Stephenson wrote a song called "Running Water"in the 80's about an old man who died of a heart attack during a robbery. The protagonist was put away for manslaughter.It's a great song - does any have any more info on the incident?


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Subject: RE: contemporary murder ballads
From: Windsinger
Date: 12 Apr 06 - 04:01 PM

Kind of surprised that no one's mentioned "The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia" -- made a hit by Vicki Lawrence in '73, Words and Music by her husband, Bobby Russell, remade in the 90's by Reba Mcentire.

"The Thunder Rolls" by Garth Brooks also comes to mind. (I understand the third verse isn't always played; but it does clearly foretells what's about to happen to the cheating husband.)

Slán,

~Fionn

www.geocities.com/children_of_lir


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Subject: RE: contemporary murder ballads
From: Fibula Mattock
Date: 12 Apr 06 - 04:07 PM

Bob Mould's indie/grunge band Sugar had a song called "A Good Idea" which is certainly dark enough to fit the bill.


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Subject: RE: contemporary murder ballads
From: GUEST,Willow
Date: 12 Apr 06 - 05:46 PM

Former Miracle Legion frontman did 'Apartment Murders' on his solo debut, 'Fathering' though I'm not sure if this documents any real events or not.
'Ghost on the highway' by The Gun Club fronted by the late Jeffrey Lee Pierce on the 1980 debut 'Fire of Love'.


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Subject: RE: contemporary murder ballads
From: TinaP
Date: 12 Apr 06 - 07:41 PM

Whoops, the url isn't clickable....here's a fix http://www.culturevulture.net/Books/Lemper.htm
On the Ute Lemper album, "Punishing Kiss", she sings one of his tunes describing the feelings of the victim in a murder ballad.....her hair full of silvery bubbles as she drowns. It is quite chilling.


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Subject: RE: contemporary murder ballads
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 12 Apr 06 - 10:17 PM

I suspect that there are trends to follow when looking for murder ballads. There are lots of real and imagined stories in older songs, and there are a few modern reports of murder like Bob Dylan's "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll" (more info here). I don't listen to rapper music (unless it is vibrating through my pickup at a traffic light, coming via a nearby vehicle with a cranked up sound system), but there is a lot of violence in it and I would hazard a guess that you will find occasional accounts of murder there.

SRS


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Subject: RE: contemporary murder ballads
From: Scoville
Date: 12 Apr 06 - 11:33 PM

The Dixie Chicks one about Earl.

And the Weary Boys do one called "Can't Finger Me" which is pretty much about a serial killer.


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Subject: RE: contemporary murder ballads
From: Scoville
Date: 12 Apr 06 - 11:47 PM

Oh, and most of Johnny Cash's repertoire, now that I think about it. I guess a lot of that was borrowed from older stuff.


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Subject: RE: contemporary murder ballads
From: Willow
Date: 13 Apr 06 - 12:54 PM

I'd say that Westlife and Boyzone have murdered a few ballads between 'em...


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Subject: RE: contemporary murder ballads
From: Rain Dog
Date: 14 Apr 06 - 05:30 AM

Camille O'Sullivan also does a version of the Nick Cave song Little Water Music. I think it is very good
Camille O'Sullivan


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Subject: RE: contemporary murder ballads
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 16 Apr 06 - 07:25 PM

Not exactly ballads, but commemorating famous (or infamous) murders:

Only A Pawn In Their Game

Montreal, December '89

I Don't Like Mondays

The Ludlow Massacre

Hawks and Eagles Fly Like Doves


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