Favorite murder ballads

  • Favorite murder ballads

    Got a favorite murder ballad? Share it here. I'll start…

    I've always been kinda partial to Stagger Lee / Stack O'Lee (particularly the Nick Cave and Mississippi John Hurt versions, although there are countless others)

    And… Country Death Song by the Violent Femmes is still a favorite tune from my misspent youth...

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  • NOBODY knows any good murder ballads? Seriously?


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  • all of Nick Cave's "Murder Ballads" album... every death-riddled song on there is pretty much chilling and amazing... I'm particularly creeped out by "Song of Joy".

    Also, Johnny Cash's "Delia's Gone" is eery.

  • Christian Williams "The Sad Song Of Sequin Island"
    Slim Cessna's Auto Club "This Is How We Do Things In The Country"

    and Nick Cave's "Stagger Lee" for sure.

  • Miller's Cave by many, but especially by International Submarine Band

  • Long Black Veil by anyone.

  • Great suggestions - all. Delia's Gone is a classic - and of course the Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds album.

    A group member also suggested the entire World Without End album. Obscure but full of creepy gems.

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  • Knoxville Girl by Louvin Brothers

    I met a liitle girl in Knoxville, a town we all know well,
    And every Sunday evening, out in her home I'd dwell,
    We went to take an evening walk about a mile from town,
    I picked a stick up off the ground and knocked that fair girl down.

    She fell down on her bended knees for mercy she did cry,
    Oh Willy dear don't kill me here, I'm unprepared to die,
    She never spoke another word, I only beat her more,
    Until the ground around me within her blood did flow.

    I took her by her golden curls and I drug her round and around,
    Throwing her into the river that flows through Knoxville town,
    Go down, go down, you Knoxville girl with the dark and rolling eyes,
    Go down, go down, you Knoxville girl, you can never be my bride.

    I started back to Knoxville, got there about midnight,
    My Mother she was worried and woke up in a fright,
    Saying "Dear son, what have you done to bloody your clothes so?"
    I told my anxious Mother, I was bleeding at my nose.

    I called for me a candle to light myself to bed,
    I called for me a hankerchief to bind my aching head,
    Rolled and tumbled the whole night throught, as troubles was for me,
    Like flames of hell around my bed and in my eyes could see.

    They carried me down to Knoxville and put me in a cell,
    My friends all tried to get me out but none could go my bail,
    I'm here to waste my life away down in this dirty old jail,
    Because I murdered that Knoxville girl, the girl I loved so well.

    • Saveall disse...
    • Usuário
    • Nov 25 2009, 23h08

    What A Pity - The Stone Coyotes

    All good ones above! Here's one by a band anyone in this group should love. Based on a true case from rural New England:


    • Saveall disse...
    • Usuário
    • Nov 25 2009, 23h11

    Where the Old Oak Grows - The Stone Coyotes

    • epi_gee disse...
    • Usuário
    • Jan 12 2010, 21h30

    stagger lee... and other murder ballads !

    I've been collecting versions of Stagger Lee since 1992. I owned 100+ different versions at one point, but the tapes were stolen. Since then i've collected about 20-30 back on cd/digital file. Other than "Harlem Nocturne", its the only song I collect versions/covers of. I need to track down the original recording of it ... Frank Huchensen (1927) ...

    I have a lot of murder ballad selections for you, but i will have to pull up my "murder ballads" playlist. The one that comes to mind right now is "Little Sadie" by Doc Watson and Clarence Ashley... the song was re-hashed by Johnny Cash as "cocaine blues" and then re-hashed again by George Therogood again as "cocaine blues"... I really like his version as well. Each one has slightly different lyrics... but i have a speacial love for the Doc Watson version.

    Another mention is Tom Dooley... a song written by a distant cousin of mine: Gilliam Bannom Grayson . he was a blind fiddler, and nephew to Col. James William Moore Grayson. The man that was responsible for arresting Tom Dooley (Thomas Dula) and bringing him to "justice" . The Kingston Trio made the song a huge hit in 1959.

    more to come.


  • Johnny Cash - Cocaine blues

    Its an upbeat murder ballad , "your the dirty hack that shot your woman down", just great.

    Dan Cocaine Blues

  • Pretty Polly by anyone

    • epi_gee disse...
    • Usuário
    • Jan 23 2010, 5h30


    some others ...

    I'm gonna Murder My Baby by Pat Hare
    Rocky Raccoon by The Beatles

    Willow Garden - Slim Cessna's Auto Club
    Frankie - Mississippi John Hurt
    Frankie and Johnny - Jimmie Rodgers
    JOHN BARLEY CORN - Traffic !
    Down by the River - neil Young
    Hey Joe - Jimi Hendrix and others

    and ..not really "ballads"

    but ..

    Glassphyxie - Die Form
    I Love You, I Kill You - Enigma
    Jim Gordon - M.O.D. !!! hehehe .. yeah !

    I've got hundreds more where those came from ..


    • [Usuário excluído] disse...
    • Usuário
    • Mai 7 2010, 5h24
    I have a weakness for the Johnny Cash version of "Down by the Banks of the Ohio". It's on the first album of Unearthed.

  • There's also a Nick Cave cover of the aforementioned "Knoxville Girl" on his B-Sides and Rarities album.

    Warren Zevon's "A Bullet for Ramona" (from his obscure 1st album) & The Birthday Party's "Deep in the Woods" are a couple of my favorites.

  • The Whistler - The White Buffalo

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