Page 6 of 7 FirstFirst ... 234567 LastLast
Results 126 to 150 of 162

Thread: Murder ballads

  1. #126
    Registered User Randi Gormley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    1,883

    Default Re: Murder ballads

    Steeleye Span had a bunch; what I can think of this sec is the ballad of the three poachers -- they shot two keepers on the way out of the wood "Exile and transportation two brothers they were taken and the other one hung as a token, may God forgive their crimes.'

    I wrote one a long time ago for fun called "Billy Hardesty" after a local mass killer (killed his parents, his dog and a neighbor before wandering into town and had a shootout with police that left him wounded.) We used to get letters occasionally from him from prison.

    Twa Corbies/Three Ravens (depending on the version) could work. (O'er his white bones as they lie bare the wind will blow forever more...)
    --------------------------------
    1920 Lyon & Healy bowlback
    1923 Gibson A-1 snakehead
    1952 Strad-o-lin
    1983 Giannini ABSM1 bandolim
    2009 Giannini GBSM3 bandolim
    2011 Eastman MD305

  2. #127
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    SW Virginia
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: Murder ballads

    "Little Sadie"

    "john Hardy"

    Dwight Yoakam's acoustic version of "Buenos Noches from a Lonely Room"

  3. #128
    Registered User Dobe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: Murder ballads

    3 that pop right up: Cruel Willie : 'stuck him in the belly with a knife' woa! I think it's a pretty old song. Here's a great version:


    Del McCoury- BlackJack County Chain (can't find a full version with Del):


    Nashville BB - Blackbirds & the Crows. Couldn't find them either but here's the tune:


  4. #129
    Studies dead guys. Mandoviol's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Hunched over a desk.
    Posts
    885

    Default Re: Murder ballads

    Frankenpine recorded a bunch of songs about death on their debut album, "The Crooked Mountain." The first is "Texas Outlaw" (all about revenge killings against Union soldiers for killing Confederates after they swore an oath of allegiance to the US), the second, "Never Lie," which is from the point of view of a gunman who has "never lied to [his] guns," and is going to be hung for laying one too many men low. The third is "Over Your Bones," which is more a lament for the loss of the past, but also for those who have been killed (Indians? I'm not sure, but as an archaeology student who just spent a lot of time excavating burials in Turkey, the song has special meaning for me). The fourth is "Eye of the Whale," which is a murder/suicide ballad about a whaling ship; the whale gets murdered, and the captain and his wife both commit suicide, the captain by shooting himself with a musket under the chin, the wife by drowning herself in the whale's domain.

    Mason Brown and Chipper Thompson also recorded a number of old murder/death songs on "Am I Born To Die: An Appalachian Songbook." They are: "Jesse James" (killed by Robert Ford, "the dirty little coward"), "Banks of the Ohio," "Bruton Town" (all about separation of lovers, honor killings, etc.), "God Moves on the Water" (the Titanic disaster), and "The Pesky Sarpent" (boy gets bitten by a venemous snake, girl sucks it out for him, they both die).

    I guess the many recordings of "O, Death" would fall in this category (thinking of Ralph Stanley's, Mavis Staples' (with Darol Anger), and others).

    Also, "Katie Dear" (Louvin Brothers, Solas [as "The Silver Dagger"], Schooner Fare [as "The Butcher Boy"], and the Chieftains), "Knoxville Girl", "Mollie Bawn" (look before you shoot), "The Wind That Shakes The Barley" (as done by Solas), "Mary of the Wild Moor," "Railroad Bill," "Staggerlee"....the list goes on and on.

    Oh, and lest we forget "John Barleycorne (Must Die)." Violent murder of a cereal crop, who still wins in the end.

    Does Silly Wizard's "The Fisherman's Song" count?

    Wah, more come to mind:

    "Good Corn Liquor" by the Steeldrivers (Daddy has to run 'shine to pay for Mom's medicine, the sheriff shoots him down cold).
    "Sticks That Made Thunder" also by the Steeldrivers (Civil War battle, many are killed; from a tree's perspective).
    "John Wilkes Booth" by Tony Rice (Story of Booth, his killing Lincoln, Lincoln's premonitions, the hunting of Booth, the executions of the conspirators).
    "Darling Corey."
    "Omie Wise" (Bruce Molsky has a good version on his fiddling and singing instructional video).
    Last edited by Mandoviol; Jul-28-2011 at 7:09am. Reason: More songs came to mind....
    "When I heard what Socrates had done on the lyre, I wished indeed even [I had done] that...but certainly I labored hard in letters!" - Cicero, "Cato the Elder on Old Age"
    Weber Gallatin Mahogany F
    Late 19th Century Ferrari(?) Bowlback
    No-name, early 20th Century British Mandoline-Banjo
    1960s Harmony Baritone Ukelele
    The Magic Fluke Flea Soprano Ukelele (in 5ths!)
    1910 German Stradivarius 1717 copy, unknown maker
    1890(?) German Stradivarius 1725 copy, G.A. Pfreztschner, maker

  5. #130
    Registered User dcoventry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Salinas, Ca.
    Posts
    1,551

    Default Re: Murder ballads

    The Dead version of the song Stagger Lee is a great update of that story. Robert Hunter did a great job with the lyrics, and Garcia wrote a fine chord progression and melody.

    Stagger Lee
    Shakedown Street
    (Garcia/Hunter)

    Last Updated 02/29/96

    General Rules On Chord Charts

    Intro: [c d e]

    F C Bb F Bb
    1940, Xmas eve, with a full moon over town
    F C Bb F
    Stagger Lee met Billy DeLion
    Bb
    And he blew that poor boy down.
    F C Bb F
    Do you know what he shot him for?
    Bb (a# a g#)
    What do you make of that?
    G
    Cause Billy DeLion threw lucky dice
    A
    Won Stagger Lee's Stetson hat.

    Riff

    C D C D G C G
    Bayou, Bayou, tell me how can this be?
    G C G
    You arrest the girls for turning tricks
    C D C
    But you're scared of Stagger Lee.
    G C G C D
    Stagger Lee is a madman and he shot my Billy D.
    C G C D (C G C D)
    Bayou go get him or give the job to me.

    Delia Deliah, dear sweet Delia-D
    How the hell can I arrest him? He's twice as big as me.
    Well don't ask me to go downtown, I won't come back alive [no more].
    Not only is that mother big he packs a .45 [four].

    Bayou, Delia said, just give me a gun
    He shot my Billy dead now I'm gonna see him hung.
    She went into the DeLion's club through Billy DeLion’s blood
    Stepped up to Stagger Lee at the bar,
    Said, "Buy me a gin fizz, love."

    As Stagger Lee lit a cigarette she shot him in the balls
    Blew the smoke off her revolver, had him dragged to city hall
    Bayou, Bayou, see you hangin’ high
    He shot my Billy dead and now he's got to die.

    Delia went a walking down on Singapore Street
    A three-piece band on the corner played "Near My God to Thee"
    But Delia whistled a different tune, what tune could it be?
    The song that woman sung was "Look Out Stagger Lee".
    The song that Delia sung was "Look Out Stagger Lee".
    2005 Rigel G5 #2196
    2005 Phoenix Jazz #400
    1988 Jeff Traugott Acoustic #4
    2012 Eastman 905 Archtop Guitar, BLOND!

    Remember to grin while you pick, it throws folks off!

  6. #131
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Upstate New York and Washington DC area
    Posts
    16,013
    Blog Entries
    23

    Default Re: Murder ballads

    I would not advise a young woman to date a man named Willy. Sorry Willy, but I am just sayin

    I used to have to review automobile accident reports as part of my job, and I recomended that folks not drive vehicle #2.
    As much as I post, I pick a whole lot more. Just sayin'
    We cannot put off living until we are ready. -- Jose Ortega Y Gasset

    The entire staff
    funny....

  7. #132
    Highly Lonesome Marty Henrickson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Woodstock, AL
    Posts
    955

    Default Re: Murder ballads

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    I would not advise a young woman to date a man named Willy. Sorry Willy, but I am just sayin

    I used to have to review automobile accident reports as part of my job, and I recomended that folks not drive vehicle #2.
    And if you do happen to be driving vehicle #2, and see a fellow named Willie in a vehicle nearby, go ahead and start praying!

    What about "Black Jack Davey"? Does anybody die in that one?
    Gibson Jam Master A-Standard #56
    Martin D-28 Clarence White #103
    Gallagher Doc Watson

    www.instacanv.as/martyhenrickson

  8. #133

    Default Re: Murder ballads

    Rovin' Gambler - Traditional / Bluegrass Classic (Check out Smash Hits of Bluegrass by The Mashville Brigade recorded at The Station Inn.)
    Tragic Life - The Infamous Stringdusters (performed by)

    I took the wife to the International Bluegrass Music Museum on The Banks of The Ohio in Owensboro. She would not "take a little walk."
    I saw Homer & Jethro once. This mandolin therapy isn't helping me get over it.

    '04 Andersen A (for keeps)
    Amateur Gibson F copy (for travel)
    Santa Rosa student model A (for the neighbor kids)

  9. #134
    Studies dead guys. Mandoviol's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Hunched over a desk.
    Posts
    885

    Default Re: Murder ballads

    Found your "Mr. Fox" here.





    This reminds me a bit of an old Scottish ballad called "The Boar and the Fox" that involves a female fox murdering a boar before their wedding day.

    "When I heard what Socrates had done on the lyre, I wished indeed even [I had done] that...but certainly I labored hard in letters!" - Cicero, "Cato the Elder on Old Age"
    Weber Gallatin Mahogany F
    Late 19th Century Ferrari(?) Bowlback
    No-name, early 20th Century British Mandoline-Banjo
    1960s Harmony Baritone Ukelele
    The Magic Fluke Flea Soprano Ukelele (in 5ths!)
    1910 German Stradivarius 1717 copy, unknown maker
    1890(?) German Stradivarius 1725 copy, G.A. Pfreztschner, maker

  10. #135
    Always learning something Mo Soar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Southern Oregon mountains
    Posts
    222

    Default Re: Murder ballads

    Thanks for the list, now I've got around 150 songs to listen to and work through (many of them I already know a version of).

    Add: Paul Thorn "Bull Mountain Bridge" (written by Wild Bill Emerson)

    also, from a Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem album my mother used to play when I was young: "Weela Wallia" (which I think is a variant of The Cruel Mother). Likewise "Butcher Boy" (suicide, not murder) from the same album. In a youtube clip from Pete Seeger's show they mention it's called Tarrytown in the version on this side of the pond.
    1918 Gibson A, "Lillian";
    1940s (?) Kay A style f hole - currently down for a refret and fretboard re-profile, my first attempts (with guidance) at lutherie.
    1981 Washburn M7SN (2 point);
    2011 Eastman 504, "Belle";
    2012 Lafferty mahogany octave mandolin;
    2012 Emando (Saga), "Hank"

    1 husband, 2 dogs, 4 chickens.

  11. #136

    Default Re: Murder ballads

    Katy Dear, AKA Silver Dagger - Worth mentioning several times. Dolly Parton and Old Crow Medicine Show have great versions.

    Little Omie Wise by Doc (First song of his that I learned way back in junior High)

    Pretty Peggy O, AKA Fennario as done by the Grateful Dead - Not strictly a murder ballad but someone dies and it sure is sad enough. They do a great instrumental version of it on the outtakes from Terrapin Station

    Bob Dylan's Lonesome Hattie Caroll. Mason Jennings did a great version for the movie, I'm Not There,( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5w9QkzFj9A )

  12. #137
    Registered User dcoventry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Salinas, Ca.
    Posts
    1,551

    Default Re: Murder ballads

    Bob Dylan's Ballad of Hollis Brown has been in rotation recently. The Neville Bros. did a nice updates version.
    2005 Rigel G5 #2196
    2005 Phoenix Jazz #400
    1988 Jeff Traugott Acoustic #4
    2012 Eastman 905 Archtop Guitar, BLOND!

    Remember to grin while you pick, it throws folks off!

  13. #138
    Registered User Dobes2TBK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Murder ballads

    http://www.whoozon1st.com/web-snippe...on-5-18-12.mp3

    Local version done of Preston Miller
    Connie

    Wahoo Creek Mountain Dulcimer
    Mid-Mo M-0, Weber Sweet Pea, Strad-O-Lin A-style, Kay-style reverse cutaway
    Oscar Schmidt OS-21C Autoharp
    Savannah 5-string banjo
    Harpsicle

  14. #139
    Registered User dang's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Omaha, NE
    Posts
    545

    Default Re: Murder ballads

    Nice old thread. I have a live show from Tim O'brien, Tony Rice, Jerry Douglas (and others) from 6/27/98 where it is (almost) an all murder ballad set. One of my all time favorites!
    I should be pickin' rather than postin'

  15. #140
    Registered User belbein's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    1,777

    Default Re: Murder ballads

    What about "Frankie and Johnny"?

    And as long as we're going pop, "Bad Bad Leroy Brown." Which would be cool klayzmerized.

  16. #141
    Registered User belbein's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    1,777

    Default Re: Murder ballads

    Shot his DOG? The man deserves no mercy.

  17. #142
    Registered User stratton7584's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    west virginia
    Posts
    158
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Murder ballads

    " In The Gravel Yard"
    _____________________________
    Auburn mandolin (Hand carved in W.V.)
    Kentucky KM 675
    Blue Chip Picks
    Tone Gard

  18. #143
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Mars Hill, NC
    Posts
    1,864

    Default Re: Murder ballads

    I think The Red Headed Stranger by Willie Nelson deserves at least a second mention in this thread, it being a murder ballad concept album.

    "It was the time of the preacher ..."
    Last edited by Michael H Geimer; Jun-29-2012 at 9:10am.

  19. #144
    Registered User Kheath's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    45

    Default Re: Murder ballads

    Acoustic Dwight Yoakum " Buenos Noches From a Lonely Room"
    I searched til I found them, then I cursed at the sight
    Of their sleeping shadows in the cold neon light
    In the dark morning silence I placed the gun to her head
    She wore red dresses, but now she lay dead


    Doesnt get any more murderish than that. Another I like, altho murder is the back story, is " Billy Austin" by Steve Earle, about a death row inmate moments from execution.................Kevin

  20. #145
    Always learning something Mo Soar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Southern Oregon mountains
    Posts
    222

    Default Re: Murder ballads

    Quote Originally Posted by belbein View Post
    What about "Frankie and Johnny"?
    This one has been fun to research because there are so many versions easily available, between youtube and itunes and spotify and general internet searches, I think I have around 20 distinctly different versions that I've listened to. I've always found the transformations and adaptation of music as it travels around fascinating.
    1918 Gibson A, "Lillian";
    1940s (?) Kay A style f hole - currently down for a refret and fretboard re-profile, my first attempts (with guidance) at lutherie.
    1981 Washburn M7SN (2 point);
    2011 Eastman 504, "Belle";
    2012 Lafferty mahogany octave mandolin;
    2012 Emando (Saga), "Hank"

    1 husband, 2 dogs, 4 chickens.

  21. #146
    Registered User Dobes2TBK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Murder ballads

    couple I found that were kinda chilling,

    Cruel Brother - robber comes upon three sisters, will you marry me or die by my pen knife? he kills the first two, third one says you wouldn' do that if my brothers were here - well longer story short - the robber's one of the brothers.

    The Boy that Burned in the Berryville Jail - robber jailed, jail catches on fire, jailer ignores his cries...


    (nope, not walkin' by no river bank with no boy named Willie"
    Connie

    Wahoo Creek Mountain Dulcimer
    Mid-Mo M-0, Weber Sweet Pea, Strad-O-Lin A-style, Kay-style reverse cutaway
    Oscar Schmidt OS-21C Autoharp
    Savannah 5-string banjo
    Harpsicle

  22. #147
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    134

    Default Re: Murder ballads

    There's Planxty's "Little Musgrave" (The next stroke Lord Barnard struck, Little Musgrave ne'er struck more).

    Norman Blake's "Billy Gray" is a keeper (Planxty did it as "True Love Knows No Season").

    The afore-mentioned "Weela Waile" (both a gruesome murder ballad AND a children's song in Dublin) and, my personal favourite, "The Maid Of Cabra West" (he gave out many an oath and curse 'til he was dead I'm sure, then I lifted up the manhole lid and I dropped him down the sewer).

    Give me a murder ballad over "moon, june, croon" any day of the week.

    Paul

  23. #148
    Always learning something Mo Soar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Southern Oregon mountains
    Posts
    222

    Default Re: Murder ballads

    Quote Originally Posted by citeog View Post
    The afore-mentioned "Weela Waile" (both a gruesome murder ballad AND a children's song in Dublin)
    Imagine, if you will, a little American girl going to half-day kindergarten and singing her favorite song for the teacher, who was appalled. It didn't even get a note home, the teacher marched the two blocks from the school to my house to confront my mother for playing such disreputable music to a child.
    1918 Gibson A, "Lillian";
    1940s (?) Kay A style f hole - currently down for a refret and fretboard re-profile, my first attempts (with guidance) at lutherie.
    1981 Washburn M7SN (2 point);
    2011 Eastman 504, "Belle";
    2012 Lafferty mahogany octave mandolin;
    2012 Emando (Saga), "Hank"

    1 husband, 2 dogs, 4 chickens.

  24. #149
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    214

    Default Re: Murder ballads

    "Ballad Of A Teenage Queen" He was gonna' do it but she beat him to it.


    Tom

  25. #150
    Long , Strange Trip Jim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    BonCarbo CO.
    Posts
    2,074

    Default Re: Murder ballads

    Dan Fogelburg had a good one in the early 80s called Tucson Az. A little slow as he recorded it but I think it would Bluegrass nice and tells a good ( ie terrible) story,
    Jim Richmond

Similar Threads

  1. Mandolin murder mystery
    By Skanderbeg in forum General Mandolin Discussions
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: Nov-22-2007, 10:24pm
  2. Murder ballads and medicine shows
    By lgc in forum General Mandolin Discussions
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: Aug-30-2007, 8:53pm

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •