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Old 05-29-2019, 08:51 PM
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Songs where narrator dies


The end of Marty Robbin's song El Paso always seemed a little odd to me.


I see the white puff of smoke from the rifle,
I feel the bullet go deep in my chest.
From out of nowhere, Felina has found me,
Kissing my cheek as she kneels by my side.
Cradled by two loving arms that I'll die for,
One little kiss and Felina good-bye.


Are there other songs where a first person narrator describes their own death?
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Old 05-29-2019, 09:00 PM
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I Hung my Head

And he'd come to fetch me
To see what they'd done
And we'll ride together
To kingdom come
I prayed for God's mercy
'Cause soon I'd be dead
I hung my head
I hung my head
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Old 05-29-2019, 09:01 PM
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(Have You Heard the News) Dewey Cox Died
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Old 05-29-2019, 09:02 PM
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In The Long Black Veil the narrator is already dead.

She walks these hills in a long black veil
She visits my grave when the night winds wail
Nobody knows, nobody sees
Nobody knows but me
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Old 05-29-2019, 09:04 PM
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Terry Jacks- Seasons In The Sun
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Old 05-29-2019, 09:07 PM
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The Unquiet Grave, perhaps, in one of its many variations.
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Old 05-29-2019, 09:10 PM
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John Cash--25 Minutes To Go

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxvR7ZUjaJk
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Old 05-29-2019, 09:11 PM
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Green, Green Grass Of Home.
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Old 05-29-2019, 09:13 PM
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Ry Cooder's The Girls From Texas

Quote:
In tearful supplication, she looked up in my face
I could feel her heart was breaking as these sad words she did say
"You should have told me you was married, baby
As she pulled out a forty-five and let me have it, right smack between the eyes

That's the way the girls are from Texas
That's the way the girls are from Texas
That's the way the girls are from Texas

She was guilty, I was dead!
Now, what'd you think that the old judge said ?
"Ah, that's just the way the girls are down here in Texas
Case dismissed!"
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Old 05-29-2019, 09:17 PM
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Bob Dylan's Romance in Durango.

Quote:
Was that the thunder that I heard?
My head is vibrating, I feel a sharp pain
Come sit by me, don't say a word
Oh, can it be that I am slain?

Quick, Magdalena, take my gun
Look up in the hills, that flash of light
Aim well my little one
We may not make it through the night
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Old 05-29-2019, 09:20 PM
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Bloodrock: DOA

I remember
We were flying along and hit something in the air
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Old 05-29-2019, 09:34 PM
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KISS - Detroit Rock City

Twelve o'clock, I gotta rock
There's a truck ahead, lights starin' at my eyes
Oh my God, no time to turn
I got to laugh 'cause I know I'm gonna die
Why
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Old 05-29-2019, 09:34 PM
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On a lighter note, Shel Silverstein's "I'm Being Swallowed by a Boa Constrictor".

And there's a song I heard once called "Double-Wide Grave", about a husband who misses his widow, and it's getting awfully lonely in that grave. But I don't know who the original artist was, and Google isn't helping much.
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Old 05-29-2019, 09:37 PM
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Hangman
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Old 05-29-2019, 09:41 PM
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The “Oh God, I’m dead” verse toward the end of Godspell (sung by Jesus).
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Old 05-29-2019, 09:42 PM
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Powderfinger

Last edited by Dale Sams; 05-29-2019 at 09:42 PM.
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Old 05-29-2019, 09:45 PM
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It's not explicit, but I always thought the speaker died at the end of Bruce Springsteen's "Highway 29."
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Old 05-29-2019, 09:45 PM
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Neil Young - Powderfinger

"Raised the rifle to my eye
Never stopped to wonder why
Then I saw black and my face flash in the sky
Shelter me from the powder and the finger
Cover me with the thought that pulled the trigger
Just think of me as one you never figured,
to fade away so young
with so much left undone
Remember me to my love
I know I'll miss her"
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Old 05-29-2019, 09:46 PM
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Isaac Lewis by Tom Russell...


"For the waves they swept me overboard with the broken mast and sails
And I drowned, where as a child I'd fished, on the rocks of northern Wales
And in three days time I washed up on the whitened sandy shore
One hundred yards from Moelfre and my father's white oak door"
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Old 05-29-2019, 09:53 PM
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Meat Loaf's Bat out of Hell.
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Old 05-29-2019, 09:57 PM
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The Trooper by Iron Maiden is a good example.
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Old 05-29-2019, 09:59 PM
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“Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door”
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Old 05-29-2019, 10:20 PM
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Kind of a regional hit in the late 60s, early 70s: "Two Hangmen" by Mason Proffit ends with the narrator swinging from a tree.

The uber-depressing Harry Chapin song "The Shortest Story" is told from the point of view of a baby who dies of starvation three weeks after birth.

Bruce Springsteen's haunting "Paradise" uses a couple of narrators, including a suicide bomber.

The narrator of Billy Joel's "Goodnight Saigon" probably doesn't make it.
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Old 05-29-2019, 10:23 PM
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Found a Peanut.
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Old 05-29-2019, 10:44 PM
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Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - The Mercy Seat
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Old 05-29-2019, 11:08 PM
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I'm guessing there are a lot of songs by The Decemberists that fit, but "The Hazards of Love 4 (The Drowned)" (spoiler alert!) is the only one that comes to mind right now:

"But I pulled you and I called you here,
And I caught you and I brought you here
These hazards of love, never more will trouble us.
And these hazards of love, never more will trouble us."

The narrator of the first part of Kendrick Lamar's "Sing About Me, I'm Dying of Thirst" gets shot mid-verse. That song is what I though of when I saw the thread title, but it doesn't really fit the OP (especially since the song goes on with 4 other narrators over the rest of the 10 minutes of the song):

"And I love you cause you love my brother like you did
Just promise me you'll tell this story when you make it big
And if I die before your album drop I hope [three gunshots]"
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Old 05-29-2019, 11:15 PM
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I think "Gallows Pole" would qualify.
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Old 05-29-2019, 11:47 PM
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Old 05-29-2019, 11:55 PM
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The Bee Gees - I've Gotta Get a Message to You.

Quote:
I've just got to get a message to you, hold on, hold on
One more hour and my life will be through, hold on, hold on
Hold on
One more hour and my life will be through, hold on, hold on
I've just got to get a message to her, hold on, hold on
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Old 05-30-2019, 12:58 AM
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"God's Comic" - Elvis Costello
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Old 05-30-2019, 02:06 AM
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"Stan" by Eminem
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Old 05-30-2019, 04:24 AM
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"Breathing" by Kate Bush
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Old 05-30-2019, 04:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
Terry Jacks- Seasons In The Sun
Quote:
Originally Posted by running coach View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by cochrane View Post
The Bee Gees - I've Gotta Get a Message to You.
I don't think any of those count. In each of them the narrator is going to be executed soon, but isn't actually dead at the end of the song.

Although :

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Stainless Steel Rat View Post

counts, because it ends with the actual death of the narrator.
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Old 05-30-2019, 05:02 AM
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"And now, the end is near
And so I face the final curtain
My friend, I'll say it clear
I'll state my case, of which I'm certain
I've lived a life that's full
I've traveled each and every highway
But more, much more than this

[everybody together!] I did it MY WAY"
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Old 05-30-2019, 05:35 AM
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In Danny Boy, the narrator is inviting Danny to visit the narrator's grave, should Danny only return after the narrator's death. Not a precise match to the OP's requirement, but the narrator anticipates that even in death, he or she will know of Danny's visit.
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Old 05-30-2019, 07:07 AM
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Old 05-30-2019, 07:18 AM
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Hotel California

Open Me First at Christmas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimble View Post
I'm guessing there are a lot of songs by The Decemberists that fit,...
The Mariner's Revenge Song
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Old 05-30-2019, 07:27 AM
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"Tie me Kangaroo Down, Sport"?

There's an old Australian stockman lying, dying
And he gets himself up onto one elbow and he turns to his mates
Who are all gathered around and he says

<Snip>

Tan me hide when I'm dead, Fred
Tan me hide when I'm dead
So we tanned his hide when he died, Clyde
And that's it hangin' on the shed!
Altogether now!


Would "Bohemian Rhapsody" count?

Last edited by EckyThump; 05-30-2019 at 07:29 AM. Reason: Punctuation
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Old 05-30-2019, 07:31 AM
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Quote:
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"Breathing" by Kate Bush
Wow, good one.
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Old 05-30-2019, 07:32 AM
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In David Gray's The One I Love the singer is dying on a battlefield.

Quote:
Perfect summers night
Not a wind that breathes
Just the bullets whispering gentle
'Mongst the new green leaves
There's things I might have said
Only wish I could
Now I'm leaking life faster
Then I'm leaking blood

Tell the repo man
And the stars above
That you're the one I love
You're the one I love
The one I love
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Old 05-30-2019, 08:12 AM
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The “Oh God, I’m dead” verse toward the end of Godspell (sung by Jesus).
Jesus Christ Superstar has Judas's Death and The Crucifixion.
Evita starts out with her funeral and Che singing O What A Circus
CATS has Grizabella going to the Heavenside Layer after she dies
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Old 05-30-2019, 08:15 AM
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I thought of another one.

A Dying Cubs Fan's Last Request

The song is full of humorous references to the Cubs, and the long-suffering futility (at the time) of being a Cubs fan. The video is of Steve Goodman singing on one of the rooftops overlooking Wrigley Field.

Goodman died of leukemia at 36, and some of his ashes were scattered at Wrigley.
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Old 05-30-2019, 08:16 AM
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I don't think any of those count. In each of them the narrator is going to be executed soon, but isn't actually dead at the end of the song.
Yes, I guess I should have been more clear; I'm interested in the narrator describing his death as something that has already occurred. That is, taken literally, he's singing this song after he's dead.
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Old 05-30-2019, 08:26 AM
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Does Wuthering Heights count? The narrator is dead and remembers being told she was dying.
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Old 05-30-2019, 08:34 AM
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D.O.A. by Bloodrock.

Then I looked straight at the attendant
His face is pale as it can be
He bends and whispers something softly
He says there's no chance for me

One of the bleakest top 40 singles ever.
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Old 05-30-2019, 08:57 AM
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Johnny Cash's "Sam Hall" is on the gallows, although not yet swinging when the song ends.
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Old 05-30-2019, 09:01 AM
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In the spirit of the OP: In Jesus Christ Superstar Judas comes back after his death to sing "Superstar." However, Jesus does not come back.

The radical religious had a field day with that idea.
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Old 05-30-2019, 09:03 AM
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D.O.A. by Bloodrock.

Then I looked straight at the attendant
His face is pale as it can be
He bends and whispers something softly
He says there's no chance for me

One of the bleakest top 40 singles ever.
I love that song! Unfortunately ioioio skunked us in post #11.
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Old 05-30-2019, 09:10 AM
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Not only dies but is dead before the end of the song

Two Hangmen by Mason Profit

Metaphorically dead - Assassin by John Mayer
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Old 05-30-2019, 09:10 AM
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Not quite the same thing, but the last verse of the Tommy Makem song "Butcher Boy" is a suicide note, written in first person, and read after the writer is dead:
Quote:
Oh make my grave large, wide and deep
Put a marble stone at my head and feet
And in the middle, a turtledove
That the world may know, that I died for love
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