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Old 05-15-2020, 01:09 PM
Wheelz is offline
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Lots of interesting murder songs here. Made me think of Garth Brooks' "Papa Loved Mama," wherein a jealous trucker kills his cheating wife (and presumably her lover) by crashing his 18-wheeler into their motel room.
Old 05-15-2020, 01:18 PM
Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Les Dudak's Old Judge Jones is a tale about a crooked politician in the old west. Great, great song with a killer riff.
Old 05-15-2020, 01:54 PM
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Chuck E Weiss gets mentioned in songs by Tom Waits, Rickie Lee Jones, Johnny Depp, etc.

I'll bet he'd be a fun guy to hang out with.
Old 05-15-2020, 02:34 PM
Dr. Winston OBoogie is offline
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Marie Provost by Nick Lowe. True story, and all you need to know is the first line of the refrain: "She was the winner that became a doggie's dinner."
Old 05-15-2020, 02:36 PM
Yllaria is online now
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Originally Posted by Beckdawrek View Post
Alice's Restaurant.
Love Arlo Guthrie.

He also sang The Motorcycle Song, about a surreal collision; Gabriel's Mother's Hiway Ballad #16 Blues, about generosity (?); City of New Orleans, about a train; Coming into Los Angeles, about smuggling; and many others.
Old 05-15-2020, 03:31 PM
moes lotion is offline
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Originally Posted by Dr. Winston OBoogie View Post
Those were all people he knew in New York.

Speaking of Lou Reed, Street Hassle, about a rich woman, picks up a giggalo, dies during sex. The last section of the song is her ghost lamenting her life.

Listening to Richard Thompson Vincent Black Lightning 52, about a hoodlum and his motorcycle. Spoiler alert - shot by the cops and on his deathbed gives it to his fiance.

Heck, Richard Thompson "Read About Love" - about a young man learning about women. Hilarious song.
Quite a few of Richard Thompson songs qualify, just off the top of my head:

Shoot Out The Lights - never was entirely sure but a murderer hiding from the law?
The Money Shuffle - taking the 2% to task
Turing of the Tide - sad reflections on an aging sex worker
Cooksferry Queen - gangster praising his true loves charms, bonus points for Pre-Raphaelite reference
You Can't Win - existential angst with blazing guitar solo
Gethsemane - another lament on the human condition with a biblical flair

Last edited by moes lotion; 05-15-2020 at 03:34 PM.
Old 05-15-2020, 05:06 PM
outlierrn is online now
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Originally Posted by kayaker View Post
David Bromberg can sure tell a story.
I don't know if it's odd enough to qualify for the OP, but Watch Baby Fall will tear your heart out.
Just another outlying data point on the bell curve of life
Old 05-15-2020, 08:12 PM
Johnny Q is offline
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Buenos Tardes Amigo--Ween
Old 05-16-2020, 10:10 AM
SirRay is offline
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Hmm, as someone posted earlier, lots of songs about pyschos...
I guess we should get the Toadies 'Possum Kingdom' and the Talking Heads 'Pyscho Killer' out of the way...

And there are a decent number of nuclear war/post-war songs, for example:
CSNY - 'Wooden ships'
Pink Floyd - 'Two Suns in the Sunset'
Nena - '99 Luftballoons'
and so on... (Cold war songs too, e.g. Made For TV - 'So Afraid of the Russians'
However, weaponry on a smaller scale weaponry, I propose the Dead Kennedy's 'Chemical Warfare', were the singer relates how he stole some chemical weaponry from a poorly guarded military arsenal, heads to a posh country club where he proceeds to unleash the weapons on the clientele and describes the resulting carnage.
Well, all right then, not warfare, but King Missile's 'Detachable Penis' could be considered a somewhat different topic, I'd say.
Old 05-16-2020, 07:55 PM
Mr. Bill is offline
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Originally Posted by digs View Post
Cold Missouri Waters, powerfully and poignantly sung by Richard Shindell (with Dar Williams and Lucy Kalpansky; they called themselves Cry Cry Cry)

"The devastation of the Mann Gulch fire of 1949 through the point of view of Dodge, one of the remaining survivors."
(Lyrics are in the YouTube comments, starts with
My name is Dodge, but then you know that.
It's written on the chart there at the foot end of the of the bed...

"Young Men and Fire" by Norman Maclean retells the incident in complete detail (but without music) and explains how Wagner Dodge survived the fire. Oh, and I just saw that the Fiddlin' Foresters tell all about the event before performing this song...

I have a folder of Songs That Tell a Story. This is the first one.
Cold Missouri Waters was written by James Keelaghan, a Canadian singer-songwriter who has a bunch of songs in his repertoire that fit the premise.

McConnell on the Heights - about a relatively unsung hero in the French-Canadian wars.

Kiri's Piano - about the sequestration of Japanese-Americans in WWII.

Fires of Calais - about the Dunkirk evacuation.

Captain Torres - a true story about sailors facing sea at sea, but able to radio home and talk to their loved ones.

Glory Bound - about a high school hockey star, bound for the big time, who dies in a blizzard.
Old 05-16-2020, 08:00 PM
Mr. Bill is offline
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Just about every song written by Stan Rogers.

White Squall - about a seaman haunted by his inability to prevent a shipmate from being washed overboard.

Song of the Candle - about a night spent trying unsuccessfully trying to write a song.

The Mary Ellen Carter - unemployed seamen salvaging a sunken ship.

Second Effort - an Olympic athlete torn up because he didn't win 1st place.

Barrett's Privateers - the last survivor of a privateer in the war of 1812.

And many, many others.

Slaid Cleaves has a great one - Breakfast in Hell - a true story about a lumberman killed on the job.
Old 05-16-2020, 08:02 PM
Mr. Bill is offline
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Couldn't edit this, but Captain Torres is about sailors facing death at sea, not sea at sea...
Old 05-17-2020, 02:30 AM
outlierrn is online now
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How 'bout Dixie Chicks, Goodbye Earl.

Turned out Earl was a missing person that nobody missed at all. I fucking love that line.
Just another outlying data point on the bell curve of life
Old 05-17-2020, 03:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Dr. Winston OBoogie View Post
Marie Provost by Nick Lowe. True story, and all you need to know is the first line of the refrain: "She was the winner that became a doggie's dinner."
Well, there's dispute about the doggy dinner. Some sources (according to her Wikipedia article) think that the dog nipped at in an attempt to wake her up, instead of actually eating her.
It's chaos. Be kind.
Old 05-17-2020, 07:04 PM
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Wasn't much of a music fan as a kid (because I was raised on, well, drivel). Until I found a Kingston Trio album... almost nothing but great stories!

Charlie who can't get off the MTA, and why they're writing from the Tijuana Jail. And a lot of other characters like Tom Dooley, and historical stories: The Sinking of the Reuben James (Woody Guthrie wrote that), and Roddy McCorley marching to his death.

They even started The Unfortunate Miss Bailey with historical background (and explaining the drink involved): "In seventeen forty-two, it was customary in the township of Halifax, for a gentleman to partake occasionally of Rrrrratafia, which was..."
Old 05-17-2020, 07:33 PM
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Bobbie Gentry - Ode to Billie Joe.


Seriously...what the fuck? And how am I the first person to mention this?


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