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Murder Ballads

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Song Of Joy

Have mercy on me, sir
Allow me to impose on you
I have no place to stay
And my bones are cold right through
I will tell you a story
Of a man and his family
And I swear that it is true

Ten years ago I met a girl named Joy
She was a sweet and happy thing
Her eyes were bright blue jewels
And we were married in the spring
I had no idea what happiness and little love could bring
Or what life had in store
But all things move toward their end
All things move toward their their end
On that you can be sure

La la la la la la la la la la
La la la la la la la la la la

Then one morning I awoke to find her weeping
And for many days to follow
She grew so sad and lonely
Became Joy in name only
Within her breast there launched an unnamed sorrow
And a dark and grim force set sail
Farewell happy fields
Where joy forever dwells
Hail horrors hail

Was it an act of contrition or some awful premonition
As if she saw into the heart of her final blood-soaked night
Those lunatic eyes, that hungry kitchen knife
Ah, I see sir, that I have your attention!
Well, could it be?
How often I've asked that question
Well, then in quick succession
We had babies, one, two, three

We called them Hilda, Hattie and Holly
They were their mother's children
Their eyes were bright blue jewels
And they were quiet as a mouse
There was no laughter in the house
No, not from Hilda, Hattie or Holly
"No wonder", people said, "poor mother Joy's so melancholy"
Well, one night there came a visitor to our little home
I was visiting a sick friend
I was a doctor then
Joy and the girls were on their own

La la la la la la la la la la
La la la la la la la la la la

Joy had been bound with electrical tape
In her mouth a gag
She'd been stabbed repeatedly
And stuffed into a sleeping bag
In their very cots my girls were robbed of their lives
Method of murder much the same as my wife's
Method of murder much the same as my wife's
It was midnight when I arrived home
Said to the police on the telephone
Someone's taken four innocent lives

They never caught the man
He's still on the loose
It seems he has done many many more
Quotes John Milton on the walls in the victim's blood
The police are investigating at tremendous cost
In my house he wrote "his red right hand"
That, I'm told is from Paradise Lost
The wind round here gets wicked cold
But my story is nearly told
I fear the morning will bring quite a frost

And so I've left my home
I drift from land to land
I am upon your step and you are a family man
Outside the vultures wheel
The wolves howl, the serpents hiss
And to extend this small favour, friend
Would be the sum of earthly bliss
Do you reckon me a friend?
The sun to me is dark
And silent as the moon
Do you, sir, have a room?
Are you beckoning me in?

La la la la la la la la la la
La la la la la la la la la la

Inhalt

Stagger Lee

It was back in '32 when times were hard
He had a Colt .45 and a deck of cards
Stagger Lee

He wore rat-drawn shoes and an old stetson hat
Had a '28 Ford, had payments on that
Stagger Lee

His woman threw him out in the ice and snow
And told him, "Never ever come back no more"
Stagger Lee

So he walked through the rain and he walked through the mud
Till he came to a place called The Bucket Of Blood
Stagger Lee

He said "Mr Motherfucker, you know who I am"
The barkeeper said, "No, and I don't give a good goddamn"
To Stagger Lee

He said, "Well bartender, it's plain to see
I'm that bad motherfucker called Stagger Lee"
Mr. Stagger Lee

Barkeep said, "Yeah, I've heard your name down the way
And I kick motherfucking asses like you every day"
Mr Stagger Lee

Well those were the last words that the barkeep said
'Cause Stag put four holes in his motherfucking head

Just then in came a broad called Nellie Brown
Was known to make more money than any bitch in town

She struts across the bar, hitching up her skirt
Over to Stagger Lee, she starts to flirt
With Stagger Lee

She saw the barkeep, said, "O God, he can't be dead!"
Stag said, "Well, just count the holes in the motherfucker's head"

She said, "You ain't look like you scored in quite a time.
Why not come to my pad? It won't cost you a dime"
Mr. Stagger Lee

"But there's something I have to say before you begin
You'll have to be gone before my man Billy Dilly comes in,
Mr. Stagger Lee"

"I'll stay here till Billy comes in, till time comes to pass
And furthermore I'll fuck Billy in his motherfucking ass"
Said Stagger Lee

"I'm a bad motherfucker, don't you know
And I'll crawl over fifty good pussies just to get one fat boy's asshole"
Said Stagger Lee

Just then Billy Dilly rolls in and he says, "You must be
That bad motherfucker called Stagger Lee"
Stagger Lee

"Yeah, I'm Stagger Lee and you better get down on your knees
And suck my dick, because If you don't you're gonna be dead"
Said Stagger Lee

Billy dropped down and slobbered on his head
And Stag filled him full of lead
Oh yeah.

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Henry Lee

Get down, get down, little Henry Lee
And stay all night with me
You won't find a girl in this damn world
That will compare with me
And the wind did howl and the wind did blow
La la la la la
La la la la lee
A little bird lit down on Henry Lee

I can't get down and I won't get down
And stay all night with thee
For the girl I have in that merry green land
I love far better than thee
And the wind did howl and the wind did blow
La la la la la
La la la la lee
A little bird lit down on Henry Lee

She leaned herself against a fence
Just for a kiss or two
And with a little pen-knife held in her hand
She plugged him through and through
And the wind did roar and the wind did moan
La la la la la
La la la la lee
A little bird lit down on Henry Lee

Come take him by his lilly-white hands
Come take him by his feet
And throw him in this deep deep well
Which is more than one hundred feet
And the wind did howl and the wind did blow
La la la la la
La la la la lee
A little bird lit down on Henry Lee

Lie there, lie there, little Henry Lee
Till the flesh drops from your bones
For the girl you have in that merry green land
Can wait forever for you to come home
And the wind did howl and the wind did moan
La la la la la
La la la la lee
A little bird lit down on Henry Lee

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Lovely Creature

There she stands, this lovely creature
There she stands, there she stands
With her hair full of ribbons
And green gloves on her hands

So I asked this lovely creature
Yes, I asked. Yes I asked
Would she walk with me a while
Through this night so fast

She took my hand, this lovely creature
"Yes", she said, "Yes", she said
"Yes, I'll walk with you a while"
It was a joyful man she led

Over hills, this lovely creature
Over mountains, over ranges
By great pyramids and sphinxs
We met drifters and strangers

Oh the sands, my lovely creature
And the mad, moaning winds
At night the deserts writhed
With diabolical things

Through the night, through the night
The wind lashed and it whipped me
When I got home, my lovely creature
She was no longer with me

Somewhere she lies, this lovely creature
Beneath the slow drifting sands
With her hair full of ribbons
And green gloves on her hands

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Where The Wild Roses Grow

They call me The Wild Rose
But my name was Elisa Day
Why they call me it I do not know
For my name was Elisa Day

From the first day I saw her I knew she was the one
She stared in my eyes and smiled
For her lips were the colour of the roses
That grew down the river, all bloody and wild

When he knocked on my door and entered the room
My trembling subsided in his sure embrace
He would be my first man, and with a careful hand
He wiped at the tears that ran down my face

Chorus

On the second day I brought her a flower
She was more beautiful than any woman I'd seen
I said, "Do you know where the wild roses grow
So sweet and scarlet and free?"

On the second day he came with a single red rose
Said: "Will you give me your loss and your sorrow"
I nodded my head, as I lay on the bed
He said, "If I show you the roses, will you follow?"

Chorus

On the third day he took me to the river
He showed me the roses and we kissed
And the last thing I heard was a muttered word
As he knelt (stood smiling) above me with a rock in his fist

On the last day I took her where the wild roses grow
And she lay on the bank, the wind light as a thief
And I kissed her goodbye, said, "All beauty must die"
And lent down and planted a rose between her teeth

Chorus

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The Curse Of Millhaven

I live in a town called Millhaven
And it's small and it's mean and it's cold
But if you come around just as the sun goes down
You can watch the whole town turn to gold
It's around about then that I used to go a-roaming
Singing La la la la La la la lie
All God's children they all gotta die

My name is Loretta but I prefer Lottie
I'm closing in on my fifteenth year
And if you think you have seen a pair of eyes more green
Then you sure didn't see them around here
My hair is yellow and I'm always a-combing
La la la la La la la lie
Mama often told me we all got to die

You must have heard about The Curse Of Millhaven
How last Christmas Bill Blake's little boy didn't come home
They found him next week in One Mile Creek
His head bashed in and his pockets full of stones
Well, just imagine all the wailing and moaning
La la la la La la la lie
Even little Billy Blake's boy, he had to die

Then Professor O'Rye from Millhaven High
Found nailed to his door his prize-winning terrier
Then next day the old fool brought little Biko to school
And we all had to watch as he buried her
His eulogy to Biko had all the tears a-flowing
La la la la La la la lie
Even God's little creatures, they have to die

Our little town fell into a state of shock
A lot of people were saying things that made little sense
Then the next thing you know the head of Handyman Joe
Was found in the fountain of the Mayor's residence
Foul play can really get a small town going
La la la la La la la lie
Even God's children all have to die

Then, in a cruel twist of fate, old Mrs Colgate
Was stabbed but the job was not complete
The last thing she said before the cops pronounced her dead
Was, "My killer is Loretta and she lives across the street!"
Twenty cops burst through my door without even phoning
La la la la La la la lie
The young ones, the old ones, they all gotta die

Yes, it is I, Lottie. The Curse Of Millhaven
I've struck horror in the heart of this town
Like my eyes ain't green and my hair ain't yellow
It's more like the other way around
I gotta pretty little mouth underneath all the foaming
La la la la La la la lie
Sooner or later we all gotta die

Since I was no bigger than a weavil they've been saying I was evil
That if "bad" was a boot that I'd fit it
That I'm a wicked young lady, but I've been trying hard lately
O fuck it! I'm a monster! I admit it!
It makes me so mad my blood really starts a-going
La la la la La la la lie
Mama always told me that we all gotta die

Yeah, I drowned the Blakey kid, stabbed Mrs. Colgate, I admit
Did the handyman with his circular saw in his garden shed
But I never crucified little Biko, that was two junior high school psychos
Stinky Bohoon and his friend with the pumpkin-sized head
I'll sing to the lot, now you got me going
La la la la La la la lie
All God's children have all gotta die

There were all the others, all our sisters and brothers
You assumed were accidents, best forgotten
Recall the children who broke through the ice on Lake Tahoo?
Everyone assumed the "Warning" signs had followed them to the bottom
Well, they're underneath the house where I do quite a bit of stowing
La la la la La la la lie
Even twenty little children, they had to die

And the fire of '91 that razed the Bella Vista slum
There was the biggest shit-fight this country's ever seen
Insurance companies ruined, land lords getting sued
All cause of wee girl with a can of gasoline
Those flames really roared when the wind started blowing
La la la la La la la lie
Rich man, poor man, all got to die

Well I confessed to all these crimes and they put me on trial
I was laughing when they took me away
Off to the asylum in an old black Mariah
It ain't home, but you know, it's fucking better than jail
It ain't such bad old place to have a home in
La la la la La la la lie
All God's children they all gotta die

Now I got shrinks that will not rest with their endless Rorschach tests
I keep telling them they're out to get me
They ask me if I feel remorse and I answer, "Why of course!
There is so much more I could have done if they'd let me!"
So it's Rorschach and Prozac and everything is groovy
Singing La la la la La la la lie
All God's children they all have to die
La la la la La la la lie
I'm happy as a lark and everything is fine
Singing La la la la La la la lie
Yeah, everything is groovy and everything is fine
Singing La la la la La la la lie
All God's children they gotta die

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The Kindness Of Strangers

They found Mary Bellows cuffed to the bed
With a rag in her mouth and a bullet in her head
O poor Mary Bellows

She'd grown up hungry, she'd grown up poor
She left her home in Arkansas
O poor Mary Bellows

She wanted to see the deep blue sea
She travelled across Tennessee
O poor Mary Bellows

She met a man along the way
He introduced himself as Richard Slade
O poor Mary Bellows

Poor Mary thought that she might die
When she saw the ocean for the first time
O poor Mary Bellows

She checked into a cheap little place
Richard Slade carried in her old suitcase
O poor Mary Bellows

"I'm a good girl, sir", she said to him
I couldn't possibly permit you in
O poor Mary Bellows

Slade tipped his hat and winked his eye
And turned away without goodbye
O poor Mary Bellows

She sat on her bed and thought of home
With the sea breeze whistling all alone
O poor Mary Bellows

In hope and loneliness she crossed the floor
And undid the latch on the front door
O poor Mary Bellows

They found her the next day cuffed to the bed
A rag in her mouth and a bullet in her head
O poor Mary Bellows

So mothers keep your girls at home
Don't let them journey all alone
Tell them this world is full of danger
And to shun the company of strangers
O poor Mary Bellows
O poor Mary Bellows

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Crow Jane

Crow Jane Crow Jane
Crow Jane
Horrors in her head
That her tongue dare not name
She lives alone by the river
The rolling rivers of pain
Crow Jane Crow Jane
Crow Jane Ah hah huh

There is one shining eye on a hard-hat
The company closed down the mine
Winking on waters they came
Twenty hard-hats, twenty eyes
In her clapboard shack
Only six foot by five
They killed all her whiskey
And poured their pistols dry
Crow Jane Crow Jane
Crow Jane Ah hah huh

Seems you've remembered
How to sleep, how to sleep
The house dogs are in your turnips
And your yard dogs are running all over the street
Crow Jane Crow Jane
Crow Jane Ah hah huh

"O Mr. Smith and Mr. Wesson
Why you close up shop so late?"
"Just fitted out a girl who looked like a bird
Measured .32, .44, .38
I asked that girl which road she was taking
Said she was walking the road of hate
But she stopped on a coal-trolley up to New Haven
Population: 48"
Crow Jane Crow Jane
Crow Jane Ah hah huh

Your guns are drunk and smoking
They've followed you right back to your gate
Laughing all the way back from the new town
Population, now, 28
Crow Jane Crow Jane
Crow Jane Ah hah huh

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O'Malley's Bar

I am tall and I am thin
Of an enviable hight
And I've been known to be quite handsome
In a certain angle and in certain light

Well I entered into O'Malley's
Said, "O'Malley I have a thirst"
O'Malley merely smiled at me
Said "You wouldn't be the first"

I knocked on the bar and pointed
To a bottle on the shelf
And as O'Malley poured me out a drink
I sniffed and crossed myself

My hand decided that the time was nigh
And for a moment it slipped from view
And when it returned, it fairly burned
With confidence anew

Well the thunder from my steely fist
Made all the glasses jangle
When I shot him, I was so handsome
It was the light, it was the angle

Huh! Hmmmmmm

"Neighbours!" I cried, "Friends!" I screamed
I banged my fist upon the bar
"I bear no grudge against you!"
And my dick felt long and hard

"I am the man for which no God waits
But for which the whole world yearns
I'm marked by darkness and by blood
And one thousand powder-burns"

Well, you know those fish with the swollen lips
That clean the ocean floor
When I looked at poor O'Malley's wife
That's exactly what I saw

I jammed the barrel under her chin
And her face looked raw and vicious
Her head it landed in the sink
With all the dirty dishes

Her little daughter Siobhan
Pulled beers from dusk till down
And amongst the townfolk she was a bit of a joke
But she pulled the best beer in town

I swooped magnificent upon her
As she sat shivering in her grief
Like the Madonna painted on the church-house wall
In whale's blood and banana leaf

Her throat it crumbled in my fist
And I spun heroically around
To see Caffrey rising from his seat
I shot that mother fucker down

Mmmmmmmmmm Yeah Yeah Yeah

"I have no free will", I sang
As I flew about the murder
Mrs. Richard Holmes, she screamed
You really should have heard her

I sang and I laughed, I howled and I wept
I panted like a pup
I blew a hole in Mrs. Richard Holmes
And her husband stupidly stood up

As he screamed, "You are an evil man"
And I paused a while to wonder
"If I have no free will then how can I
Be morally culpable, I wonder"

I shot Richard Holmes in the stomach
And gingerly he sat down
And he whispered weirdly, "No offense"
And then lay upon the ground

"None taken", I replied to him
To which he gave a little cough
With blazing wings I neatly aimed
And blew his head completely off

I've lived in this town for thirty years
And to no-one I am a stranger
And I put new bullets in my gun
Chamber upon chamber

And I turned my gun on the bird-like Mr. Brookes
I thought of Saint Francis and his sparrows
And as I shot down the youthful Richardson
It was St. Sebastian I thought of, and his arrows

Hhhhhhhhhh Mmmmmmmmmmmm

I said, "I want to introduce myself
And I am glad that all you came"
And I leapt upon the bar
And shouted out my name

Well Jerry Bellows, he hugged his stool
Closed his eyes and shrugged and laughed
And with an ashtray as big as a fucking really big brick
I split his head in half

His blood spilled across the bar
Like a steaming scarlet brook
And I knelt at it's edge on the counter
Wiped the tears away and looked

Well, the light in there was blinding
Full of God and ghosts of truth
I smiled at Henry Davenport
Who made an attempt to move

Well, from the position I was standing
The strangest thing I ever saw
The bullet entered through the top of his chest
And blew his bowels out on the floor

Well I floated down the counter
Showing no remorse
I shot a hole in Kathleen Carpenter
Recently divorced

But remorse i felt and remorse I had
It clung to every thing
From the raven's hair upon my head
To the feathers on my wings

Remorse sqeezed my hand in it's fradulent claw
With it's golden hairless chest
And I glided through the bodies
And killed the fat man Vincent West

Who sat quietly in his chair
A man become a child
And I raised the gun up to his head
Executioner-style

He made no attempt to resist
So fat and dull and lazy
"Did you know I lived in your street?" I said
And he looked at me as though I were crazy

"O", he said, "I had no idea"
And he grew as quiet as a mouse
And the roar of the pistol when it went off
Near blew that hat right off the house

Hmmmmmm Uh Uh

Well, I caught my eye in the mirror
And gave it a long and loving inspection
"There stands some kind of man", I roared
And there did, in the reflection

My hair combed back like a raven's wing
My muscles hard and tight
And curling from the business end of my gun
Was a query-mark of cordite

Well I spun to the left, I spun to the right
And I spun to the left again
"Fear me! Fear me! Fear me!"
But no one did cause they were dead

Huh! Hmmmmmmmmm

And then there were the police sirens wailing
And a bull-horn squelched and blared
"Drop your weapons and come out
With your hands held in the air"

Well, I checked the chamber of my gun
Saw I had one final bullet left
My hand, it looked almost human
As I raised it to my head

"Drop your weapon and come out!
Keep your hands above your head!"
I had one one long hard think about dying
And did exactly what they said

There must have been fifty cops out there
In a circle around O'Malley's bar
"Don't shoot", I cried, "I'm a man unarmed!"
So they put me in their car

And they sped me away from that terrible scene
And I glanced out of the window
Saw O'Malley's bar, saw the cops and the cars
And I started counting on my fingers

Aaaaaah One Aaaaaah Two Aaaaaah Three Aaaaaaah Four
O'Malley's bar O'Malley's bar

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Death Is Not The End

When you're sad and when you're lonely
And you haven't got a friend
Just remember that death is not the end

And all that you held sacred
Falls down and does not mend
Just remember that death is not the end
Not the end, not the end
Just remember that death is not the end

When you're standing on the crossroads
That you cannot comprehend
Just remember that death is not the end

And all your dreams have vanished
And you don't know what's up the bend
Just remember that death is not the end
Not the end, not the end
Just remember that death is not the end

When the storm clouds gather round you
And heavy rains descend
Just remember that death is not the end

And there's no-one there to comfort you
With a helping hand to lend
Just remember that death is not the end
Not the end, not the end
Just remember that death is not the end

For the tree of life is growing
Where the spirit never dies
And the bright light of salvation
Up in dark and empty skies
When the cities are on fire
With the burning flesh of men
Just remember that death is not the end

When you search in vain to find
Some law-abiding citizen
Just remember that death is not the end

Not the end, not the end
Just remember that death is not the end
Not the end, not the end
Just remember that death is not the end

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