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Murder Songs Vol. 7

And here are three more murder songs. One is chilling, one is mournful, and one is camper than David.

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Andre Williams – Pardon Me (I’ve Got Someone To Kill) (2000).mp3
Hello friend, meet Andre Williams. He’s got someone to kill, and he will tell you why. This is not a shooting-a-man-in-Reno-just-to-see-him-die kind of deal. This killing is premeditated, but our new friend believes he has a good reason. “I warned him not to try and take her from me. He laughed and said: ‘If I can, you know I will.’” His pal will have to pay for not heeding the warning. “So tonight, when they get home, I’ll be waiting,” he reveals before prematurely excusing himself:  “Pardon me, I’ve got someone to kill.”

So, he’ll just pop the corrupt pal then? Well, no. Having just excused himself, Andre nevertheless goes on about what he’s planning to do. He’ll kill both of them, and – knowing that his crime will warrant the death penalty – do himself in once the dirty deed is done. And don’t think of going to the law with a notion of preventing a bloodbath. “By the time you tell the sheriff, it’ll all be over. He’ll find me at their big house on the hill. He’ll find a note explaining why I killed us all.” We imagine your new friend downing his beer, wiping his mouth, getting up and nod to you as he says: “Now it’s time to go, I’ve got someone to kill.”

The song was originally recorded by country man Johnny Paycheck ; it’s covered here by veteran soul-country singer Andre Williams, who has one chilling mother of a voice.

The Everly Brothers – Down In The Willow Garden (1958).mp3
Strumming gently, the Everly Brothers sing about a picnic in the eponymous garden with Rose Connelly. Ah, but the downbeat voices (copied pretty much directly from the Louvin Brothers) alert us that the story won’t have a happy ending. At first it sounds cosy enough: “As we sat a-courtin’ my love fell off to sleep.” Well, it’s cosy if you don’t take offense to your date nodding off. But it’s not her fault: our friend gave her poisoned wine (Burgundy, the oenologists will want to now). Imagine the wine tasting of that: “I discern a suggestion of berries with a hint of cinnamon, papaya and cyanide.”

Our friend isn’t done yet. Having poisoned poor Rose Connelly, he stabs her and then throws her body in the river. Turns out his father put him up to it, for demon money. Of coursed our friend gets caught, and look at this contemptible exemplar of fatherhood now: “My father sits at his cabin door, wiping his tear-dimmed eyes, for his only son soon shall walk to yonder scaffold high.”

Tony Christie – I Did What I Did For Maria (1971).mp3
Alas, poor Tony Christie. First he struggled with the SatNav en route to Amarillo, now he is about to be hanged. To clarify, lacking a sense of direction and having a map-reading disability is not a capital offense in most US states (though it might be in Texas, where they’ll execute you for pretty much anything). No, what Tony will hang for is murder. He accepts his fate, “going to the Lord with no fear”, but hopes to persuade us of the justice of his case through the medium of catchy pop music.

In fact, either Tonyhas  had a really rotten lawyer, or he stood trial in Texas for murder (and, possibly, for having lost his way to Amarillo as well). His crime was a revenge killing for the apparently sadistic murder of Tony’s wife, Maria. It was a high noon scene: “As I rode into town with the sun going down all the windows were barred. There was no one around for they knew that I’d come with my hand on my gun and revenge in my heart for Maria.” The depraved reprobate who killed Maria, possibly a relative of the notorious Gatlin boys, came out laughing, but he was dealing with a rather more decisive fellow than a coward of the county. No messing around with fists as the coward of the county would; Tony’s gun was gonna smoke. “He fell to the ground, raisin’ dust all around. But I knew he was dead long before he went down. It was quick, it was clean. Made it easy on him…which is more than he did for Maria.”  I sense extenuating circumstances, Your Honour.

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  1. June 9th, 2011 at 02:31 | #1

    Andre always has the right perspective on life !

  2. July 14th, 2011 at 17:57 | #2

    How about ‘Helter Skelter’ ? Charlie Manson took his ‘artistic’ craziness and turned that into something it wasn’t.

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