I made [personal profile] oyceter a CD of murder ballads, and she has thoughtfully uploaded them for everyone's enjoyment here, complete with my original liner notes: ("Death by pirate;" "Millhaven: population: steadily decreasing.") They will not be up long, so grab them while they're there!

Also, don't miss the comments, in which people have posted downloads and youtube links, and in which there is a lively discussion of what exactly happens at the end of "Cat-Eye Willie Claims His Lover." Since both Oyce and I thought that Satan gets involved, I have uploaded more murder ballads: Special Satan Edition!

Up Jumped the Devil, by Nick Cave. (Satan kills the narrator.)

Sympathy for the Devil, by the Rolling Stones. (Satan killed the Czar, Anastasia, Kennedy, and many more.)

House Carpenter, by Joan Baez. (Satan seduces and kills the narrator.)

Play Me Backwards, by Joan Baez. (Satanists kill sweet little Baby Rose.)

Ben McCulloch, by Steve Earle. (An evil general slaughters many, ends up in the Devil's Infantry/)

More murder ballads (minus Satan). Note that there are additional ones that I didn't put in Oyce's comment post

Driveby, by Neil Young and Crazy Horse. (Girl gets randomly shot in a driveby.)

Billy and Bonnie, by Steve Earle. (Billy randomly shoots a convenience store clerk.)

Streets of Laredo, by Johnny Cash. (Someone shot a cowboy. It could have been random.)

Powderfinger, vy Neil Young. (Um... someone gets shot. I'm not sure why, or by whom, or if it was drug dealers or Civil War soldiers or the feds. Anyone have any ideas?)

The Highwayman, by Loreena McKennitt. (Bad guys shoot the highwayman. We know he's not a bad guy himself, because he has a bunch of lace at his throat.)

The Bonny Swans, by Loreena McKennitt. (Sister drowns sister.)

Matty Groves, vy Fairport Convention. (The classic angry husband song.)

The Mercy Seat, by Johnny Cash (Nick Cave cover.) (He's on death row, he must have murdered someone.)

Buffalo Skinners, by Woody Guthrie. (Sound quality poor due to being recorded in around 1940.) (They left the drover's bones to bleach out on the plains, but the SOB deserved it.)

El Paso, by Marty Robbins. (The narrator murders a wild young cowboy, then the posse murders him.)

The Band Played Waltzing Matilda, by the Pogues. (Death by war; incredibly heartbreaking.)

Please comment with appreciation, links to downloads or youtube videos of other murder (or castration) ballads, or explanations of exactly what was going on in "Powderfinger," "Cat-Eye Willie Claims His Lover," "Flinty Kind of Woman," and other ambiguous songs.
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