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    Sean Daily is an English major from New Jersey now living in Las Vegas, the Other City of Lights. "I consider 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas' to be comfort reading, I like the al pastor tacos at Tacos Mexico and I count among my literary influences the Chainsaw from 'Doom'. 'RRRRRR! You don't like that, do you, Mr. Undead Marine! RRRRRR!'"

    Shanoah Alkire is our Discordian at large. "Born in Santa Cruz, I grew up in Grass Valley and the Bay Area, and now lurk in Las Vegas. My literary influences include Ray Bradbury, Lewis Carroll, and Douglas Adams. I also program as a hobby, and currently maintain the Gtk port of Angband. You can find a rather old bio of me here."

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Archive for the ‘Murder Ballads’ Category

Little Sir Hugh

Posted by shanoah on October 6, 2009

I’m getting tired of these depressing songs about death. So I picked out a nice happy cheerful song today. About murder.

Well, you know how I like murder ballads. This one is by the band Steeleye Span (yes, I play them a lot), called Little Sir Hugh. You can see the lyrics here, but it’s basically about a little kid who accidentally kicks his ball in a castle everyones afraid of.

The lady of the castle leads him in the castle, stabs him, drains his blood, and throws his body in a well. (Which is probably a good reason to be afraid of the castle, really) Reminds me of Mr. Fox’s Garden, in a way. Which is another murder ballad I really like. Unfortunately, the only video on youtube I’ve seen of it wasn’t good quality…

Edit: Just as a side note, this is based on a historical murder, the death of Little St. Hugh of London.


Posted in A Thought from a Sticky Mood, Batty, From Shanoah, Gooey Gummi Goodness, I Tunes Not U Tunes, I'm probably going to hell for this, Murder Ballads | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »


Posted by shanoah on September 30, 2009

Continuing the thread of depressing songs, here is Peter, Paul, and Mary, with Hangman.

Poor guy; every time someone he knows comes up to where he’s being hanged, they have no interest in helping him at all. At least his true love seems to be there for him.

Get the feeling his family is in for it after the song ends? 🙂

Posted in A Thought from a Sticky Mood, Blogs, bulldada, From Shanoah, I Tunes Not U Tunes, Murder Ballads | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »


Posted by shanoah on August 7, 2009

All right, since neither of us have posted, think I’ll post something that I know well enough that I could do it in my sleep. (though hopefully not particularly boring.)

I’ve expressed my interest, or perhaps obsession with the song Bedlam Boys before, which also goes by a few other titles. It’s a cool song with a million verses, and everyone plays it differently.

The song is about someone in Bedlam, the Bethlehem Hospital for the Insane. In some of its incarnations, it’s about someone from its sister institution, Maudlin, the Hospital of St Mary Madelene, who falls in love with Mad Tom O’ Bedlam.

As it’s supposed to be about someone who is insane, it encourages unusual takes on the song. Here is one such, Mad Toms Song by Bluehorses. They’ve set the song to some wonderfully discordant rock music. I wouldn’t be surprised if half of it was improvised.

And you’ll note that they’ve modified the verse structure, too. Cool performance.

And here’s Old Blind Dogs playing the song in a fairly traditional yet fairly modern arrangement. This video actually has both the studio version and a live version. Live version actually sounds somewhat better to my ears.

And here, of course, is Maddy Prior of Steeleye Span‘s slightly cracked take on the song. Quite different from Steeleye Spans take on it, really, and a lot more lighthearted.

Posted in Batty, Blogs, bulldada, fnord, FREAKIN' ME OUT MAN, From Shanoah, Gettin' Yer Freak On, I Tunes Not U Tunes, I'm probably going to hell for this, Murder Ballads, Wenches For Your Toolbox | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Hippy Skippy Murder

Posted by shanoah on June 29, 2009

Well, continuing with the all-Shanoah-all-the-time marathon, I heard two songs recently that it occurred to me would be very inappropriate to play together. And, well, I don’t need much more invitation then that…

The first one is some funky hip jive along the line of my last post. This is the Mighty Show Stoppers, with the Hippy Skippy Moon Strut. Yes, really. Makes you want to dance, but I think large doses of caffeine or something stronger would be neccessary to keep the pace.

And, to totally change pace, here’s a song by a schizophrenic black guy named Wesley Willis. His catchy, upbeat title for this song is I Murdered Your Family. You want to guess what it’s about?

Posted in Batty, Blogs, bulldada, From Shanoah, Funny, Gettin' Yer Freak On, I Tunes Not U Tunes, I'm probably going to hell for this, Murder Ballads, Not Work Safe | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »


Posted by shanoah on May 26, 2009

Well, you know, the funny thing about that is that Frank Zappa didn’t do drugs, and wouldn’t tolerate anyone in his band doing them, because they wouldn’t be able to play as well.

I did a bit of searching, and as odds would have it, I found John and Yoko singing two songs together where Yoko actually sounded good, and wasn’t caterwailing in the background and ruining the whole thing. As odds would have it, both were about Irish independence, so she may have thought they were too important to ruin.

First is a song called Luck of the Irish (which had the honor of being banned by the British). If Yoko had sung like this most of the time when she was on stage with John, she wouldn’t have gotten half the flack she did:

Next, I have Sunday, Bloody Sunday. You can hear Yoko on the choruses. And for those who don’t know, this song is about an incident where the British shot 27 unarmed civil rights protesters in North Ireland. 13 died, and 5 of them had been shot in the back.

That’s why there are several songs about it. And John Lennon considered himself Irish, incidentally.

Posted in Blogs, fnord, From Shanoah, I Tunes Not U Tunes, Islamocommunifeminihomofascists, Murder Ballads | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

Steeleye Span

Posted by shanoah on May 5, 2009

Yeah, Cox can be like that sometimes. At least it’s back up now.

Today being one of your days off, I’m once again throwing themes to the wind. Today, I decided to play music by a band called Steeleye Span (who I have played once previously).

This first song is called Misty Moisty Morning, which I thought was a lovely song name. Then I started to hear the wonderfully distinctive discordiant notes of the song, and was hooked. And Maddy Prior is a great singer, and the chorus “How d’ you do? How d’ you do? And how d’ you do again?” adds lovely surrealism. Lyrics are here.

And next, a song called Two Butchers. This song’s a great traditional murder ballad. And you know how I feel about those.  And here are some lyrics.

And since my attempts to find a song about an Elisabethian Psycho named Starin Robin kept turning up Robin Williams instead, I’ll play a traditional Scots song I’ve played before here. The song is Twa Corbies, which you may recall as being about two ravens going out dining. Oddly, the post I played this song in before was the same one I played Steeleye Span in before.

Posted in Batty, Blogs, fnord, From Shanoah, Funny, Gettin' Yer Freak On, Gooey Gummi Goodness, I Tunes Not U Tunes, I'm probably going to hell for this, Murder Ballads | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

War Between the States

Posted by shanoah on May 2, 2009

Well, you know, Sean, the civil war was a little more complex then that.

Figure, first of all, slavery had been starting to die out. Then, around 1800, along comes the cotton gin. Suddenly, laborers could produce 50 times as much cotton in a day. And cotton was big business. So they started growing cotton everywhere, in a lot of places that they had been growing food (which led to a food shortage, incidentally).

Suddenly they were all growing one crop. (Sound familiar?). The south’s economy became dependant on cotton, which was dependant on slavery. At the same time, abolitionism was getting strong in the North. And, of course, Britain had abolished slavery in 1833, so that was going on in the background.

And we were doing a whole ton of expansion. We had a bunch of land, and we were carving it out into states. The fact that we had a bunch of land shouldn’t be too surprising; this was about the time that we forced 15000+ American indians to march 1000+ miles, with a massive death toll.

We needed to expand, too. We had a large influx of immigrants coming in from Ireland excaping the potato famine. However, the north didn’t want to allow  slavery in the new states that were being formed. And the south basically felt this would marginalise them, and lead to slavery being abolished entirely.

Not to mention that tensions were high anyways, with the issue of runaway slaves that made it to the North. What pushed things over the edge was that the Republican candidate running, Lincoln, had been compaigning on new states not allowing slavery.

His name didn’t even get on the ballots in most southern states, but the Democratic party was heavily split at the time, and he got in anyways, with 39% of the popular vote. And that is when the secession of a bunch of southern states happened.

This wasn’t the only reason for them to leave, either. There’d been some fairly high taxes at the time that were affecting mainly the south, and at that point, they didn’t feel the federal government was serving their interests.

A war didn’t really have to come out of it. We could have let them go on their merry way. But the federal government wasn’t willing to let any states leave for any reason. And that is how the civil war started. And the victory for the north tightened the grip of the federal government over the states.

But we were supposed to be playing music here, rather then writing essays about history, so why don’t I play some music from the civil war?

Here’s a song celebrating the flag of the Confederacy, The Bonnie Blue Star:

And here we have The Battle Cry of Freedom, on the Union side:

From all this, you can deduce one thing; Americans are crap at writing good civil war songs. The Irish have them beat all over with IRA songs, a number of which I’ve played here before (like Óró ‘s é do bheatha ‘bhaile; that song’s awesome). Just for fun, here’s one more, One Shot Paddy:

Posted in Batty, Blogs, bulldada, Facts for Freaks and Other Criminals, fnord, From Shanoah, Happy Media, I Tunes Not U Tunes, I'm probably going to hell for this, Murder Ballads, Politics and Other Things In Which I'm Not Qualified | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Machine Gun Kelly

Posted by shanoah on April 27, 2009

I’ll raise you John Dillinger (Remember, John Dillinger died for you), and give you not one, but two songs about Machine Gun Kelly, both named, appropriately enough, Machine Gun Kelly.

The first is by a band called Bad Magic, starring some good guitar work by Kelly Blau. This was posted by Peacfrog126, who is the singer and songwriter for the band. The second is a cover of a James Taylor song being sung by carnabyroberts, who is a guitar teacher. Wasn’t able to find James Taylor actually singing it, but it’s a good cover.

Posted in A Thought from a Sticky Mood, Blogs, bulldada, From Shanoah, Gettin' Yer Freak On, Gooey Gummi Goodness, I Tunes Not U Tunes, I'm probably going to hell for this, Murder Ballads | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Up Jumped the Devil

Posted by shanoah on February 9, 2009

Well, that’s probably because I ended up having to head out the door before getting a chance to post, Sean. Sorry about that. You were right on general posting content, though, as this video is what I was planning on posting, but hadn’t written a post about yet:

Up Jumped the Devil – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

I actually found this because I consider Lotion to be a modern subset of the genre of murder ballads, which I’ve already talked about liking. Nick Cave, as it turns out, did a whole cd of them (named, originally enough, Murder Ballads). This wasn’t on it, but I thought the stop motion animation on this (which is not official, btw) was pretty cool. With freaky bones crawling around, and lots of flames, none the less…

Posted in Blogs, bulldada, fnord, FREAKIN' ME OUT MAN, From Shanoah, Gettin' Yer Freak On, I Tunes Not U Tunes, I'm probably going to hell for this, Murder Ballads | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

The Santa Sessions

Posted by shanoah on December 13, 2008

Hmmm. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious being sung by blue teeth? All right. And, you know, there is a punk version

It did occur to me, though, that Christmas is coming up, and we haven’t played much in the way of Christmas songs yet. So let’s rectify that, shall we?

Friend of the Devil – The Santa Sessions (posted by marcymartin)

Here we have Friend of the Devil being sung by a guy with a white beard. Just like the guy you usually hear sing it.  Of course, the real question is, did you realise Santa Claus was a friend of the devil?

I’ve Been All Around This World – The Santa Sessions (posted by marcymartin)

And here we have another classic Jerry Garcia song. This is one of these songs with a complicated history, which you can read about here. So here we have  Santa Claus as an outlaw, condemned to die. Works for me…

Posted in Blogs, bulldada, fnord, From Shanoah, Funny, Gettin' Yer Freak On, Gooey Gummi Goodness, Murder Ballads | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »