Tough day today. Favorite Murder Ballads?


Still breathing
Gold Supporting Member
Hola mi familia extraña,

Today was a tougher day. My dark thunks turned toward the genre of "murder ballads".

Have you a fave? Lately I have been on a TomBuk-inspired CotCS bender...And enjoyed this:

And you?

Still a tree-hugging hippy Buddhist mofo. Jes sayin...
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Cracking choon.

This is another great one:

This is a fave as well:

Sorry for the slightly liberal take on the subject :p

Surely a song that appeared on an album that had a John Wayne Gacy painting as it's cover art counts?

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My Dad (back in the 50s and 60s) marinated me and my young sisters in all sortsa music - early jazz, swing (danceable jazz), bebop, classical, Calypso, different blues approaches, etc - including traditional music from the British Isles, Appalachia, the American South & SW. So lotsa murder ballads, along with songs about travel and trains, work, love songs that didn't involve murder, and so on. These were mostly compilations of field and studio recordings by unknown folks on 33RPM records, and then a bunch of folky recordings by individuals and groups
  • +1 Banks of the Ohio_many versions of this song
  • Down in the Willow Garden
  • Barbara Allen_I know she doesn't kill him directly, but spurns him and he takes to his bed and dies
  • The Demon Lover
  • She Moved Through the Fair
  • In The Pines_many versions, not all including death but all very dark
  • Frankie & Johnny
  • Pretty Polly
  • Tom Dooley_the first song I learned to play on guitar. 2 chords no waiting.
  • I could go on..