Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Music To Murder By

I’m always looking for something to fill space on this website, so I thought, Why not a list? That will fill space. So I did (very) little thinking and decided to develop a list of songs that are appropriate to the sort of novels I’ve been reading recently, crime novels from the 50s (mostly).. Sort of music noir. So here is a list of 16 songs that I think match the tone of our crime novels. I used an arbitrary cut-off date of my lifetime, since the early twentieth century saw the popularity of “murder ballads”, which would have made the list too large to be manageable, and tried to limit to no more than one song per artist (Springsteen’s Nebraska album was composed completely of songs that would qualify). Inclusion in this list is entirely subjective to the listener. For instance, every time I hear “My Humps” by the Black-Eyed Peas, I want to kill someone, but I realize most people like that sort of thing.. One word of explanation: traditional country songs have a disproportionate representation on such lists, since in trad country, once the cheatin’ started, somebody was goin’ to get shot.

“Songs To Murder By”

“The Red Right Hand”, Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds
“Shoot Out The Lights”, Richard and Linda Thompson
“Rose In Paradise”, Waylon Jennings
“The Beast In Me”, Nick Lowe
“Long Black Veil”, Johnny Cash
“Decoration Day”, The Drive-By Truckers
“Lilli Schull” Uncle Tupelo
“Cold Cold Ground” Tom Waits
“Private Investigations”, Dire Straits
“Down By The River”, Neil Young
“In Germany, Before The War”, Randy Newman
“Jailbreak”, AC/DC
“I Fought The Law”, The Clash
“I’m Not The Man”, 10,000 Maniacs
“The House Of The Rising Sun”, The Animals
“Nebraska”, Bruce Springsteen
“Heroin”, The Velvet Underground
"Killing Just For Fun", Tito & Tarantula

{Note: This is a reprint of a much older post, on a different, now defunct blog.}

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