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Death Songs

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Perhaps I've missed something, but I can't see a topic collecting all those gruesome pop songs featuring death.

 

To start the ball rolling, here's murderer R. Dean Taylor on the run in 1970 (and probably not surviving the hail of gunfire at the end).

 

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Raised my rifle to my eye

Never stopped to wonder why.

Then I saw black,

And my face splashed in the sky.

 

 

Neil Young and Powderfinger.

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Two that immediately spring to mind are Billy, Don't Be A Hero (death by Civil War) and Tell Laura I Love Her (car crash).

 

My favourite death song is The Severed Garden by The Doors. I intend to have this at my funeral.

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Jimmy Cross

, awesome.

 

Re Neil Young + Powderfinger, classic too, probably never better live than it is in the clip from the Rust Never Sleeps movie.

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Then there's:

  • The Shangri-Las -

  • Pink Floyd -

and for our Dutch readers:

  • Jacques Herb -

regards,

Hein

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Jimmy Cross
, awesome.

 

Re Neil Young + Powderfinger, classic too, probably never better live than it is in the clip from the Rust Never Sleeps movie.

 

I agree. One of the all-time greats.

 

Then there's

 

and

.

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And we can't forget this

of love and death!

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How about Whiskey in the Jar?

 

Also, Tom Lehrer gave us a few classics involving death including The Irish Ballad and Poisoning Pigeons in the Park.

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Great moustache, great shirt, dodgy death-dirge that sold millions; it's gotta be that man

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- hadn't realised it was about stringing up students.

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Of course Johnny Cash specialised in this stuff.

and One more minute to go. Also

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Great stuff, keep em coming.

 

Now here's a bit of Sixties nostalgia - the English 'Leader of the Pack'. Banned by the BBC!

 

Twinkle with

 

He rode into the night, accelerated his motorbike

I cried to him in fright, don't do it, don't do it, don't do it ...

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Not really songs about death, but some of The Smiths lyrics are crackers. For instance, if you're already feeling suicidal, 'there's a club if you'd like to go, you could meet somebody who really loves you, so you go and you stand on your own, and you leave on your own, and you go home, and you cry, and you want to die' should make you reach for the rope and loft hatch.

 

Or if you want to kill your girlfriend 'sweetness, sweetness, I was only joking when I said by rights you should be bludgeoned in your bed'.

 

I love The Smiths, always good for a sing-a-long.

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You mean like

 

And if a double-decker bus

Crashes in to us

To die by your side

Is such a heavenly way to die

And if a ten ton truck

Kills the both of us

To die by your side

Well the pleasure, the privilege is mine

 

Funnily enough they did a cover of Twinkle's other song, Golden Lights. (not nearly such a good song as Terry, mind.)

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I will go with a Lakota death song/battle cry:

 

Hoka Hey!

 

Whether it means "It is a good day to die" or "Hold fast, there is more", it's the one for me.

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I knew that someday I was gonna die

And I knew before I died

Two things would happen to me

That number one: I would regret my entire life

And number two: I would want to live my life over again

 

I have crawled so far sideways

I recognise dim traces of creation

I wanna die, die in the summertime, I wanna die

 

The court has come.

The court of the Nations and into the courtroom will come

the martyrs of Majdanek and Oswiecim.

From the ditch of Kerch the dead will rise,

they will arise from the graves,

they will arise from flames bringing with them the acrid smoke

and the deathly odour of scorched and martyred Europe.

And the children they too will come, stern and merciless.

The butchers had no pity on them.

Now the victims will judge the butchers.

Today the tear of the child is the judge.

The grief of the mother is the prosecutor.

 

Ahhh Richey Edwards, now he always knew how to pen a cheery number.

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Does Cutting Crew's 'Died in your Arms' count?

 

Gawd, that takes me back. Some of the 80s really was shit, wasn't it?

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Firstly, I can't believe I didn't think of it earlier.

 

Secondly, I can't believe no-one's come up with it since.

 

Hit it Tom!

 

 

Or, if you prefer, Alex,

 

!

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Well, now you come to mention him, old Tom's Green, Green Grass of Home is a bit of a sad, death-related tune.

Powerfully sad really when you take the lyrics in.

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Well, if a song's not about sex then there's a fair chance it's about death. Except for Good Enough by Dodgy. I've no idea what's that's about.

 

Bonus points awarded if it's about both, Liebling.

 

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