Deadsplinter Up! All Night: Murder is the Case that they Gave Me (and dance party)

Happy Thanksgiving Eve, Everyone!

carving the turkey

Tomorrow is the day we gather with loved ones and those otherwise affiliated to give thanks for the blessings of the year. In honor of this joyous day, our theme for tonight’s DUAN will be…the murder ballad.

Murder ballads have been around since Cain slew Abel and demonstrated that families can be, um… complicated. They became very popular in medieval England and lowland Scotland and spread to America, where they took on an even more blood-soaked and gruesome tone (as is our way). Often, they deal with wives driven to killing terrible husbands, which is why I have learned to sleep with one eye open.

Country folk seem really adept at the murder ballad. When I lived in Texas, I learned there was an entire subgenre of country music there that dealt with death-dealing. The great Eddie Noack recorded what may be the first serial murder ballad to become a hit on regional radio.

Some murder ballads are bouncy and danceable

One fun aspect of some murder ballads is that you don’t really know they’re murder ballads until you listen very closely to the lyrics.

Songs about murder continue to be popular to this very day. Noted easy-listening artist Nick Cave recorded an entire album of murder ballads.

If murder isn’t your idea of holiday fare, this DUAN is also open to spontaneous DANCE PARTY!! If you can find a murder ballad you can dance to, you get extra credit.

Finally, in the famous last words of executed serial killer Rhonda Belle Martin (who killed her mother and at least two husbands because she “liked getting sympathy cards”), “THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT OF DEADSPLINTER!



  1. A curiously upbeat serial killer murder song:  Maxwell’s Silver Hammer.


    • oh goddamnit!
      lol okay…guess you got there first

    • Maxwell was just an Excitable Boy


  2. murder ballad?

    dance party?

  3. True Crime

    The Smiths – Suffer Little Children


    The Boomtown Rats – I Don’t Like Monday’s


    The Killers – Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine


  4. I had no idea murder ballads were a thing but the first song that came to mind was Kim by Eminem. I did a Google search, and sure enough it’s considered a murder ballad. Learn something new everday.

  5. this one count?

    • Absolutely.  Hey Joe is a pure murder ballad.

  6. hey…wait…whilst im at it….. does this one count? 

    ill shut up now

  7. hey wait….does this count as a dance party?

    (i might not be very good at shutting up)

  8. I got a few good obscure murder ballads…


    and Wammo’s fusion tune live…


  9. Fantastic image choice! I saw a travelling exhibit of Artemisia Gentileschi’s works years and years ago and her works are so interesting to spend time with.

    She had a couple of very violent paintings, including the image of Judith Slaying Holofernes you have above. Judith is considered to be a self-portrait, and the painting was done in the period after she was raped at 17 by another painter and had a nasty trial about it before ultimately marrying some other guy and moving to Florence.  


  10. i love the voodoo glow skulls
    oddly enough before he died i played me dad the band geek maffia album and his only comment was…. i bet they are nam vets 
    i….dont think they were…but hell..that was not a take i was expecting him to come up with

    • Me too!  I thought about posting Fat Randy, kinda a murder ballad…


      • going off topic for a sec…but human pinata is my favourite…
        that said…this one holds a special place in my heart too

        (at least in part coz it has my name in it….brodie is my work nomer…not my first name..but theres too many christians in this world… so i go by my last name….)

  11. and this one is between murder ballad & dance party…

    • 3 seconds in and im already bopping along

    • Darn it! You already posted it; ah well, good enough to have twice!

  12. Okay, last one…this is too on the nose not to post…


  13. I don’t think anyone else is gonna pick this one, so here goes…

    • …speaking of the less-picked tune…I always did like henry lee more than the duet nick cave did with kylie that got so much more airplay…just wanted to give that some extra props, I guess

  14. Here is a beautiful murder ballad:


  15. THE murder ballad from the show of murders.

  16. And I can dance to the psycho killer:


  17. In Mexico, ballads that celebrate drug dealers are called narcocorridos:

  18. David Bromberg – Dehlia


  19. …does this count?

    …or does there need to be some realism?

  20. Carrie Underwood’s got this one in the bag…

    And in case anyone was wondering, she is literally the most beautiful person I have ever seen in person. I was at the Opry the night she was inducted by Randy Travis and it was magical. And her legs to up to HERE and she glows from within. 


  21. I didn’t know that “A Criminal Mind” by Gowan was only a hit in Canada until I watched the movie Killing Gunther… I thought it was a conspiracy that none of my American friends knew wtf I was talking about when it came to this awesome power ballad…could also be considered dance party-ish…with enough beer in ya, eh?

  22. Shortly after the first anniversary of the day Michael Brown was shot, I was on my way across the rivers to Illinois but missed a turn and ended up driving through Ferguson instead. This is the song that was playing in my CD player at the time:

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