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I See Dead People

A project/request for readers: I am trying to come up with a mix of songs having to do with dead people. Ok, I know that sounds morbid. Originally it was going to be a mix of songs that have that Southern Gothic feel, but I got stuck after 3 songs (Ode to Billy Joe, Fancy, The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia), so I rolled it over into a mix of dead people songs. The inspiration and model for this mix? “Riding With Private Malone.” You know, the song about the guy who buys the ’66 Corvette with the note in the glovebox from a dead soldier.

So here’s the deal
: songs on this mix must fulfill at least 2 criteria. One – the song must be a story-song or ballad. The cheesier the better. Two – the song must include a dead person – either a story about the deceased, or a description of how the deceased became deceased.

Here’s what I’ve got so far. Help! I need more songs!

1. Riding with Private Malone (David Ball)
2. Ode to Billy Joe (Bobbie Gentry)
3. The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia (Reba version (sorry, Vickie!))
4. Jackie (Sinead O’Connor)
5. Where’ve You Been? (Kathy Mattea)

{ 25 } Comments

  1. Courtney | January 20, 2005 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    Goodbye, Earl by The Dixie Chicks,
    Vincent, by Don McLean,
    Stan, by Eminen.

  2. Phantom Dennis | January 20, 2005 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    Last Kiss — covered by Pearl Jam. A sweet refrain, until you realized that he’s the one that killed her.

    I Used to Love Her – Guns N’ Roses. Very sick — but kinda funny.

  3. Kelly | January 20, 2005 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    These *might* work:
    “Eleanor Rigby” — the Beatles
    “Tom Dooley” — the Kingston Trio
    “I Used to Love Her [But I Had To Kill Her]” — Guns ‘n’ Roses
    That Indigo Girls song about how her brother spat on the preacher right before being hanged??

  4. Courtney | January 20, 2005 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    You’re right, Kell-Bell! That’s Amy Ray’s Johnny Rottentale! Definitely a ballad! Way to go! Love the Tom and Eleanor ideas…

  5. Jen | January 21, 2005 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Leader of the Pack, clearly. By the Shangri-Las. Look out! Look out! Look out!

    And another classic: Shooting Star, Bad Company.

  6. todd | January 21, 2005 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    “Caleb Meyer” by Gillian Welch, also sung by Joan Baez on Soundstage.

  7. todd | January 21, 2005 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    But I guess it’s not very cheesy…

  8. Miranda | January 21, 2005 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Cheesy is a bonus, but not a requirement. These are all great suggestions! I will have to get to work producing this mix. Let me know if anyone wants a copy.

  9. Piig | January 21, 2005 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    Would “Down By The River” (either IG or Neil Young) work? I can’t decide if it’s ballady enough.

    And there’s “Deadman’s Hill.” Would the death of cats and innocence work into your theme?

  10. Miranda | January 21, 2005 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    Hmm…”Down By the River” might work!

  11. Piig | January 21, 2005 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    Oh, I have another one. Definitely a ballad, and high in the cheese factor. “I’ll Be True To You” by the Oakridge Boys. Late 1970s.

  12. allison | January 21, 2005 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. Not espeically cheezy, but a ballad about a lot of dead people.

  13. Kelly | January 22, 2005 at 1:46 am | Permalink

    “Bohemian Rhapsody” — Queen
    And, if you expand the list to include songs-in-which-the-narrator-is-*about*-to-die, you could add “I’ve Got to Get a Message to You” by the Bee Gees

  14. Darx | January 22, 2005 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    Oooh, ooh, I’ve got a great one! It’s on my list of iTunes songs to download: Richard Thompson, 1952 Vincent Black Lightning, from Action Packed, Best of the Capitol Years. Contains the character of Red Molly, which always makes me think of Betty’s “Cherreeeeeeeeee”

  15. LD | January 23, 2005 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    “Go Tell Aunt Rhody”….the old grey goose is dead. Do dead animals count? IT’s in the OTS songbook. Isn’t there a Prince song that says “I would die for you”?. I Shot the Sheriff.

  16. MOLT | January 24, 2005 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    Terry Jacks, Seasons in the sun. That is a ballad and cheesy.
    Then of course MJ’s Dirty Diana
    Elton John’s Daniel,
    Peter Schilling Major Tom
    Mike and the Mechanics the living years
    How about Last Night, the Tracy Chapman acapella song
    The ultimate in ballad and cheesy is El Paso, the singer sings about his love with Felina for whom he dies in the last line
    Along with country cheesy ballad theme, there is the Battle of the Green Beret, and Big Bad John
    Don’t cry for me Argentina – ooh I love the death knell there. And for all those Mirandala readers I am not some bizarre sicko… more of a regular one.

    I don’t know if any of these helps. I do own all of these songs if you need any and want to include them.

    Well, that was fun. Have a great day!

  17. angelope | January 24, 2005 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    i second the “tom dooley” (kingston trio) suggestion. though he isn’t dead quite yet. but certainly about to be. he kill a lady by the river. he need to die. *STARE*

  18. Kevin | January 25, 2005 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    “Rocky Raccoon” by The Beatles. (Okay, it dates me.)

  19. spike | January 25, 2005 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    how about faye tucker and johnny rottentale?

  20. Miranda | January 25, 2005 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    You all are awesome. I’m going to incorporate as many of your suggestions as possible. Thanks!

  21. general | January 26, 2005 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    sand and water beth nielsen chapman
    that 50s song that pearl jam covered about the car crash and the dead teenager?

  22. Carl Henry | January 31, 2005 at 3:24 am | Permalink

    How about Delia’s Gone – Johnny Cash…

  23. jcnkc | February 6, 2005 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    speaking of johnny cash, may i suggest “ballad of ira hayes”?
    sounds like a great compilation that i could certainly use a copy of, here in “cowtown”—hope it’s going well!

  24. Carolyn | March 5, 2007 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    “Where the Wild Roses Grow” by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds featuring Kylie Minouge. One of my all time favorites.

  25. DB | July 10, 2012 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    It’s quite a few years later, and I had the same idea for a “Southern Gothic/Storytelling” mix and found this post…

    Meanwhile we got another great addition to the playlist in 2008:
    The Raconteurs – Carolina Drama

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