I got to thinking recently about songs about baddies and crime.  There are some absolute gems out there.

What got me started on this train of thought was listening to Johnny Cash singing The Beast In Me:

From childhood I absolutely loved Lorne Greene's Ringo:

Nick Drake seems to have built his career on them!  Possibly my favorite is a duet with P J Harvey, Henry Lee:

I know that this is only the tip of a very large iceberg!

I would love to hear about other peoples favorites

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Very glad to oblige.  And yes, go see him live.   It's a spiritual experience.

Just listened to this on the way to work.  Steve Earle doing "The Last Gunfighter Ballad" by Guy Clark.


Gotta add a few more.

Grateful Dead- Mexicali Blues (Jack Straw and Me and My Uncle are also great, but were already mentioned)

Townes Van Zandt- Pancho and Lefty

Jimi Hendrix- Hey Joe

Steve Goodman- Lincoln Park Pirates

Warren Zevon- Excitable Boy and Werewolves


Can't believe this has gone to five pages, and Stagger Lee hasen't come up...even have a book about it somewhere. My favorite rendition is the late Jim Ringer's version, on his album with the David Bromberg band backing him up.  Jim used to play at one of our local folk houses , where they loved to hear his, and Utah Philip's stories of the road, and hard lives. One day I asked why he haden't been back in a while, and was told the association president thought he   

"drank too much".  Comeon, what did you expect you friggin weenie! Any how, old Jim's Stagger Lee was the best.



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Created by No Depression Feb 17, 2009 at 9:06pm. Last updated by No Depression Sep 24, 2012.