© International Center of Photography
This one began as a post on Declan Burke's Crime Always Pays and continued in a discussion with one of my colleagues at work. The subject as enunciated by Declan: "songs as condensed crime fiction novels – stripped-back and pared-down narratives about losers, loners and the kind of suckers who never caught an even break."
Bruce Sprinsteen's Nebraska came up, and I am proud to say that one of its crimes ("They blew up the Chicken Man in Philly last night") happened not far from where I live. Bobbie Gentry’s "Ode to Billie Joe" drew a mention, and someone suggested Richard Thompson's "1952 Vincent Black Lightning."
The first verse of Bob Dylan's "Hurricane," the part before the song turns to crap, has the makings of a crime story, but my contribution on C.A.P. was "Ocultei," recorded by the great Brazilian singer Elizeth Cardoso with a last verse (rendered into English for blogging purposes) that runs tremulously thus:
"And my most ardent desire
– May God pardon me the sin! –
Is that another woman by your side
Kill you in the hour of a kiss."
Now, let's hear from you. What songs would make good crime stories?
© Peter Rozovsky 2008