29 Responses

  1. Jim Ciscell
    Jim Ciscell at |

    Honorably one should mention Puff The Magic Dragon and that Jackie Paper was no more..

  2. Sherman
    Sherman at |

    One of my personal favorites is Last Kiss by J Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers. I was hoping to see it on here. I remember being shocked at the sadness such an upbeat oldies song could bring.

  3. Lanna
    Lanna at |

    Any song from Nick Caves Murder Ballads tops this list
    especially “where the wild roses grow”

  4. ParusMajor
    ParusMajor at |

    “And the Band Played Waltzing Mathilda” by the Pogues
    “A Boy Named Sue” by Johnny Cash
    “Take a Message to Mary” by the Everly Brothers

  5. Don Newbury
    Don Newbury at |

    The most stark one I have ever heard was “DOA” by Bloodrock. If this song doesn’t chill you out, nothing will.

  6. ParusMajor
    ParusMajor at |

    “Stan” by Eminem. I don’t usually listen to rap, but this one has chilling lyrics: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSLZFdqwh7E

  7. PragmaticStatistic
    PragmaticStatistic at |

    “I shot the sheriff” by Bob Marley
    “Kock’in on Heaven’s Door” by Bob Dylan
    “Who Wants To Live Forever” by Queen
    “The Day the Music Died” by Don McLean
    “Hotel Califiornia” by the Eagles

  8. Repack Rider
    Repack Rider at |

    “Tell Laura I Love Her”

  9. ParusMajor
    ParusMajor at |

    “Delilah” by Tom Jones: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67BFvgOio58

  10. Mark S.
    Mark S. at |

    How about the famous song ‘Hasta Siempre Comandante’, about the death of one of the most famous icons of the last 50 years ?
    Watch this for one of the most poignant versions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSRVtlTwFs8

  11. Jamie
    Jamie at |

    Or how about “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer?”

  12. redstick
    redstick at |

    “Dead Man’s Curve” Dan and Jean, 1964
    “I Want My Baby Back” Jimmy Cross 1965 (weird beyond imagining; he gets his baby back, with a shovel)
    “Transfusion” Nervous Norvus, 1957 (“My blood corp-suckles are in mass confusion; Ain’t never, never gonna speed again [put an gallon in me, alan]”]
    A whole sub-genre, Dead Teenagers was really popular during the 50’s and 60’s.

  13. The Kong Goliath
    The Kong Goliath at |

    The Jack of Hearts by Bob Dylan…As for story songs, it is the best.

  14. Nikhil Puri
    Nikhil Puri at |

    Crimson by Edge of Sanity.. best.. \m/

  15. PragmaticStatistic
    PragmaticStatistic at |

    “Who Shot Liberty Valance” by Burt Bacharach and Hal David
    “Sympathy For The Devil” by the Rolling Stones

  16. Zane
    Zane at |

    “D.O.A” by Bloodrock circa 1972. Creepiest song EVER laid on vinyl. Stroy of a planecrash told by one of the dying survivors. In junior high, we used to call the local DJ and BEG him to play it.

    Dare you to listen it more than once.

  17. ParusMajor
    ParusMajor at |

    ehmm… redstick… I think it’s Jan and Dean, not Dan and Jean lol 😀

    1. redstick
      redstick at |

      Oops! Is my race fed! I’m mightily impressed that you either 1) remembered, or 2) looked up the correct info.

  18. Zane
    Zane at |

    Wait: How do you know it was Tony who was sht at the Copa?

  19. Sally
    Sally at |

    Others that should be mentioned (and yeah, these are oldies, but definitely goodies):
    –Ode to Billy Joe. Man, oh man. Whole web pages still figuring this one out.
    –Staggerlee, by Lloyd Price, among others. The best shagging (as in the beach music dance) song, based on a real murder.
    –The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia.
    –Timothy, by the Buoys. Supposedly the title character was a burro, but like hell. Everyone who heard it knew that he was a man, and then he was…food. Not that many songs about cannibalism, come to think of it.
    –Long Black Veil, covered by most everyone, including Johnny Cash and the Chieftains.
    –And – because it is a fun song, alot like Copacabana in the story – Cuban Crime of Passion, by Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band.

    1. redstick
      redstick at |

      Ode to Billy Joe! Oh, yeah! That’s gotta be in here!

  20. johnlouis62
    johnlouis62 at |

    How is one song about death better than another?

    Here are a few more

    Leader of The Pack – Shangralias

    Honey – Bobbi Goldsboro

    In My Time of Dying – Led Zepplin

    Billy Don’t Be A Hero – Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods

    Tie Me Kangaroo Down – Rolf Harris

    Tell Laura I Love Her – Ray Peterson

    Tom Dooley – The Kingston Trio

    I Don’t Like Mondays – Boomtown Rats

    Last Kiss – rerecorded by Several Artist included J. Frank Wills.

    DOA by Bloodrock

    Paint It Black – The Rolling Stones

    Counting Blue Cars – Dishwalla (I think this song is about a young boy who is dying)

    Seasons in the Sun – Terry Jacks

    Tweeter and The Monkey Man – The Traveling Wilbury’s

    The Green Berets – Sgt. Barry Sadler

    Circle Be Unbroken – Johnny Cash (mentions the death or a little brother – though not specifcally about death).

    Nights The Light Went Out In Georgia – Vicky Lawrence

    Big John – Jimmy Dean

    Carry On – Blood, Sweat and Tears

    Running Bear – Johnny Preston

    Teen Angel – Mark Dinning

    Not Now – Blink 182

    Run Joey Run – David Geddes

    A Day In The Life – The Beatles

  21. ParusMajor
    ParusMajor at |

    BTW, Manilow’s “Copacabana” was used by the professional wrestler Scott Colton, aka Colt Cabana as his entrance music. Colton never quite made it to the top of WWE, but he was incredibly popular at the indies and Japan. Most notably in Ring of Honor. His favourite move was called the “Flying Asshole”!! 😀

  22. ParusMajor
    ParusMajor at |

    “Endless Sleep” by Jody Reynolds: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aORD1aRz_qI I’m not sure if this quite qualifies, since the guy saves the girl who tried to to commit suicide… but it’s still a song about possible death….

  23. superdave
    superdave at |

    How about

    “Living for the City” by Stevie Wonder and “Hurricane” by Bob Dylan

  24. eson berto
    eson berto at |

    “gloomy sunday” should be on the list..

  25. Johnnycanuck
    Johnnycanuck at |

    What about the Guns and Roses song: Used to Love Her –

    I used to love her, but I had to kill her
    I used to love her, but I had to kill her
    I had to put her, six feet under, and I can still hear her complain

    I used to love her, but I had to kill her
    I used to love her, but I had to kill her
    I knew I’d miss her, so I had to keep her
    She’s buried right in my back yard

    I used to love her, but I had to kill her
    I used to love her, but I had to kill her
    She *****ed so much. She drove me nuts, and now I’m happier

  26. Pas
    Pas at |

    I don’t get why motorhead’s 1916 is not mentioned anywhere

  27. Darn.floor
    Darn.floor at |

    Don’t forget Richard Thompson’s epic “1952 Vincent Black Lightning”



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