Poor Ellen Smith

Neko Case Ellen Smith was shot through the heart in July of 1892. Peter DeGraff had been romantically involved with Smith. He stood trial for her murder, was convicted, and was executed for it thirteen months after Smith’s death. At least two songs about this terrible, yet all too typical … → read more

The red bells beckon you to ride

In between “Furnace Room Lullaby” and “Deep Red Bells,” Neko Case released her second original murder ballad, “Make Your Bed.” The song appeared on Canadian Amp, an EP featuringa few covers, one traditional folk song, and two originals.  “Make Your Bed” is a fine murder ballad – not a masterpiece, … → read more

Deep as I have been done

Neko Case playing murder victim on the cover of her album Furnace Room Lullaby In response to a previous post on Nick Cave and Johnny Cash, one of our readers commented that “the emotion in Cave’s voice, along with his delivery, create a murder ballad experience which “moves” the listener … → read more