Old Tyme Songs about Revenge
August 14, 2005 11:21 PM   Subscribe

Having recently fallen in love with the Decemberists' "The Mariner's Revenge Song" I'm inspired to create a mix disc of songs about revenge by modern groups with an old tyme feel. I've come up with a few other songs that are perfect, but need help completing the collection.

Ween's "Buenas Tardes Amigo" is a perfect fit. A fantastic song about revenge with a twist at the end.

"Rocky Raccoon" by The Beatles is another song I've loved for years about failed revenge.

Other potential songs that I've thought about are "Gallows Pole" by Led Zeppelin (not quite a revenge song, but it does have somewhat of the feel that I'm looking for) and "The Cask of Amontillado" by Alan Parsons Project, definitely a revenge song, but not quite the right old tyme feel to the music.

Hopefully the scope that I've picked isn't too narrow. I think these types of songs tend towards the longer side (the Decemberists' song is close to 9 minutes) so another 5 or 6 songs and I should be set.

Anyone have songs that they think would fit?
posted by freshgroundpepper to Media & Arts (24 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Seven Curses by Bob Dylan
posted by samh23 at 11:29 PM on August 14, 2005

Okkervil River's "Black" is snarling and fine.
posted by Marquis at 1:23 AM on August 15, 2005

Shellac-Prayer To God.
posted by evariste at 2:47 AM on August 15, 2005

Man, Rasputina has to have something. I can't think of a good one at the moment. Maybe "The Mayor"?
posted by sciurus at 6:01 AM on August 15, 2005

Hey Joe (Jimi's version)

Also, I remember seeing John Lee Hooker a long time ago sing a song where he imitated the sound of the drowning of the guy that was screwing his woman. Made your hair stand on end. Can't remember the name of the song though.
posted by cjb10350 at 6:12 AM on August 15, 2005

Salvation Stomp by Donovan?

Check out The Original Brothers and Sisters of Love and (the same guys in a new band) the Great Lakes Myth Society, who each have several Olden Timey songs about revenge.
Also good is the band Fez, and 16 Horsepower, who do that shit like it's their job. (Specifically, their latest album which includes revenge songs from the Steppes of Mongolia and Apalachian America...)
posted by klangklangston at 7:00 AM on August 15, 2005

"Shit Damn Motherfucker" by D'Angelo
Not quite old-tymey, but a revenge song with a smooth R+B groove.
posted by jozxyqk at 9:10 AM on August 15, 2005

Nick Cave is your friend.
Porter Wagoner's "Cold Hard Facts Of Life" might be too old.
Maybe: Magnetic Fields - "Yeah! Oh Yeah!"
posted by ktrey at 9:25 AM on August 15, 2005

Country Dick Montana, "Texas Heat is High".
posted by GaelFC at 11:28 AM on August 15, 2005

The Violent Femmes - "Country Death Song"
posted by Heminator at 12:37 PM on August 15, 2005

Metallica's rendition of "Whiskey in the Jar" fits your criteria.
posted by Miko at 12:40 PM on August 15, 2005

Lyle Lovett, "L.A. County"
And they kissed each other
And they turned around
And they saw me standing in the aisle
Well I did not say much
I just stood there watching
As that .45 told them goodbye
posted by kirkaracha at 12:41 PM on August 15, 2005

"The Sky Above, the Mud Below" by Tom Russell is a great revenge song.
posted by maurice at 3:06 PM on August 15, 2005

Wow! Great answers so far! I <3 ask.mefi.br>
A few of these I'm familiar with, but had forgotten about, and some of the others I've never heard of, but I'm going to check them all out.

If anyone has other suggestions, I'm still open. Even if I've got a full CD already I could make it a double CD set :).
posted by freshgroundpepper at 3:09 PM on August 15, 2005

Brun by Garmana. Scroll down for the lyric.
posted by QIbHom at 3:16 PM on August 15, 2005

Greg MacPherson's "Company Store" is exactly what you're looking for. 3:26.
posted by rafter at 4:12 PM on August 15, 2005

The song, by the way, is a true story of MacPherson's grandfather who took part in the razing a coal mining company store:
I slammed the door at quarter to four,
I was headed for the company store —
I'll watch my children starve no more,
tonight I'm going to feed them.

I haven't worked in forty days,
for twenty-three I've had no pay,
in a week I'll have no place to stay,
in an hour they'll have to kill me.
posted by rafter at 4:22 PM on August 15, 2005

Nick Cave's Murder Ballads album is full of this sort of thing.
posted by hot soup girl at 6:15 PM on August 15, 2005

Doesn't Earl get shot dead in that Dixie Chicks song?
posted by absalom at 8:10 PM on August 15, 2005

"Run For Your " by the Beatles threatens revenge.

"Like a Rolling Stone" certainly takes bitter satisfaction in the protagonists comeuppance.

"Frankie and Johnny," perhaps?
posted by Good Brain at 8:47 PM on August 15, 2005

I don't know if any of these have the old tyme feel you're looking for, but here goes:

James Brown - The Payback
De La Soul - Mille Pulled a Pistol on Santa
Gilberto Gil - Domingo no Parque (In Portuguese. A jealous lover kills his ex and her new boyfriend.)
Smog - Our Anniversary (a petty act of revenge in very a chilling song)

A couple of songs of near revenge:
Johnny Cash - A Boy Named Sue
Lee Hazelwood - I'm Glad I Never
posted by hydrophonic at 9:33 PM on August 15, 2005

Not so much revenge as forgiveness...sorry if it doesn't fit...Buenas Tardes Amigo really reminded me of it: Leonard Cohen - Famous Blue Raincoat
posted by edjusted at 10:53 PM on August 15, 2005

I don't see the Femmes' "Old Country Death Song" as a revenge story; it's basically just a really sad tragedy.

On the other hand, Kenny Rogers's "Coward of the County" is about as straightforward a ballad of revenge as you're likely to find.
posted by Clay201 at 11:31 PM on August 15, 2005

Bredan Benson's "Gold into Straw" has a pretty good, if not subtle, revenge theme running through it.
posted by Armen Tanzarian at 7:33 AM on August 16, 2005

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