If It Hadn’t Been For Love

Hey, hey, hey, what up kiddies? Magpie here, inaugurating Music Mondays. Peachy and me put our heads together about Song of the Day, and after we’d recovered from our respective concussion, we decided to retire it as a category. We had heaps of fun writing for it every day, and we got some really positive feedback from people who were enjoying it, but as enriching as our Desert Island experience was, we felt like writing about music every single day wasn’t leaving us much time for other content.

So we’ve relegated Song of the Day to the metaphorical archives, (may it rest in peace,) and have overhauled our humble blog. Our music content now takes the form of Music Mondays, and will have a wittily named monthly theme, just to keep things interesting. The theme for July is… (*drumroll, please!*)

(Murder Music)

Popular music has a rich history of murder ballads, from chain gang chants about murderous pimp, Stagger Lee in the 1890s, through to a very 90’s track by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds on the same subject, from an album called “Murder Ballads.” It’s literally on the tin (I won’t deprive you of the link because it is a pretty fantastic song, but be warned: it is not for the faint hearted or easily offended. Think before you click, friends. If you click and you don’t like it- don’t say I didn’t warn you!) Everyone knows Mack the Knife and I Shot the Sheriff, and while they are an acquired taste, (not necessarily my own,) a lot of people know Marylin Manson’s vast oeuvre of songs about people killing other people. Seriously, you guys. SO MANY MURDER SONGS.

It didn’t take me long to realise that I know a disturbing number of murder ballads, but hey, there are five Mondays in July, I’m sure Peachy and me will get through a good number of them (even if we cheat like I just did and link about six in one post.)

Ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, I present Guide to Nothing’s first ever Music Monday.


The song starts at about 2:28, but I recommend watching the intro, because let’s be honest, Adele is a hilarious human being. The song is fictional, about a man who has murdered his wife and went on the run, reflecting on his crime from his prison cell. I love Adele’s cover, but the original is amazing as well. It’s an interesting take on the murder ballad, from the perspective of the murderer, without any overt violence or glorification of the crime. No denial, no real attempt at justification, just an acceptance of actions and consequences, set to a “gnarly banjo.”


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