My Ten Favorite Murder Ballads: Death of a Salesman (#10)
By Four Walls
August 28, 2016 11:41am CST
How gross is this!? A series of discussions about songs dealing with murders? Well, being raised in country music I was used to these. I never saw them as anything but story songs. Most of them had the killer getting his just rewards at the end, so they were morality plays as well. Most of these are country or bluegrass songs, because let's face it, country and bluegrass has been killing people in songs for hundreds of years (going back to the old folk ballads that some of these are derived from). And, of course, mentioning these songs doesn't imply that I approve...just like watching The Godfather doesn't make one sympathetic to the mafia. #10: Death of a Salesman - Steve Goodman Steve Goodman had a morbid sense of humor. I suppose if you were told at the age of 20 you were going to die in 6-12 months from leukemia you would, too. Experimental (for the time) treatment prolonged his life for a good 15 years until complications from a bone marrow transplant took his life at age 36. But, oh, the songs he wrote in that period. He wrote his first song in his hospital room at the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Hospital in New York. Some of his songs are serious, some are lighthearted (his pro-Cubs anthem "Go Cubs Go" is played after every Cubs victory at Wrigley Field), some are sweet (his lovely song for his wife, "You're the Girl I Love"), and some are...well, like this. Here Goodman took the old "traveling salesman" joke to its logical (or illogical) extreme: a man sets up a scheme to appeal to the "animal nature" of the traveler, then makes him pay for it with his life. It's sort of Sweeney Todd without the meat pies. Goodman even admits it's a joke with the final line of the song: "all you traveling salesmen who might be passing through better watch your step or that traveling salesman joke will be on you." Death of a Salesman Written by Steve Goodman, Saul Broudy, Steve Burgh, Jeff Gutcheon, Lew London, and Jim Rothermel Music by Grandpa Jones ("Eight More Miles to Louisville") Recorded by Steve Goodman From Words We Can Dance To, 1976 The comedic murder ballad:
Steve Goodman - Death of a Salesman Recorded Live: 4/18/1976 - Capitol Theatre - Passaic, NJ More Steve Goodman at Music Vault: http://www.musicvault.com Sub...
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