My Ten Favorite Murder Ballads: Charlie's Medicine (#6)

@FourWalls (15155)
United States
September 2, 2016 8:36am CST
Before I hit the miniature golf course I'll kill off another one of my favorite murder ballads. (Ah, you see what I did there. ) This is an artist most music geeks probably felt would make the list....just probably not the song you were expecting. #6: Charlie's Medicine - Warren Zevon Yeah, yeah, "Hey, where's 'Excitable Boy'?" I considered that psychopathic song (your trivia: the victim's name is "Little Susie" in a nod to the Everly Brothers' "Wake Up Little Susie," as Zevon used to work for the Everly Brothers as their piano player and arranger) with its deceptively happy melody and the "ooh-ah-ooh" background vocals by Linda Ronstadt and Jennifer Warnes. I went for the more serious song instead. There are two murderers in this song: Charlie, the drug dealer ("Charlie dealt in pharmaceuticals, Charlie used to sell me pills"), and his murderer, "some respectable doctor from Beverly Hills" who -- probably fed up with seeing the end results of what the drugs were doing to Charlie's customers (Zevon never said that in the song, but you can imply it...one of the great things about Zevon is he left a lot of the canvas blank for you to color in yourself) -- took matters into his own hands. The doctor "shot him through the heart." The most chilling line in the song: "Charlie never felt a thing. Neither of them did." It took the death of the dealer to make the junkie come to his senses ("I gave Charlie all my money, what the hell was I thinking of?"), but in the end, you don't know if this will rehabilitate the narrator or if he'll just find someone else. Zevon closed the song sympathetically toward the deceased dealer: "I came to say goodbye. I'm sorry Charlie died. I came to finish paying my bill." What a song. Charlie's Medicine Written by Warren Zevon Recorded by Warren Zevon From The Envoy, 1982 Charlie got his prescription filled:
Provided to YouTube by Warner Music Group Charlie's Medicine (2007 Remastered Version) · Warren Zevon The Envoy ? 2007 Elektra Entertainment Company Bass Gui...
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2 responses
@teamfreak16 (41333)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
3 Sep 16
Great song. A hole in one is in your future for this one!
1 person likes this
@FourWalls (15155)
• United States
4 Sep 16
I had plenty of holes in one...unfortunately, plenty of bogeys too.
1 person likes this
@CinnamonGrl (6065)
• Paradise, California
2 Sep 16
Warren Zevon is an old favorite of mine as are the Everly Brothers. andI think this is an awesome song.
1 person likes this