William's Face

from by bgm

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about

An attempt at writing my own Murder Ballad.
As far as I can tell, the format always seems to go something like this:

-Story is told in first person past-tense by the narrator, who is also the murderer.
-Narrator perceives that he has been slighted or shamed in some way by the victim who is usually his child/girlfriend/wife. Perhaps he just loves them too much.
-Narrator leads the unsuspecting victim into the woods or "up a hill" or somewhere far away from safety.
-Sometimes victim pleads for his or her life.
-Narrator murders victim in a base fashion; there's some poetic bloodiness.
-Someone is named "Willie" or "Katie."
-Body disposal, if not thrown down a well.
-Remorse
-Incarceration and summing up!

lyrics

the light was growing dimmer with my only son behind me
through the darkest woods where people seldom roam
to the place where I would kill him
for the shame that he had brought down on our home

o my heart was feeling heavy as we walked up through the trees
but in my head I had to set things right
the boy could hardly know
it was the last time that he'd ever see the light

in the last light of the sun
I saw my beautiful young son
and I brought my shovel down upon his head
he tried to reach out for me with his crying eyes
and everything was red

"O Daddy please I'm dying,"
my sweet William tried to say
but his helpless cries were growing soft and dim
and when his cries had stopped
I picked that shovel off the ground and buried him

my wife was waiting for me as I came in from the dark
her worried face knew that I'd murdered our poor son
the only words she spoke were,
"There's a place for you in Hell for what you've done."

well I struggled through my sleepless dreams
and all the hours in between
I didn't feel the peace I thought I would
and "Willie!" I cried out until it struck me
that my boy was gone for good

now I rot in prison counting days until they kill me
for the heinous thing I wish I could erase
and the only thing that comforts me
is thinking about my boy William's face

credits

from They Don't Run Your Life, track released February 26, 2010
©bgm (SOCAN/ASCAP)

The image is The Prodigal Son in Modern Life: The Return, by James Tissot. As far as I can ascertain, it's public domain.

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bgm Toronto, Ontario

Making music underground.

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