Murder Ballads Lyrics
Part 2

Nick White wrote:

Nick Cave and pals played a session on Mark Radcliffe's BBC Radio 1 show, Monday 26th February 1996. The lineup was Mick Harvey, Conway Savage, Martyn P. Casey, Thomas Wydler on drums, and Jim Sclavunos on percussion. No Blixa.

They played a "three act" version of "O'Malley's Bar" (split up for easy broadcasting), with lots of different or altered verses. Here is the result. All lyrics in [brackets] were spoken through a megaphone, as were the police orders.

The Tara-Jane referred to is presumably the one on their management team. Don't know what she has which is incredible though. And I didn't catch the sentence right at the end either.

Radcliffe said that if PJ Harvey couldn't turn up for "Henry Lee", he could perhaps have got PJ Proby in instead, and Nick spoke of Proby in admiring terms, asking if Radcliffe had heard Proby's version of the song "Somewhere" from "West Side Story".

When Radcliffe asked what Nick's next album would be about, Nick replied it would be another album of murder ballads, entitled "Murder Ballads 2". When Mick Harvey was asked if he had any more solo albums planned, he said he'd soon be doing "Intoxicated Man 2". To which Nick responded "Let no-one say that we're running out of ideas". [Please note: they were JOKING].

The album version of the lyrics is also available.

Parts of O'Mlley's Bar (Extended):

Act One

[(HEAVY BREATHING) "Oh my God! Oh my God!!
He's shot him in the motherfucking head!!]

Mmmmmmmmm Hey!

I am tall and I am thin
Of an enviable height
And I've been known to look quite handsome
From a certain angle, in a certain light

Well I entered into O'Malley's
Said "O'Malley I have a thirst"
O'Malley he looked right through me
And served some other fella first

I knocked on the bar and pointed
To a bottle on the shelf
Well O'Malley walked past and scratched his ass
And I twitched and crossed myself

My hand decided it'd had enough
And for a moment it slipped from view
When it returned my hand had learned
A brand new trick or two

Well the thunder from my big black gun
Made all the glasses jangle
When I shot him, I was so handsome
It was the light, man, it was the angle

Huh! Hmmmmm

"Neighbours!" I cried, "Friends!" I screamed
I banged my fist upon the bar
"I just shot old O'Malley!"
And my dick felt long and hard
"I am the man who waits for no-one
And my aim is straight and true
And I'm marked by darkness and by blood
So don't nobody move!"

Well you know those fish with the swollen lips
That clean the ocean floor?
When I looked at poor O'Malley's wife
That's exactly what I saw

I jammed the barrel under her chin
And her eyes bugged just like those nasty little fish
Her head it landed in the sink
With all the dirty dishes

And her nerdy little daughter Siobhan
Well, who we'd all had a bit of fun with
It seemed a bit unfair that she had to be there
So I thought I'd get her over and done with

I leapt upon her punchin'
She stared on in disbelief
Looking like the Madonna on the church-house wall
Painted in whale's blood and banana leaf

Left hook! Right hook! Left hook! Right!
She spun round and round
I brought a mighty punch up from th floor
And I lifted her off the ground

Her head caved in like a melon
And my fists were gloved in gore
And I shot councillor Caffrey in the back of the head
As he made a run for the door

Mmmmmmmmm Yeah Yeah Yeah

[Oh my God! Oh my God! He's just shot him in the motherfucking head!!]

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Act Two

[Oh my God!!]

Oh yeah, ohhh yeah, ohhhhhh yeah, ah said ohhh yeah

"I have no free will", I sang
As I flew about the murder
Mrs. Richard Holmes, she screamed
Well you really should have heard her
I sang and I laughed, I howled and I wept
I panted and I squealed
I blew a hole in Mrs. Richard Holmes
Who used her husband as a shield

He screamed "You are an evil man"
And I paused a while to wonder
"If I have no free will then how can I
Be morally culpable, I wonder"

I shot Richard Holmes in the stomach
I said "It felt good to take your life"
I'm not sure but I think that he thanked me
As he lay down next to his wife

"It's nice to be nice" I replied to him
He gave a little cough
"Ah yeah it's nice to be nice"
And I neatly aimed and blew his head completely off

I've lived in this town for thirty years
And to no-one I am a stranger
And I put new bullets in my gun
Chamber upon chamber

When I turned my gun on the bird-like Mr. Brookes
I thought of St. Francis and his sparrows
And as I shot down the youthful Richardson
It was Sebastian I thought of, and his arrows.

Hhhhhhhhhhhh Mmmmmmmmm
[Ohhhh my God! Oh my God!! He's shot him in the motherfucking head!]

I said, "I want to introduce myself
And I am glad that you all came"
And I leapt up upon the bar
And I shouted out my name

Well Jerry Bellows, he hugged his stool
Closed his eyes and shrugged and laughed
And with an ashtray as big as a really bloody big brick
I split his skull in half

"This hurts me more than it hurts you" I said
And I sat on the bar and cried
And for a strange moment, no-one moved or spoke
And we all sat like that for a while.

"It's nice to be nice", I said again
Well it is, and that's a fact
I smiled at Henry Davenport
I think Henry Davenport smiled back

Well from the position I was sitting
The strangest thing I ever saw
The bullet entered through the top of Henry's chest
And blew his bowels out on the floor

Well I floated down the counter
Showing no remorse
I shot a hole in Kathleen Carpenter
Recently divorced

But remorse I felt and remorse I had
It clung to every thing
From the raven's hair upon my head
To the feathers on my wings

"Life is grand", I shouted,
"But death is just the best"
And I glided through the bodies
And killed the fat man Vincent West

Who sat quietly in his chair
A grown man become a child
And I raised the gun up to his head

He made no attempt to resist
So fat and dull and lazy
"Do you know I live in your street?" I cried
And he looked at me like I was crazy.

"O", he said, "I had no idea"
He grew quiet as a mouse
And the roar of the pistol when it went off
Near blew the roof right off the house


[Oh my God! Oh my God!! He's shot him in the motherfucking head!!]

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Act Three

[Let's talk about Tara-Jane, and her incredible fucking ????? ??????]

Well I caught my eye in the mirror
And I gave it a long and loving inspection
"There stands some kind of man", I roared
And there did, in the reflection

My hair combed back like a raven's wing
My muscles hard and tight
And curling from the business end of my gun
Was a query mark of cordite

Well I spun to the left, and I spun to the right
And I spun to the left again
"Well, fear me! Fear me! Yeah, fear me!"
No-one did cause they were dead

Huh! Hmmmmmmmm [Oh my God!!]

And then there came the police sirens wailing
And the bull-horn squelched and blared
"Drop your weapons and come out!
With your hands in the air"

Well, I checked the chamber of my gun
Saw the final bullet left
And my hand looked almost human
As I raised it to my head

"Drop your weapons and come out!
Keep your hands above your head!"
I took one hard think about dying
And did exactly what they said

There must have been fifty cops out there
In a circle round O'Malley's bar
"Don't shoot", I cried, "I'm a man unarmed!"
So they put me in the car

And they sped me away from that terrible scene
And I glanced out of the window
Saw O'Malley's bar, saw the cops and the cars
And I started counting on my fingers

Aaaaaaaaah One Aaaaaaaaah Two Aaaaaaaaah Three Aaaaaaaaah Four
O'Malley's bar O'Malley's bar ???????????????? [Oh my God!]

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Additional Verses by Nick White

While I was doing this, and had O'Malley's bar on the brain, I ill-advisedly thought of a few verses of my own (don't groan!). It's an alternative ending. Apologies in advance...

"Hands up who wants to die!!" I screamed
As I wandered through the mess
Old Felix Jones gave a stifled moan
I said "I'll take that as a yes"

As I blew his brains out his widow wailed
"God will bring revenge upon you!"
I replied "Well if I ever get to meet Him
I'm sure I'll blow His brains out too"

Well I was buzzing with the thrill and the drama
When the bar door was flung open wide
And in stepped a cat wearing an old Stetson hat
I smiled politely and welcomed him inside

He said "Mr. Motherfucker do you know who I am?"
I said "I don't, but I'm pleased that you came"
He said his name was Stagger Lee
(I don't know why he was telling me)
But I put my gun to his head just the same

He dropped to his knees and trembled
His face turned pale and his trousers turned brown
He bawled and he begged, so I shot him 'tween the legs
And he squealed and he slumped to the ground

As I watched him a voice came from the window
"So you're another of those serial killer fellows"
Well it gave me quite a start when a bullet hit my heart
I think the last face I saw was... Mary Bellows.


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