Thursday, October 8, 2009

Domestic Violence : Family murder-suicide edition

Suicide : Frankie Teardrop


Doc & Merle Watson : The Lawson Family Murder


Two songs which are worlds apart musically, but which deal with the same subject : how men suddenly go amok and kill their whole family before comiting suicide. The first song by Suicide is probably one of the most frightening pieces of music ever made with its cold synthetizers and Alan Vega's inhuman screams.

The second one is a topical folk song about a real murder committed in 1929 by a tobacco farmer in North Carolina (the Watsons home state). Doc Watson took it from the Stanley Brothers. In contrast with Suicide's brutality, he sings it with a gentle voice and on a peaceful 3/4 beat, which make the story even more terrible.

While in the Suicide lyrics the killer acts out of desperation, the reason why Charlie Lawson killed his whole family is still mysterious, although there have been rumors of incest in the family, as you can see here.

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