There are a whole lot of spoken-word songs to choose from in Todd Snider's catalog. In fact, even when Snider sings, it kind of sounds like he's talking. Since Snider says it all -- literally -- in the lyrics of "The Ballad of the Kingsmen," there's no point going too deeply into its backstory. The song has appeared on two official albums by Snider, as well as on several bootlegs and scores of YouTube clips. Here's the original studio version, from 2005's East Nashville Skyline. And, here's what Snider had to say about the song in that album's liner notes:
I wanted to make the point that teaching kids to get as much as they can all week at public school and then sending them to some church on Sunday where some old guy goes on about how wrong it is to need so much stuff -- and then somehow when the kids act confused it's 'cause of Alice Cooper or somebody -- is silly. That's what I hope this song shows. That, and that I can memorize a lot of words.