Skip to content

Baby Murder He Said- Murder Ballads and Lamentations

June 25, 2010



little dragon


Seems like these kind of things show up throughout both in literature and music history- again and again.

Wiki simply says:
“A lament or lamentation is a song, poem, or piece of music expressing grief, regret, or mourning.”

Wiki also mentioned the “element of the supernatural”, someone on the other side coming back to tell the story. (What about definitions? I consider Mediumship nothing “unnatural”, maybe it depends on who’s talking to you to warrant “super.” Aside from that I can’t stand that word…)

Start looking somewhere in Mesopotamia-plenty of laments (anything those Sumerians didn’t write? Must have had GREAT teachers…), check your Ilias and Odyssey, the Hindu Vedas and of course lots of repetition in the Old Testament.

The concept of the lamentation became a dramatic high-point of baroque opera. Maybe because they at least needed a reason for their deus ex machina dangling from the ceiling. (deus ex machina in this case- usually an angel, deity or some other form of higher authority with the ability to detangle the issues of a plot that took hours to build.

orpheus slain by thracian women

Both Haendel and Gluck have written some some truly moving lamentations. Gluck’s “Che farò senza Euridice” (What will I do without Euridice) revolutionized opera through it’s simplicity although audiences stuck in traditional hearing habit didn’t quite see it like that at first.
Haendel forever weeps with his “Lascia ch’io pianga” (Let me weep).

Contemporaries can’t resist either and simply picked up the idea of lamenting and decided to call the whole thing murder ballad.

What I find interesting that in “classical music” the duty of performing the “sound of trauma” (vigorous nodding from my neighbor) usually befell women- because women naturally seem to excel at that- and after castrati sort of fell out of favor and when women were finally able to sing on stage.

Contemporary murder ballads somehow are mostly sung by men.
They all sang them, for example:

Johnny Cash (“Banks Of The Ohio”)

Sting (“I Hung My Head”)

Bob Dylan (“Little Sadie”)

The Doors (“Riders On The Storm”)

Michael Jackson (“Smooth Criminal- not exactly a ballad, but definitely murder, “Little Susie”- completely underrated song)

So, this was the deal. Lyrics, done, easy one. First verse, done. What kind of piece is this supposed to be? I wondered for about a week. Okay, a Murder Ballad than it is. Fine.

I did the first recording and nearly choked, horrible. And, what on earth is this piece of music? Germans would say, it’s neither fish, nor meat- meaning it’s something.

Recorded the song another estimated 40 times (more like 60, I stopped counting) and yelled enraged through the house, that’s it, not touching it again. It’s mean, somehow this song manages to switch nonstop between chest register and head voice which is enough to make anyone scream in frustration. I thought this thing would never see the light of day.

I went on to at least use the melody and make it a more contemporary instrumental. Story to the second piece can be found in the previous post.

Baby Murder He Said

light up my senses
like a knife it just tenses
why so scared?
your cat here stares

and I’ll lose you with my thought
and your tortured sigh is all I heard
and to tell it is absurd
or so I have heard

arms are bending
and your arms are extending
leave the handle on the door, girl
relax your mind
and come here, girl

and I’ll share with you my story
though I’ll bare none
of the glory
and I’ll tell you
of all that’s shared in One
and all I see are
your sparks of an outline
in the dark

I am real
let me tell you
I am here, girl,
right behind you
and the prize that I paid, love
will you listen when I tell you
that they left me dead for dying
all alone upstairs crying
in the house off the dark road.

And your pain that you carried with you
kind of martyr
king of pain
sleep well but the torture
you endured is an orchard
for me to pluck from
but to hear you
speak your death

And a dead man will be on trial
watch the slander that will be flying
and they’re lying
all over dying
think for yourself
won’t do it for you.

Sleep well
martyr of slander
defamation and distortion
take the love and leave the torture
yeah they killed me so long ago
killed me so long ago.

Lyrics, Composition, Arrangement, Vocals & Piano: Irina Hale
-©2010 Irina Hale, April 12, 2010; All Rights Reserved
All pictures are owned by their respective owners. No copyright infringement is intended.


And then it happened, I found myself liking the piece. I pictured an empty mansion, the echo of footsteps your only companions, or so you thought. Whispy, the voice from somewhere. That was the idea.

And then I tought, hm, let’s try to tell a story. I hope it worked. Please have mercy regarding any vocals, I’m just the one trying to bring a piece of music into the world, I actually see a different sounding female voice singing this. (also, what it up with my head set…by the time I hear the piano and sing it back, it seems to have changed keys three times, very annoying)
Please forgive any amateurish sounding bits, it’s also a true piece of living room recording, I’m not cool enough for my garage.



Be well.







little dragon

Edit on January 7th, 2011:

Help render Lady Justice as blind as she should be- for she’s not nearly blind enough just YET.

Due to the emerging evidence after only 3 days of the Preliminary Hearing of The People vs Dr. Conrad Murray the call to action is becoming louder:

“Urge the District Attorney prosecuting the case to increase the charges to Murder 2.
…Request that Steve Cooley, L.A. District Attorney, David Walgren, L.A. Deputy District Attorney, and the presiding Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor, elevate the charges against Murray to the more appropriate Murder 2. Given testimony to-date, it is also urged that the charges be added of: concealment of accidental death; reckless endangerment; reckless conduct; conspiracy; obstruction of justice, and any additional charges that may result from testimony in the preliminary hearing.”

The definition of Second Degree Murder in the State of California:
Second-degree murder is ordinarily defined as “1) an intentional killing that is not premeditated or planned, nor committed in a reasonable “heat of passion” or 2) a killing caused by dangerous conduct and the offender’s obvious lack of concern for human life

Please check with this website in the following days for more information.

And while you’re already at it:
Please feel free to sign this petition to help elevate the charges to their appropriate level. It could have been your son, your father, your loved one.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Marianna Maliszewska permalink
    October 3, 2010 1:21 am

    Irina, I am at awe at your talent, you have such unique voice! So much passion in your voice, it didn’t strike me as amateurish at all! Love the whole composition. I think I may have answered myself the question that I asked you today….I see what you mean….to be continued…

  2. October 3, 2010 1:50 am

    Marianna, thank you, thank you so much. If I was able to convey just something, than I guess the “job” was done.

  3. Daniela permalink
    October 5, 2010 5:41 pm

    this song full of mourning, full of blossom, your voice so touching, coming from far away, from the world of souls, full of spirit.
    Knowing about beauty, knowing about pain .
    The video tells the same, shows his power and his strength, his grace and his fear and at least he dies by coldness, coldness of hearts.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: