Uncle Stephanie's Murder Ballads *FOR KIDS!

by stephanie nilles

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02:35
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04:56
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05:05
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03:37
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13.
(free) 05:15
14.

credits

released July 31, 2015

tracks 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11 by stephanie nilles
tracks 9 & 12 traditional, track 3 by jelly roll morton, track 13 by maxnormal.tv (die antwoord), track 14 by drew keriakedes.

stephanie nilles - piano, prepared piano, organs, voice, electric autoharp
jesse morrow - upright bass
paul thibodeaux - drums, percussion, bucket of rocks
andrew "goat" gilchrist - engineering, mixing, electric guitar
zach brock - violin & fx on track 9
matt wigton - upright bass on track 9
frederick kennedy - drums on track 9
marshall baker - fiddle & voice on 14
thomas townsley - mandolin & voice on 14

photos by meg elizabeth hannah
artwork by anna rose nilles

track 9 recorded by mike judeh at dubway studios in nyc.
all other tracks recorded by goat march 4, 5, and 6, 2015, at house of 1000hz, bj's lounge, and cafe istanbul in new orleans, louisiana.

mastered by brian lucey, magic garden mastering, in columbus OH & L.A.

for stevie and annie.
thanks to all my siblings for all your help, especially anna, who is my favorite.

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Track Name: bait + switch
i'm a freeloader
a buccaneer
and i'd be home now
if i chose to live here

i am entitled
i am unashamed
and in a choice between bad and worse
i choose to abstain

i'm a con man
loitering at the top of a pyramid scheme
i'm a criminal
i copped a plea

and i am standing on the antarctic
the ice shifting beneath my feet
and i am waving this useless white flag
to nothing but miles of tepid sea

til the earth sees she's had
and peels us off
like the sunburn
from her back

i am a victim
cursed by this place and time
i've been nickeled
and i've been dimed

but you're a bully with a rosary
come to meet me in the catholic school yard
you're a senator pushing minimums
caught red-handed in the oxycontin jar

you're nurse ratched
and i am the chief
call us rustlers
and call us thieves

except that this cross-section of zealots
has got the whole of the right enslaved
and without a single patriot
left to call a spade a spade

oh that once we were led
by great kings of men
been replaced by
a bickerin'

and the winds are a'changin'
but nobody's been listenin'
there's a hole in my bucket
and the water just keeps coming in

but for one haunting moment
in the bitterest bait-and-switch
the rich get a taste of our bitter medicine
Track Name: the slaughterhouse
she is a hen
holding her head
running round and round again
she is a milkmaid
of a cow
marching toward the slaughter house
she is a ship
against the wind
bout to take an oil rig up the mast
why don't she douse the scene
in gasoline
and have herself a blast?

first the diehards
of the south
who'd rather burn down the house
than to give up
even an ounce
of their port barrel buffets
comes to overclass folly
of the silicon valley
hell bent to virally infiltrate

o america
that ancient
vacant
microsoft of nations
outdated
and obsolete
we're gonna put a horse's head
into her already blood-soaked beds
then gonna have ourselves a coward's retreat

she is a hen
holding her head
running round and round again
she is a milkmaid
of a cow
marching toward the slaughter house
marching toward the slaughter house
marching toward the slaughter house
marching toward the slaughter house
marching toward the slaughter house
marching toward the slaughter house
marching toward the slaughter house
Track Name: the murder ballad (jelly roll morton)
i know you got my man
i say i know you got my man
try and hold him if you can

that man don't want nobody but me
i say that man don't want nobody but me
that's how come i got his only room key

and if you don't leave that man of mine alone
i say if you don't leave that man of mine alone
you won't know which way you will go home

i'll cut your throat and drink your fucking blood like wine
bitch i'll cut your throat and drink your fucking blood like wine
because he is a man of mine

i told you once, i ain't gonna tell you no more
i say i told you once, i ain't gonna tell you no more
right to the burial ground your big black ass will go

i'm gonna tell him bout you
i'm gonna tell him, i'm gonna tell him bout you
he'll either have me but he won't have you too

tell me, baby, what you doin' coming out of that bitch's house
tell me, baby, what you don' coming out of that bitch's house
i don't think she's not good, i think she's a great big louse

if she comes out here, it's gonna be her last time
i say you come out here, and it's gonna be your last time
i'll teach you a lesson about fucking a man of mine

yes come on out here bitch, your final day has come
come on out here bitch, your final day has come
you fucked my man, but you'll never fuck another one

she pulled out a pistol and shot her right between the eyes
pulled out a pistol and shot her right between the eyes
she said open your legs bitch, i'm gonna shoot you 'tween the thighs

a policeman grabbed her and dragged her off to jail
policeman grabbed her and hauled her off to jail
and there was nobody to post that poor girl's bail

judge said 50 years for killing the woman that loved your man
judge said 50 years for killing the woman that loved your man
i wish that i could help you, but i'm sure that i can't

then they gave her prison number 993
they gave her prison number 993
they said your work's hard labor, get started under that tree

coffee and bread is all that you will get
coffee and bread is all that you will get
and what it rains, you surely will get wet

don't you wish you'da let than woman have your man
don't you wish you'da let than woman have your man
there are many others that you coulda had

she said comes a time when a woman don't need no man
comes a time when a woman don't need no man
when you can get it all with your own right hand

but if i can't have a man, well then a woman's my next best bet
if i can't have a man, a woman's my next best bet
she said to a good-looking mama, come here, i'll get you yet

i want you to screw me, and screw me like a dog
i want you to screw me, and screw me like a dog
and when it gets good, i'm gonna holler like a hog

for years, i could take a prick just like a mule
for years, i could take a prick just like a mule
til i found out my man was nothing but a fool

i hustled day and night, all for that man of mine
i hustled day a night, and all for that man of mine
and now i'm behind bars for all of time

i am sorry i am sorry i am sorry to my heart
i am sorry i am sorry i am sorry to my heart
i am sorry that argument ever did start

when i'm dead and way down in my grave
when i'm dead and way down in my grave
then no more of that damn peter will i crave

but i won't be buried just like all my family was
i won't be buried just like all my family was
i won't be buried just like all my family was

they'll put me in a box in the prison yard
put me in a box here in the prison yard
without a tombstone or even with a card
Track Name: john waters
all the would-be abbie hoffmans
snugly shacked up with their folks
booked for public intoxication
and some uninventive hoax

they're collecting sailor jerry knock-offs now
and plethoras of books
and they shackled to inaction
like the fishes on their hooks

and all the lovely little children
toss their balls around the lawns
eating neon pink strawberries
grown on factory farms

always sugared up on corn syrup
sweet as hollygrove cocaine
and drawn to the touch screen
like the moth to the flame

and the madness of the world
it just keeps on getting bigger
without the balance of obscenity
to nullify and mirror

and company's an algorithm
blinking 0 and 1
and safety is my finger on my gun
i mean
on the trigger of my gun

and all the old commuter trains
once had rows of smoking cars
now the silent cars replace the men
with papers and cigars

and when they get sick we reel 'em in
and hook 'em to machines
and then we turn our eyes to human cock fights
sparking on t.v.

and putin spouts his poison
well as stalin used to do
their bright eyes blue and sparkling
as suburban swimming pools

where senators are college girls
sipping neon cocktails
and grateful for attention
as a porker on her scale

and the madness of the world
it just keeps on getting bigger
without the balance of obscenity
to nullify and mirror

and company's an algorithm
blinking 0 and 1
and safety is my finger on my gun
i mean
on the trigger of my gun
Track Name: the majestic's on fire
the majestic's on fire
they're gonna let that fucker burn
now all the poets tramp the fire escape
high and unperturbed
under watchful eyes of gangsters
with shit to prove
and none to learn
the majestic's on fire
they're gonna let that fucker burn

lieutenant's standing in the shadows
resting his hand on his baton
watching over them in anger
the hungry lion to the fawn
dream of the hero on his eyelids
on mama's mantle in its urn
the majestic's on fire
they're gonna let that fucker burn

so many sheep in wolves' clothing
you can feel 'em on the air
they play themselves the martyr
and then they prey on their own
fear
little girls mistook as witches
as joe mccarthy begins to stir
the majestic's on fire
they're gonna let that fucker burn

this pitching ship of ours is sinking
smoke is pouring out the engine room
crew's got water to their kneecaps
they scoop the ocean with their dinner spoons
the captain's laughing at his fortunes
as the sirens start to sound
the majestic's on fire
we're gonna let that fucker drown
Track Name: the deportee
o gentle river
why are you crying?
your flimsy dress shimmers
like a fish in the moon

poor little river
you've swallowed my brothers
their sorrow will swallow me too

i followed you, my friend
as i followed my own heart
desire was the horse
and madness was the cart

o gentle river
the embrace of your murmur
a song to sing me to sleep

it floats on the breeze
to the ghosts of the others
their gravestones all scattered
like autumn leaves

for they died in the valleys
that all your might gave way
and they died in the deserts
that neighbor your banks
they died in the fruit trees
while picking your goddamned oranges
both sides of this river
we die just the same
o gentle river
why are you crying
your flimsy tears shimmer
like a fish in the moon
Track Name: here comes cohn
here comes cohn
that moron
with an ironic
pitiful
jewishly stubborn
streak
silly and pie-eyed
high on sips of spanish wine
looking so cockeyed
and cheap

here comes cohn
boyishly whistling
and with an air of superior
downright awful
cheer
giddy like the graduate
high on coffee
in need of a shave
like an expatriate
hangs around all the cafes

he's written all about the things he knows
so now he's onto all of the things that he doesn't know
each one of them genuine and bold
as the emperor's new clothes

go to hell, cohn
looking so sullen
and dull as a collection of lesser monets
your face sallow
as in the light of a bad play
an arrested development
of a damn fine tragic case

here comes cohn...
Track Name: a to z blues (traditional)
look here, mama
we can't get along
baby i really tried to treat you right

now when i get home from work
and cut you my check
you wants to raise sand fuss and fight
and try and stay up all night

you left last night at 8
going to a show
come home snoozin in this mornin at 4

you even had the nerve to let another man
drive you up to my front door

you say we're through
got all my money too
come on over here baby let me tell you what i'm gonna do to you:

I’m gonna cut your head in four different ways.
That’s Long, short, deep and wide.
When I get through spreadin' you around with this rusty black razor
you’re gonna be laid out for an ambulance ride.
‘cause I’m gonna cut A, B, C, D onto top of your head
That’s gonna be treating you right mama cuz you ain’t gonna be dead.
Cut E, F, G across your face.
H, I, J, K that’s where runnin’ bound to take place.
Cut L, M, N cross both your arms.
You're gonna sell yourself and peddle gal your whole life long
Cut N, O, P, Q that’s gonna be trouble too.
‘cause I’m gonna grab you mama and turn you every way but loose
Cut R, S, T just to hear you cry
That’ll be the last time tears a run over your eyes.
Cut U, V, W on the bottoms of your feet.
That’ll be the last time you walk up an’ down 25th street.
cut you cross the bosom with X, Y, Z.
When I get through with this alphabet
you’ll quit your messing with me.
Track Name: open season
raise your right hand to the heavens
place your left hand on the book
cast the mothers in the jury box
your most immaculate look

for it's death that's on trial
and color that hangs from your bones
truth forever on the scaffold
wrong forever on the throne

it's open season on old black joe
and open season on the poor
while death sits cleaning his revolver
on the steps outside my door

and all the scribes stand their ground
to absolve themselves of the drone
truth forever on the scaffold
wrong forever on the throne

it's open season on our children
my god have mercy on our souls
as the resistance that we've weaponized
is just waiting to explode
Track Name: war crimes
through a hail of gunfire
his scull splits in three
his brain drops to the ground
like ripened fruit from the tree

and through the veil of the fog
his face sucks in at the nose
so that now he looks sly
toothless and old

his eyes pale and blue
his stare clear as the moon
as he falls to the earth
an oak tree with rotten roots

here where the truth
is the first one to die
its entrails dangling
like strings of christmas lights

where hides the glory
through the buzz of these flies
and the sweet smell of blood
where all wars are crimes?
Track Name: expired as an old driver's license
i'm expired as an old driver's license
i am wry as the whole bottle of beam
i am weary as the body fished out the imperial valley
its face decomposed as an old rotten peach
and my brain just doesn't know where the floor is and my heart is a sack of frozen meat
a neighborhood once booming and bustling
its houses now boarded up with signs for lease

why is the world still swirling even when i close my eyes?
and why are my bones as brittle as an old southern double-wide?

i'm expired as an old driver's license
low as the glow of the coal of the train
i am worn as the tune floating out of the trumpet
towards the riverbend
and away
Track Name: the dirty dozen (traditional)
Oh you dirty motherfucker
You old cocksucker
You dirty son of a bitch
You bastard
You're everything
And yo' mammy don't wear no drawers
Yes, you did me this, you did me that
You did your father
You did your mother
You did everybody you come to
'Cause yo' mammy don't wear no drawers
That's the Dirty Dozen
Oh, the Dirty lovin' Dozen
The Dirty Dozen
Yes yo' mammy don't wear no drawers
So I had a bitch
Wouldn't fuck me 'cause she had the itch
Yes she's my bitch
Oh yo' mammy wouldn't wear no drawers
Said, look up bitch, you make me mad
I tell you 'bout the puppies that your sister had
Oh it was a fad
She fucked a hog
She fucked a dog
I know the dirty bitch would fuck a frog
'Cause yo' mammy don't wear no drawers
I went one day
Out to the lake
I seen your mammy
A-fuckin' a snake
All she tried, she tried to shake
All she shuck, shake on the cake
Mammy don't wear no drawers
Track Name: hello/g'bye (drew “shmootzi the clod” keriakedes)
head full of booze
and the rest of me's a wreck
reaper's a-breathin' down
the back of my neck
hang on boys and girls
cuz we're going straight to heck
all your wishin' didn't get you
anywhere

hello my friends
i've come by to say farewell
it's been nice to know y'all
see y'all in hell
and when i get there rest assured
i'm gonna ring that there bell
to let the devil know i have arrived

tell me a story
about happier days
before the whole world was all
wild and crazed
it's full speed ahead
if you can tolerate the haze
keep on hoping
til the sky turns blue

hello my friends
i've come by to say farewell
it's been nice to know y'all
see y'all in hell
and when i get there rest assured
i'm gonna ring that there bell
to let the devil know i have arrived

pennies are spilling
out the mouth of the well
i'd wallow with the pigs
if i could tolerate the smell
i'll have my cake
and devour it as well
isn't life a beautiful trainwreck?

hello my friends
i've come by to say farewell
it's been nice to know y'all
see y'all in hell
and when i get there rest assured
i'm gonna ring that there bell
to let the devil know i have arrived