Uncle Stephanie's Murder Ballads *FOR KIDS!

by stephanie nilles

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1.
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right enslaved and without a single patriot left to call a spade a spade oh that once we were led by great kings of men been replaced by a bickerin' and the winds are a'changin' but nobody's been listenin' there's a hole in my bucket and the water just keeps coming in but for one haunting moment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
2.
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folly of the silicon valley hell bent to virally infiltrate o america that ancient vacant microsoft of nations outdated and obsolete we're gonna put a horse's head into her already blood-soaked beds then gonna have ourselves a coward's retreat she is a hen holding her head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
3.
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
4.
john waters 02:35
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
5.
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
6.
the deportee 04:56
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
7.
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...
8.
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.
9.
open season 05:05
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
10.
war crimes 03:37
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?
11.
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
12.
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
13.
laf nag (maxnormal.tv) (free) 05:15
14.
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

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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stephanie nilles New Orleans, Louisiana

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