SOME SONGS MAKE GREAT SHORT STORIES (Chapter 50)

A GUEST POSTING by STRANGEWAYS

“And then my mind just walked away… “

A quick-fire response to JC’s recent Gol Gappas post for this series. Here’s another dark tale of murder: Psycho, as recorded by Jack Kittel in 1973.

Kittel didn’t write Psycho – that was country singer and songwriter Leon Payne, a man whose work was covered by the likes of Hank Williams, two Elvises (Presley and Costello – the latter of whom in fact also recorded Psycho), Bob Dylan, Merle Haggard, Vinyl Villain blog pals The Mekons… and the list goes on. Find it on Wikipedia (I sure did).

It’s Kittel’s version of the track though that is pretty much the go-to incarnation.

I’m not going to wing it any further, other than to say the inspiration for the song is debated out on the internet and is worth a research for interested parties.

Last thing: I can’t decide whether those unfamiliar with Psycho should listen to it prior to reading the words or vice-versa. Either way – and paraphrasing slightly – as the tag line for Black Christmas (1974) advised, ‘If this doesn’t make your skin crawl… it’s on too tight!’.

mp3: Jack Kittel – Psycho

Can Mary fry some fish, Mama?
I’m as hungry as can be
Oh lordy, how I wish, Mama
That you could keep the baby quiet ’cause my head is killing me

I saw my ex again last night, Mama
She was at the dance at Miller’s store
She was with that Jackie White, Mama
I killed them both, and they’re buried under Jenkins’ sycamore

You think I’m psycho, don’t you, Mama?
Mama, pour me a cup
You think I’m psycho, don’t you, Mama?
You’d better let ’em lock me up

Don’t hand me Johnny’s pup, Mama
Cause I might squeeze him too tight
I’m having crazy dreams again, Mama
So let me tell you ’bout last night

I woke up in Johnny’s room, Mama
Standing right there by his bed
With my hands around his throat, Mama
Wishing both of us were dead

You think I’m psycho don’t you, Mama?
I just killed Johnny’s pup
You think I’m psycho don’t you, Mama?
You’d better let ’em lock me up

You know that little girl next door, Mama
I believe her name was Betty Clark
Oh, don’t tell me that she’s dead, Mama
Cause I just saw her in the park

We were sitting on a bench, Mama
Thinking up a game to play
Seems I was holding a wrench, Mama
And then my mind just walked away

You think I’m psycho don’t you, Mama?
I didn’t mean to break your cup
You think I’m psycho don’t you, Mama?
Oh, Mama, why don’t you get up?

strangeways

6 thoughts on “SOME SONGS MAKE GREAT SHORT STORIES (Chapter 50)

  1. Goth country, anyone?! I read the lyric first, which made the measured vocals and gentle country lilt all the more creepy, in my book. Excellent choice, Strangeways!

  2. All that sunshine out there. All that darkness in here. Lummy.

    Peculiar: every time I read ‘mama’ it was in the voice of Natalie Wood.

  3. I have an Elvis C single with a live rendition of Psycho on the flip – which was the first version I heard of the song, and the reason I bought the single. Still my go-to version.

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