Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds got to appear on Top of The Pops back in 1995, thanks, in the main, to the Kylie Minogue effect.

Where The Wild Roses Grow got as high as #11 in the singles chart.  One of the two extra tracks on the CD single is a wonderful short story set to music.

There was a thick set man with frog eyes
Who was standing at the door
And a little bald man with wing-nut ears
Was waiting in the car
Well Robert Moore passed the frog-eyed man
As he walked into the bar
And Betty Coltrane, she jumped under her table

“What’s your pleasure?” asked the barman
He had a face like boiled meat
“There’s a girl called Betty Coltrane
That I have come to see”
“But I ain’t seen that girl ’round here
For more than a week”
And Betty Coltrane, she hid beneath the table

Well, then in came a sailor with
Mermaids tattooed on his arms
Followed by the man with the wing-nut ears
Who was waitin’ in the car
Well, Robert Moore sensed trouble
He’d seen it comin’ from afar
And Betty Coltrane she gasped beneath the table

Well, the sailor said “I’m looking for my wife
They call her Betty Coltrane!”
The frog-eyed man said “That can’t be;
That’s my wife’s maiden name.”
And the man with the wing-nut ears said
“Hey, I married her back in Spain!”
And Betty Coltrane crossed herself beneath the table

Well, Robert Moore stepped up and said
“That woman is my wife.”
And he drew a silver pistol
And a wicked bowie knife;
And he shot the man with the wing-nut ears
Straight between the eyes
And Betty Coltrane, she moaned under the table

Well, the frog-eyed man jumped at Robert Moore
Who stabbed him in the chest
And as Mr Frog Eyes died he said
“Betty, you’re the girl that I loved best”
The sailor pulled a razor
Robert blasted it to bits
“And Betty, I know you’re under the table”

“Well have no fear,” said Robert Moore
“I do not want to hurt you!”
“Never a woman did I love near
Half as much as you
You are the blessed sun, girl
And you are the sacred moon.”
And Betty shot his legs out from under the table!

Well, Robert Moore went down heavy
With a crash upon the floor
And over to his thrashin’ body
Betty Coltrane she did crawl
She put the gun to the back of his head
And pulled the trigger once more
And blew his brains out all over the table

Well Betty stood up and shook her head
And waved the smoke away
Said, “I’m sorry, Mr barman
To leave your place this way.”
As she emptied out their wallets she said
“I’ll collect my severance pay.”
And then she winked and threw a dollar on the table

mp3: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – The Ballad of Robert Moore and Betty Coltrane

Still scratching my head with the decision to leave if off the Murder Ballads album


3 thoughts on “SOME SONGS MAKE GREAT SHORT STORIES (Chapter 61)

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