"Murder in the Red Barn" as written by and Tom Waits....
There was a murder in the red barn, a murder in the red barn

The trees are bending over and the cows are lying down
The autumn's taking over, you can hear the Buckshot hounds
The watchman said to Reba the loon
Was it pale at Manzanita, was it Blind Bob the coon?
Pin it on a drifter they sleep beneath the bridge
One plays the violin and sleeps inside a fridge
There was a murder in the red barn, murder in the red barn

Someone's crying in the woods, someone's burying all his clothes
Now Slam the Crank from Wheezer slept outside last night and froze
Roadkill has its seasons just like anything
There's possums in the autumn and there's farm cats in the spring
There was a murder in the red barn, a murder in the red barn

Now thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house or covet they neighbor's wife
But for some murder is the only door through which they enter life

Well, they surrounded the house, they smoked him out, took him off in chains
They sky runed black and bruised and we had months of heavy rains
Now, the ravens nest in the rotted roof of Chenoweth's old place
And no one's asking Cal about that scar upon his face
'Cause there's nothin' strange about an axe with bloodstains in barn,
There's always some killin' you got to do around the farm
A murder in the red barn, murder in the red barn

The woods will never tell what sleeps beneath the trees
Or what's buried 'neath a rock or hiding in the leaves
'Cause roadkill has it's seasons just like anything
It's possums in the autumn and it's farm cats in the spring
A murder in the red barn, a murder in the red barn

Now, a lady can't do nothin' without folks' tongues waggin'
Is this blood on the tree or is it autumn's red blaze?
When the ground' soft for diggin' and the rain will bring all this gloom
There's nothing wrong with a lady drinking alone in her room
But there was a murder in the red barn, a murder in the red barn

There was a murder in the red barn, a murder in the red barn


Lyrics submitted by archmastermind, edited by Mellow_Harsher

"Murder in the Red Barn" as written by Thomas Alan Waits Kathleen Brennan

Lyrics © Peermusic Publishing, Universal Music Publishing Group

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Murder in the Red Barn song meanings
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5 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentThere's not much to analyze. This song is based on a murder that took place in England. Someone was murdered, and the corpse was hidden in the barn. Another person claimed to have had a vision of the body's location or something, and that's how they found it.
    Phweemaggoton March 14, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Comment@Phweemaggot: Well, it is more interesting than that, right? For one, I like how suspicions are different based on class. They immediately assume that it could be one of the drifters living under the fridge, but no one considers Cal who suddenly has a scar and bloody axe! Also, the idea of murder being a cyclical occurrence like different types of roadkill is certainly worth thinking about.
    clovuson September 22, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis guy--
    he's a freakin genius. I love this song. Don't wanna analyze it.
    JumpyJackon December 17, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI can't listen to this song in the dark.
    ZestyMordanton October 03, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentA fine example of the Tom Waits blues, or folk macabre.
    pratyekayanaon August 09, 2011   Link

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