"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 that 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,
Murder in the red barn

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

Now they surrounded the house
They smoked him out
They took him off in chains
The sky turned 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 the barn,
There's always some killin'
You got to do around the farm
A murder in the red barn
A 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 its seasons
Just like anything
It's possums in the autumn
And it's farm cats in the spring
A murder in the red barn
Murder in the red barn

Now a lady can't do nothin'
Without folks tongues waggin'
Is that blood on the tree
Or is it autumn's red blaze?
When the ground's 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
Murder in the red barn
There was a murder in the red barn
A murder in the red barn


Lyrics submitted by yuri_sucupira, edited by Mellow_Harsher

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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