Here in the bar, the boys like to have fun
There`s a wager lost and an argument won
There`s a stone-washed damsel on a junk food run

It`s a kinder murder
There`s a ladder to heaven from a battered stiletto
Spitting out the words that he put into her mouth
See her in silhouette going down south

It`s a kinder murder
It`s a kinder murder

She could have kept her knees together
Should have kept her mouth shut

It`s a kinder murder
It`s a kinder murder

Jimmy took her down to the perimeter fence
He was back in half an hour, he said he left her senseless
Then he went back to his regiment

It`s a kinder murder
The officer said it has to be denied
There`s a tear-stained would-be teenage bride
All the family pride in the little ram-rider

It`s a kinder murder
It`s a kinder murder

She could have kept her knees together
Should have kept her mouth shut

It`s a kinder murder
It`s a kinder murder

The child went missing and the photo fit his face
Dishonored Jimmy just read about the case
He said that he was just taking up space

It`s a kinder murder
Jimmy took his best friend`s keys from the pile on the table in a flash
He was dreaming of the pigskin seats and the walnut dash
The knickers in her handbag and the one false eyelash

It`s a kinder murder
It`s a kinder murder

She could have kept her knees together
Could have kept her mouth shut

It`s a kinder murder [4x]

Lyrics submitted by Mopnugget

Kinder Murder Lyrics as written by Elvis Costello

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Kinder Murder song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentThe third stanza has the best lyrics about sex ever. Ever. So hot, but in that literary, Elvis-y way. Mmmm. Anyway. It's about a guy in the army who impregnates a teenage civilian. The line "He left her senseless" was changed to "He fucked her senseless" during the tour, so that part's pretty incontestable. So yeah, he knocks the girl up, and she tries to marry him. His superiors are all, "we can't let this get out to the press." He thinks it's her fault, he doesn't want anything to do with her or the baby, "she could have kept her knees together/could have kept her mouth shut." So he pressures her into an abortion, the 'kinder murder'. The end, I'm not so sure about. "He said he was just taking up space"...he commits suicide by crashing the car? Hmm. Anyway, this is an absolutely brilliant song, great guitar and vocals and everything in addition to the lyrics. One of the best album-openers ever.
    chaordicon April 09, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentPony St. opens my version of Brutal Youth...

    But yeah, that sounds about right. I was thinking something different when I read through the lyrics, but your version makes a lot of sense.

    I don't quite get the end either... perhaps she does have the abortion and kills herself afterwards or something?

    I dunno if Jimmy ofs himself as well. He may just steal his friend's car and drive away.
    TheSilverNobleon August 27, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think the last verse was jimmy's thoughts while driving his friends car, remembering the time he had sex with the 'teenage bride' in the same car. i'm not sure if he kills himself either. i never thought about that kind of story, but it's definately in my top five
    uncomplicatedon February 07, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe child went missing could be an abortion but I always imagined it was years later and the illegitmate spawn had gone missing. Jimmy is dishounoured (dishonorable discharge) and reads that his child has gone missing but doesn;t care.

    The keys from the pile always made me wonder if it was something to do wioth wife swapping where they put their car keys in the middle of the table and then each take one set and go off with the wife of the owner.

    Not sure as he then goes on to describe a nice car and a dishevelled woman.

    I love the description of the would be teenage bride in the first two verses. Dressed like a tart and gonig down south.

    I didn't ever consider the murder to be literal but rather a instant rejection killing her dreams of a life with Jimmy rather than an acceptance of her advances towards marriage followed by the slow, eventual death of their relationship.

    Like ripping off a plaster (bandaid) quickly to get the pain over with in one go.

    Maybe. Who the hell knows what's going on in that mans mind. Perhaps the best thing to do is just to stand back and admire it.
    betch252on September 05, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think Jimmy made a wager with his buddies on something and because he lost the bet, had to hit on a girl (maybe the next girl) to enter the bar.
    Jimmy gets the girl pregnant and they decide to marry. However, his CO won't allow it. Maybe the bar incident has gotten him into trouble (statutory rape?) and this will eventually lead to him being dishonorably discharged from the army.

    Years later, Jimmy is hanging out with his buddies again. He has convinced himself that what happened that night was her fault. He sees a missing child report in the newspaper. He recognizes the child as his own but doesn't care about the child or the girl anymore. If the child ends up dead, it will be a Kinder Murder, maybe because he knows what it is like to grow up without a father or because he know what a mess the child's mother is.

    At some point, he grabs his best friends keys and is taken back in his memory to the night he got her pregnant. Maybe the keys trigger a memory because when he took her to the perimeter fence, they went into his friends car. The boys at the beginning of the song include the best-friend at the end of the song.

    Maybe the change of the lyric should to could means that Jimmy has a little bit of regret, now.

    The question for me is "Who is the girl?" She is a teenager, she gets pregnant after meeting Jimmy at a bar, she wants to marry Jimmy but isn't allowed to, the child is born and eventually goes missing, probably murdered. Jimmy thinks its a Kinder Murder. He thinks the girl is doing or will do a terrible job of raising the child. She has battered silhouette shoes, underwear in her purse and false eyelashes the night she hooks up with Jimmy. Could she be a teenage prostitute?
    whodareswins1on July 30, 2015   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI always thought the last stanza, especially the one false eyelash, evoked imagery from A Clockwork Orange. When he left her senseless by the perimeter fence, I always took it literally. He's a violent sociopath and rapist who used the cover of the military to get away with it. Knickers in handbags could be the trophies that he keeps. Dishonorable discharge kept him at bay for awhile, but in that last stanza he recalls his former glory and is back to his old tricks.
    Counterclockwerkon February 26, 2018   Link

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