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#1
Old 07-24-2012, 10:03 PM
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Songs about tough guys or badasses

I'll start with Bad Bad Leroy Brown
http://youtube.com/watch?v=CMWnMbQeWlg

Don't Mess Around with Jim
http://youtube.com/watch?v=odkIEDi2x0g

and

Big Bad John
http://youtube.com/watch?v=myQ1UvJiv78

Interesting to note, both Leroy and Jim get there asses kicked,and John dies(tho heroically).
#2
Old 07-24-2012, 10:07 PM
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Stagger Lee, Stag O Lee, in its many variations.

Also Two Time Slim, spoilered for language:
SPOILER:
#3
Old 07-24-2012, 10:16 PM
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Shaft
#4
Old 07-24-2012, 10:27 PM
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Marty Robbins, "Big Iron"
#5
Old 07-24-2012, 10:30 PM
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Perhaps "A Boy Named Sue"?
https://youtube.com/watch?v=IcQKtl3MGCE
#6
Old 07-24-2012, 10:32 PM
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"Who Do You Love?" by Bo Diddley (although many people are more familiar with the George Thorogood cover).
#7
Old 07-24-2012, 10:35 PM
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That reminded me, George Thorogood also sang "Bad to the Bone".
#8
Old 07-24-2012, 11:26 PM
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Alice in Chains - Rooster
#9
Old 07-24-2012, 11:35 PM
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I could make a list with dozens if not hundreds of entries, but I'll try and limit myself to 10 or less; I added genre's so people would kinda know what they were in for if they click the links.

Juicy Bananas - Bad Man - awesome weirdness from the Repo Man OST
Blood Island Raiders - I Am The King - stoner/doom metal from London, UK
Orange Goblin - Beginner's Guide To Suicide - stoner/doom metal from London, UK
Orchid - He Who Walks Alone - stoner/doom metal from San Francisco, CA USA
Electric Wizard - Wizard In Black - stoner/doom metal from Dorset, UK
The Sword - The Chronomancer I: Hubris - doom metal from Austin, TX USA
The Sword - The Chronomancer II: Nemesis - doom metal from Austin, TX USA
Lair Of The Minotaur - Let's Kill These Motherfuckers - doom metal from Chicago, IL USA
Black Angels - You On The Run - psychedelic rock from Austin, TX USA
Run-D.M.C. - King Of Rock - rap from Hollis (Queens), NY USA
The Didjits - Killboy Powerhead - punk rock from Sullivan, IL USA - many people are more familiar with The Offspring's cover of this song
Stormtroopers Of Death - Sargent "D" and the S.O.D. - thrash metal from NYC, NY USA

and of course, my personal theme song: Ace Of Spades by Motörhead
#10
Old 07-25-2012, 12:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo View Post
I could make a list with dozens if not hundreds of entries, ...
Oh yes. All of music is filled with murder, swagger, and braggadocio. I'll just add the first three that come to my mind:

John Henry is a steel drivin' man. (Warning: modern interpretation that grabs me for some reason. Not classic.)

Tennessee Ernie Ford loads 16 Tons.

Dock Boggs kills Wild Bill Jones.
#11
Old 07-25-2012, 12:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peremensoe View Post
You rule. Amazing song, amazing record.
#12
Old 07-25-2012, 12:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azraiel View Post
Oh yes. All of music is filled with murder, swagger, and braggadocio. I'll just add the first three that come to my mind:

John Henry is a steel drivin' man. (Warning: modern interpretation that grabs me for some reason. Not classic.)

Tennessee Ernie Ford loads 16 Tons.

Dock Boggs kills Wild Bill Jones.
You also rule.

However, for John Henry I let the master and his guitar do all the talking.
#13
Old 07-25-2012, 12:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azraiel View Post
Oh yes. All of music is filled with murder, swagger, and braggadocio.
And the award for "Most misleading summation or interpretation of another's words in this thread" goes to azraiel! Congratulations, you win a
SPOILER:
#14
Old 07-25-2012, 01:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tad-- View Post
However, for John Henry I let the master and his guitar do all the talking.
Oh, I do not disagree in the slightest. An American classic performed by so many American masters.

I just wanted to take the chance to introduce Snakefarm to some folks, as I really dig many of their interpretations (and I speak as someone who generally hates drum machines!)
#15
Old 07-25-2012, 01:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo View Post
And the award for "Most misleading summation or interpretation of another's words in this thread" goes to azraiel!
Um, guy? I was agreeing with you. I could also make all kinds of lists of songs I love that fit the OP. I wasn't trying to snark, or interpret, or even really say anything about your post other than, well, agreement.



ETA: If I came across as mocking or something, it wasn't my intent. I didn't say "all music," I said "all of music." As in, every genre has gorgeous examples of swagger, murder ballads, etc. All I was saying, or trying to say.

Last edited by azraiel; 07-25-2012 at 01:14 AM.
#16
Old 07-25-2012, 01:20 AM
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Since I seem to be observing Gender Balance Day in these suggest-a-song threads, let me point out that there are some great songs about female badasses too, including Jim Croce's Roller Derby Queen and Al Dexter's Pistol Packin Mama.

(I don't count songs about women who weren't badass at all until they happened to get angry at the narrator for cheating on them, or who are only called badass because the narrator's angry at them for cheating on him.)
#17
Old 07-25-2012, 01:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azraiel View Post
Um, guy? I was agreeing with you. I could also make all kinds of lists of songs I love that fit the OP. I wasn't trying to snark, or interpret, or even really say anything about your post other than, well, agreement.



ETA: If I came across as mocking or something, it wasn't my intent. I didn't say "all music," I said "all of music." As in, every genre has gorgeous examples of swagger, murder ballads, etc. All I was saying, or trying to say.
I apologize for misinterpreting your post.

And yeah, Snakefarm rocks. I've linked to them in several threads over the years, not least in part because they do the best interpretation of St. James Infirmary Blues yet conceived.
#19
Old 07-25-2012, 02:52 AM
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His toughness is mostly implied, but: Quinn the Eskimo.
#20
Old 07-25-2012, 03:11 AM
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And let's not forget the OG, Mack the Knife.
#21
Old 07-25-2012, 03:50 AM
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How about this blast from the past... Iron Man-- Sir Mix A Lot
#22
Old 07-25-2012, 03:56 AM
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A badass group of men
#23
Old 07-25-2012, 04:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo View Post
I apologize for misinterpreting your post.

And yeah, Snakefarm rocks. I've linked to them in several threads over the years, not least in part because they do the best interpretation of St. James Infirmary Blues yet conceived.
*nubs*

Yeah, I love the hell out of Snakefarm, and I can't explain why I enjoy the album so much. I hate individual components (e.g. drum machines) but love the whole. I don't know why...

Anyway, I'm going to drop a archetypical example of badassery and then head to bed.

Beyond the song, Boys from the County Hell wins for best title, hands down. And the badassedness of the song is indisputable.

ETA: While the line "My brother earned his medals at Mai Lei in Vietnam" is hard enough, the original (and hard to find) lyric is "My brother earned his medals raping gooks in Vietnam"

Last edited by azraiel; 07-25-2012 at 04:37 AM.
#24
Old 07-25-2012, 04:42 AM
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Missed the window:

And by badassedness, I mean hard, violent, horrible, and irredeemable.

Last edited by azraiel; 07-25-2012 at 04:42 AM.
#25
Old 07-25-2012, 04:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by runner pat View Post
Also Son of Shaft by the Bar-kays

Last edited by Bakhesh; 07-25-2012 at 04:46 AM.
#26
Old 07-25-2012, 06:42 AM
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Warren Zevon's Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner.

I'll also nominate Mr Bad Example, but the protagonist more bad than badass.
#27
Old 07-25-2012, 08:29 AM
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Most of Bon's stuff was along those lines - in a very good way!

Quote:
I'm cooler than a body on ice
Hotter than the rolling dice
Send you to Heaven; take you to Hell
No fooling - can't you tell
I'm a Livewire
Quote:
So lock up your daughter, lock up your wife
Lock up your back door, run for your life
The man is back in town - so don't you mess around
cuz I'm TNT
He does have a way with words...
#28
Old 07-25-2012, 08:45 AM
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A song about real-life badasses the Kray twins (or more accurately a song about a weirdly obsessive devotee of the Krays):

The Last of the Famous International Playboys
- Morrissey
#29
Old 07-25-2012, 10:49 AM
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How about Alley Oop? He's a mean motorscooter and a bad go-getter.
#30
Old 07-25-2012, 11:06 AM
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The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde

“Now one brave man, he tried to take them alone;
They left him lying in a pool of blood and laughed about it all the way home.”
#31
Old 07-25-2012, 11:30 AM
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If we're doing gangsters, how about Pretty Boy Floyd? (Dylan version.)

Pretty boy grabbed a log chain
and the deputy grabbed his gun
And in the fight that followed
he laid that deputy down
#33
Old 07-25-2012, 02:21 PM
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I'll pick an odd example, Link Wray's "Rumble", which isn't so much about a single badass as it is about badassery in general. You listen to it, you are the badass.

Er, "Sympathy for the Devil", by the Rolling Stones? It's about a cultured, civilised badass. "Midnight Rambler"? Not so much a tough guy - he sneaks around - but you wouldn't want to mess with him. I would have picked "Street Fighting Man", but it's a bit subversive, 'cause the main character eschews violence for a career as a rock and roll singer.

Last edited by Ashley Pomeroy; 07-25-2012 at 02:25 PM.
#34
Old 07-25-2012, 04:44 PM
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Indoor Life - Archeology

I suppose the lyrics are a little vague but at least to me it sounds like a song with a mad scientist as the narrator "the man who tames the beast".
#35
Old 07-25-2012, 06:04 PM
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Bad Company
#36
Old 07-25-2012, 06:10 PM
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Barroom Hero - Dropkick Murphys
#37
Old 07-25-2012, 06:13 PM
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Let's not forget about the meanest of the mean, the toughest of the tough, and the baddest of the bad...Charles Nelson Reilly
#38
Old 07-25-2012, 06:48 PM
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One from Shel Silverstein: The Winner
#39
Old 07-25-2012, 09:03 PM
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Ringo - Lorne Greene

Ballad of the Blue Cyclone - Ray Stevens
#40
Old 07-25-2012, 09:23 PM
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Ballad of the Green Berets
#41
Old 07-26-2012, 01:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VunderBob View Post
Warren Zevon's Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner.

I'll also nominate Mr Bad Example, but the protagonist more bad than badass.
You have excellent taste, my friend.

Drive-By Truckers, The Boys From Alabama

Don't piss off the boys from Alabama
You know we won't let it slide
Well, they might find your body in the Tennessee river
Or they might not find it at all
And there'll be no place to run and hide
And your family ain't safe at all
So don't piss off the boys from Alabama
We're keepin' an eye on you
#42
Old 07-26-2012, 01:41 AM
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The Reverend Horton Heat - Cruisin' For A Bruisin'
http://youtube.com/watch?v=wqCcw0ZRH-0
#43
Old 07-26-2012, 11:04 AM
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Weird Al Yankovic - C.N.R.
http://youtube.com/watch?v=xLnapb-30hA

(best ever)
#44
Old 07-26-2012, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubixcube View Post
Let's not forget about the meanest of the mean, the toughest of the tough, and the baddest of the bad...Charles Nelson Reilly
Darn... I searched for CNR and C.N.R. and didn't notice it was already posted. Still, it bears repeating.
#45
Old 07-26-2012, 11:39 AM
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Indestructible by Disturbed is a good one. The music video is great too.
#46
Old 07-26-2012, 12:16 PM
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Carl Perkins' Dixie Fried (another one covered by Thorogood):

Well, Dan got happy and he started raving.
He pulled out a razor, but he wasn't shaving.
And all the cats knew to jump and hop,
Cause he was born and raised in a butcher shop.
#47
Old 07-26-2012, 12:26 PM
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Judas Priest's The Ripper.
#48
Old 07-26-2012, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VunderBob View Post
Warren Zevon's Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner.
Also by Zevon, "Hit Somebody."
#49
Old 07-26-2012, 12:38 PM
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The Leader of the Pack -- The Shangri-las (ostensibly at least, it's more tell and less show).
Bad -- Michael Jackson
Smooth Criminal too, I guess, depending on whether you consider the song "about" Annie or the eponymous character.
#50
Old 07-26-2012, 12:51 PM
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The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance has two badasses:
When Liberty Valance rode to town the womenfolk would hide . . . the men would step aside.
The man who shot Liberty Valance was the kind of a man the West would need to tame a troubled land . . . he was the bravest of them all.

SPOILER:
Of course, in the movie, he wasn't the man who did the shootin'. But in the song he did.
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