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O'Malley's Bar

This song is by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and appears on the album Murder Ballads (1996).

I am tall and I am thin
Of an enviable height
And I've been known to be quite handsome
In a certain angle and in certain light

Well, I entered into O'Malley's
Said, "O'Malley, I have a thirst"
O'Malley merely smiled at me
Said, "You wouldn't be the first"

I knocked on the bar and pointed
To a bottle on the shelf
And as O'Malley poured me out a drink
I sniffed and crossed myself

My hand decided that the time was nigh
And for a moment it slipped from view
Oh, when it returned, it fairly burned
With confidence anew, oh

Well, the thunder from my steely fist
Made all the glasses jangle
Oh, when I shot him, I was so handsome
It was the light, it was the angle
Huh, hmm, hmm
Yeah, huh, huh

"Neighbors," I cried, "friends," I screamed
I banged my fist upon the bar
"I bear no grudge against you"
And my dick felt long and hard

"I am the man for which no God waits
But for which the whole world yearns
I'm marked by darkness and by blood
And by a thousand powder burns"

Well, you know those fish with the swollen lips
That clean the ocean floor
When I looked at poor old O'Malley's wife
Well, that's exactly what I saw
Well, I jammed the barrel under her chin
And her face looked raw and vicious
Her head, it landed in the sink
With all the dirty dishes

And her little daughter Siobhan
Pulled beers from dusk till dawn
And amongst the town folk she was a bit of a joke
But she pulled the best beer in town, uh

Well, I swooped magnificent upon her
As she sat shivering in her grief
Like the Madonna painted on the church house wall
In whale's blood and banana leaf

Her throat crumbled in my hands
And I spun heroically around
To see Caffrey rising from his seat
I shot that motherfucker down

Mm, yeah, mm-hmm, uh
Mm-hmm, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh

"I have no free will," I sang
And I flew about the murder
Mrs. Richard Holmes, she screamed
You really should have heard her

Well, I sang and I laughed, I howled and I wept
I panted like a pup
I blew a hole in Mrs. Richard Holmes
And her husband stupidly stood up

As he screamed, "You are an evil man"
And I paused a while to wonder
If I have no free will, then how can I
Be morally culpable, I wondered

I shot Richard Holmes in the stomach
Gingerly he sat down
And he whispered weirdly, "No offense"
And then lay upon the ground

"None taken," I replied to him
To which he gave a little cough
And with blazing wings I neatly aimed
Blew his head completely off

I've lived in this town for thirty years
To no one I am a stranger
And I put new bullets in my gun
A chamber upon chamber

And I turned my gun on the birdlike Mr. Brooks
I thought of Saint Francis and his sparrows
And as I shot down the youthful Richardson
It was Sebastian I thought of, and his arrows

Huh, mm, yeah, hmm
Huh, listen, listen

I said, "I want to introduce myself
And I'm glad that all you came"
And I leapt upon the bar
And I shouted out my name

Well, Jerry Bellows, he hugged his stool
Closed his eyes and shrugged and laughed
And with an ashtray big as a fucking really big brick
I split his skull in half

His blood spilled across the bar
Like a steaming scarlet brook
And then I knelt there at its edge on the counter
Wiped my tears away and looked

Well, the light in there, it was blinding
Full of God and ghosts and truth
And I smiled at Henry Davenport
Who made no attempt to move, huh

Well, from the position I was standing
The strangest thing I ever saw
The bullet entered through the top of his chest
And blew his bowels out on the floor

And I floated down the counter
Showing no remorse
I shot a hole in Kathleen Carpenter
Recently divorced

But remorse I felt, remorse I had
It clung to everything
From the raven hair upon my head
To the feathers on my wings

Then I squeezed my hand in its fraudulent claw
With its golden hairless chest
And I glided through the bodies
And killed the fat man, Vincent West

Who sat quietly in his chair
A man become a child
And I raised the gun up to his head
Executioner style

He made no attempt to resist
So fat and dull and lazy
"Did you know that I live in your street," I said
And he looked at me like I were crazy

"Oh," he said, "I had no idea"
And he grew as quiet as a mouse
While the roar of the pistol when it went off
Near blew the hat right off the house

Hmm, hum, hmm, hum, hmm, hum, uh
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Hmm, mm, hmm, hmm, mm, hmm, mm
Mm-mm, uh-uh, mm-mm, uh-uh, mm-mm, uh-uh, mm-mm, uh-uh, mm-mm, uh-uh, mm-mm, uh-uh

Well, I caught my eye in a mirror
Gave it a long and loving inspection
"There stands some kind of man," I roared
And there did in the reflection

My hair combed back like a raven's wing
My muscles hard and tight
And curling from the business end of my gun
Was a query mark of cordite

Well, I spun to the left, I spun to the right
And I spun to the left again
"Fear me, fear me, fear me"
But no one did 'cause they were dead

Huh, hmn
Oh-oh yeah, humpf
Mm, hmm, mm, hmm, mm, hmm, mm

And then there were the police sirens wailing
And then a bullhorn squelched and blared
"Drop your weapons and come out
With your hands held in the air"

Well, I checked the chamber in my gun
Saw I had one final bullet left
My hand, it looked almost human
As I raised it bravely to my head

"Drop your weapon and come on out
Keep your hands above your head"
I had one long hard think about dying
And did exactly what they said

There must have been fifty cops out there
In a circle around O'Malley's Bar
"Don't shoot," I cried, "I'm a man unarmed"
So they put me in their car

And they sped me away from that terrible scene
And I glanced out of the window
Saw O'Malley's Bar, saw the cops and the cars
And I started counting on my fingers, mm, mm

Mm-ah, mm-ah, one
Mm-ah, mm-mm, two
Mm-ah, mm, mm, mm, mm, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, three
Uh, mm, mm, mm, yeah, yeah, yeah
Uh, uh, uh, yeah, yeah, hey, hey, hey, hey
Uh-huh, huh-huh, uh, uh
Mm, mm, mm, mm, mm, mm, mm, mm, mm, mm, O'Malley's Bar
Mm, mm, mm, mm, O'Malley's Bar
Mm, mm, mm, mm, O'Malley's Bar
Mm, mm, mm, mm, O'Malley's Bar
Mm-mm, mm-mm, mm, O'Malley's Bar
Mm-hmm, mm-hmm, mm-hmm, mm, O'Malley's Bar
Mm, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh
Hmm-hmm-hmm-hmm, hmm-hmm-mm, hmm-hmm-mm-yeah,
Hmm-mm

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