Archive for serial killers

68. ‘Son of Sam’ by Elliott Smith (2000)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on January 21, 2010 by G.K. Reid


Oh, Elliott. There is nothing even vaguely funny to say about you.

This song wins the award of ‘Best Single About a Serial Killer of the Decade’. Admittedly, that’s only because Sufjan Stevens never released his ‘John Wayne Gacy’, but still, bravo Elliott. Both songs earn a significant amount of their power by the songwriters in some way identifying with the ‘monsters’ they’re singing about. The moment the drums kick in on Elliot’s number, there’s no going back: this is a great, compelling song, filled to the brim with that combination of frailty, anger and humanistic bafflement that it seems only Elliott can bring to the table.


Bonus points: That middle-eight (‘Shiva opens her arms now, to make sure I don’t get too far..’ ) is utterly wonderful. It’s one of those lyrics that kicked even harder after he took his own life his girlfriend stabbed him in the heart.