Caleb Meyer Lyrics - Gillian Welch

Review The Song (3)



Caleb Meyer, he lived alone
In them hollarin' pines
Then he made a little whiskey for himself
Said it helped pass the time

Long one evening in back of my house,
Caleb come around
And he called my name 'til I went out
with no one else around

Caleb Meyer, your ghost is gonna
wear them rattlin' chains.
but when I go to sleep at night,
Don't you call my name

Where's your husband, Nellie Kane
Where's your darlin gone?
Did he go down off the mountain side
and leave you all alone?

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Yes, my husband's gone to Bowlin' Green
to do some business there.
Then Caleb threw that bottle down
and grabbed me by my hair.

Caleb Meyer, your ghost is gonna
wear them rattlin' chains.
but when I go to sleep at night,
Don't you call my name


He threw me in the needle bed,
across my dress he lay
then he pinned my hands above my head
and I commenced to pray.

I cried My God, I am your child
send your angels down
Then feelin' with my fingertips,
the bottle neck I found

I drew that glass across his neck
as fine as any blade,
and I felt his blood pour fast and hot
around me where I laid.

Caleb Meyer, your ghost is gonna
wear them rattlin' chains.
But when I go to sleep at night,
Don't you call my name

Caleb Meyer, your ghost is gonna
wear them rattlin' chains.
But when I go to sleep at night,
Don't you call my name



Click here to submit the Corrections of Caleb Meyer Lyrics
Thanks to Britney for submitting Caleb Meyer Lyrics.
Not quite a murder ballad | Reviewer: jd | 11/28/13

This is one of the best and most haunting songs I have heard since I started following folk and blues 40 years ago. It is in the style of a murder ballad but the villain gets their just deserts for crime and the intended victim goes on to taunt the ghost. Quite empowering compared with the usual women as victim song.

Great twist to the tradtional murder ballad. | Reviewer: Dusty | 1/17/11

With a haunting, modal melody, this song sounds like many traditional murder ballads. But there is a twist. There are so many murder ballads about a man who kills a woman because she won't marry him, or she got pregnant, or she went off with another. Here, the female narrator kills Caleb Meyer as he attempts to rape her. And unlike most murder ballads, this one ends with the murder itself, saying nothing of the consequences.

History of song | Reviewer: Pat | 9/4/08

I love the haunting sound of the music. It's hard to get it out of my head. The lyrics are so gruesome. Does anyone know the story behind this song? I assume it is based on an actual event or a folktale.



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------ Performed by Gillian Welch

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------ 09/30/2014

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