Let Him Dangle

Songfacts®:

  • This song is about Derek Bentley, a British teenager who was involved in the murder of a police officer in 1952, and sentenced to death by hanging. Costello explained in a 1989 interview with On The Street: "It's one of the cases that's always brought up when they have the big debate about capital punishment. And as you can hear in the song, I didn't want to make any ironical point, it's fairly much a statement of what I understand the facts of the case to be, and what I feel about it, and the way the debate is used as a distraction from... from the horror of an execution. The song is kind of written like a Woody Guthrie song. It tells a story and then says 'And the moral is...'"

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Jesus In Pop Hits: The Gospel Songs That Went MainstreamSong Writing

These overtly religious songs crossed over to the pop charts, despite resistance from fans, and in many cases, churches.

He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss): A History Of Abuse PopSong Writing

Songs that seem to glorify violence against women are often misinterpreted - but not always.

Timothy B. SchmitSongwriter Interviews

The longtime Eagle talks about soaring back to his solo career, and what he learned about songwriting in the group.

Steven Tyler of AerosmithSongwriter Interviews

Tyler talks about his true love: songwriting. How he identifies the beauty in a melody and turns sorrow into art.

Ian Astbury of The CultSongwriter Interviews

The Cult frontman tells who the "Fire Woman" is, and talks about performing with the new version of The Doors.

Michael Glabicki of Rusted RootSongwriter Interviews

Michael tells the story of "Send Me On My Way," and explains why some of the words in the song don't have a literal meaning.