On the night of December 25, 1895, "Stag" Lee Shelton shot dead his underworld rival William "Billy" Lyons in a St. Louis saloon following a dispute. The crime soon became the subject of songs as well as folktales and poems. The best known version of "Stagger Lee,"
by Lloyd Price, reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1959 - Dick Clark insisted the violent content of the song be toned down when Price appeared on American Bandstand
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' sweary interpretation tells the story from a neutral perspective and is set in the 1930s.