I Cheat The Hangman

Album: Stampede (1975)
Charted: 60


  • Doobies guitarist Patrick Simmons wrote and sang lead on this song, a poetic tale of a man who has cheated death. Said Simmons: "I think the piece may have been inspired by An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge [by author Ambrose Bierce]. It has the feel of an old west ghost town. In fact, its about a ghost who doesn't realize he's dead returning to his home after the Civil War."
  • The strings-in-the-wild fadeout was inspired by the Russian poet Modest Mussorgsky's Night On The Bald Mountain. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Charles - Charlotte, NC, for above 2
  • The Stampede album was a turning point for the band, their last before lead singer Tom Johnston had to leave due to health problems. The Michael McDonald era began with their next album, Takin' It To The Streets.

Comments: 4

  • Bear from Atlanta Gadosen't get any better than the doobies, grew up with their music.at 68 yrs old still a blessing they have been, will play the hangman at my funeral. keep on Brothers
  • Eric from Tuscaloosa, AlThe man who inspired the song is actually my biological great-great-great-great- grandfather!
    I couldn’t believe it bc I love the doobie brothers.
    It is awesome song and means a lot more to me than anyone else in the world!
  • Dave from Vancouver, WaI heard this song while falling asleep in about 1980. It took me years to figure out the title and that it was the Doobie's. I have seen them in concert several times but they do this song. Maybe it's to hard to get the right background music.
  • Rick from Seattle, WaA great song, magnificent. Not a hit, but one of Simmons finest!
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Janet Jackson

Janet JacksonFact or Fiction

Was Janet secretly married at 18? Did she gain 60 pounds for a movie role that went to Mariah Carey? See what you know about Ms. Jackson.

Tom Johnston from The Doobie Brothers

Tom Johnston from The Doobie BrothersSongwriter Interviews

The Doobies guitarist and lead singer, Tom wrote the classics "Listen To The Music," "Long Train Runnin'" and "China Grove."

Johnette Napolitano of Concrete Blonde

Johnette Napolitano of Concrete BlondeSongwriter Interviews

The singer/bassist for Concrete Blonde talks about how her songs come from clairvoyance, and takes us through the making of their hit "Joey."

The Evolution of "Ophelia"

The Evolution of "Ophelia"Song Writing

How four songs portray Shakespeare's character Ophelia.

Amy Lee of Evanescence

Amy Lee of EvanescenceSongwriter Interviews

The Evanescence frontwoman on the songs that have shifted meaning and her foray into kids' music.

Muhammad Ali: His Musical Legacy and the Songs he Inspired

Muhammad Ali: His Musical Legacy and the Songs he InspiredSong Writing

Before he was the champ, Ali released an album called I Am The Greatest!, but his musical influence is best heard in the songs he inspired.