Tom Dooley—The Kingston Trio

Tom Breihan over at Stereogum has been running a column about all the Number One songs on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart since its inception in 1958. (It’s great—you should check it out.) I decided to use each song as a writing prompt.


A murder ballad missing Nick Cave’s


missing any sort of feral


any bloodlust or anguished

koan alluding to a dripping


missing the red right hand,

the stain

of Satan, the mark of


is reason to hang your head

and cry.





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