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Pony Boy’s “The Murder Ballad of Carrie Lee”

This country-rock tune was inspired by the murder spree of Charles Starkweather and Caril Ann Fugate.


The story of Midwestern mass murderers Charles Starkweather and Caril Ann Fugate has inspired movies, novels, and an episode of Criminal Minds. But our favorite ode to date: Pony Boy’s song “The Murder Ballad of Carrie Lee.”

This toe tapping country-rock tune – complete with harmonica interlude – gives a raspy, sultry voice to the thoughts of a young girl as she falls for a bad boy and follows him across the country. They watch their misdeeds unfold on television, and as their infamy grows, so does their commitment to each other.

In reality, Fugate was only 13 years old when she started dating high-school dropout Starkweather (18). Two years into their relationship, she came home to find that he had shot both her mother and stepfather, and then stabbed Fugate’s little sister as she watched. A few days later, they took off on a crime-riddled road trip across Nebraska, eventually snuffing out seven more lives.

Once the couple was caught, they immediately turned on each other, blaming the other one for the brutal death of their final victim (shot, stabbed, clothes stripped down). Starkweather ended up taking the hit for most of their work and was executed in the electric chair. Fugate got life in prison and was released 17 years later.

So it wasn’t exactly happily ever after for the real-life outlaw lovers, but we still think this track is pretty catchy.

Download the song at MTV Hive.