For the last couple of years I've been writing writing more and more songs based on true events. But they're not based my own experiences but rather got their inspiration from crime investigations - most of them with a connection to Sweden.
These songs are not me trying to make entertainment - I've never considered myself as doing entertainment - of these horrific things that some have done to others, and all that suffering that has caused. This is simply my way of trying to cope with this world we're living in and the notion that some people become evil, and where that evil is coming from. As always, this is male violence mostly inflicted on women. We need to end this. And together we can.
For all victims of systematic racism.
This song is about George Floyd’s last minutes in life. He was killed due to police brutality and structural racism on May 25th 2020. I want to show my support for the fight that non-white persons go through daily. The systematic racism that runs through our society must end. The famous last words of George Floyd symbolizes that the struggle must continue.
I can't breathe with your knee on my neck. There's nothing I've done for you to treat me this way. I'm slowly dying. I'm slowly dying. I'm slowly... Please sir, give me some water or something. Please, everything hurts. I can't breathe officer. They're gonna kill me. They're gonna kill me. Why would they kill me? But they are killing me. I can't breathe. I can't breathe. Oh, mama. Oh, mama. Why would they kill me? But they are killing me. They are killing me. Why would they kill me? But they are killing me. You are killing me.
From Can't To Can't
I've been working from can't to can't still you won't free my soul. No matter what I do it just won't be enough. I'm working though no money I see. They go to someone else. Got no money, no hope and I sleep in a four bunk cell. I'm doing time for somebody else's crime. There's no way no how for me to get out of this now. I'm stuck here you see. There's no way out for me. Well, there's one way out - six feet underground. Sewing shirts, digging holes, assembling electrical parts. That's my line of work. That's my kind of job. Though I'm working from can't to can't thanks to this criminal state. The profit will never reach but those I've learned to hate. I'm doing time for some rich white man's crime. And I just can't see how I could get through this alive. They don't pardon my kind and there's just no way around it. To get out of here. I'll do it through the electric chair. No salary, no wage, no money, no pay - the mantra I have to face each day. All walls, no trees, just fences, no bees. No love, no hope, all punishment, no peace. They call me a criminal, I've lost my rights. I once had a family, two kids and a wife. Yet the only way down from the gallows is to swing.
They Called Him A Righteous Man
They called him a righteuous man. They called him a righteous man. Was he a righteous man? He did things one can't understand. He had the law in his hand. Was he a righteous man? Doing what he did could never be forgiven. The things he did to them can they be forgiven? No one would ever believe that he could be the enemy. Evil behind a badge and a desk. Dark thoughts and deeds in his chest. Was this a righteous man? What he did to little girls in the dark. To those no one should harm. This wasn't a righteous man. Doing what he did could never be forgiven. The things he did to them can they be forgiven?
Body In A Bag
For Catrine da Costa
In 1984 a garbage bag was found on the side of a road in the outskirts of Stockholm. Inside the bag laid parts of a dismembered body. Later another bag with even more body parts was found. These were the remains of Catrine da Costa, a woman living in and working the streets of Stockholm. Still to this day her head hasn't been retrieved and the case remains unsolved.
They found my body in a bag, body in a bag, they found my body in a bag. I used to have a name, I used to have a name, now I only wear a tag. I used to walk the dark streets late at night. Offering my love for a reasonable price. Now my feet won't do no walking and my hands won't do no job. I lie dead cold in the dead cold ground. Killer ditched me in a ditch, ditched me in a ditch. The Killer chopped me up and ditched me in a ditch. But my killer kept my head, the killer kept my head. Maybe they put me in a box under the bed? I used to walk the dark streets late at night. Offering my love for a reasonable price. Now my feet won't do no walking and my hands won't do no job. I lie dead cold in the dead cold ground. But my killer's on the loose, my killer's on the loose. Maybe you heard it on the news?
For Kim Wall
One of the most internationally known and noticed murder cases in the Nordics is the one of Swedish journalist Kim Wall and Danish inventor Peter Madsen. It is also a horrific story. Madsen invited Wall to his submarine (which he had built himself). She accepted the invitation but as she sat foot on the ship she would never leave it again alive. Madsen killed, and possibly tortured, her in that submarine. Then he severed the body in a number of parts and threw them of the ship. After that he sat it on fire and made it sink, trying to make it look like there had been som kind of accident.
He don't care about money, he don't care about fame. He just want to hurt another human being. He wants to feel someone's life fading in his hands. He likes to tell violent jokes to his friends. You know, that girl, she ain't coming back again. She's sleeping in the ground away from family and friends. While her vicious killer is rotting in his cell. That's what life will be for him before he goes to hell. He invited her to his new machine. And they submerged into the deep blue sea. In his sealed tin can no one could hear her scream. He destroyed his invention trying to save his own skin. And he whistled all the way back to shore.
In May 2018 Jaqueline Ades was arrested on charges of threatening, stalking and harassment. She was accused of breaking into a man's home to bath in his bathtub, and sending him over 65.000 text messages, around 500 per day and many of which both very disturbing and violent, after the two had gone to merely one date with each other.
I miss you. Why haven't you answered any of my calls? Do you hate me? Do you fear me? If you hate me I will hate you more. But I will miss you when you're gone. Don't try to leave me. If you leave me you will die. I will kill you and cut you open and wear your body on top of mine. And I will miss you when you're gone.
These lyrics are paraphrases of some of the text messages Ades sent.
Det Stora Oväsendet
For all the "Witches"
Laurentius Christophori Hornaeus was a priest and probably one of the most notorious, or rather infamous, Witch-hunters in Sweden during "Det Stora Oväsendet" ("The Great Noise") during the 1600s. His favourite methods to make children testify was either to lock them in an oven or to almost drown them in freezing cold water.
A Killer On The Loose
For Eddie Svensson
In December 2017 a man was attacked and stabbed with a knife by an unknown perpetrator. Luckily the man survives. In March 2018 another man gets attacked in his home. Unfortunately, he does not share the same luck. He does not survive. Both of these incidents happened just around the corner from where I live. In fact, the first attack happened on the street where I live. Today the Police have a suspect in custody, but when I wrote this song the murderer was still enjoying his freedom.
Please don't kill me. Please don't kill me with your knife. I've been working hard. Lord, I've lived an earnest life. I've been working hard. Working too hard all day. For you to kill med. For you to kill me in my sleep. Please don't kill me. Please don't kill me with your knife. There's a killer on the loose on the street where I live. There's a killer on the loose, killer on the street where I live.
Someone's After Me
For all women everywhere, and the end of patriarchy.
Lately there has been a lot of bad things going on on my street where I live. We had a killer on the loose, with all his victims living very close to us. We had a neighbor being chased, just outside our house, by a man holding one knife in each of his hands. Our good friend and neighbor were being watched at night through her bedroom window by a stranger. And another woman was attacked, again just outside our house, by a man luring in the bushes. This song is based on that last event.
Someone's after me. Someone's after me. I hear them creeping up behind my back. I hear them crawling, creeping up behind my back. Oh, someone's after me. Grabbing me by my legs. They're grabbing me by my legs. I feel them dragging, dragging me down in the mud. I feel them dragging, dragging me down in the mud. Oh, someone's after me. They're climbing up. Up on top of me. They're climbing up on top of me. Oh, how they push. They push me down to the ground. Oh, how they they push. They push me down to the ground. Oh, how they push. They push me down to the ground. Oh, how they they push. They push me down, down, down. Oh, don't you hear me crying? Oh, doesn't anyone hear me crying? I cry and I scream. I beg and I bite. Do I kick or do i freeze or do I fight? Oh, Someone's after me. Someone's after me.
When writing songs there's one method I tend to use. It’s the use of characters to set the tone and a story for my songs. So I figured that I could try to present to you some of the most important characters in my songs.
Photo by Johan Rönnow. Illustration by Feni.
Edward is a false prophet, and a cold-blooded murderer killing in God’s name. But in some strange way he has an ability to make people trust in him and believe in his prophicies, or predictions. Especially young adults. He's partially inspired by Harry Powell of “The Night of the Hunter” and Brother Justin Crowe of one of my favorite tv series “Carnivàle”. So far I've made two songs about this character:
Edward Young Took His Gun
William Joseph 'Billy' Dean & Mary Lee Dean
Photo by Johan Rönnow. Illustrations by Feni.
William, or Billy, is a character I often come back to. William’s mother was a crazy, godfearing, fanatic christian named Mary Lee. She, and the strange upbringing William had with her, could be one of the reasons for Billy becoming so evil. At some time during his youth he met a girl named Polly, and they traveled the roads together for a while, until Billy murdered her. His first kill. Now, a vicious spiral was set and William did whatever evil stuff he pleased. Killing and even eating people! Finally a group of people found courage enough to form a mob to try to get rid of Billy. They caught him and hung him in a great white oak tree. But later William came back from the dead to hunt his foes.
My hope is that I one day will be able to make a combined graphic novel and album with all the stories and songs about William.
One important inspiration for this character is Ed Gein. The real man behind the stories of Psycho, Texas Chainsaw Massacre… Another inspiration is an old folk tale of my hometown, Lerum. It's a story of an evil sheriff who was hanged, by the people of Lerum (hundreds of years ago), in a great oak tree. After that referred to as The Sheriff Tree (or Länsmanseken). That tree was the biggest in Lerum, and I sometimes played where it used to stand when I was a small kid. And I guess that's when I first heard this story.
Songs of William and/or Mary:
Pretty Polly (in my version of the traditional murder ballad)
Billy's Bad Conscience
Mary and William
He Had A Knife In His Hand Part I & Part II
Kill Waltz Interlude
At A No-Name Hotel Room
William Joseph Dean
Mean Old Billy's Cry For Freedom
William Is Back
Photo by Johan Rönnow. Illustration by Feni.
Just like his namesake from Pulp Fiction, Butch is a semi-professional boxer with a somewhat of an uneasy past. He’s a good boxer but some of his choices in the past turned out to be the wrong ones. He grew up on and used to live on Cuba, he had a family, but he had to flee. He fled to USA (which he refers to as the land of broken dreams) where he took the name Butch. But although he’s in a new country and with a new name he still can’t escape the choices he made in the past. Songs of Butch:
I'll Be Gone
I Ain't Going Down That Road No More