Let Him Dangle

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Bentley said to Craig, "Let him have it, Chris"
They still don't know today just what he meant by this
Craig fired the pistol, but was too young to swing
So the police took Bentley and the very next thing
Let him dangle, let him dangle
Let him dangle, let him dangle

Bentley had surrendered, he was under arrest
When he gave Chris Craig that fatal request
Craig shot Sidney Miles, he took Bentley's word
The prosecution claimed as they charged them with murder
Let him dangle, let him dangle
Let him dangle, let him dangle

They say Derek Bentley was easily led
Well what's that to the woman that Sidney Miles wed?
Though guilty was the verdict, and Craig had shot him dead
The gallows were for Bentley and still she never said
Let him dangle, let him dangle
Let him dangle, let him dangle

Well, it's hard to imagine it's the times that have changed
When there's a murder in the kitchen that is brutal and strange
If killing anybody is a terrible crime
Why does this bloodthirsty chorus come 'round from time to time?
Let him dangle

Not many people thought that Bentley would hang
But the word never came, the phone never rang
Outside Wandsworth Prison there was horror and hate
As the hangman shook Bentley's hand to calculate his weight
Let him dangle, let him dangle
Let him dangle, let him dangle

Well, it's hard to imagine it's the times that have changed
When there's a murder in the kitchen that is brutal and strange
If killing anybody is a terrible crime
Why does this bloodthirsty chorus come 'round from time to time?
Let him dangle

From a welfare state to society murder
"Bring back the noose" is always heard
Whenever those swine are under attack
But it won't make you even, it won't bring him back
Let him dangle, let him dangle
Let him dangle, let him dangle

Let him dangle, let him dangle
Let him dangle, let him dangle
String him up...

Let Him Dangle
Written byDeclan MacManus
Performed byElvis Costello
Produced byElvis Costello, Kevin Killen & T Bone Burnett
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocals
Marc Ribot - all electric guitars
Benmont Tench - piano
Jerry Scheff - bass
Jerry Marotta - drums
Michael Blair - Chinese drum, Oldsmobile hubcap
Recorded1988, Ocean Way, Los Angeles
ReleasedFebruary 6, 1989
AlbumsSpike, 1989
PromosSpike Album Sampler, 1989
"Let Him Dangle" Plus Other Tracks You Might Like, 1989
Length4:39

First known performance:
November 5, 1987, Atlanta, GA
Last known performance:
October 3, 2011, Red Bank, NJ
     (94 known performances)


Alternate versions

Let Him Dangle (Demo)
Performed byElvis Costello
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocals, guitar, piano
RecordedMay 1987, Windmill Lane Studios, Dublin
ReleasedAugust 21, 2001
AlbumsSpike (Rhino reissue), 2001
Length3:26
Spike1989 Spike Album.jpg

"Let Him Dangle" Plus Other Tracks You Might LikeLet Him Dangle Plus Other Tracks You Might Like inlay.jpg

Covers

Elastic No-No Band Not Like Most Folkies, Part 2: Early Covers 2012 Bandcamp

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External links