This is a list of songs about or inspired by the events outside of Waco in 1993. Note that many of them I haven't heard with my own ears.
Also, I know that in compiling this list so many years after the event, many of the songs that Waco inspired will have vanished, leaving no trace. Even if this work had begun years ago, many songs would languish in such obscurity that I never would have heard of them. However, I want this list to be as comprehensive as possible. If anyone knows of another song, even by the most obscure band or performer, tell me about them!
NOTE: I am updating this list with songs I have learned of since my Lunarpages site went down. I will make an entry with the song and artist names, and add text later.
"51 Days": No Use For a Name, Leche Con Carne.
"A Place Called Waco": Eddie D. McTwoHats. From the depths of obscurity, this song has been rescued by the Internet. McTwoHats came to sing David out of Mt. Carmel, but came to think so much of the town that he wrote this deathless classic. http://home.earthlink.net/~dan_x/pages/waco.html
"A Song to David (A Message in Song)": Eddie D. McTwoHats. According to Mad Man in Waco, McTwoHats came to Waco to sing David out of Mt. Carmel, and penned this song for the purpose.
"Amo Bishop Roden": Boards of Canada, In A Beautiful Place in the Country. This electronic song is named for the anti-Koresh Branch Davidian who began a one-woman occupation of the Mt. Carmel ruins after the fire. The title song of the EP is apparently a quote of her description of Mt. Carmel.
"Angelou": Tom Ovans, 15 Unreleased.
"Another Pied Piper": Obscured, Pessimistic.
"Anyone Who Has a Brain": John Mazurkiewicz with Joseph Stamboni and Denis Coughlan. This song was apparently written to be licensed to others, rather than released by its author to the public. An anti-cult song penned following Waco, its point of view is that "anyone who has a brain" "can see that it's a crock" and "would never give them control." Waco and Jonestown open and close the song, but "Oral, Jim, and Tammy Faye" also get whacked. http://www.mazmania.com/anyonewhohasabrain.html
"Apocalyptic Superman": Rif Raf, Raunch N' Roll. One of the band members was inspired to write this song, which eerily came out not too long before the ATF raid, by his experiences with David Koresh. http://cmt.tstc.edu/rifraf/main.htm
"April 19th": Andras Jones, A Curmudgeon For All Seasons. The apparent theme of this album is "anti-holiday" songs. This song tackles Patriot's Day, the anniversary of Lexington and Concord, and the disillusioning thoughts this date brings to the modern-day patriot. He tells an interviewer that it is one of his most popular live songs, and a live version is on his Religious '99 EP. http://www.olywa.net/previous/cds.htm
"Branch Davidian Homesick Blues": TC Smythe, And Then Some. The lyrics, written by Tim Walker, challenge a cult messiah to prove he's really Jesus: "I wanna feel the wound in your side/so I'll know who you are." Didn't find out much about this Texas folk artist, except that she apparently once planned to call this album, "Under the Influence." http://www.tcsmythe.com/tcstracks.html
"Burn Down the Compound": Noah Stone, Love That Smile Off Your Face. This song is supposedly about David Koresh's need to dominate his followers. I hadn't recalled hearing of Noah Stone before, but it turns out he is the founder of Artists Against Piracy, one of the groups fighting Napster.
"Burnin' Alive": AC/DC, Ballbreaker. In an interview, singer Brian Johnson explained what motivated bandmate Malcolm Young to write this song: "I think Malcolm especially was tremendously troubled by that. I think he knew it was a total screwup."
"Burnt": Fear of God, Toxic Voodoo. It was hard to discern what the meaning of this 1994 song might be from the lyrics, and indeed, the FAQ asserts that it "wasn't a protest or a tribute to the Koresh sect. Rather, Dawn just had an interest in the whole Waco thing and David Koresh's god complex." http://www.42nd.net/fog/html/lyrics.htm
"Children of Waco": Enemies of the People, Step Outside of the Darkness. Saw this song mentioned in a Washington Post article. Band member Dave Sharp is quoted as saying, "If I play it at a blue-collar drinking bar, people really like it. If I play it in a more sophisticated place" [he mentions a DC vegetarian restaurant] "with that type of crowd it doesn't go over." (I've learned that Dave Sharp previously released the song on a solo album, Clinging to the Truth: Tribute to JFK, and he has the song posted on IUMA. He has also posted on newsgroups, backing Carol Valentine's Waco theories.)
"The Chosen One": Substance, Abuse.
"David Koresh, My Eye": Traveling Sununus, eponymous. A dorky song that seems to mock David Koresh, but without much of a political thrust, as far as I can tell. Also on MP3.com. (Before you check them out, I recommend this review!)
"David Sin": Darkcide, Dead Men Tell No Tales.
"Davidian": Machine Head, Burn My Eyes. Apparently well regarded in metal circles, I stumbled across the lyrics to this song on the Internet. I haven't heard it, but I have found out that it was the lead song for their 1994 album. From the lyrics, I'm not sure how the song fits with Waco and what political stance it may have. (Other sites also have the lyrics.)
"The Davidians Had a Secret Handshake (We <3 U Nancy Sinatra)": Twodeadsluts Onegoodfuck, Songs for Blasting Lasers and Fighting Evil Doers.
"The FBI Barbecue at Waco, Texas": Patrick Sky. Found at MP3.com. Promises that "here is the song that will change the government." http://artists.mp3s.com/artist_song/225/225797.html
"FBIKillsKids": Eighth Ground, Omnipotent Mechanism. This political band takes on the New World Order, the Trilateral Commission, and the Council on Foreign Relations with obscene lyrics. After raging against the FBI, they then challenge the listener, what they will do the next time it happens. http://www.wearenow.com/eighthground/lyrics/fbikillskids.shtml
"Follow Me": Soul Destruction, United in Obscurity. A metal song with a generic cult leader figure issuing the call to "follow me." In an interview, the band leader says the song "was inspired by the WACO Branch Davidian situation. It is about how Christianity and all of the guilt-ridden white light religions and cults of the world use guilt, fear, and propaganda to manipulate the weak minded." http://www.souldestruction.8m.com/Followme.htm
"For the Children": Cancion. A woman singer wrote this angry folk song, which she performed at the 2000 anniversary.
"Guyana Down in Waco": Endre Tarczy, Ourang-Outang. Don't know much about this song, except that it comes from a musician in the San Francisco scene, and the reviewer describes it as "punk-styled."
"Hot Day in Waco": Dogbowl/Kramer, Hot Day in Waco. Haven't heard it. According to Dogbowl's site, he was writing a song set in Texas when news of Waco came on. When he resumed his writing, he worked an oblique allusion to the day's events into the song. http://www.dogbowl.com/text/discography.html
"How Can You Sleep Tonight": Tombstone Trailerpark, Earth Against Your Skin. A song that asks the government agents at Waco a pointed question. The band is described as "alternative country" or even "alt-alt-country."
"I Want to Know Why! (The Children Had to Die): Judy Mombleau and Pam Hawkins. Pam Hawkins sang this song at both the 1994 anniversary and the 1995 anniversary. It works in excerpts from the 911 tape into the lyrics.
"I'm Gonna David Koresh You": The Basement Lounge Boys, eponymous. Seen at MP3.com, listed as a comedy song. http://artists.mp3s.com/artist_song/1758/1758120.html
"In A Beautiful Place in the Country": Boards of Canada, In A Beautiful Place in the Country. An electronic song titled after Amo Roden's description of Mt. Carmel. She also was the subject of another song on the EP, "Amo Bishop Roden."
"In Heaven Someday": Michael Ray. Performed at the 1994 "Day of Information." Though Ray sympathizes with the survivors, the song deals more with Waco as a tragedy rather than a political event. ray94.htm
"In The Name of God": Dream Theater, Train of Thought.
"Infected Messiah": Infected Messiah, demo.
"Jahweh Koresh": The Eternal Afflict, Jahweh Koresh. This is the title song on a three-song album by a German band, classified under categories like "goth," "industrial," and "darkwave." Did not find any information on the song itself, I'm including it based on its title and the album cover, which has a big "7" on it (representing the Seven Seals or the Seventh Angel?).
"Jeff Runs the Voodoo Down": Squidboy, Kids Talk to Killers. For "lyrics," this song has an excerpt from one of David's sermons (I think "Voice of Fire," but I need to check), but other than that, I didn't find out more about this song. http://www.squidboy.com/lyrics/ly_lower_rt.html
"Jonestown": Concrete Blonde, Mexican Moon. This 1993 song is about Jonestown, but Waco clearly inspired the choice of topic.
"Koresh": Hillbilly Devilspeak, Colorized. The song is a bonus track on this Phoenix punk band's 1998 album, but I wasn't able to learn more.
"Koresh": Strange Juice, eponymous.
"Lone Star Song": Grant Lee Buffalo, Mighty Joe Moon. "Pray the holy war is ending, like in the films of Hollywood," Grant Lee Phillips sings, one of many references to the Waco event in the lyrics. (Other sites also have the lyrics.) It also tosses a couple of allusions to the JFK assassination; indeed, he has said he originally began writing the song with that in mind, when Waco hit.
"Lovers in Waco": New Radiant Storm King, Hurricane Necklace.
"The Madman From Waco": Count Raven, High on Infinity. A metal song that asks, "Just how mad was he? It seems that they just wanted to make an alternative society" in this "pretend democracy." This group may be from Sweden, though the lyrics are in English; I'd never heard of them before. http://www.blackmetal.com/~mega/CR/HoI.html
"Madman in Waco": Paul Ruderman Band, The October Recordings. Taking the same name as a song written by David Koresh, it has a decidedly negative view of him, but is also disappointed by the FBI's bungling. This song is also being released on their first major-label album, Wish. http://www.ruderman.com/html/lyrics/madmaninwaco.html
"Mass Suicide (Waco Texas Mix)": The Endless, Loves Faith Rotted. Another MP3.com find. http://artists.mp3s.com/artist_song/724/724467.html
"Memories of Waco": Recension, eponymous/Drunken Orgy of Destruction. A metal song that concludes that the lesson of Waco is that "we are all free to say whatever we choose but only as long as everyone else agrees." http://www.geocities.com/recension2000/lyrics/14.html
"Messiah": The Farm, Hullabaloo. The only one of these songs to get Top 40 airplay, as far as I know, it warns listeners against false messiahs who love "fast cars," "freaky women," and "Armageddon," and have "bank accounts to seventh heaven." Apparently this album didn't do well enough for the band that once scored a hit with "Groovy Train," and they have been swallowed up by the sands of time.
"Murder or Suicide": DJMC GoManCity, The End of Slack. It didn't take long for the tragic conclusion of the siege to summon DJMC's muse. "The suicide trick the government tried to lay down immediately to the press never bore any credence with me, as with many other people. I wrote and recorded a song within hours of the battle’s conclusion." http://www.paralegalator.com/webzine/arch_online/waco.html
"My Own Private Waco": Debristream, Eden to Eden. My efforts to deal with this band's increasingly unreasonable attitude are detailed here. I will try to update that page shortly with a response to their latest actions.
"Nightly News (Waco Bopp)": A Complex Kid, Jukebox Jams #1. Seen on MP3.com. This song blends references to Waco and Heaven's Gate. http://artists.mp3s.com/artist_song/1244/1244024.html
"Nopalitos": Victims Family, Headache Remedy. The song compares two Davids who died in Texas, Crockett and Koresh, and the differing reactions to their "martyrdoms."
"Ornaments of Derision": Aborted, Goremageddon.
"Out Like a Lamb": The Verve Pipe, Pop Smear. "Flames rise like butterflies," one line goes. Brian Vander Ark explained the origin of the song: "I do remember watching the news when the Waco fire was burning and for some reason, I thought the initial explosion looked like someone had released millions of monarch butterflies." http://www.thevervepipe.com/lyrics3.html
"Peeling Back the Foreskin of Liberty (Live Free or Die)": Lard, Pure Chewing Satisfaction. Lard is a collaboration between Jello Biafra, a member of Ministry, and other musicians. This song parodies the causes and concerns of militia types, beginning with Waco. http://www.prongs.org/ministry/sideprojects/lyrics/pure.phtml
"Psychophobia": Black Sabbath, Cross Purposes. Whoever said listening to Black Sabbath was harmful to teens? They're warning them about the danger of cults! From the Black Sabbath FAQ: "Extreme cults can easily influence and mislead impressionable kids in todays society. It's about the David Koresh cult in Waco, Texas." A good thing those "impressionable kids" are impervious to lyrics glorifying sex, drugs, and violence!
"Psychos Vs. Suckers Are the Branch Davidians": Awol One and Daddy Kev, Slanguage.
"Revolution 12": Backworld, Holy Fire. This song includes a clip of David Koresh speaking.
"Send Him Down to Waco": The Waterboys, We Are Jonah.
"Seventeen Little Children": Carl Klang, single. The classic tear-jerker about Waco. Its critics may find it mawkish, but it was a hit among the Patriot crowd. http://www.klang.com/index.html
"Shining on Creation": Percy Hill, After All.
"Shootout Down in Waco": First Law, Revelation 5:2. Actually, all three tracks on this EP deal with the Waco situation, but so little information was available that I could only find out the title of the last song. The music is variously categorized as "electronic/synth," "ambient/experimental," or "neoclassical." Andreas Wahnmann, the mastermind, is quoted as saying that the album is the "'wonderful' multi-dimensional story about propaganda and disinformation, the mistake of giving the monopoly of power into the hands of a fiction like a 'good government', and the self-fulfilling prophecy about a man being a sheep... sorry, lamb.” http://drugie.here.ru/achtung/firstlawENG.htm
"Shrine of the Master": Brutality, When the Sky Turns Black. A set of impressionistic metal lyrics about Waco.
"Smoked": Live Not On Evil, Lucky Stiff.
"Strictly Utah": Biff Hitler and the Violent Mood Swings, Twelve Explosive Hits.
"Surrounded by Agents of Satan": JerMidi (JL Chandler). A MIDI song about the siege, siding with the Branch Davidians. http://www.our-town.com/~jermidi/surrou1.htm [dead link?], http://www.music-cruiser.com/jerry/index.htm
"Texas": Tree, Our Day Will Come.
"Wackos From Waco": Country Conscience Country Band, Nightly News. Seen on MP3.com. A song that asks, "are we really free from the Government's reach?" http://artists.mp3s.com/artist_song/466/466494.html
"W.A.C.O.": Cannibalistic Underage Naugahyde Tomatoes, A Mime Is a Wonderful Thing to Waste. Another metal song, written in the form of a first-person account by David Koresh. http://personal.tmlp.com/overkill/metal/tomato/mime.htm
"W.A.C.O.": Motor Dolls, All Fired Up.
"W.A.C.O.": Pumpin' Ethyl, Thank God I'm Living in the USA!. Wasn't able to find out much about this one, except that it comes from a Dallas punk band, and that their lead singer once beat up Kurt Cobain.
"W.A.C.O. (WackyArmedCaucasianOnslaught)": Golly Gee Willy and the Cerebral Palsys. Found on MP3.com. Perhaps someone who hasn't heard that under half of the Davidian dead were white, and a third were black? http://artists.mp3s.com/artist_song/898/898375.html
"Waco": Condemned. Another metal song about Waco, doesn't seem to have a favorable view of David Koresh. http://artists3.iuma.com/IUMA/Bands/condemned/index.html
"Waco": Jack Black, Got Jack Black If You Want It.
"Waco": Johnny Philko, Songs to Swear By. A song about Waco by a political band, from their forthcoming album. (I had problems viewing this page; if you do, save the link and view it with the browser in offline mode.) http://www.johnnyphilko.org/waco.html
"WACO": Lightning Rod, Got Balls? The Basement Tapes.
"Waco": Loon Saloon, Field Trip.
"Waco": RedRum, .
"Waco": Three Instagon Foundation, Waco. According to the Instagon website, this 1993 cassette was released in two editions, one of 10 copies and another of 25 copies! The song is split into two parts, and a third song, "Will We Ever Know," is also included. http://www.tif.org/instagon/irc001.html
"Waco (maxi version)": The Campfire, Field Trip. Another MP3.com find. Claims to be "motivated by the infamous Waco shootout." http://artists.mp3s.com/artist_song/386/386676.html
"Waco/April 19, 1993": Asphyxiated.
"Waco (Burn Into My Heaven)": Neues Forum, Sound of Machinery. Also on MP3.com, this is a techno/industrial song. http://artists.mp3s.com/artist_song/414/414574.html
"Waco: The White Man's Wounded Knee": Russell Means, The Radical. Famed American Indian Movement activist Russell Means is apparently trying his hand at music, and giving his take on Waco. http://www.russellmeans.com/cds.html
"Waco Baco": Piss Drunks, Urine Idiot.
"The Waco Ballad": Kevin S. Van Horn. Lyrics written to the tune of Billy Joel's "Piano Man." Apparently written for a libertarian songwriting contest in which new words are written to the music of popular songs. http://home.utah-inter.net/don-tiggre/lrt.songcontest.winners.htm
"Waco Blues": Riverboat Banjo Bob, eponymous.
"Waco Burning": Bob Cupit, Waco Burning. Another song turned up on my search of MP3.com. http://artists.mp3s.com/artist_song/478/478628.html
"Waco Jesus": Aversion, Fall From Grace. I haven't heard this song, and couldn't find any lyrics, but I presume from its title that it has something to do with David Koresh.
"Waco Jesus": On Trial, Seventy Kilometers of Underwater Nothingness, Kaptain!.
"Waco Lake": The Nields, Abigail. The "Waco Lake" of the song is a metaphor comparing the protagonist's heart burning with jealousy over her boyfriend and feeling suicidally despondent, to the burning that happened in Waco. Unless I've totally misunderstood the lyrics, and it refers to the literal Lake Waco or some other lake. Either way, not really about the siege itself. http://www.nields.com/waco_lake.htm
"Waking Up In Waco": Banco de Gaia, You Are Here.
"Whacked in Waco": Like Wow, single. A vinyl single released shortly after events in Waco. Said to feature a former member of Yo La Tengo. http://www.psychoteddy.com/records/index.html
"What He Said": Babyfat, eponymous. After this Atlanta band released this album, they changed their name to Ultrababyfat (sometimes spelled Ultra Baby Fat). Under that name, they also released a version on their next album, Silver Tone Smile. However, I wasn't able to find out much about the song itself.
"Words and Deeds": Charles Lawrence Gran, Gypsies, Zealots, and Pieces of Me.
Know of any other songs? Let
I have also decided to append to this list songs that have some mention of Waco or David Koresh, but are not about that subject. To start off:
Chumbawumba, Jesus in Vegas.
Comecon, The Whole World.
GWAR, BDF. Very obscene lyrics.
Krabathor, The Truth About Lies
Larry Heagle, Janet Reno Love Song
Junk Sick Dawn, Not Friends.
Kings Road, Let's Talk About Love
Korn, All in the Family. Very obscene lyrics.
New Model Army, You Weren't There.
Vortis, Black Helicopter.
Back to Home Page