“The Ballad Of Charles Whitman” by Kinky Friedman

The lyrics of this song are based on a true and tragic incident that happened many decades ago in the United States. The lyrics center on a cold blooded killer who went by the name Charles Whitman. Having brutally murdered both his mother and wife, Whitman proceeded to commit one of the deadliest mass shootings in America.

"The Ballad Of Charles Whitman" Lyrics

According to the song’s writer, Kinky Friedman, the song takes a journey through the mind of Whitman. The lyrics try to understand why Friedman would commit such a terrible crime. Below are Friedman’s comments on the meaning of this song:

Kinky Friedman discusses "The Ballad Of Charles Whitman"

“The Ballad of Charles Whitman” Facts

Primary Artist(s): Kinky Friedman
Album/EP: “Sold American”
Genre: Folk
Release: January 1of 1973

Charles Whitman and his Atrocities

Dubbed the Texas Tower Sniper, Charles Joseph Whitman was a former US Marine and a mass murderer.

Charles joined the Marines in 1959. He was brilliant in his studies, had great results, and earned a military scholarship to the University of Texas. However, he later had very poor grades and was discharged from the Marines in 1964. After leaving the Marines, he went to the University of Texas. Here, he pursued a degree in architectural engineering. During his studies at the University, he suffered from depression, rage, and very violent impulses. He visited many University doctors, and they prescribed several medications for him. He also visited the University psychiatrist, who asked him to visit for further counseling regularly. However, he never went there again.

On the 1st of August, 1966, he stabbed both his mother as well as wife to death. He then headed to the Austin campus of the University of Texas, where he randomly shot at people. He went to the University tower and killed three people inside. Then, he climbed to the tower’s 28th-floor observation deck and indiscriminately shot at people for about 96 minutes.

This led to the death of 11 more people and serious wounds to 31 others. In total, he killed 16 people. One of his victims was a pregnant woman and her unborn child. Austin police officers shot him dead at the tower.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.