Tuesday, 29 November 2016

The Fried Chicken Band's song Haunted

Here's a song I heard just recently and it quickly became my favourite tune partly due to its folksy American feeling and the way it aligns with the current zeitgeist in the United States.  In fact it could've been a theme song for the Trump campaign. For this reason I wrote up all the lyrics as well as I could below so you can read them.

You can hear it on youtube or alternatively just play it down here:


Wandered by the old mines early one night
as the last pile of salt was being dragged out
went by the boat to the opposite shore
cuz they don't like strangers lookin' about
and security might (?) show on the dust and the gravel--
as the last truck was pullin' away
I heard a man sob and sittin' out on the porch
where the men always come to be paid--

with a pint by his side and his head in his hands, 
he looked up and he called me:
"why'd you come round here; you're wanted out here
you came to stare at my misery?
so you see how it is for thirty years in this place 
a man just gives you the news:
he says here's your final check and a pretty gold watch
cuz we're through payin' all of your dues--

"and I will be haunted-- by the thundering blast--
that rocked the earth-- each day at noon--
If someone has the courage to tear the whole place down--
it won't be too soon"


"Know if I could I would leave this town but
I got a wife and kids to look after
and I don't go back to have a drink with the boys
couldn't stand the sympathy and the laughter
they would say when I was gone he gotta talk right (?) that's all 
but he's too old to push the people around
in life there's work for the young and the strong
but I'll soon be layin' deep in the ground

"Don't know how the hell I got talkin' to you
but there's got to be someone who understands
worked all my life like a son of a bitch
usin' nuthin' but a pair of good hands
all society gives me the shame I can't handle
strugglin' anyway that I can:
changing as they want me from a strong old guy
to a snivellin' second class man

"and I will be haunted-- by the thundering blast--
that rocked the earth-- each day at noon--
If someone has the courage to tear the whole place down--
it won't be too soon..."

Pure American poetry.  Worthy of a Nobel too, according to senile Swede seniors?  Yeah, who isn't?  At the same time, the hint of violence-- that classic American crime of going postal at a workplace-- is so chilling too.

Having become haunted by this song, what I'd like to know is, who wrote it?  Is it a cover version of a previous folk song, or, unbelievably, did this utterly unknown German group from the late seventies actually pen it?  Someone out there knows something, as they say on America's Most Wanted...


  1. Hey Julian,

    Agreed this is indeed a great tune. The only descriptive info I could find in a search was a brief blurb attached to an eBay auction:

    Fantastic German Psych / Folk-Rock / Kraut. Anyway mega rare private pressing, AND THIS IS A TESTPRESSING!!!!!!! Gatefold. Nice vocals by Elizabeth 'Liz' Burns ,- like the legendary 'ANALOGY' from 1972 or the “SÜNDENFALL II“ LP.[emil]

    I would love to hear the rest of the LP based upon that tune.
    Thanks for posting!

    1. hi ushaped, I have to warn you that the rest of the album is highly disappointing and this song was posted on youtube for the simple reason it's the best and strongest track, though I'm sure it's a cover version since the record mostly comprises those...

    2. Hi Julian, thanks for the reply. Too bad. As a fellow collector I still always hope that one good track is an indicator of a great LP but alas I've found what you describe to be more often than not true.
      I'll take this opportunity to ask about the Contact LP from 1972 you mentioned a little while ago. I like a lot of free music and I'm wondering whether you might consider sharing it with me.

      In any case, all the best!

  2. The song is written by Elizabeth Burns. She was the singer of the band "Fried chicken band". It was a German group of the town Essen. I went with one of the members to school and own the LP. I like this LP very much, but I also think, that "Haunted" is one of the songs. It's the only one LP of the band.
    Here are the other songs:
    Wonder why you ever go home (jimmy Bufett)
    Haunted (Fr.-Chi.)
    Recipsocity (Louden Weinwright)
    Before the Deluge (Jackson Brown)
    Od girls freedom (Fr.-Chi.)
    The first time we ever met the blues (Fr.-Ch.)
    Take them with you (Fr.-Ch.)
    Jojos tune (Fr.-Ch.)
    Romance (Fr.-Ch.)
    Martalla reality (Fr.-Ch.)
    Chicken waltz (Fr.-Ch.)

    Wolfgang Ried

    1. I am so grateful to you for providing this info. That song haunted truly is one of the best unknown songs I have ever heard and it is remarkable in how it captures so well that situation. I was so sure for that reason it was an american folk song.

    2. Bizarr , auf diese Weise von Dir zu hören .Liebe Grüsse Ralf

  3. https://www.reverbnation.com/lizburns

    1. Sorry, hit send too early! Your instincts about the american flavor were on point; Liz was from the Ithaca area, living in Essen at the time. Later, she had a couple of bands in Boston, and you can check her later stuff out at the link above.

    2. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the above information. That song truly should have been a masterpiece of folk in the American 1970s pantheon.

  4. Hi, Julian, thanks so much for this wonderful review! I was an exchange student livihg in a suburb outside of Essen when I met the other members of the band, 17 years old at the time, and we recorded it about 8 months later. Great musicians and people, and an experience I'll never forget. We're all still playing in one capacity or another, you can check out stuff I've done here: https://www.reverbnation.com/lizburns. So sweet to hear that this album made such a positive impression - it was definitely a labor of love.

  5. And no, it's not a cover: I wrote the song when I was 15.

  6. Wonderful stuff, and I was wrong about the rest of the album which I should have mentioned earlier, there are some other really beautiful songs in there, esp. the song Take them with you about a breakup and taking the memories away!
    This song should have been a hit back in the day.