Taylor Swift’s ‘No Body, No Crime’ is the Modern Day ‘Goodbye Earl’ From The Chicks

by Charles Craighill
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Taylor Swift continues the country music tradition of murder mystery ballads with her song “No Body, No Crime” off of her new record, Evermore. The song appears as the sixth song on the album which came out last night at midnight. Evermore becomes the sister album to Swift’s Folklore that came out back in July of this year.

The song “No Body, No Crime” reminds us of the Chicks’ (formerly the Dixie Chicks) song “Goodbye Earl” in its revenge murder story. For instance, “No Body, No Crime” tells the story of someone avenging the murder of her friend. The friend, Este’s husband murdered Estedafter after approaching him about his infidelity. The friend thinks up an elaborate plan to murder the husband and avenge the death of Este.

Similar to Taylor Swift’s song, the Chick’s song “Goodbye Earl” tells the story of best friends Maryanne and Wanda and Wanda’s dreadful husband, Earl. In the story, Wanda marries Earl and he immediately starts to abuse her. It continues to get worse and Wanda eventually divorces Earl. Earl of course ignores the restraining order and attacks her anyway. Maryanne and Wanda then concoct a whole mess of poisoned black-eyed peas and kill Earl. The town eventually realizes Earl went missing, but no one particularly cares due to his horrible character.

Taylor Swift joins a long-standing tradition of country murder ballads, falling in line behind the Chicks, Garth Brooks, Martina McBride, and several other country artists. The staple of the country music genre has found a lot of artists success over the years. It seems like it has also found success with Taylor Swift.

Taylor Swift on the Story Behind “No Body, No Crime”

In a discussion with Entertainment Weekly, Taylor Swift shared the story behind writing “No Body, No Crime,” earlier today. She wrote the song with her long time friend, Haim. In fact, one of the three sisters, Este, made her way into the song as a character.

“Working with the Haim sisters on ‘No Body, No Crime’ was pretty hilarious because it came about after I wrote a pretty dark murder mystery song and had named the character Este because she’s the friend I have who would be stoked to be in a song like that,” Swift says about the song and the three sisters. “I had finished the song and was nailing down some lyric details and texted her, ‘You’re not going to understand this text for a few days but… which chain restaurant do you like best?’ and I named a few.”

Olive Garden ended up getting the nod as the lucky restaurant in the song, and Este became immortalized in the epic song. Evermore, the surprise sister album to Folklore is well on its way to becoming the hottest album of December, and possibly the entire year, Folklore certainly spent its time at number one on Billboard, and Evermore will likely do the same.

Outsider.com