Art, Crime, and Humor?
Warren Zevon was well known for having cynical themes in his songs that were sometimes upbeat and humorous. The song "Excitable Boy" is a prime example of this combination. It is a narrative that glamorizes a sociopathic boy's life and crimes to a catchy cheery tune. Zevon emphasizes how people are desensitized and ignorant to the signs of violence and mental illness that permeate our society. He pokes fun at how we consistently excuse the boy's abnormal behavior that is blatantly wrong by claiming he's an "Excitable boy". He explains even after the crime was committed society easily wrote it off and sent the boy to a mental institution or "home" for awhile without much concern or care. Zevon shows how music can be used to criticize society's flaws in dealing with crime and criminals. He is a great artist that masterfully covers such dark subject matter in a persuasive and light way.