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Mike Malloy is an unlikely protagonist for a song, even by my questionable standards. Little is known about who he really was. Approximately 60 years old and of Irish descent, Mike was a career drinker. Occasionally he would work an odd job and was more than happy to be paid in alcohol rather than cash. His legacy can be attributed to staying alive like a drunken Mr. Magoo while a team of "friends" repeatedly tried to murder him.

You see for seven long months, spanning from July 1932 to February 1933, a team of conspirators attempted to kill Mr. Malloy in order to cash in on a fraudulent life insurance policy they took out in his name. The song lyrics pretty much stick to the facts. The team started with a plan to just let Mike drink himself to death by providing him an open tab at the speakeasy they operated. However, Mike was up to the challenge and soon the group began slipping him pure wood alcohol to expedite his demise. "He didn't know he was drinking wood alcohol, "said one conspirator, "and what he didn't know didn't seem to hurt him. He drank all the wood alcohol we gave him and came back for more" (Abbot).

Eventually other concoctions (rotten seafood and other poisons) were ingested by Mike to no avail. The team had him run over by a taxi cab. When that didn't work they doused him with ice water and left him unclothed on a park bench. Mike was a survivor and like the fabled cat he too always came back. Finally though poor Mike was killed via carbon monoxide poisoning.

The murderers collected only $800.00 in insurance money. Soon thereafter the plot was uncovered and four of the conspirators were convicted for murder and sent to Sing Sing where they were executed by the electric chair.

Hope you enjoy the song - it was a blast to write and record.

- Mick Chorba

Work Cited

Abbot, Karen. "The Man Who Wouldn't Die" The February 7, 2012.


"The Poisoners Handbook". American Experience. PBS. <>


Made a drink with turpentine
Gave it to a friend of mine
Ooh Ah Ooh Aye
Mike Malloy Wouldn't die

Gave him whiskey not half bad
Filled it up with carpet tacks
Ooh Ah Ooh Aye
Mike Malloy Wouldn't die

Oh how we tried (3x)
Mike Malloy would not die

Old sardines were well supplied
Anti-freeze instead of wine
Ooh Ah Ooh Aye
Mike Malloy Wouldn't die

Oysters in wood alcohol
Down the steps he took a fall
Ooh Ah Ooh Aye
Mike Malloy Wouldn't die

Oh how we tried (3x)
Mike Malloy would not die

(creepy mandolin solo by Ron Bechamps)

Hit him with a taxi cab
Broke his neck broke his back
Ooh Ah Ooh Aye
Mike Malloy Wouldn't die

Locked him in a garage room
filled it up with toxic fumes
Ooh Ah Ooh Aye
Mike Malloy... he died


from Pine Hill (4​-​song EP 2014), released August 26, 2014


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The Successful Failures Trenton, New Jersey

With a name borrowed from a Jack London short story, an indie rock work ethic, and a penchant for melody, harmony, and heart- in-your-mouth-foot-on-your-sleeve lyrics The Successful Failures burst onto the scene out of the NJ pinelands in 2006. TSF has released 5 full length CDs full of songs about vikings, armadillos, old cars, murder, prison, fences, and girls. ... more


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