Inspired by a biography I’d read on author Herman Melville, this song off of my 6th CD A LIKELY STORY focuses on the sad footnote of Melville’s oldest son Malcolm.
Malcolm Melville (1849-1867) was a teenage Civil War veteran who found life in his father’s house intolerable after coming home from the war. Herman was, by some accounts, a stern father who was quick to rage, and whose relationship with his son was difficult at best. Malcolm, always desperate to gain his preoccupied father’s approval, received little attention or acceptance upon his return home from the army. In 1867, at the age of eighteen, he succumbed to a gunshot wound to the head after going to bed with a loaded pistol under his pillow.
His death was ruled an accident at the insistence of the Melville family despite suicide being the more likely explanation.