One of my favourite Carter songs, from Post Historic Monsters (1993).
The song is dead short, only 1 minute 18, and it's very simple in its construction, just an acoustic guitar and Jimbob's voice. There are only really two chords, A and E, but with a little bit of the old E9 and B7 as you move between the two.
Suicide Isn't Painless goes very well before Her Song, as shown in some of their live sets.
[Sung quite plainly; almost spoken, in fact.]
[Now the singing style gets a bit more melodic ...]
Suicide isn't painless - it hurts like hell.
It's put aside for the famous: a little suicide sells.
So nothing lasts forever; but then, nothing ever did.
It's big, but it's not clever (and it's really not that big)
[... and, just as you're getting into it, it's over.]
So no more tears -
you're a big boy now -
we'll have a few more beers;
we'll sort it out somehow.
The song's sentiment is fairly plain, and quite in line with the expressed worldview of the band. Jimbob, the lyricist, is a gentle man with liberal views, but he is apt to get pretty unrestrained on the topic of Nazis, violence, or indeed Nazi violence.
Suicide Isn't Painless reflects this angry kind of pacifism - the song shows sympathy for those that are down, but no indulgence to those that would hurt others by giving a false, glamorous, impression of suicide.
Lyrics reproduced with kind permission of Fruitbat