13 Comments

  1. Arthur has got it, more or less. I’d expand on that and say that “wrongdoing” is a weasel word used instead of “crime” or in place of a particular crime. It is used to fuzz the meaning, make it more vague, and make it sound less severe.

    Example:

    Bill Cosby was accused of raping dozens of women after first drugging them into unconsciousness.

    Bill Cosby was accused of wrongdoing in his interactions with dozen of women.

    If someone has “done you wrong”, well they behaved in a manner that folks would disapprove of but it is not a crime. As Mr. Warren Zevon said, “It’s none of my business/ but if I may remind you all the time/ that you did something you knew was wrong/ It wasn’t called a crime.”

  2. Arthur, the lyrics on that page don’t match David Allan Coe’s recording. Are they possibly from another singer’s version of this song?

    Anyway, I can’t hear the line “He was her man / he was doing her wrong” without having an Arlo interpretation. “Ouch! Not there!” 🙂

    Bonus somebody done somebody wrong song:

  3. Arthur should get big points for identifying a song that has both wrongdoing and donewronging. I’m not so clever, but, in the interest of balance, songs about wrongdoing:

    WARNING: These songs contain wrongdoing, drug use, alcohol abuse, violence, and bad attitudes.

    A geezer favourite:

    Johnny Cash at Folsom prison:

    From Ice-T, before he became a narc on Law and Order:

  4. I think the clothing of the guy in a hat is relevant: isn’t he a country (or folk, or bluegrass: I don’t know much about these genres) singer and aren’t their songs always about people doing them wrong? The lawyer saw (heard) a potential client but is now having second thoughts.

  5. Olivier might have it: if hat-dude done wrong, it’s a criminal case; if hat-dude was done wrong, it’s civil. Many lawyers only do one or the other.

  6. My take is that the guy is not a country singer, but he is a cowboy. He told the lawyer “Someone done me wrong”, because you know, that’s how cowboys talk. The humor is that these two come from completely different backgrounds but have to strike up a conversation as part of a potential transaction.

  7. I’ve always wondered whether ‘cowboy’ wasn’t pejorative. Shouldn’t it be ‘cowdude’?

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