I Kill Children

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"I Kill Children" is the ninth song on the Dead Kennedys album Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables. It is sung from the first person perspective of an unnamed murderer of children. It satirizes America's twin obsessions with extreme violence.[1] Jello Biafra had said on his spoken word tours that he wrote the song when he was 18 years old after thinking about how and why people became serial killers, and actually considers it one of his weakest songs.

Critical reaction[edit]

Lester Bangs dismissed it as a "critical but impotent" fantasy and said the closest thing to a funny line was "offer them a helping hand of open telephone wires".[2]

Eckhard Gerdes compared the song to the skinhead fiction of experimental writer Harold Jaffe.[3]


The line spoken at the beginning, "God told me to skin you alive" - which Jello Biafra claims to have taken from a Chick tract - was later used as the title of a Winston Smith collage that was used as the artwork for Green Day's Insomniac album. A portion of this collage (the dentist) had previously been used in another collage by Smith which was released with the Dead Kennedys' Plastic Surgery Disasters album.[4]


  1. ^ Buckley, Peter (2003). The Rough Guide To Rock. Rough Guides. p. 276. 
  2. ^ Ensminger, David A. (2011). Visual Vitriol: The Street Art and Subcultures of the Punk and Hardcore Generation. Univ. Press of Mississippi. p. 25. 
  3. ^ Eckhard Gerdes, "The Literary Terrorism Of Harold Jaffe", The Journal of Experimental Fiction 29, iUniverse, 2004, pp13-14
  4. ^ [1]

External links[edit]