My Favorite Songs About Murder

They say music is the universal language and I think they are right. No matter who you are, or what you're about, there is music out there for you. This list is for the true crime lovers out there. 

Inspired by episodes 26 and 27 of The Night Time Podcast, I have decided to list (in no particular order) my favorite songs about murder.

9. Jimi Hendrix - Hey Joe (1966)

I know Jimi Hendrix's music can be a bit polarizing, but to me he is among the greatest. This classic tune has so much going for it, including a revenge story.

Hey Joe, where you goin' with that gun of yours?
Hey Joe, I said where you goin' with that gun in your hand, oh
I'm goin' down to shoot my old lady
You know I caught her messin' 'round with another man
I'm goin' down to shoot my old lady
You know I caught her messin' 'round with another man
And that ain't too cool

8. Snoop Dogg - Murder was the case (1994)

In 1994 Dr. Dre directed a short film that chronicles the fictional death of Snoop Dogg and his subsequent resurrection after making a deal with the awesome does that sound. This is the title track from the soundtrack.

As I look up at the sky
My mind starts trippin, a tear drops my eye
My body temperature falls
I'm shakin and they breakin tryin to save the Dogg
Pumpin on my chest and I'm screamin
I stop breathin, damn I see demons
Dear God, I wonder can ya save me
I can't die Boo-Boo's bout to have my baby
I think it's too late for prayin, hold up
A voice spoke to me and it slowly started sayin
"Bring your lifestyle to me I'll make it better"
How long will I live?
"Eternal life and forever"
And will I be, the G that I was?
"I'll make your life better than you can imagine or even dreamed of
So relax your soul, let me take control
Close your eyes my son"
My eyes are closed

7. Sufjan Stevens - John Wayne Gacy Jr.  (2005)

Sufjan Stevens inspiration for this beautiful song is a serial killer who dressed as a clown and buried the teenage boys he prayed upon under his house.

He dressed up like a clown for them
With his face paint white and red
And on his best behavior
In a dark room on the bed he kissed them all
He'd kill ten thousand people
With a sleight of his hand
Running far, running fast to the dead
He took off all their clothes for them
He put a cloth on their lips
Quiet hands, quiet kiss
On the mouth

6. Johnny Cash - Delia's gone (1962) 

Although I am turned off by the topic of crimes against women, I enjoy this song as I do all songs by Johnny Cash. In fact, this is one of my favorites. 

She was low down and trifling
And she was cold and mean
Kind of evil make me want to Grab my sub machine
Delia's gone, one more round Delia's gone
First time I shot her I shot her in the side
Hard to watch her suffer
But with the second shot she died
Delia's gone, one more round Delia's gone
But jailer, oh, jailer Jailer,
I can't sleep 'Cause all around my bedside
I hear the patter of Delia's feet
Delia's gone, one more round Delia's gone

5. Jane's Addiction - Ted just admit it (1988) 

Incorporating clips of a Ted Bundy interview made just prior to his execution, this song plays on the Bundy inspired theme that pornography leads to an attraction to violent sex. 

Camera got them images
Camera got them all
Nothing's shocking
Showed me everybody
Naked and disfigured
Nothing's shocking
And then he came
Now sister's
Not a virgin anymore
Her sex is violent

4. Guns n' Roses - Used to love her (1988)

Axl and company put together a controversial sing along song. Although I dislike the message and the topic, I compliment the songwriting and performance! That said... the more I think about it, maybe the world could do without this song?

I used to love her
But I had to kill her
I used to love her, Mm, yeah
But I had to kill her
I had to put her six feet under
And I can still hear her complain

I used to love her, Oo, yeah
But I had to kill her
I used to love her, Oo, yeah
But I had to kill her
I knew I'd miss her
So I had to keep her
She's buried right in my backyard

3. The Talking Heads - Psycho Killer (1977)

The talking heads exude creativity, fortunately for this list, one of their best tunes is about a psycho killer!

I can't seem to face up to the facts
I'm tense and nervous and I can't relax
I can't sleep 'cause my bed's on fire
Don't touch me I'm a real live wire
Psycho Killer
Qu'est-ce que c'est
Fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-far better
Run run run run run run run away oh oh
Psycho Killer
Qu'est-ce que c'est
Fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-far better
Run, run, run, run, run, run, run, away oh oh oh
Yeah yeah yeah yeah!

2. Johnny Cash - Folsom Prison Blues (1955)

This may be the definitive song about murder. Johnny Cash's classic about an imprisoned thrill killer is a must listen. 

I hear the train a comin'
It's rolling round the bend
And I ain't seen the sunshine since I don't know when,
I'm stuck in Folsom prison, and time keeps draggin' on
But that train keeps a rollin' on down to San Antone..                                                    
When I was just a baby my mama told me. Son,
Always be a good boy, don't ever play with guns.
But I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die
When I hear that whistle blowing, I hang my head and cry..
I bet there's rich folks eating in a fancy dining car
They're probably drinkin' coffee and smoking big cigars.
Well I know I had it coming, I know I can't be free
But those people keep a movin'
And that's what tortures me...

1. Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody (1975)

In my opinion, Freddie Mercury is a genius with God like talent and this is one of his best songs. Everything about it is perfect; lyrics, production, performance, guitar playing... they don't make music like this anymore.

Mama, just killed a man
Put a gun against his head
Pulled my trigger, now he's dead
Mama, life had just begun
But now I've gone and thrown it all away
Mama, ooo
Didn't mean to make you cry
If I'm not back again this time tomorrow
Carry on, carry on, as if nothing really matters

Honorable Mention....   Dixie Chicks - Goodbye Earl (1999)

In the interest of full disclosure, I don't like this song. I simply included it to even the score with the various male killers on my list. . 

That Earl had to die, goodbye Earl
Those black-eyed peas, they tasted alright to me, Earl
You're feelin' weak? Why don't you lay down and sleep, Earl
Ain't it dark wrapped up in that tarp, Earl
The cops came by to bring Earl in
They searched the house high and low
Then they tipped their hats and said, thank you ladies
If you hear from him let us know
Well, the weeks went by and spring turned to summer
And summer faded into fall
And it turns out he was a missing person who nobody missed at all