It’s hard to think of a more captivating topic than crime.
Whether it’s a movie, book, or song, we can’t help but be drawn in by tales of wrongdoing and mayhem.
In fact, crime is so popular that there are countless songs about it.
From serial killers to bank robbers, these songs will have you thinking about crime in a whole new light.
Whether you’re a fan of crime thrillers or just like to listen to music that makes you think, these 20 songs are sure to please!By the way, if you’re interested in songs about parks, you may also be interested in songs about being gay, songs about boxers, songs about models, songs about nature, and songs about poker.
Suffer Little Children – The Smiths
“Suffer Little Children” is a song by the British rock band The Smiths.
It was released as a single in September 1984, and later appeared on the band’s second album, Meat Is Murder.
The song was written by lead singer Morrissey and guitarist Johnny Marr, and it is one of the few Smiths songs to feature significant input from Marr.
“Suffer Little Children” is a scathing indictment of child abuse, and it remains one of the band’s most powerful and emotive tracks.
The song’s title is taken from the Matthew 18:6, and its lyrics explore the theme of innocence lost.
Hurricane – Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan’s “Hurricane” is a song about the wrongful conviction of boxer Rubin “Hurricane” Carter.
Rubin was a middleweight contender who was accused of a triple murder in a bar in Paterson, New Jersey in 1966.
Despite the fact that there was no physical evidence linking Rubin to the crime, he was convicted and sentenced to three life terms in prison.
In 1975, Bob Dylan wrote “Hurricane” in support of Rubin’s campaign to gain a new trial.
Deep Red Bells – Neko Case
“Deep Red Bells” is a song by Neko Case, released in 2002.
The song is about crimes, specifically murder, and the effects they have on the lives of those left behind.
Case has said that the song is based on true events, though she has never specified which ones.
Nevertheless, the song is a powerful and evocative reflection on the aftermath of violence.
It begins with the chilling image of “blood on the leaves,” and goes on to describe the deep sense of loss and grief that follows such a tragedy.
Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine – The Killers
Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine is a song by American rock band The Killers.
The song was released as the second single from their debut album Hot Fuss (2004).
It is a ballad about the murder of a young woman told from the perspective of the killer.
The song was inspired by the real-life murder of Lana Clarkson, which occurred in 2003.
Despite its dark subject matter, the song is characterized by a catchy melody and an upbeat tempo.
It was a commercial success, reaching #10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #3 on the UK Singles Chart.
Annie Christian – Prince
Annie Christian is a song by American musician Prince.
The song was released as a single from his 1981 album, Controversy.
Annie Christian is a protest song that condemns violence and crime.
In the lyrics, Prince asks, “Annie are you okay?/ Did they get your soul?/ Is there anybody home?”
He goes on to decry the “crimes against humanity” that have been committed in the name of religion, politics, and war.
Annie Christian is an impassioned plea for peace and compassion.
It is a powerful reminder that, in the face of violence and oppression, we must never give up hope.
Bankrobber – The Clash
The Clash’s song “Bankrobber” is a light-hearted look at crimes and criminals.
The song tells the story of a man who robs a bank, but is quickly caught and sent to jail.
Despite the seriousness of the crime, the song has a light, almost comical tone.
This is likely due to the fact that the man is quickly apprehended and there is no real harm done.
The song also includes a number of pop culture references, which helps to make it more relatable and enjoyable.
Overall, “Bankrobber” is a fun, catchy song that provides a unique perspective on crime.
Georgia Lee – Tom Waits
Georgia Lee was written by Tom Waits and is a song about crime.
The lyrics tell the story of a young woman named Georgia Lee who is murdered and her body is left in an alley.
The song paints a picture of urban crime and violence, and the toll it takes on the lives of those involved.
Georgia Lee is a haunting ballad that brings the listener into the dark world of crime and violence.
Mister Garfield – Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash was no stranger to the dark side of life.
Throughout his career, he sang about drug addiction, violence, and poverty, often drawing on his own personal experiences.
In his song “Mister Garfield,” Cash tells the story of a man who turns to crime to support his family.
The song begins with Garfield’s arrest for robbing a liquor store.
In the years that follow, he is sentenced to death and spends his final days on death row.
Let Him Dangle – Elvis Costello
“Let Him Dangle” is a song by Elvis Costello.
It was released as a single in 1988 and peaked at number 21 on the UK Singles Chart.
The song is about execution, and its title is a pun on the phrase “let him swing”.
It was inspired by the case of Derek Bentley, who was hanged in 1953 for the murder of a police officer.
The song received mixed reviews from music critics.
Some praised its political message, while others criticized its use of language.
Despite this, it remains one of Costello’s best-known songs.
Killer’s Eyes – The Kinks
“Killer’s Eyes” is a song by the British rock band The Kinks, released in 1984.
The song is about a crime, told from the perspective of the killer.
The lyrics describe the feeling of being on the edge, ready to commit a murder.
The song also includes a glimpse into the killer’s mind, as he contemplates his actions and tries to rationalize his behavior.
“Killer’s Eyes” is a dark and foreboding song, with an ethereal quality that makes it all the more chilling.
Despite its subject matter, the song is strangely beautiful, and it is one of The Kinks’ most underrated tracks.
The Last Of The Famous International Playboys – Morrissey
The Last of the Famous International Playboys is a song written by Morrissey and produced by Stephen Street.
It was first released as a single in 1989, reaching number two in the UK Singles Chart.
The song is notable for its use of irony and sarcasm, with Morrissey singling out famous murderers and criminals such as Jack the Ripper and Al Capone.
The lyrics also make reference to various films and books about crime, including Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains and In Cold Blood.
No body, no crime – Taylor Swift
No Body, No Crime is a song by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift, featuring country group HAIM.
The song was released on November 20, 2020, as the seventh single from her ninth studio album Evermore (2020).
The song was written by Swift, Jack Antonoff, andHAIM sisters Este Haim, Danielle Haim, and Alana Haim.
It was produced by Antonoff.
“No Body, No Crime” is a country-noir murder ballad about a woman named Betty who plans to kill her husband after she discovers he has been cheating on her with another woman named Ethel.
Darkness – Eminem
Eminem’s song “Darkness” paints a picture of the dark reality of crime.
The song opens with the sound of sirens, setting the tone for the dark and violent events to come.
Eminem tells the story of a man who turns to crime in order to make ends meet.
The man is struggling to provide for his family, and he turns to a life of crime out of desperation.
The song describes the man’s descent into darkness, as he commits increasingly horrific crimes.
The song ends with the man being apprehended by the police, and it is clear that he has lost everything.
Stagger Lee – Lloyd Price
The song “Stagger Lee” by Lloyd Price is a song about crime.
The lyrics tell the story of how two men, Stagger Lee and Billy Lyons, got into a fight over a gambling debt.
Stagger Lee killed Billy Lyons with a knife, and the song describes how he boasted about the murder to his friends.
The song became popular in the 1950s, and it has been covered by many different artists over the years.
The song is significant because it shows how crime can sometimes be glorified in popular culture.
Despite the violent subject matter, “Stagger Lee” is an iconic song that has stood the test of time.
John Wayne Gacy, Jr. – Sufjan Stevens
In 2006, Sufjan Stevens released an album entitled Illinois, which included a song called “John Wayne Gacy, Jr.”
The song tells the story of the notorious American serial killer who raped and murdered 33 young men and boys between 1972 and 1978.
Gacy was convicted of his crimes in 1980 and sentenced to death.
He was executed by lethal injection in 1994.
“John Wayne Gacy, Jr.” is a haunting and powerful song that details the horrific crimes committed by Gacy.
It is a reminder of the evil that lurks in the hearts of some people, and it serves as a warning to always be vigilant against those who would do harm.
Send Me To The ‘Lectric Chair (Studio) – Bessie Smith
Bessie Smith’s “Send Me to the ‘Lectric Chair” is a powerful blues song about crime and punishment.
The song begins with Smith defiantly proclaiming her innocence, declaring that she did not kill her man despite the evidence against her.
She then goes on to describe the electric chair in vivid detail, painting a picture of the terror and pain that it would inflict.
Despite her fear, she is resolved to face her death with courage, knowing that she is innocent.
The song ends with a plea for justice, as she asks the judge to send her to the ‘lectric chair.
Pretty Boy Floyd – Woody Guthrie
Woody Guthrie’s “Pretty Boy Floyd” is a classic folk song about the infamous American outlaw.
The song tells the story of Floyd’s life, from his humble beginnings in Oklahoma to his reign of terror across the Midwest.
Guthrie paints a picture of a ruthless criminal, who steals from the rich and gives to the poor.
However, he also humanizes Floyd, depicting him as a victim of the economic conditions of the time.
Ultimately, “Pretty Boy Floyd” is a complex portrait of an American folk hero.
Pioneer To The Falls – Interpol
Pioneer To The Falls is a song by Interpol about crimes.
The song opens with the sound of a police siren, setting the tone for the rest of the song.
The lyrics describe a crime scene, and the speaker’s feelings of remorse and guilt.
The song reflects on the impact of crime, both on the victim and on the perpetrator.
Pioneer To The Falls is a powerful song that highlights the emotional consequences of crime.
Have You Seen Bruce Richard Reynolds? – Alabama 3
The song “Have You Seen Bruce Richard Reynolds?” by Alabama 3 is a song about crime.
The lyrics tell the story of a man who has been convicted of a crime and is on the run from the law.
The song describes the man’s desperate attempts to evade capture, as well as the feelings of guilt and regret that he feels.
The song also includes a plea for forgiveness, as the man recognizes the harm that his actions have caused.
Ultimately, the song is a powerful reflection on the impact of crime on those who are affected by it.
Death Valley ’69 – Sonic Youth
Death Valley ’69 is a song by American rock band Sonic Youth.
It was released as the lead single from their 1984 album Bad Moon Rising.
The song is notable for its aggressive sound and explicit lyrics, which deal with themes of crime and violence.
Singer Thurston Moore has said that the song was inspired by the notorious murders committed by Charles Manson and his followers in 1969.
The song has been praised by critics for its powerful atmosphere and distinctive sound.