Love is probably the number one topic for songwriting, but interestingly enough, crime is probably number two.
Whether it's killing a cheating lover, killing for no reason, or running away from the law, crime has been immortalized and romanticized in music for a long time.
Click on the slideshow below to check out 10 songs about committing a crime:
Meg and Dia "Cardigan Weather"
This upbeat song by Meg and Dia is about a woman killing her cheating significant other, sewing him into her mattress, and then having sex on top of his dead body. Have a great day, everyone!
A mama's boy on the run from the law talks about how he's finally been caught and how his mom is distressed about it. We didn't realize until this moment that it's actually a pretty sweet mother/son tune.
Eric Clapton "I Shot The Sheriff"
The best part of this song is how apparently killing is fine if you restrain yourself to one murder victim. Protip: that excuse probably wouldn't work in the real world.
Jimi Hendrix "Hey Joe"
In which the titular Joe totally doesn't overreact to a cheating significant other by shooting her, and then has a blasé conversation with his buddy about it.
Jonathan Coulton "The Future Soon"
Though it's not a conventional crime, we feel like robot genocide still counts. It's your basic love story: boy likes girl, girl laughs at boy, boy creates robot army, robots turn on humans, boy turns into homicidal robot.
Blitzen Trapper "Black River Killer"
A man is thrown into jail for murder on no evidence, and reacts by going out and killing people.
Meg and Dia "Bandits"
A love story about two bandits on the run, with one eventually sacrificing his/her freedom for the other.
Johnny Cash "Folsom Prison Blues"
The narrator shoots a man in Reno just to watch him die, and laments his imprisonment in Folsom Prison.
Warren Zevon "Excitable Boy"
Warren Zevon really is the king of upbeat songs with dark themes. In this bouncy song with female backup singers and saxophones, an unnamed boy uses pot roast in an unorthodox manner, bites an usherette, and, oh yeah, rapes and kills his prom date.
The Beatles "Maxwell's Silver Hammer"
Similar to the Warren Zevon song, "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" uses simple lyrics and bouncy music to tell the story of a murderer. Interestingly, he also kills a girl with whom he goes out on a date. Ladies, it's probably better to stay away from dating altogether.