Plenty of musicians stick to uplifting topics when it comes to writing a new song – what better way to ensure it'll get picked up by mainstream radio? Sometimes, though, things get a little dark. Some top tunes slip in references to shocking violence, and there are so many songs you didn't know are about murder.
True, most people don't really listen closely to lyrics. But once you know the actual meaning behind these songs that are about murder, you'll never hear them the same way again. Songs about killing are all over the charts. You've probably hummed along to these tunes with no inkling of their homicidal undertones. It just goes to show you never know which songs have surprisingly dark meanings.
When serial killer David Berkowitz claimed that the song “Rich Girl” by Hall & Oates motivated him to commit his crimes, the duo decided to write a song in response. The breezy 1980 jam “Diddy Doo Wop” doesn’t really seem like it's about the murderer, other than the fact that it includes lines about the song’s main character hearing voices from a dog. This was a direct reference to Berkowitz’s defense that his dog had made him carry out the attacks.
My right hand tried to stop my left hand
My left hand tried to stop my right hand
My head keep trying to stop both hands
But i can't stop, I can't stop, I can't stop
I hear the duke singing
The members of Barenaked Ladies have always maintained that the 1998 single “One Week” is about nothing more than a man trying to justify himself to his girlfriend following an argument, with some random rapping thrown into the mix. However, according to theorists like Redditor /u/Euchrid_Eucrow, the song's lyrics hint at a much darker fate for the woman. The line about funerals, for instance, suggests the man is about to send her to an early grave.
I’m the kind of guy who laughs at a funeral
Can’t understand what I mean?
Well, you soon will
The 1993 song "Possession" was written by Sarah McLachlan after she received several threatening letters from a deranged stalker. The lyrics tell the story of an obsessed fan who goes to extreme lengths to be with his object of desire. While most of the lines are not that sinister by themselves, the chorus does contain lyrics that suggest that the man was intending to kill his victim by suffocating or strangling her.
To hold you down
Kiss you so hard I'll take your breath away
And after I wipe away the tears
Just close your eyes dear
Ask most people what the 1978 song “Copacabana” is about, and they'll probably guess it celebrates a really fun nightclub. A close listen of the verses, though, reveals that a mobster approaches a showgirl named Lola he is attracted to. When her boyfriend, a bartender named Tony, sees this he confronts the man and a fight ensues. Ultimately, Tony ends up getting shot and Lola goes mad with grief.
But Rico went a bit too far
Tony sailed across the bar
And then the punches flew and chairs were smashed in two
There was blood and a single gunshot
But just who shot who?