Songs 13 Songs You Had No Idea Are About Murder  

Nathan Gibson
422 votes 157 voters 5.1k views 13 items

List Rules Vote up the most surprisingly homicidal tunes.

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.


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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.

Choice Lyrics:

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?

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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.

Choice Lyrics:

I’m the kind of guy who laughs at a funeral

Can’t understand what I mean?

Well, you soon will

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This 2004 song is part of a trilogy of tunes by The Killers that details the death of a girl named Jenny. Inspired by Morrissey’s song “Sister I’m a Poet,” it starts with a boy being taken in for questioning by police for the death of the girl. While he denies that he had anything to do with her death, the lyrics leave it ambiguous as to whether he is guilty of the crime.

Choice Lyrics:

We had a fight on the promenade out in the rain

She said she loved me, but she had somewhere to go

She couldn't scream while I held her close

I swore I'd never let her go

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Despite the facts that the lyrics specifically talk about a troubled youth, few people realize true story behind the 2011 hit “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster The People. The protagonist of the story sends out warnings to his classmates to make sure they run when he comes to school with his gun. The song was written as a way at looking at teenage mental illness, according to writer Mark Foster.

Choice Lyrics:

All the other kids with the pumped up kicks

You'd better run, better run, outrun my gun

All the other kids with the pumped up kicks

You'd better run, better run, faster than my bullet

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