13 Songs You Had No Idea Are About Murder

Voting 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.

Photo: Epic/CBS / Island

  • 1
    305 VOTES

    Diddy Doo Wop (I Hear The Voices) By Hall & Oates

    Diddy Doo Wop (I Hear The Voices) By Hall & Oates
    Video: YouTube

    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.

    Choice Lyrics:

    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

    305 votes
  • One Week By The Barenaked Ladies
    Video: YouTube

    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

    441 votes
  • 3
    261 VOTES

    Possession By Sarah McLachlan

    Possession By Sarah McLachlan
    Video: YouTube

    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.

    Choice Lyrics:

    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

    261 votes
  • Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine By The Killers
    Video: YouTube

    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

    264 votes
  • 5
    185 VOTES

    The Ballad Of TV Violence By Cheap Trick

    The Ballad Of TV Violence By Cheap Trick
    Video: YouTube

    If Cheap Trick had stuck with their original name for this 1977 song, “The Ballad of Richard Speck,” more people would have realized the true nature of the song. As it was, the renamed version seemed more like a song about a guy who liked playing with knives and guns. Richard Speck, on the other hand, was a notorious killer who tortured and murdered eight young nurses in the '60s.

    Choice Lyrics:

    I need a knife to give me a wife

    I need a knife, gimme your life

    Gimme your life

    I need a gun to have me some fun I need a gun, gimme your love

    Gimme your love

    185 votes
  • Delilah By Tom Jones
    Video: YouTube

    “Delilah,” released in 1969, is one of Tom Jones’s most famous songs. Most consider it something of a romantic ballad, but the lyrics reveal this song is really about a jealous man who viciously murders his former partner. After spying his ex-girlfriend with another man, he waits until the man leaves and then goes to her front door. The sight of her laughing at him when she opens it drives the protagonist insane, and he stabs the woman to death.

    Choice Lyrics:

    I crossed the street to her house and she opened the door

    She stood there laughing

    I felt the knife in my hand and she laughed no more

    290 votes