In honor of Country Music Month, throughout October, we’re going to be running Top 5 lists of different types of country songs. Today, we present to you, the Top 5 Country Songs About Murder.
Country music has always been about real life, and some singers have explored some of the uglier sides of real life. Yes, it is an unpleasant and even shocking subject; but much like some of the great crime novelists have written about homicide, so have some of the great Nashville songwriters. These Top 5 songs don’t celebrate bloodshed– they just take a closer look at it.
5) Papa Loved Mama-[lastfm]Garth Brooks[/lastfm]
[lastfm]Garth Brooks[/lastfm] caused quite a stir in 1991 with the release of “The Thunder Rolls” video. That wasn’t very surprising given the subject matter in that video. What was surprising was the fact that this song–lyrically much more direct about a killing–hardly raised an eyebrow when it was released.
4) Ol’ Red-[lastfm]Blake Shelton[/lastfm]
The opening line of the song doesn’t come right out and say what happened, but it’s pretty obvious. “Well, I caught my wife with another man/and it cost me ninety nine.” Prison sentences of that duration aren’t usually given out after someone gets beaten up.
3) Goodbye, Earl-[lastfm]Dixie Chicks[/lastfm]
Let’s set politics aside for just a moment. This was a great song….and besides, Earl had it coming.
2) Murder On Music Row-[lastfm]George Strait [/lastfm]and [lastfm]Alan Jackson[/lastfm]
The writers of this song had some fun with this one….and it looks like George and Alan had fun performing it at the CMA Awards in 1999.
1) Folsom Prison Blues-Johnny Cash
[lastfm]Johnny Cash[/lastfm] released a compilation CD called “Murder,” which contained 16 songs dealing with foul play….so it’s not too much of a stretch to put him at the top of this list. “I shot a man in Reno/just to watch him die.” Does it get any more cold-blooded and ruthless than that?