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Fifteen Great Songs About Crime: Part 1 - Criminal Justice News

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Criminal Justice News

Posted on: Nov 8, 2020

As the pandemic rages on, we face the harsh reality of winter. Instead of hot cocoa and eggnog with our pals at the ski lodge, we are forced back into our homes with our families/cats. How to cope? How to avoid the frozen fate of Jack Torrance in The Shining? The Criminal Justice Section is here for you with recommendations to get you through the punishing winter.

Though the criminal practitioner is hardened by difficult cases, even the crustiest among us can be moved by the power of song. Music is the most ethereal medium, combining rhythm, emotion, poetry and the manipulation of time to produce memory and emotion.Be it an inspirational toe-tapper or a funerial dirge, these recommendations welcome the criminal practitioner to encounter new emotion through an old medium: the power of song.

Fifteen Great Songs About Crime: Part 1

  1. Johnny Cash – “Delia’s Gone”: The first track on the first album of The Man in Black’s American recordings series. Accompanied only by a lonely acoustic guitar, what starts a traditional Southern murder ballad turns into a ghost story.
  2. The Black Keys – “Stack Shot Billy”: Off their breakout album Rubber Factory, the Akron originated duo blow out a traditional into a gritty rocker. Less polished than their later work, for the better.
  3. The Notorious B.I.G. – “The Ten Crack Commandments”: The subject of a recent Criminal Justice Section CLE, Biggie’s chorus-less hit about drug dealing is at once a true groove and a sound advice. 
  4. Bob Dylan – “Hurricane”: Predating the Serial podcast by nearly 40 years, Dylan’s opus about wrongfully convicted boxer Rubin “Hurricane” Carter is incisive, convincing, and, arguably, the greatest piece of art ever created about wrongful conviction.
  5. Talking Heads – “Psycho Killer”: One of the most seventies songs ever produced, The Talking Heads dive into the psyche of the late twentieth century’s most horrifying recurring character: the serial killer. 

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