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Fifteen Great Songs About Crime: Part 2 - 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.

Shakespeare once wrote, “If music be the fruit of love, play on.” Shakespeare never considered if music was the fruit of crime (or if he did, he never wrote it down), but that seems to be a historical anomaly. For as long as there have been people playing music, there have been people writing songs about breaking the law. The Criminal Justice Section is excited to continue highlighting good song about bad people.

Fifteen Great Songs About Crime: Part 2

  1. The Hold Steady – “Sequestered in Memphis”: Plausibly one the greatest rock songs ever recorded, this song tells the story of an unnamed narrator being interrogated during a murder investigation.
  2. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – “The Curse of Millhaven”: Easily the wildest (though not the most profane) track on Cave’s album Murder Ballads, the song is a seven-minute romp about a teenaged serial murderess named Lorretta. 
  3. The Killers – “Jenny Was a Friend of Mine”: Another song about a murder interrogation (lawyer up, indie rockers!), this track is less remarkable for its lyrics than its driving melody and stellar delivery by lead singer Brandon Flowers.
  4. Morrissey – “The Last of the Famous International Playboys”: Everyone’s favorite maudlin Mancunian, Mozz mythologizes infamous English gangsters, the Kray Twins.
  5. Sufjan Stevens – “John Wayne Gacy, Jr.”: While telling tales about the state of Illinois, Stevens did not shy away from one of the State’s most notorious residents, the serial killer Gacy. At once sparse and driving, this standout track showcases Stevens’ songwriting and vocal range.

If you would like to submit content or write an article for the Criminal Justice Section, please email Kara Sikorski at ksikorski@indybar.org.

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