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Fifteen Great Songs About Crime: Part 3 - 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.

Perhaps the greatest treat we’ve been robbed of during this terrible year is the ability to gather together in a dimly lit hall and listen to our favorite troubadours sing songs of love and hate. Instead, we’re stuck watching people playing music on, like, Instagram live. It is not the same! In fact, it stinks! Please enjoy these songs about crime until you can again find yourself in a familiar room, drinking a too expensive beer and singing your heart out.

Fifteen Great Songs About Crime: Part 3

  1. Bruce Springsteen – “Nebraska”: Lifting the story of Terrence Mallick’s Badlands, the title track to Springsteen’s first acoustic LP tells the story of spree killer Charles Starkweather. The sparse arrangement sets the tone for an album about desperate people in difficult circumstances.
  2. Neko Case – “Deep Red Bells”: Case grew up in the Pacific Northwest as the Green River Killer stalked the area. Case crafts a haunting tale from a victim’s perspective, putting a human face on a series of horrible crimes.
  3. Steely Dan – “Kid Charlemagne”: No list of great songs is complete without a contribution from Steely Dan, and they wrote no better song about crime than their track about the rise and fall of a 1960’s LSD dealer.
  4. Phoebe Bridgers – “You Missed My Heart”: Perhaps the saddest song on this list, Bridgers’ cover of Mark Kozelek’s murder ballad is a wrenching song about love, jealousy, and senseless violence.
  5. The Decemberists – “Mariner’s Revenge Song”: Not only is this song about crime, it’s about maritime crime. Follow our hero as he tries to avenge his mother against the scoundrel who wronged her.

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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