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A Murderous Playlist


Music is so integral to our daily lives. Some kind of music is always playing at my house or office. I have playlists for just about everything, including writing, editing, and proofreading.

So here’s my playlist of songs with murderous lyrics if you need inspiration for writing your next mystery or if you’re reading a good thriller. Surprisingly, there are quite a few songs about murders and killers.

  • Aerosmith – “Janie’s Got a Gun”

  • Barenaked Ladies – “One Week”

  • Beastie Boys – “Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun”

  • Blue Oyster Cult – “Don’t Fear the Reaper”

  • Bob Dylan – “Ballad of Hollis Brown”

  • Bob Dylan – “Hurricane”

  • Bob Marley – “I Shot the Sheriff”

  • Bobby Darin – “Mack the Knife”

  • Bruce Springsteen – “Johnny 99”

  • David Bowie – “Running Gun Blues”

  • Dixie Chicks – “Goodbye, Earl”

  • Dr. Dre – “Murder Ink”

  • Eminem – “Stan”

  • Foo Fighters – “D.O.A.”

  • Foster the People – “Pumped up Kicks”

  • Garth Brooks – “Papa Loved Mama”

  • Georgie Fame “The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde”

  • Guns n’ Roses – “Used to Love Her”

  • Jay-Z – “There’s Been a Murder”

  • Jim Croce – “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown”

  • Jim Croce – “You Don’t Mess around with Jim”

  • Jimi Hendrix – “Hey Joe”

  • Johnny Cash – “Folsom Prison Blues”

  • Johnny Cash – “The Long, Black Veil”

  • Judas Priest – “Killing Machine”

  • Kenny Rogers – “Coward of the County”

  • Kiss – “Murder in High Heels”

  • Lyle Lovett – “L.A. County”

  • Metallica – “Killing Time”

  • Michael Jackson – “Smooth Criminal”

  • Neil Young – “Revolution Blues”

  • Neil Young and Crazy Horse – “Pocahontas”

  • Ozzy Osbourne – “No More Tears”

  • Pearl Jam – “Footsteps”

  • Perfume Genius – “Lookout, Lookout”

  • Queen – “Bohemian Rhapsody”

  • R. Dean Taylor – “Indiana Wants Me”

  • Radiohead – “Knives Out”

  • Rage Against the Machine – “Killing in the Name”

  • Richard Dyer-Bennet – “Who Killed Cock Robin”

  • Rihanna – “Man Down”

  • Robert Plant/Alison Krauss – “Killing the Blues”

  • Roberta Flack – “Killing me Softly”

  • Snoop Dogg – “Murder was the Case”

  • Talking Heads – “Psycho Killer”

  • The Beatles – “Helter Skelter”

  • The Beatles – “Maxwell's Silver Hammer”

  • The Black Keys – “Ten Cent Pistol”

  • The Boomtown Rats – “I Don’t Like Mondays”

  • The Doors – “Riders on the Storm”

  • The Killers – “Jenny Was a Friend of Mine”

  • The Kinks – “Killing Time”

  • The Police – “Murder by Numbers”

  • Tom Jones – “Delilah”

  • Train – “50 Ways to Say Goodbye” (This one has lots of good ideas if you need to bump off a character.)

Author Biography

Heather Weidner’s short stories appear in Virginia is for Mysteries and Virginia is for Mysteries Volume II. Currently, she is President of Sisters in Crime – Central Virginia, and a member of Guppies and Lethal Ladies Write. Secret Lives and Private Eyes is her debut novel.

Originally from Virginia Beach, Heather has been a mystery fan since Scooby Doo and Nancy Drew. She lives in Central Virginia with her husband and a pair of Jack Russell terriers.

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