Editor’s Favorites from the True Crime Playlists | Beyond the Blog – Playlist
After publishing 14 true crime lists (as of this publication date), here are some personal favorite songs from the various playlists.
Composing an evergreen post, particularly playlists, requires a lot of work. In reference to the true crime playlists – serial killers and mass murderers – ample research was involved. In addition to research, the playlists had to be compiled, songs had to be listened to, and the lyrics, and in some cases, the music, had to be analyzed. Writing evergreens/playlists requires you to work your butt off, but it’s rewarding once the finish product is posted.
After publishing 14 true crime lists (as of this publication date), and 2 trivia quizzes, I thought it would be fun to make another playlist. This one is more subjective, based on my favorite songs will writing the various true crime playlists. Here are 20 of my personal favorite songs from the true crime playlists. Favorites are in alphabetical order by artist, featuring the album the song was selected from, killer or mass murderer referenced, and previous true crime playlist appearance or appearances.
1. Bastille, “Four Walls (The Ballad of Perry Smith)”
Album: Wild World, 2016 | Mass Murderer Referenced: Perry Smith
Previous Appearance: 10 Songs About Mass Murders, Vol. 2 | Playlist
The somber “Four Walls (The Ballad of Perry Smith)” is among the most beautiful, thought-provoking moments of Wild World. Wild World is the intriguing sophomore album by British alternative collective, Bastille, fronted by Dan Smith. As beautiful as “Four Walls (The Ballad of Perry Smith)” is, the subject matter isn’t beautiful. Perry Smith was a mass murderer who was executed by hanging. Dan denounces the mass murder’s actions, but argues against execution and capital punishment as atonement.
“We could be born to anything and now what, now what? / What you have done is terrible, and now you, and now you / Now you carry it with you / You carry it with you / You carry it with you.”
2. Blind Melon, “Skinned”
Album: Soup, 1995 | Killer Referenced: Ed Gein
Previous Appearances: A Twisted Soundtrack for Ed Gein: Butcher of Plainfield | Playlist;
Damn, how can two minutes be so disturbing? Blind Melon finds a way to make the brief “Skinned” just that. From the onset, Blind Melon do Ed Gein justice. But that’s the problem – we know just how messed up the Butcher of Plainfield was.
“I’ll make a shoehorn outta your skin / I’ll make a lampshade of durable skin / And, oh, don’t you know what I’m always feeling able / When I’m sitting home and I’m carving out your navel? / I’m just a sitting here carving out your navel.”
Belly button fetish taken WAY too far.
3. Bloodbath, “Eaten”
Album: Nightmares Made Flesh, 2005 | Killer Referenced: Armin Meiwes
Swedish death-metal band Bloodbath jumps right into the darkness of Armin Meiwes on “Eaten.” Loudwire named “Eaten” the 34th best metal song of the 21st century. Although this is one twisted song, it’s awesome to say the least. Both music and lyrics are dark and disturbing.
Interestingly, “Eaten” is taken from the perspective of Meiwes’ victim, Bernd Brandes.
“I’ve had one desire since I was born / To see my body ripped and torn / To see my flesh devoured before my eyes / Only for you I volunteer as a human sacrifice.”
Bloodbath clearly depicts Brandes’ desires on the chorus.
“Eaten / My one desire, my only wish is to be / Eaten / The longer I live the more I’m dying to feel the pain…”
4. Bruce Springsteen, “Nebraska”
Album: Nebraska, 1982 | Mass Murderer Referenced: Charles Starkweather
Previous Appearance: 10 Songs About Mass Murderers | Playlist
One of the most notable albums in the Bruce Springsteen discography is Nebraska, released in 1982. As Ian Couch writes for The New Yorker in article “The Original Wrecking Ball: Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Nebraska’,” it was a unique, thanks to its share of dark material being told from a first-person perspective. “Nebraska” tackles 19-year old spree killer, Charles Starkweather, who murdered 11 people. Starkweather had an accomplice, his girlfriend Caril Ann Fugate, who was just 14. Ultimately, for his crimes, he was sent to the electric chair.
“I saw her standing on her front lawn just twirling her baton / Me and her went for a ride, sir, and ten innocent people died / From the town of Lincoln, Nebraska, with a sawed-off .410 on my lap / Through to the badlands of Wyoming I killed everything in my path…/ The jury brought in a guilty verdict and the judge he sentenced me to death / Midnight in a prison storeroom with leather straps across my chest.”
5. Candlemass, “The Bleeding Baroness”
Album: Death Magic Doom, 2009 | Killer Referenced: Elizabeth Báthory
Swedish doom metal band Candlemass has been in operation since the mid 80s. Exceptional tone poem, “The Bleeding Baroness” arrived in 2009, appearing on album, Death Magic Doom. “The Bleeding Baroness,” which focuses on countess and prolific early serial killer Elizabeth Báthory, has three distinct sections. At the beginning and returning later, “Baroness” is in a slowish triple meter. The guitars are incredibly dark and heavy, while the lyrics only add to the enigma, foreshadowing what’s to come. The second distinct section is in good ole common time. It’s still heavy, capturing the self-indulgence and lust of Elizabeth. Then, there’s one more distinct section. There’s a change of pace on the chorus. The tempo slows, while the lead vocalist continues to sing with the utmost angst and passion.
“The Bleeding Baroness / Hours of slumber / Just before she will take you and make you wish that you’ve never been born / The Bleeding Baroness / Crimes of passion / She needs you and feeds you and bleeds you with the rise of the moon.”