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America’s firearms culture informs and exploits our entertainment culture: TV, movies, video games and music. Music is arguably the most powerful medium when it comes to locking-in associations. Gun songs there are a plenty; has an excellent list with links to videos. What’s your favorite?

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      • I have the impression that that murderous conflict has mostly gone away. Does anyone have different information?

        • Eh, for the most part. The major organizations have either disbanded, disarmed and/or suspended “active” campaigns. There is are still crimes (organized and otherwise)committed under the guise of loyalism or republicanism, but that is really in name only.

          However there is what has been termed the “dissident Irish republican” (I.e. Republicans not in agreement with the Good Friday Agreement) campaign which consists of planting pipe bombs and crude IED’s in some areas that don’t do a lot of damage. It’s not nearly as organized as the groups of old, and homemade explosives are used due to a lack of access to small arms and military-grade equipment.

          While many of the larger groups like PIRA, INLA, UDF/UDA have turned in most of their weapons, it is widely thought that not all arms were turned in for a “just in case” type scenario, or were grabbed up by dissidents and relocated before they could be turned in. Supposedly the Provo’s Army Council is still in existence, some say staffed by senior members of Sinn Fein.

          But for the most part the conflict has grown cold and is inactive.

      • An excellent choice. Danny Whitten was the genius behind Crazy Horse, and he brought Neil Young out of the shell his experience with Buffalo Springfield had created. Danny was such a pure soul, he poured his heart into every song and made it his own. Neil without Danny was unthinkable, and it took Neil many years before he got over Danny’s death. But a lot of great music came out of the process. Vale Danny.

    • Love that movie!

      Debi: You’re a psychopath.

      Marty: No, no. Psychopaths kill for no reason. I kill for *money*. It’s a *job*. That didn’t come out right.

    • “Big Iron, Marty Robbins”

      Drat. beat me to it.

      The album it came from, ‘Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs’ has a bunch of others, including his classic ‘El Paso’.

      “I see the white puff of smoke from the rifle
      I feel the bullet go deep in my chest…”

      For the kids who haven’t heard it, it is classic country *Gold*:

      • Quite a few of the “kids” know it as that one awesome song in Fallout New Vegas.

        But then again, I guarantee you that few people ever heard of “Short Change Hero” by The Heavy until Borderlands 2 came out.

        • “Quite a few of the “kids” know it as that one awesome song in Fallout New Vegas.”

          Not being an FPS gamer, it’s news to me…

      • I was on a bus to Juarez, and looked out off the overpass into the gritty part of El Paso. And I swear, in 2007, there was a place called Rose’s on the street ther.

      • ” Second choice, The Battle of New Orleans – Johnny Horton ”

        Why, that’s ‘Alligator violence’!

        “We fired our cannon ’till the barrel melted down
        So we grabbed an alligator and we fought another round
        We filled his head with cannonballs ‘n’ powdered his behind
        And when we touched the powder off, the gator lost his mind!”

    • “Mr. Shorty”, on the same album, is right up there with Big Iron.

      But probably my favorite gun song is Henry Mancini’s theme from Peter Gunn. (Did I make a pun?)

  1. Lynyrd Skynyrd – Saturday Night Special “Got a barrel that’s blue and cold / Ain’t good for nothin’ / But put a man six feet in a hole”. Sure, that’s not totally true. While my snubby .38 isn’t exactly a bulls-eye target competition gun (except maybe in the hands of the cyborg Jerry Miculek), it’s not just a death machine either. A catchy tune none-the-less


      Ok, with that out of the way… I was going to mention “SNS” as well as “Gimme Back My Bullet” by LS but worried that they were too “anti” for this crowd. Still good songs though, IMnsHO

    • Never thought I’d see another reference to this song outside of my iTunes collection.

      Good for you, sir!

  2. Seriously! Gimme Back My Bullets is the only one mentioned thus far that rates!. All the other ones suck.

  3. Since Marty Robbins ” Big Iron” is taken I’ll go with Waylon Jennings “Devils right hand”

  4. Several from Robert Earl Keen, to wit;

    “Let the Music Play”
    “Whenever Kindness Fails”
    “For Love”
    “Mr. Wolf and Mama Bear”

  5. Funny, I like “Don’t Forget the Guns” by Cheryl Wheeler. She’s a seriously anti-gun lesbian and the song was surely meant sarcastically. Yet, the lyrics are pro-gun as part of being prepared. Ironic.

  6. Mr. Saturday Night Special.

    Only because whenever I take my Jennings J22 out of the safe, it plays in my head and I imagine myself with a glorious mullet.

  7. I’ve got several favorite gun songs:
    1) “Janie’s Got a Gun” by Aerosmith.
    2) “Happiness is a Warm Gun” (“bang, bang, shoot shoot”) by The Beatles
    3) “I Shot the Sheriff” (“but I didn’t shoot the deputy…. but I swear it was in self-defense”) by Bob Marley

  8. “Don’t let’em take your gun” by Grand Funk Railroad. It was on their last album in the late 70’s IIRC.

  9. For me, it’s gotta be “Lawyers, Guns, and Money” by Warren Zevon. Tweak a couple of geographical points, and I almost wonder how Warren managed to write about a key year in my own life.

    Damn, I love this song.

  10. Gimme back my bullets -Skynyrd
    Country boy can survive – Hank Jr
    Don’t take your guns to town – Cash

  11. “Long Hard Times to Come”

    Especially with a pic of Raylan doing a Weaver stance down a Glock at Boyd. “But we dug coal….”

    • +1 on the J & S. Saw them once at a college party in the mid 80’s and was a lifelong fan.

  12. Toss up between ‘Bible and a Gun’ by Jason and the Scorchers and ‘Jesus or a Gun’ by Fuel.

  13. Grateful Dead-Chinatown Shuffle

    And I can’t handle your problems
    Don’t try to handle mine
    Get yourself a shotgun, a pocketful of shells
    While away the time

    Get it right, do it nice
    If you make a mistake, pay for it twice
    But if you need it, got to have it
    Get yourself a shotgun and bring it back home

  14. I’d say “Devil’s Right Hand” by Steve Earle, especially after he told me it wasn’t a gun control song.
    “I Got Rights” by Hank Jr. is a great one.
    “Down The River” by Chris Knight has a good shootin’ in it.

  15. Tons of good stuff here! No one has mentioned Shoot to Thrill or Love Gun yet. I don’t really have a favorite, but those two are up there.

  16. Seriously? “Seven Spanish Angels” by Ray Charles and Willy Nelson.
    Not so seriously? “Trigger Happy” by Weird Al Yankovic

  17. Galveston, oh Galveston
    I still hear your sea waves crashing
    While I watch the cannons flashing
    I clean my gun and dream of Galveston

    Poetry man. Simply poetry.

  18. “Old Henry Rifle” by Jackson Taylor & The Sinners:
    I’m going to take down my Old Henry rifle
    Fill it full of brass and lead
    Cause I’m tired of choking on the bullshit
    And these lies I’ve been force-fed
    So take your hands out of my pockets
    Don’t try to tell me how to live
    Well you’ve taken all you’re going to take
    And I’ve given all I’m going to give

  19. Dropkick Murphys “Johnny I hardly knew ye.”

    “We had guns and drums and drums and guns,
    Hurroo Hurroo
    We had guns and drums and drums and guns,
    Hurroo Hurroo
    We had guns and drums and drums and guns
    The enemy never slew ye
    Johnny I hardly knew ye”

  20. What about “Fernando” by ABBA?

    *edit* Ok, I posted that in jest, but then went and listened to it again and it really is a pretty decent song… if one can get over the whole ABBA thing.

  21. Jimi Hendrix Band of Gypsies
    “Machine Gun” live at the Fillmore East 1969, new years eve show.

  22. Jimi Hendrix Band of Gypsies
    “Machine Gun” live at the Fillmore East 1969, new years eve show

  23. Probably The Battle of New Orleans, by Jonny Horton. Although Aaron Lewis’s Country Boy is pretty good, although debatable over whether it’s a “gun song”

  24. Dio-Give Her The Gun

    Dio-Naked In The Rain

    Heaven & Hell-Neverwhere

    Judas Priest-All Guns Blazing

    Judas Priest-Eat Me Alive

    Iron Maiden-Two Minutes To Midnight

    Iron Maiden-The Trooper

    Steppin’ Wolf-Born To Be Wild

    Buffalo Springfield-For What It’s Worth

    Bad Company-Bad Company

    Blue Öyster Cult-Hammer Back

    Golden Earring-Twilight Zone

    Kill Devil Hill-War Machine


    Yngwie Malmsteen-Bite The Bullet

    To name several.

  25. I like several of the songs that were mentioned previously. Here are a couple more:

    Uncle Gus by Great White
    “Now I’m standin’ on the corner, waitin’ for the bus. I got a 44 in my pocket to finish off Uncle Gus. I aint got no money, but I know of one who does. So now I’m on my way to finish off Uncle Gus.”
    “Way down, deep down, I’m a real nice guy. Gus has got the money, so now it’s time for sayin’ goodbye.”

    Rocky Raccoon by The Beatles
    “Now she and her man, who called himself Dan, were in the next room at the hoedown. Rocky burst in, and grinning a grin, he said “Danny boy, this is a showdown.” But Daniel was hot. He drew first and shot, and Rocky collapsed in the corner. AAHH.”

  26. Actually There Is Another Colt .45 song. It Is The Theme To The Tv Show Western Of The Same Name. Meanwhile, Let’s Add Frankie Laine’s Gunfight At The OK corral to the list.

  27. I know it’s not guns, but this always gets me. Also, does the Battlefield 1942 score count? Great stuff.

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