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Songs about cops?
January 7, 2013 11:11 AM   Subscribe

For my partner's birthday (happy birthday, dude!) I'd like to make a playlist of songs about cops. Help me make go beyond the obvious.

Songs definitely on the list are Black Flag's Police Story, KRS One's Black Cop, N.W.A.'s Fuck the Police, MDC's Dead Cops, and This Bike Is A Pipebomb's Trains and Cops. What else should I include?
posted by kendrak to Media & Arts (65 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
Police and Thieves by Junior Murvin (or, later, the Clash)
posted by scratch at 11:17 AM on January 7, 2013


The Laughing Policeman.
posted by pont at 11:18 AM on January 7, 2013


Karma Police?
posted by sarahnicolesays at 11:18 AM on January 7, 2013


"NYC Cops" by The Strokes

"99 Problems" by Jay-Z

"Watching the Detectives" by Elvis Costello

"Life on Mars" by David Bowie

Some of these aren't totally about cops, but they all make prominent mention of them.
posted by Ragged Richard at 11:19 AM on January 7, 2013


John Maus - Cop Killer
Anti-Flag - Fuck Police Brutality
Bernstein/Sondheim - Gee, Officer Krupke
posted by griphus at 11:19 AM on January 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Body Count - Cop Killer
posted by maximum sensing at 11:20 AM on January 7, 2013


Relevant A.V. Club feature: Cop Rock: 21 (Mostly Negative) Songs About Law Enforcement
posted by griphus at 11:20 AM on January 7, 2013


From the musical Fiorello, the comic torch song I Love a Cop, in which a character laments her inconvenient but persistent love for a police officer. (Here's a YouTube video of someone performing the full song, which lets you hear more than that Amazon sample.)
posted by Elsa at 11:20 AM on January 7, 2013


Police Truck by the Dead Kennedys
posted by nicwolff at 11:20 AM on January 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Junior Brown's "Highway Patrol" and Wayne Hancock's "Johnny Law."
posted by MonkeyToes at 11:21 AM on January 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Lovely Rita by The Beatles (or I am the Walrus for a passing reference)

Officer by Operation Ivy

Makisupa Policemen by Phish

The Dream Police by Foreigner
posted by alphanerd at 11:22 AM on January 7, 2013


The Dream Police by Cheap Trick
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 11:22 AM on January 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


4skins - A.C.A.B.
posted by griphus at 11:22 AM on January 7, 2013


"When the foeman bares his steel" and "When a felon's not engaged in his employment" from Pirates of Penzance
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 11:23 AM on January 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Officer Krukpe from West Side Story
posted by Ideefixe at 11:23 AM on January 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Test Dept., Statement. Damn powerful track.
posted by googly at 11:24 AM on January 7, 2013


Police and Thieves, performed by The Clash or Junior Murvin (as noted above, but with links!).
posted by cushie at 11:25 AM on January 7, 2013


Who Are the Brain Police? by Mothers/Zappa
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 11:27 AM on January 7, 2013


Oh man, you've gotta have "99 Cops" by Brian Dewan on there.

Also Robyn Hitchcock's Do Policemen Sing? is pretty good.
posted by contraption at 11:27 AM on January 7, 2013


"I Fought The Law (And The Law Won)". Choose your favorite version: Bobby Fuller, The Clash, Green Day, or others.

Somewhat related: John Mellencamp, The Authority Song.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:28 AM on January 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


You could also cheat and throw your favorite song by The Police on there.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:29 AM on January 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Cops and Robbers by George Thorogood.
posted by EKStickland at 11:29 AM on January 7, 2013


Pantera's cover of The Badge is pretty good.
posted by Sternmeyer at 11:29 AM on January 7, 2013


Close enough? Highway Patrol by Junior Brown
posted by Ideefixe at 11:31 AM on January 7, 2013


I Shot the Sheriff Marley/Clapton
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 11:34 AM on January 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Police Car by Larry Wallis
posted by maurice at 11:35 AM on January 7, 2013


Megadeth - 502 (not the main focus, but definitely a key part of the song)
posted by crocomancer at 11:39 AM on January 7, 2013


Little Fat Policeman by the Sandpiper Singers.

The theme songs to Hawaii 5-0, Miami Vice, Hill Street Blues, and other TV cop shows.
posted by valannc at 11:39 AM on January 7, 2013


X Offender by Blondie.
posted by bswinburn at 11:42 AM on January 7, 2013


Bad Boys by Inner Circle.

Thanks, Captain Obvious.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:46 AM on January 7, 2013


World Full Of Cops by Paleface.

90's ANTI-FOLK FTW!
posted by kuanes at 11:46 AM on January 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Mrs. Officer is definitely the most ridiculous cop-related song I have ever heard. And therefore, my favorite.
posted by PaulaSchultz at 11:48 AM on January 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


Hot Cop by the Village People! It is mostly about partying but I guess the guy is a cop.
posted by Metroid Baby at 11:50 AM on January 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


New Cop Car by Circus Lupus
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 11:51 AM on January 7, 2013


Used to Be a Cop- Drive by Truckers
posted by dortmunder at 11:59 AM on January 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Pigs - Cypress Hill
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTycQ2JeKQY">

Pork and beef - The Coup
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLBEZoagX6o
posted by subajestad at 12:04 PM on January 7, 2013


"Officer Nice" by Violence

Almost anything from You have the right to remain silent... by X-Cops (a GWAR side-project).
posted by Boxenmacher at 12:08 PM on January 7, 2013


Does Blondie's X Offender count? on Preview, I see it's mentioned already

There's always The Cop by The Knife.
posted by crush-onastick at 12:13 PM on January 7, 2013


Oh, and if fictional dystopian lawmen count: "I Am the Law" by Anthrax.
posted by Boxenmacher at 12:14 PM on January 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Cheap Trick: Dream Police
Chicago: Policeman
The Clash: Police and Thieves and Police on My Back
Dead Kennedys: Police Truck
Dell The Funkee Homosapien: Syle Police
KRS One: Sound Of Da Police
Bosstones: Police Beat
NWA: duh
Chili Peppers: Police Helicopter
Whole Weat Bread: Police Song
MDC: Millions of Dead Cops
The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band: Your Cousin's On Cops

(I have all these MP3s, lemme know if you want)
(Also, happy birthday dude!)
posted by Blake at 12:18 PM on January 7, 2013


Cop Shoot Cop by Spiritualized should fit the bill.
posted by vansly at 12:19 PM on January 7, 2013


Blue Driver by Michael Hurley! Complete with ersatz siren noises voiced by Snock hisself.
posted by gorbichov at 12:36 PM on January 7, 2013


Fat Cop by Regurgitator
posted by goo at 12:41 PM on January 7, 2013


Crooked Officer - Geto Boys
posted by LeanGreen at 12:45 PM on January 7, 2013


Soldier And Police War by Lee "Scratch" Perry
Pretty Police State by Working for a Nuclear Free City
His Majesty, The Policeman by Lord Buckley
Acid Police by Boredoms
Who Dat Called the Police by Kilo
Police State by Dead Prez
Police State by State
Police Dog Blues by Ry Cooder
Hate the Police by Mudhoney
Help! Murder! Police! by Thursday's Children
Work for Police by UJ3RK5
Cops and Robbers by Bo Diddley
Here Comes a Cop by David Peel and the Lower East Side
Cop's Eyes by Dark Carnival
God's Cop by Happy Mondays
Cop That Shit by Missy E

(Last two are a little dodgy — I excluded Cop Shoot Cop the band and the song because it's about scoring heroin, not police.)

There are a bunch more if you're cool with getting more abstract:

Breaking The Law by Judas Priest
Hand of Law by Radio Birdman
Dead End Justice by The Runaways
Prison Cell Blues by Blind Lemon Jefferson
Prison Life by Capital Scum
Prison Song by The Zombies
Prison Shoe Romp by 16 Horsepower
Life In Prison by The Byrds
posted by klangklangston at 12:50 PM on January 7, 2013


"Cop Shoot Cop by Spiritualized should fit the bill."

Nope. "Cop shoot cop" there is "Score, inject, score."
posted by klangklangston at 12:50 PM on January 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Police Officer by Smiley Culture (who actually went on to die in a police raid).
posted by HandfulOfDust at 12:55 PM on January 7, 2013


Police Brutality - Urban Waste
posted by cazoo at 12:56 PM on January 7, 2013


Police Car by Cockney Rejects. Oi!
posted by HandfulOfDust at 1:08 PM on January 7, 2013


There's a good cop verse (not a good-cop verse) in Pete Seeger's rendition of the traditional tune Hobo's Lullaby.
posted by fritley at 1:49 PM on January 7, 2013


"Dream Police" is 3 different songs: one each by Cheap Trick, Gary Newman, and David Byrne, the last one being "Dream Police (Cha Cha Cha)" from Byrne's album Rei Momo, which featured and identified different latin beats in each of the songs.

Also, strongly strongly seconding "Used to be a Cop" by the Drive-By Truckers, one of the best songs in my collection.
posted by Sunburnt at 2:13 PM on January 7, 2013


Mr. Policeman - Rick James
I'm a Policeman Dressed In Blue (Disney)
Police Stop My Car
posted by mrmarley at 2:22 PM on January 7, 2013


Bad cops (audio only)

and Here is the video.
posted by smoke at 2:27 PM on January 7, 2013


State Trooper, either by Bruce Springsteen or the Cowboy Junkies cover.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:31 PM on January 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Informer by Snow (sorry)
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:37 PM on January 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Mighty Terror: Women Police in England
posted by rongorongo at 2:39 PM on January 7, 2013


State Trooper, either by Bruce Springsteen or the Cowboy Junkies cover.

Criminally omitted from mention: Steve Earle's cover.
posted by MonkeyToes at 3:46 PM on January 7, 2013


6 in the Morning by Ice T
posted by humboldt32 at 3:48 PM on January 7, 2013


"Bad Cop" was a song by the band Don't Know, who only released a single EP that I know of ("The Coodly P. Ramaswami Memorial Cheesecake" if I remember correctly). Some members of Don't Know were in the bands Blenderhead and 90 Pound Wuss. All of these bands were signed with Tooth and Nail Records.

The only lyrics to the song are "Bad Cop, No Donut!"

I looked on YouTube, but couldn't find a good video version. But I have the MP3 file if you want a copy.
posted by tacodave at 4:25 PM on January 7, 2013


Policemen and Pirates by Ocean Colour Scene
posted by stefnet at 4:44 PM on January 7, 2013


Bad Brains - Riot Squad
Beastie Boys - Transit Cop (from their hardcore days)

Dirty Projectors did an off-kilter cover of "Police Story." It could be fun to see if your partner recognizes it.

Three songs with oblique lyrics:
Fiery Furnaces - Police Sweater Blood Vow
Robert Pollard with Doug Gillard/Guided by Voices - Soul Train College Policeman
Thurston Moore - Female Cop

Songs with quick mentions of cops:
Eleanor Friedberger - Roosevelt Island
Television - Venus
Fiery Furnaces - Chief Inspector Blancheflower
posted by hydrophonic at 5:23 PM on January 7, 2013


Fugazi - Great Cop
Another one from the Clash I don't think anyone's mentioned yet - Know Your Rights
posted by zoinks at 11:13 PM on January 7, 2013


Bible on the Dash by Corb Lund
posted by workerant at 8:39 AM on January 8, 2013


Both Riotriot and Doorstep by tUnE-yArDs (can't believe I just typed that) are about cops
posted by baniak at 6:57 PM on January 8, 2013


Bobcaygeon by The Hip
posted by syncope at 3:58 PM on January 9, 2013


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