Songs About Law(yers)
September 15, 2005 5:43 PM   Subscribe

I am putting together a CD of "on hold" music for my law firm, and I want it to be made up of songs about lawyers and the law (e.g., "I Fought the law", "Send Lawyers Guns & Money", "Lawyers In Love", etc.). What other songs can you suggest?
posted by Carsey to Media & Arts (73 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Judas Priest - Breaking the Law
posted by cowmix at 5:48 PM on September 15, 2005


How about Judas Priest, Breaking the Law?
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:49 PM on September 15, 2005


Goddammit.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:49 PM on September 15, 2005


The Philadelphia Lawyer by Woody Guthrie.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:53 PM on September 15, 2005


Is "I Fought the Law" really the kind of image you want to present? "Breaking rocks in the hot sun. I fought the law and the law won?" Presumably, you'd rather that's not how your clients would end up.

And of course "Send Lawyers, Guns, and Money" includes the line "The shit has hit the fan," which might offend some people.
posted by cerebus19 at 5:53 PM on September 15, 2005


You obviously work for the coolest law firm ever.

Suggestions:

Belle & Sebastian "Legal Man"
Johnny Cash "A Boy Named Sue"
posted by BoringPostcards at 5:54 PM on September 15, 2005


R.B. Greaves - Take A Letter Maria

The Cruel Sea - Better Get A Lawyer

Leos Lyrics
posted by Corky at 5:56 PM on September 15, 2005


Pigs Will Pay - Propagandhi
Law And Order - Tom Robinson Band
Maintaining Law And Order - Phil Ochs
The Way It Is - Bruce Hornsby & the Range
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:59 PM on September 15, 2005 [1 favorite]


The B-52's - Legal Tender
posted by dgeiser13 at 6:01 PM on September 15, 2005


Worth pointing out that there's an excellent Pogues & Joe Strummer version of "I fought the law".

Bob Dylan - Outlaw Blues
Billy Bragg & Wilco - Against the Law
posted by blag at 6:01 PM on September 15, 2005


Oh, and Unchained Melody (originally used in a prison film, thus the name).
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:01 PM on September 15, 2005


Pop Goes the Weasel - Traditional
posted by Rothko at 6:05 PM on September 15, 2005


Cop Killer - Ice.T
posted by delmoi at 6:06 PM on September 15, 2005


I suggest making sure you have the proper rights to broadcast those songs over your PBX.
posted by b1tr0t at 6:08 PM on September 15, 2005


Bob Marley - I shot the sheriff

also

Inner Circle - Bad Boys
posted by shepd at 6:08 PM on September 15, 2005


Folsom Prison Blues?
posted by winston at 6:09 PM on September 15, 2005


Paul Simon - Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard

"it's against the law..."
posted by kyleg at 6:11 PM on September 15, 2005


Wow, you guys are good. Don't hold back suggestions that may have negative things to say about lawyers. Songs that may just use the word Lawyer or law in a one-off line are not what we are looking for (e.g., Take a Letter Maria"). A song like "California Sex Lawyer" by Fountains of Wayne will probably make the list.
posted by Carsey at 6:12 PM on September 15, 2005


I suggest making sure you have the proper rights to broadcast those songs over your PBX.
Seriously? Hold music is considered broadcasting? What exactly am I allowed to do with my CDs?
/derail
posted by Popular Ethics at 7:52 PM on September 15, 2005


"Mommas, don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys" (make them be doctors and lawyers and such)
posted by bingo at 7:53 PM on September 15, 2005


Hello Dad, I'm in jail by Was not Was.
posted by any major dude at 7:56 PM on September 15, 2005


"D-I-V-O-R-C-E" by Tammy Wynette
posted by mischief at 7:58 PM on September 15, 2005


Hello Dad, I'm in Jail by Was not Was
posted by any major dude at 7:58 PM on September 15, 2005


Hey I just said that!
posted by any major dude at 7:59 PM on September 15, 2005


While it's probably my least favorite Dylan song of all time, Hurricane does tell the story of a legal battle.
posted by Clay201 at 8:01 PM on September 15, 2005


Dave Frishberg's My Attorney Bernie is a hoot.
posted by Quinbus Flestrin at 8:06 PM on September 15, 2005


Cibo Matto - We Love Our Lawyers
posted by babar at 8:08 PM on September 15, 2005


Also:

The New Pornographers - The Laws Have Changed
posted by babar at 8:09 PM on September 15, 2005


Chuck Brodsky has a great one called Talk to My Lawyer.
posted by AgentRocket at 8:09 PM on September 15, 2005


How BMI sees the copyright issues. You'll want to be careful.
posted by sbutler at 8:09 PM on September 15, 2005


How about theme songs from all of the legal TV shows that have been broadcast over the years. Of course, you could always go with anything by Diana Ross & The Supremes.
posted by mach at 8:09 PM on September 15, 2005


Oh, and Tom Paxton's One Million Lawyers ("how much can a poor nation stand?")
posted by Quinbus Flestrin at 8:10 PM on September 15, 2005


Hold music is considered broadcasting?

Sadly, yes.

What exactly am I allowed to do with my CDs?

Anything you want!*

*as long as you aren't doing it publicly, or making money while you're doing it.

posted by I Love Tacos at 8:10 PM on September 15, 2005


Summertime Blues.
posted by buzzman at 8:19 PM on September 15, 2005


The Who, "A Legal Matter"
posted by kirkaracha at 8:22 PM on September 15, 2005


'Hurricane' is your least-favorite Dylan song? Haven't you ever heard 'Lay Lady Lay'?

Back on topic: the Dead Kennedys also did a version of 'I Fought the Law.' Better yet, Pansy Division did a version of 'Breaking the Law,' and theirs was about sodomy laws.

Searching allmusic for titles with the word lawyer might also be worthwhile.
posted by box at 8:23 PM on September 15, 2005


The Specials - "Stupid Marriage"

...Court in session.
What do you mean
'Oy oy oy'? Must have court in session.
Order. My name is Judge Roughneck,
And I will not tolerate any disobedience in my courtroom.
Rude boy, you have been brought in
Front of me and charged
With smashing this woman's window.
Before I sentence you,
What have you got to say in your defense?
...
posted by teddymac at 8:25 PM on September 15, 2005


My Dad's a Lawyer by Geoff Berner.
posted by dobbs at 8:27 PM on September 15, 2005


The Garden of Allah by Don Henley:

Today I made an appearance downtown
I am an expert witness because I say I am
And I said gentlemen, and I use that world loosely
I will testify for you, I'm a gun for hire,I'm a saint, I'm a liar
Because there are no facts, there is no truth
Just data to be manipulated
I can get you any result you like
What's it worth to you?
Because there is no wrong, there is no right
And I sleep very well at night.


Practically the lawyer's manifesto, I'd say.
posted by SPrintF at 8:34 PM on September 15, 2005


Definitely the theme to Perry Mason!

"Poor Jenny" by the Everly Brothers involves being arrested.

Mojo Nixon has a song, "Kill All Lawyers." Probably not what you're looking for.

"Long Arm of the Law," Warren Zevon

"The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia" ("Don't trust your soul to no back woods southern lawyer")

Since the Specials have been mentioned, you could also go with Prince Buster's "Judge Dread," which is all dialogue within a courtroom. I'm don't recall if there's a lawyer involved, though!
posted by kimota at 8:35 PM on September 15, 2005


"I Stand Accused," Elvis Costello
posted by kimota at 8:35 PM on September 15, 2005


Steve Earle's "Billy Austin". A taste:

But there's twenty-seven men here
Mostly black, brown and poor
Most of em are guilty
Who are you to say for sure?
So when the preacher comes to get me
And they shave off all my hair
Could you take that long walk with me
Knowing hell is waitin' there?
Could you pull that switch yourself sir
With a sure and steady hand?
Could you still tell youself
That you're better than I am?
posted by megatherium at 8:41 PM on September 15, 2005


Warren Zevon, "Mr. Bad Example":

Of course I went to law school
And took a law degree
And counseled all my clients
To plead insanity...

posted by dilettante at 8:42 PM on September 15, 2005


Lee "Scratch" Perry's song "Set Them Free" would be a good one. In it, Perry pleads the case of three young (alleged) thiefs before a judge...


"I don't think it's fair to sentence these men to 500 years..."

"Are you suggesting that I am unfair?"

"No, your honor. But as you see, they are from a poor generation, having no education, no qualification, so they are driven to desperation."

posted by flod at 8:46 PM on September 15, 2005


prison sex - tool

give your clients something to make them sure they get plenty of legal support :)

A few years ago I heard that this song was used as the background music for a radio ad for a place trying to hire correctional officers (in Florida I believe). The ad was pulled as soon as they found out what it was about.
posted by freshgroundpepper at 8:47 PM on September 15, 2005


Beck / Sex Laws
posted by u2604ab at 9:01 PM on September 15, 2005


Rotting on Remand by Billy Bragg
posted by wilful at 9:17 PM on September 15, 2005


District Attorney Blues by Bukka White
posted by stefanie at 9:31 PM on September 15, 2005


NWA - Fuck tha Police (I can't believe no one said this yet)

Sublime - Get Ready ("Load up the bong, crank up the song, and let the informa' call 9-1-1!")

Queens of the Stone Age - Regular John (Because its probably the awesomest song about phones ever)

side note: QOTSA is the most underrated band ever. They have B-sides that blow away anything released in a while (ex: Infinity, Mexicola, Everybody Knows That You're Insane)
posted by Mach5 at 9:34 PM on September 15, 2005 [1 favorite]


Yo La Tengo - The Whole of the Law (cover)

Why not just do a mix of heavily litigated bands? The Supremes, the Beach Boys, Metallica... maybe even a snippet of Negativland!
posted by electric_counterpoint at 9:42 PM on September 15, 2005


Prison Bitch.
posted by davy at 9:44 PM on September 15, 2005


Oh yes. How could I forget...

"Here Comes The Judge" by Shorty Long
. A classic.

Stop eatin' that fudge
Cause here comes the judge
Don't nobody buzz
Cause here comes the judge
Judge Shorty is presidin' today
And he don't take no stuff from nobody
No kind of way

posted by Clay201 at 10:00 PM on September 15, 2005


Talk to the Lawyer - David Lindley

Talk to the lawyer
Professional liar


:)
posted by wsg at 10:09 PM on September 15, 2005


The them from Jaws.
posted by krisjohn at 10:29 PM on September 15, 2005


"The Trial" from Pink Floyd's The Wall.
posted by Vidiot at 11:06 PM on September 15, 2005


Slightly off topic, but please consider NOT having music on hold. IMHO, there is nothing more annoying.
posted by Marky at 11:22 PM on September 15, 2005


Caught by the Fuzz - Supergrass
Get Myself Arrested - Gomez
Jailhouse Rock - Elvis / Blues Brothers
Fuck the Police - NWA
Keeping the Customer Satisfied - Simon & Garfunkel (Deputy Sheriff said to me...)
posted by jontyjago at 11:33 PM on September 15, 2005


How 'bout the Fifth Dimension's "Bill"? (You know -- "I love you so, I always will...")
posted by rob511 at 1:32 AM on September 16, 2005


In the Jailhouse Now by Soggy Bottom Boys (O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack)
posted by tracicle at 1:45 AM on September 16, 2005


Cocaine Blues by Johnny Cash.
posted by CKZ at 2:40 AM on September 16, 2005


Leon McDuff by Mike Cross
posted by IndigoJones at 4:26 AM on September 16, 2005


More generally related to legal and criminal problems:

Long Black Veil - The Band

The judge said son what is your alibi / if you were somewhere else then you won't have to die...

(bit of a stretch) Deportees - Arlo Guthrie (and Woody Guthrie of course) - about summary judgements against illegal aliens who were rounded up and flown to Mexico in extremely unsafe conditions.

Good Guys and Bad Guys - Camper Van Beethoven

Well there are good guys and there are bad guys / there are crooks and there are criminals / there are doctors and there are lawyers / and then there are folks like you and me // just get high while the radio's on...

Bankrobber - The Clash

(??) Eurotrash Girl - Cracker

The crs on the metro shook me down for a bribe /
On my knees for the sergeant when my passport arrived.


Goodbye Earl - Dixie Chicks

Friend of the Devil - Grateful Dead

Got two reasons why I cry away each lonely night /
The first one's named sweet Anne Marie and she's my heart's delight /
Second one is prison baby, sheriff's on my trail /
And if he catches up with me I'll spend my life in jail

posted by mikel at 4:39 AM on September 16, 2005


No music recomendations, but sample the Law & Order (TV show) cut sound to paste between each track.

'Casuse after all, It's All About the Chung-Chung
posted by sol at 5:19 AM on September 16, 2005


Sticky Fingaz - State Versus Kirk Jones
posted by box at 5:52 AM on September 16, 2005


"Jamie" by Weezer. It sounds like a generic love song; the pay-off is right at the end.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:28 AM on September 16, 2005


"sue us" by the dance hall crashers.
posted by crush-onastick at 8:15 AM on September 16, 2005


"Will Your Lawyer Talk to God For You?" -- Kitty Wells
posted by realcountrymusic at 9:42 AM on September 16, 2005


And "A Boy Named Sue," by Shel Silverstein, sung by Johnny Cash.
posted by realcountrymusic at 9:43 AM on September 16, 2005 [1 favorite]


Super Bad - James Brown
Busted - Ray Charles
We can work it out - The Beatles
Use Me - Bill Withers
posted by Lanark at 11:42 AM on September 16, 2005


This place is a great resource, you can plug in keywords (lawyer, crime, law...etc), select "song" option and get fantastic lists of clickable song titles
posted by edgeways at 12:14 PM on September 16, 2005


Oh, and "Alice's Restaurant". No lawyers, that I remember, but a fine courtroom scene.
posted by dilettante at 1:27 PM on September 16, 2005


"Thank You Judge" by David Lynch (the filmmaker, not the one in the Platters). "Half" by Barnes & Barnes. (Also, IIRC, Webb Pierce had the hit on "In the Jailhouse Now", though it's been recorded by many different folks.)
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 2:37 PM on September 16, 2005


"Soul for Hire" by Elvis Costello. (Since you said negative songs were okay...)
posted by chickenmagazine at 1:35 PM on September 17, 2005


« Older Cheap, Sturdy Modular Shelving?   |   Cycling shoes Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.