Songs about how much fun it is to sin
May 5, 2017 8:14 AM   Subscribe

Hi, I'm looking for some songs where the narrator or protagonist explicitly makes or has made a decision to live a life of sin and vice and is having a great time doing so, perhaps you'd like to join in.

Some examples:

"Good Girls" by Elle King

"only the good die young"

"Bad things" is borderline because he kind of blames someone else for his feelings and he's a kind of conflicted. But it is very clear that he's in the process of making a decision to do vague things that he knows are bad because it's fun.

On the other hand, something like "Bad" by Michael Jackson isn't really what I'm looking for because it's about being and/or responding to a threat, not about doing something that's more fun than going to church.

I'd prefer if the exact nature of the sin being committed is somewhat ambiguous.
posted by redorangeyellow to Media & Arts (113 answers total) 46 users marked this as a favorite
Eartha Kitt sings "I Want to be Evil". Lyrics.
posted by theatro at 8:22 AM on May 5 [4 favorites]

"Running with the Devil", by Van Halen
posted by alex1965 at 8:23 AM on May 5 [1 favorite]

Let's Misbehave (from Anything Goes)

Good 'n Evil (From Jekyll & Hyde)
posted by Gordafarin at 8:25 AM on May 5 [1 favorite]

The Cramps, Bikini Girls With Machine Guns (well, really, all Cramps songs, but this one's the best)

"...Well they say that virtue is it's own reward,
But when that surf comes in I'm gonna get my board,
Got my own ideas about the righteous kick,
You can keep the rewards, I'd just as soon stay sick..."
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 8:25 AM on May 5 [5 favorites]

I Wish by Stevie Wonder.
posted by defreckled at 8:27 AM on May 5

Amy Winehouse's "Rehab"
posted by LKWorking at 8:32 AM on May 5 [1 favorite]

I like the 200 Year Old Alcoholic.
posted by angiep at 8:32 AM on May 5

"The Lusty Month of May" from "Camelot".
posted by mermayd at 8:32 AM on May 5 [3 favorites]

Maybe "Sin Wagon".
posted by neushoorn at 8:32 AM on May 5 [11 favorites]

"Bad to the Bone" is always fun.
posted by turkeybrain at 8:33 AM on May 5 [1 favorite]

This is just one line, but Angel of the Morning has, "If morning's echo says we've sinned, well, it was what I wanted now."
posted by FencingGal at 8:35 AM on May 5 [2 favorites]

Bad Kids by Black Lips
posted by melissasaurus at 8:35 AM on May 5 [2 favorites]

Gin Song, Nina Simone.
posted by Diablevert at 8:36 AM on May 5

Depeche Mode, Strangelove

Bessie Smith, Gimme a Pigfoot
posted by praemunire at 8:37 AM on May 5 [3 favorites]

Stagger Lee

Or pretty much the entire Murder Ballads CD.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:39 AM on May 5

The Widow!
posted by chaiminda at 8:41 AM on May 5

Tennessee by Gillian Welch
posted by greenish at 8:41 AM on May 5

Dan Bern, 'Eva': "if i gotta spend eternity outside Eden's gate, it might as well be worth the wait"
posted by Catseye at 8:46 AM on May 5 [2 favorites]

I think highway to hell is the gold standard for this kind of thing?
posted by windykites at 8:47 AM on May 5 [3 favorites]


From Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood.
So fun to watch this.
posted by littlewater at 8:47 AM on May 5 [1 favorite]

Life's Been Good - Joe Walsh which has a sense of humor about living to excess.
posted by carmicha at 8:48 AM on May 5 [3 favorites]

Oh also "thou shalt not" by Kiss.
posted by windykites at 8:49 AM on May 5

thank you!!!!!!!!!! These are great!
posted by redorangeyellow at 8:52 AM on May 5

How about "Family Tradition" by Hank Williams Jr.?
posted by DeWalt_Russ at 8:54 AM on May 5 [4 favorites]

Bad Reputation -Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

Not ambiguous, but Rebel Rebel - David Bowie
posted by Room 641-A at 8:55 AM on May 5 [5 favorites]

The Pet Shop Boys! It's a Sin

The lyrics are ironically sad and guilty, and the music is pure celebration.
posted by nanook at 9:03 AM on May 5 [8 favorites]

I Can't Drive 55
posted by hmo at 9:03 AM on May 5 [1 favorite]

Kinda I Want To Nine Inch Nails, Pretty Hate Machine
posted by supermedusa at 9:07 AM on May 5 [3 favorites]

The Only Time actually just listen to Pretty Hate Machine!
posted by supermedusa at 9:09 AM on May 5 [2 favorites]

I made a similar call for a sort of "tortured by lust" themed playlist and got some good ones. For your list I would recommend:

"Tempation," by Tom Waits (if he's not to your taste try the cover by the actress Cote De Pablo)
"Seven Deadly Sins" or "Devil's Dance Floor," Flogging Molly

The "Seven Deadly Sins" one sounds more so like it's about a group of pirates who call themselves by that name, but it's mad fun.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:11 AM on May 5

Mama Tried by Merle Haggard
posted by jeffamaphone at 9:14 AM on May 5 [4 favorites]

Eurythmics - Missionary Man
Fiona Apple - Criminal (I'm not 100% sure this fits your criteria, as the lyrics are ostensibly from the POV of someone who regrets her sinful ways... the thing, she doesn't sound that sorry, you know?)
posted by meronym at 9:15 AM on May 5 [1 favorite]

Nikki Lane - Right Time - "Any day or night time, it's always the right time. It's always the right time to do the wrong thing"
posted by galvanized unicorn at 9:15 AM on May 5

Kelly Willis did Heaven's Just A Sin Away.
posted by uberchet at 9:21 AM on May 5

Bales of Cocaine by The Rev. Horton Heat
posted by jeffamaphone at 9:21 AM on May 5 [2 favorites]

DRINK by The Jazz Butcher
posted by jeffamaphone at 9:24 AM on May 5

High all the Time by 50 cent
posted by jeffamaphone at 9:26 AM on May 5

I've always read "The Virginian" this way, but it's maybe a little ambiguous.

"Mood to Burn Bridges" is... less so.
posted by tobascodagama at 9:28 AM on May 5

Too Much Fun Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen
posted by tommyD at 9:28 AM on May 5

Sin Wagon, by the Dixie Chicks
posted by Tamanna at 9:28 AM on May 5 [1 favorite]

Into Temptation (Crowded House)
posted by Pallas Athena at 9:29 AM on May 5 [1 favorite]

And, oh yeah, "Whip the Blankets" is even less ambiguous than that.
posted by tobascodagama at 9:31 AM on May 5

Also, littlewater, that is the incorrect version of Jackson. You want this one, with Johnny and June.
posted by uberchet at 9:35 AM on May 5 [6 favorites]

Nemesis by Shriekback
Mean Green Mother From Outer Space from Little Shop of Horrors
Intruder by Peter Gabriel
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:38 AM on May 5

I fell down a Jackson hole, so let me offer the version by Brooks & Dunn with Carlene Carter from the CMT Cash Memorial Concert several years ago. I couldn't find just-it, so this is a link to the whole thing; start at 29:24, because his introductory anecdote is worth it.

Given that there are more than a few songs from Cash's catalog (well, and country music generally) that might qualify as answers for OP's question, one could do worse than to just let this 2-hour video just play. (Warning: Kid Rock.)
posted by uberchet at 9:53 AM on May 5

Warren Zevon, "Mr. Bad Example"
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:53 AM on May 5 [3 favorites]

"I Feel A Sin Comin' On" by Pistol Annies.
posted by billiebee at 9:58 AM on May 5 [2 favorites]

Off The Wagon - L7

Been dry long enough
My brain and body need some abuse
Rake me over the coals
And I'll try to think of an excuse

I set a goal and it won't be hard
Hit every bar on the boulevard
Bad idea yeah you're probably right
But I won't be your designated driver tonight
posted by Room 641-A at 10:05 AM on May 5 [2 favorites]

Also by Pistol Annies: "Hell on Heels"

I'm hell on heels, say what you will
I've done made the devil a deal
He made me pretty
He made me smart
And I'm gonna break me a million hearts
I'm hell on heels baby I'm comin' for you

posted by thetarium at 10:05 AM on May 5

They Might Be Giants has a song about some self-indulgent unsafe driving, "AKA Driver," which due to trademark inclusion couldn't be given the name as rendered in the lyrics: Nyquil Driver
posted by Sunburnt at 10:06 AM on May 5

The Destruction by Dolorean.
posted by furnace.heart at 10:07 AM on May 5

Let's Be Bad — Megan Hilty (on the TV show Smash)
posted by John Cohen at 10:08 AM on May 5 [1 favorite]

Mommy's Little Monster by Social Distortion.

Mommy's little monster dropped out of school,
Mommy's little monster broke all the rules.
He loves to go out drinking with the boys,
He loves to go out and make some noise.
He doesn't want to be a doctor or a lawyer gettin fat n rich.
He's twenty years old he quit his job,
Unemployment pays his rent!


Her eyes are a deeper blue, she likes her hair that color too.
She can even wear a dress, that doesn't mean she'll ever confess.
She's mommy's little monster
She's mommy's little monster don't take her life away!

posted by epanalepsis at 10:28 AM on May 5

Sinners Prayer by Lady Gaga
posted by unstrungharp at 10:54 AM on May 5

I Love Robbin' Banks
posted by thejoshu at 11:04 AM on May 5

60+ comments and I assumed somebody would have posted Mack the Knife. The Bobby Darrin version, Sinatra's cover, and there are lots of versions. The whole Threepenny Opera fits your criteria.
posted by theora55 at 11:20 AM on May 5 [1 favorite]

Original Sin by Jim Steinman? With added terrible cheesycake paintings.
posted by Grangousier at 11:23 AM on May 5

I'm just a girl who cain't say no from Okalahoma!
posted by sazerac at 11:26 AM on May 5 [2 favorites]

Another Pet Shop Boys track: The Sodom And Gomorrah Show
posted by hippybear at 11:33 AM on May 5

Great Big Sea, Straight to Hell.

Probably at least half of Jimmy Buffett's catalogue, particularly songs like Bank of Bad Habits or Gypsies in the Palace?
posted by TwoStride at 11:55 AM on May 5 [1 favorite]

Bessie Smith - Me And My Gin, known these days as Gin House Blues.
posted by hydrophonic at 12:01 PM on May 5

Lorelei, the Gershwin song?
posted by LizardBreath at 12:02 PM on May 5

Cherry Bomb! It's less about the doing and more about the BEING, if you ask me, but.
posted by Occula at 12:03 PM on May 5 [2 favorites]

Your Good Girl Is Gonna Go Bad -- Tammy Wynette
The Pill -- Loretta Lynn
Wings Upon Your Horns -- Loretta Lynn
Because It's Not Love (But It's Still A Feeling) - The Pipettes
Halos & Horns - Dolly Parton

I LOVE this question and the answers.
posted by pazazygeek at 12:24 PM on May 5 [2 favorites]

Look at Miss Ohio by Gillian Welch: "She says I want to do right, but not right now."
posted by cardinalandcrow at 12:28 PM on May 5 [4 favorites]

Elle King - Ex's and Oh's
posted by Lexica at 12:29 PM on May 5 [1 favorite]

Art Star by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
posted by saladin at 12:31 PM on May 5

Kick Start, by MeFi's own 23skidoo
posted by Pallas Athena at 12:46 PM on May 5

Tyler Lyle's "It's Fun to Do Bad Things"! I like this Dixieghost cover so much. Though the sinning protagonist is the angel Gabriel, and the sins committed aren't kept very ambiguous, it covers the titular theme pretty thoroughly.
posted by mixedmetaphors at 12:55 PM on May 5

Nearly all of the songs featured on the TV show Lucifer are like this. I had no idea there were so many songs written about the devil before I started watching (music from season 1, music from season 2).
posted by anderjen at 12:58 PM on May 5 [1 favorite]

Feel Good Hit of the Summer -- Queens of the Stone Age (nicotine Valium Vicodin marijuana ecstasy alcohol!)

Illegal Smile -- John Prine

please share the Spotify playlist!
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 1:00 PM on May 5 [5 favorites]

Good Girls Don't (But I do) -- The Knack
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 1:15 PM on May 5 [1 favorite]

Shinedown's Sin with a Grin obviously! And it wins best title in my humble opinion.
posted by dinofuzz at 1:16 PM on May 5

Mr. Wrong -- Cracker
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 1:22 PM on May 5 [1 favorite]

Walkin' with Jesus by Spacemen 3 is basically the narrator of the song having the exact discussion you mention in your question, and he's having that discussion with Jesus.
posted by LionIndex at 2:17 PM on May 5 [3 favorites]

Lana Del Rey hits a lot of this pretty regularly. Off the top of my head, I'd say:
High by the Beach
Gods & Monsters

Especially Gods & Monsters. A few choice lyrics:

"You got that medicine I need
Fame, Liquor, Love give it to me slowly
Put your hands on my waist, do it softly
Me and God, we don't get along so now I sing

No one's gonna take my soul away
I'm living like Jim Morrison
Headed towards a fucked up holiday
Motel sprees sprees and I'm singing
'Fuck yeah give it to me this is heaven, what I truly
It's innocence lost
Innocence lost"
posted by we halve sub sides to shole you at 3:10 PM on May 5

Can't believe no one mentioned the gleeful, capering march that is When You're Evil by Voltaire. It's so perfect, I registered just so I could post this answer.
posted by wanderingstar at 4:00 PM on May 5 [6 favorites]

Kirsty Maccoll's Bad.

I want a brief encounter in a stolen car
A hand on my buttock in a Spanish bar.
posted by gideonfrog at 4:34 PM on May 5 [1 favorite]

Blue Oyster Cult - Career of Evil

I will not apologize
You're mine for the taking
I'm making a career of evil

posted by Gotanda at 6:11 PM on May 5 [1 favorite]

Elvis Presley - Trouble (Starts at 1:15)

I hope this counts: We Do (The Stonecutters song from The Simpsons.)
posted by Room 641-A at 6:54 PM on May 5

John Legend "She don't have to know"
posted by EastCoastBias at 7:21 PM on May 5

At the risk of sorta self-linking via MeFi Music, my song Women Drinking Whiskey is about this.
posted by Miko at 8:49 PM on May 5 [1 favorite]

Son of a Preacher Man, surely.
posted by fshgrl at 9:41 PM on May 5

Ages ago, I used to perform Son Of A Preacher Man as part of an acoustic coffee house guitar duo. Two guys. It was fun. Total sin.
posted by hippybear at 9:47 PM on May 5 [1 favorite]

Another Jim Steinman track: Bad For Good
posted by johngoren at 4:23 AM on May 6

Natalia Kills is holding strong for Bad Girls.
  • Problem
  • Rabbit Hole

  • Candle Kane
    Let's Commit Adultery
    posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 12:29 PM on May 6

    Touch-A, Touch-A, Touch Me

    Cocaine Bill and Morphine Sue (various versions are out there)
    posted by IndigoJones at 3:23 PM on May 6

    Chumbawamba - Mary Mary

    No virgin me
    For I have sinned
    I sold my soul
    For sex and gin

    posted by Blue Genie at 6:55 PM on May 6

    "I'm That Kind of Girl" by Patty Loveless
    "Harper Valley P.T.A." by Jeannie C. Riley
    "Redneck Woman" by Gretchen Wilson
    Gotta second. . third... "Sin Wagon" by the Dixie Chicks
    You don't go far in country and western to find women of independent thinking. Is it sinning... or is it not taking any guff off of anyone else?
    posted by TrishaU at 9:54 PM on May 6

    Guns n' Roses -- It's So Easy (nsfw)

    AC/DC -- Problem Child
    posted by raider at 12:24 PM on May 7

    Pink - Raise Your Glass
    Frank Sinatra - My Way (+ 80 billion cover versions.)
    posted by Room 641-A at 1:02 PM on May 7

    Oooh, this is a really good one for this ask, Dirty Laundry by Bittersweet. Apologies if someone above alread linked it, I looked quickly through the thread and didn't see it, but I admit it wasn't a super thorough search.

    "Ive got a bad boy,
    And that's all right with me
    His dirty laundry is nothing that I can't
    Keep clean.
    And when he needs an alibi,
    He can use me,
    All night.
    Ooh babe what's the use of playin' it safe?
    Think I'd rather misbehave, your way. "
    posted by WalkerWestridge at 2:43 PM on May 7

    I forgot one of my favorite songs:

    L7 - Fast and Frightening
    posted by Room 641-A at 1:43 PM on May 8 [1 favorite]

    How did we forget Been Caught Stealin' by Jane's Addiction?
    posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:05 PM on May 8 [1 favorite]

    Garth Brooks - Friends In Low Places. One of the many, live, singalong versions.
    posted by Room 641-A at 10:07 PM on May 8

    Did a ctrl-f for Richard Thompson's I Feel So Good and came up empty. I must say, you folks are slippin'.
    posted by Ber at 12:07 PM on June 24

    A little late here, maybe...

    Rilo Kiley Portions for Foxes
    "You're bad news / I don't care I like you"
    posted by too bad you're not me at 12:18 PM on June 25 [1 favorite]

    Temptation by Semisonic.
    posted by jocelmeow at 9:44 AM on June 27

    "Counting Stars" by One Republic is the song that comes to mind. "I, feel something so right/ Doing the wrong thing / I, feel something so wrong / But doing the right thing"
    posted by jenfullmoon at 5:46 AM on June 29

    Einstürzende Neubauten, "Installation No.1"

    The full lyrics: "It's a law; disobey."
    posted by Sys Rq at 11:34 AM on July 18

    « Older Why is a freelance contract asking for my date of...   |   How to reply to an email with a meeting invite on... Newer »

    You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments