Killer Songs: The 10 Creepiest Country Murder Ballads

Artists from Willie and Cash to the Dixie Chicks get away with the unspeakable

Johnny Cash, "I Hung My Head"

While Johnny Cash has a lot of lyrical blood on his hands (see "Folsom Prison Blues," "Cocaine Blues," "Delia's Gone," "Don't Take Your Guns to Town," "Ballad of Annie Palmer" and covers of most songs on this list), not all his songs that mention murder are ballads. "I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die" may be one of the most famous lines in country music, but it's a confession, not a story. "I Hung My Head," written by Sting and recorded by Cash in 2002, is the only song on the list with a case of accidental manslaughter. To sing tenderly of violent death is a performer's great achievement, but to actually hear a snapshot of guilt in Cash's voice makes this song the cream of the murder ballad crop.

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