Memorable Songs Featuring Firearms

Friday, November 20, 2020, 5:24 PM

Guns have long been a topic of conversation among songwriters.  Every genre of music can produce a well-known, weapon-centered piece of work, and guns show no sign of fading out of the music scene anytime soon.  

Just take a look at how many songs are familiar to you.  Here is a quick list of a few popular songs featuring firearms that will remind you just how commonplace the subject is in the world of music.  


16 Shells From A Thirty-Ought-Six – Tom Waits

The imagery and sounds used in the creation of this song can come off pretty busy to an unassuming ear.  This song started out to feature a farmer who shoots sixteen rifle shells into the belly of a scarecrow.  Frustration building from a lasting drought is enough to drive any farmer to scarecrow-acide.  

Bible And A .44 – Ashley McBryde 

If you’re a country music fan, then you’re likely familiar with Ashley McBryde’s, “Bible And A .44”.  The song has a good ol’ fashioned story about it.  

Reportedly, McBryde wrote the song about her dad; a man who always carried a .44 pistol and a bible with him wherever he went.  Stars like Eric Church and Trisha Yearwood gave the song its thrust into the limelight through an enriched cover recording and a guest spot on tour.  

Big Gun – AC/DC

The well-known song, ‘Big Gun’, got its fame from starring in the ending credits of The Last Action Hero soundtrack.  Fun fact: System of a Down bass player, Shavo Odadjian, was actually in the music video for ‘Big Gun’.  

The song is worth a listen, even if you’re not a big AC/DC fan.  It’s a piece of music history, and it’s not a bad listen.  

Bullet In The Head – Rage Against The Machine

Rage Against The Machine is a notoriously political band, so it’s not surprising to hear a song that speaks about the dangers of blindly accepting authority.  In true “Rage” fashion, ‘Bullet In The Head’ is more than a song, it’s a loud and proud political statement.  

The violence of the song is in the message that those who blindly follow religion, gang mentality, or government are just as bad off as a person with a bullet in their head.  The spark of the song was ignited by the first Iraq War.  

Janie’s Got A Gun – Aerosmith 
Millions of music lovers are more than familiar with Aerosmith’s, ‘Janie’s Got A Gun’, and rightfully so.  The message of the song is far from forgettable.  Steven Tyler was on a mission to induce emotion about a very real issue in the release of this tune, as the subject was a girl who shoots her sexually abusive father. 

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