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46 Songs About Sin and Sinners

FlourishAnyway believes there is a playlist for just about any situation and is on a mission to unite and entertain the world through song.

Do you feel a sin coming on?  Here's a long list of pop, rock, country, and R&B songs about sinners and sin.  Make yourself a sinner's playlist and accept the inevitable.

Do you feel a sin coming on? Here's a long list of pop, rock, country, and R&B songs about sinners and sin. Make yourself a sinner's playlist and accept the inevitable.

Hey, Sinner, You're Not Alone

Hey, sinner. Just between us, have you ever cheated on a romantic partner? One in five Americans—slightly more men than women—admit to doing so.

Are you an occasional cheat or a thief perhaps? Have you ever cut in line, stolen hotel toiletries (or even towels), or maybe taken a utensil or dish from a restaurant? If so, you have loads of company. In a given month, American hotels lose up to 20% of their towel inventory. And the list of items people steal from bars and restaurant range from the mundane (e.g., condiments, napkins, wine lists, and cutlery) to the bizarre (e.g., live plants, framed art, furniture).

You're likely harboring all kinds of secret sins, but hey, we won't judge. Make a fun playlist about sins, sinners, and sinning. We have a long list of pop, rock, country, and R&B songs to start you out right.

Reader Poll

1. "Sin Wagon" by Dixie Chicks

This 1999 country song is so rip-roaring FUN it might make you want to sin. The narrator is a woman whose time has been wasted being way too nurturing to a run-around man. Now she has drawn the line.

Although she loves the Lord, the gal has found her a red dress (low cut, no doubt) and has taking up drinking. She's set her sights on some serious mattress dancing, hitching a ride on that sin wagon.

2. "Heaven's Just a Sin Away" by The Kendalls

The Kendalls won a Grammy for this 1977 country ditty about temptations of the flesh. The narrator belongs to another man but finds herself wanting to rub naughty parts with a new man friend.

As the devil whispers in her ear, she senses that heaven is just a sin away. Uh oh! She feels herself giving in.

The kinda creepy thing about this song is that the singers are (wait for it) ... father and daughter. Can you imagine singing a song like this with your parents?

3. "Only the Good Die Young" by Billy Joel

This rock classic was released in 1977, so we can be pretty confident that young Virginia, the Catholic high school girl young Billy Joel was trying to seduce, is probably someone's grandma now. (It was based on someone he actually knew as a teenager.)

The song's narrator is a rough-around-the-edges teen who has a crush on a Catholic girl. Despite his best sales pitches she refuses his advances and flirty offers to relieve her of the burden of her chastity:

They say there's a heaven for those who will wait
Some say it's better, but I say it ain't
I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints
The sinners are much more fun
You know that only the good die young.

His classic hit was banned from some radio stations at the time and labeled anti-Catholic. Billy Joel even received death threats over it.

4. "It's a Sin" by Pet Shop Boys

If you're deeply guilt-ridden, then you have something in common with the guy in this 1987 pop song. He confesses that everything he does, everything he's ever done, every place he's ever been or is going is a sin.

5. "She Holds a Key" by Gavin DeGraw

Already committed to other partners, the two-timing lovers in this 2008 pop song sneak away at night. Together they are sinners, enjoying their affair but also finding that they mean something more to one another than simple lust.

Sinning's not for sissies. Someone's gonna get hurt.

6. "Sinners" by Lauren Aquilina

Involved in a same sex relationship that others disapprove of, the woman in this 2013 pop song is steadfast in her belief that love is love:

The world may disapprove
But my world is only you
And if we're sinners then it feels like heaven to me.

Not sure what he's looking at, but his sinful expression speaks volumes.

Not sure what he's looking at, but his sinful expression speaks volumes.

7. "Let the Sin Begin" by Drowing Pool

Criss-crossing the country drinking too much and making money with her body, the woman in this 2011 hard rock song lives hard. However, her lover, the narrator, considers her his heroin. She may be untamably wild, but the codependent man believes she makes the hard times easier for him.

8. "Life of Sin" by Sturgill Simpson

Sometimes heartbreak can yield a silver lining for a creative (i.e., a singer, writer, artist). The narrator in this 2014 country song is a singer still suffering from a breakup with his partner. He lives a life of sin: cheap sex and self-medicating his emotional pain using alcohol and who knows what else.

On the positive side, the lost love has given him lots to write about. And for that, he is thankful.

The seven deadly sins are vices in the Christian tradition that are uncontrolled versions of natural human inclinations.  For example, gluttony is the extreme version of one's inclination to eat/drink and sloth is the extreme of one's need for rest.

The seven deadly sins are vices in the Christian tradition that are uncontrolled versions of natural human inclinations. For example, gluttony is the extreme version of one's inclination to eat/drink and sloth is the extreme of one's need for rest.

The Seven Deadly Sins and Seven Heavenly Virtues

Deadly SinsHeavenly Virtues

Pride/Hubris - putting your own welfare before that of others; corrupt selfishness

Humility - sharing credit with others, regarding oneself as no better or worse than others

Greed/Avarice - pursuit of more material desires than one needs

Charity - generosity, spirit of giving, self-sacrifice

Lust - immoral sexual acts

Chastity - purity or discretion of sexual contact according to one's life station

Envy - resentment of another's qualities, possessions, or luck

Kindness - compassion and empathy

Gluttony - overconsumption to the point of waste

Temperance - self-control, abstinence, delayed gratification

Wrath - uncontrolled anger, rage, and hatred

Patience - peaceful stability, showing mercy and forgiveness

Sloth - apathy, indifference towards work; idleness

Diligence - steadfast commitment with a sense of purpose

9. "I Told You I Was Mean" by Elle King

If it's any consolation, at least her lover was warned. The woman in this 2015 rock song acknowledges without remorse that she's a hardhearted liar and a bad seed who believes that love is for the weak. Singer Elle King is the daughter of Saturday Night Live alumni Rob Schneider.

"He who angers you conquers you." - Elizabeth Kenny, Australian nurse

"He who angers you conquers you." - Elizabeth Kenny, Australian nurse

10. "Ain't It a Sin" by Charles Bradley

If you feel tired of being taken advantage of in relationships, then this R&B song from 2016 may resonate. The narrator is confused because he tries to spread love and be a righteous man, but consistently he ends up being used and abused.

Tired of being wronged, his anger boils over:

If you ain't gonna do me right
I might just do you in
Ain't it a sin... .

11. "I Feel a Sin Comin' On" by Pistol Annies

One look at Mr. Tall, Dark, and Handsome and the whiskey has taken over the senses of the narrator in this 2013 country song. She feels a sin coming on, a right that's about to go wrong. All liquored up, this gal has cut the brakes and will ask for forgiveness in the morning.

"If it were possible to have a life absolutely free from every feeling of sin, what a terrifying vacuum it would be." - Cesare Pavese, Italian writer

"If it were possible to have a life absolutely free from every feeling of sin, what a terrifying vacuum it would be." - Cesare Pavese, Italian writer

12. "I'm a Sinner" by Madonna

Oh, Madge. Raised Catholic, the third of six children, Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone is still rebelling. That's what has made her the household name she is today.

Once touted as the Material Girl, she has used Catholic imagery throughout her career to shock the public. Now pushing 60 years old, Madonna continues to reinvent herself. In this 2012 pop song, she celebrates that we're all sinners and claims, "I'm a sinner, praise the Lord, I like it that way!"

You can almost imagine her mother rolling over in her grave. Madonna remembers the woman as "a religous zealot." She died of breast cancer when Madonna was only 5.

13. "Saving All My Sinning" by Side Pony

She's the quiet one who is always alone, so naturally he makes assumptions about her. In this indie rock song from 2016, the narrator explains that she's a good girl who is saving all her sinning for him:

And now there's nothing that we can't do
I've been a good girl for so long
I deserve to do something wrong.

Whoa, this angel has shed her wings.

"No one was ever scolded out of their sins." - William Cowper, English poet

"No one was ever scolded out of their sins." - William Cowper, English poet

14. "Original Sin" by Taylor Dayne

Although several other songs share its title, this 1994 song was the theme song from the pulp fiction movie, The Shadow, starring Alec Baldwin. The song takes the perspective of the movie's villain, the last survivor of Genghis Khan who seeks world domination through criminal acts and mind control. Now that's sinful!

16. "Sinner" by Aaron Lewis (featuring Willie Nelson)

In this rousing country song from 2016, the protagonist acknowledges that he is a sinner to the core. Sitting in his hole and surrounded by darkness and demons, he sees the damage that he has caused and hopes that his soul can be saved.

17. "Sinner's Prayer" by Lady Gaga

In this emotional 2016 pop song, the narrator describes herself as a sinner and a tramp. She begs her man to let her imperfect love be enough.

17. "Sinner" by Andy Grammer

If you know what it's about, then this 2014 pop song is heartbreaking. Andy Grammer wrote it about his mother, who died of breast cancer in 2008, when he was 25 years old.

He alludes to the desperation of kneeling to pray like a sinner because he misses his mother's influence in his life so much:

Well you built this city right in me
And brick by brick and piece by piece
And love in both in your hands tried to make an honest man
From when I woke until I went to sleep
You planned my life so carefully, sculpted me like clay
I could see you in my face
And I never thought I’d live this life without your guiding light.

"I am good but not an angel. I do sin, but I am not the devil. I am just a small girl in a big world trying to find someone to love." - Marilyn Monroe, American actress

"I am good but not an angel. I do sin, but I am not the devil. I am just a small girl in a big world trying to find someone to love." - Marilyn Monroe, American actress

18. "Mouth of the River" by Imagine Dragons

The man in this 2017 indie rock song wears his vulnerability on his sleeve. He acknowledges that he has the hands of a sinner and describes himself as overboard, self-destructive, self-important, anxious, and caustic. Instead of living his life to please others, he seeks to serve a greater purpose and become a better person.

19. "Sweetest Sin" by Jessica Simpson

Before she sold clothes, perfume, or bedding, Jessica Simpson was an up-and-coming pop singer hoping to compete with Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. (You can see how that worked out.) She initially tried to contrast her persona with their seductress images. This 2003 pop song is a fantasy about consummating one's relationship.

When she and then-husband Nick Lachey starred in the MTV reality show Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica, it was revealed that she was a virgin when they married. Simpson became known as a ditzy blonde for remarks such as her infamous Chicken of the Sea question.

20. "Sin City" by AC/DC

In this 1978 hard rock song, the protagonist looks forward to going to Las Vegas, Sin City, where he'll surround himself by its atmosphere of nonstop gambling, bright lights, and dancing girls.

Ironically, Vegas began as desert fort built by the Mormon church midway between Salt Lake City and Los Angeles for travelers to replenish supplies. Later, Las Vegas' population boomed and it became popular as a tourist mecca due to its it legalized gambling, reduced residency requirements for divorce, and plentiful adult entertainment.

"Greed has taken the whole universe, and nobody is worried about their soul." - Little Richard, American musician

"Greed has taken the whole universe, and nobody is worried about their soul." - Little Richard, American musician

Even More Songs About Sin, Sinners, and Sinning

Know a song that should be on our Sin & Sinners Playlist? Make a suggestion in the Comments Section below!

Song  

21. Living in Sin

Bon Jovi

1989

22. Sin for a Sin

Miranda Lambert

2009

23. Sinner Like Me

Eric Church

2006

24. Sin of the City

Duran Duran

1993

25. She is My Sin

Nightwish

2000

26. Most Unoriginal Sin

John Hiatt

2003

27. Sins of My Father

Tom Waits

2004

28. Abnormally Attracted to Sin

Tori Amos

2009

29. Sings of My Father

Usher

2012

30. One Night of Sin

Elvis Presley

1957

31. Sound of SInning

Monophonics

2015

32. Original Sin

INXS

1984

33. It Don't Feel Like Sinnin' to Me

The Kendalls

1978

34. Black Sheep

Gin Wigmore

2011

35. To Speak Is a Sin

Pet Shop Boys

1993

36. City of Sin

Escape the Fate

2010

37. I Write Sins Not Tragedies

Panic! At the Disco

2005

38. Sin

Stone Temple Pilots

1992

39. Original Sin

Elton John

2002

40. Sinner's Swing

Van Halen

1981

41. It Don't Feel Like Sinnin' to Me

The Kendalls

1978

42. Drink the Water

Justin Cross

2017

43. River

Leon Bridges

2015

44. Long Black Train

Josh Turner

2003

45. Heaven Knows

Pretty Reckless

2014

46. Somebody's Knockin'

Terri Gibbs

1980

"Never trust anyone who wants what you've got. Friend or no, envy is an overwhelming emotion." - Eubie Blake, American composer

"Never trust anyone who wants what you've got. Friend or no, envy is an overwhelming emotion." - Eubie Blake, American composer

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2017 FlourishAnyway

Comments

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on April 16, 2020:

Peggy - It's a wonderful classic rock song! I'm glad you discovered it now! Thanks for stopping by!

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on April 15, 2020:

I have heard that expression for many years that "only the good die young," but never knew that there was also a song with that title. I learn so much from you!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 07, 2017:

Jo - Thanks for the compliment and for faithfully reading. I appreciate you.

Jo Miller from Tennessee on August 07, 2017:

Another great list. I don't know how you keep coming up with them.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 07, 2017:

Ryan - Thanks for taking a good look. I appreciate you. Glad you like STP too. It's sad about Chester.

Ryan from Louisiana, USA on August 07, 2017:

I really liked the sins and virtues table. Makes you think. Great list of songs. Glad to see STP make the list.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 06, 2017:

MsDora - I appreciate that people have been so self-reflective and candid in answering the poll. Thank you for stopping by and for your kind comment. Have a wonderful week ahead.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on August 06, 2017:

Honest sentiments expressed by the sinners. Interesting table of sins and virtues. Your articles are more than just lists; they're nostalgia and inventories and more.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 05, 2017:

Linda - I appreciate your kind compliment. Have a wonderful weekend.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on August 04, 2017:

I'm impressed by your extensive knowledge of rock and country songs, Flourish. This is another interesting article. Even when I don't know the music, I always learn some new things from your playlist articles.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 04, 2017:

Ann - Thanks for taking the time to make a comment and read. Have a wonderful weekend.

Ann Carr from SW England on August 04, 2017:

I only know the one by Billy Joel who's one of my favourite singers. I can't think of any more British ones either!

Great list. You're so good at all these compilations, Flourish!

Ann

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 03, 2017:

Rasma - My favorite, too! It's odd that the lady who inspired the song never stepped forward to claim her 15 minutes of fame.

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on August 03, 2017:

Never knew there were so many songs about sinners and so on. Nicely done. I guess my favorite among them is Billy Joel Only the Good Die Young.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 03, 2017:

Larry - I guess if you're gonna sin, you might as well do it right, eh? Have a great week!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 03, 2017:

Bill - Almost. Thanks for stopping by, and have a great rest of your week.

Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on August 03, 2017:

Another great list. Thanks for helping all us sinners not feel quite so lonely;-)

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on August 03, 2017:

All I could think of was Billy Joel! You almost stumped me with this one. :)

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 02, 2017:

Hi, Heidi - We must've been on the same wavelength. That's an oldie but goodie and one of my favorites. I added the Van Halen song at #40. Thanks a bunch! Have a great rest of your week.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 02, 2017:

Linda - Thanks so much for your kind compliment. Some people do cover it up well while others always seem to get caught. have a wonderful rest of the week.

Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on August 02, 2017:

Billy Joel's "Only the Good Die Young" was running through my head yesterday. I must have been picking up telepathically on your hub. ;)

I'll add Van Halen's "Sinner's Swing" to this good, wait, bad list.

Thanks for the fun as always!

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on August 02, 2017:

Flourish - This is the one topic to which all of us can relate. There is no one without sin; perhaps some of us are just better at covering our tracks. Another great playlist. Many of the new ones are new to me, but the oldies brought back memories. Thanks for all the hard work you do to put these together.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 02, 2017:

Catherine - I think we're in the same place. Maybe I should do a playlist about mistakes; I bet that would beg a whole different type of playlist, more relationship-driven. Have a wonderful day in hot sunny Florida.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 02, 2017:

Ivan - I appreciate your stopping by! Thanks for your comment.

Catherine Giordano from Orlando Florida on August 02, 2017:

Another great playlist and a chance for me to enjoy some songs that are old favorites and to be introduced to ones that are new to me. I don't like the word sin; I prefer mistake. Or to be more long winded, a deviation from ethical or "right" behavior. I have been guilty of all of the 7 "sins" at one time or another, but I usually recognize my unhealthy behavior and correct it. It never becomes excessive.

Ivan from Zagreb on August 02, 2017:

We’re all sinners. Everybody you meet all over the world is a sinner. :-) On behalf of all of us, thanks to these 39 songs :-)