45 Songs About Sin and Sinners
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.
No one is perfect. Of the seven deadly sins, what's your biggest character flaw?
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.
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 and Seven Heavenly 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Even More Songs About Sin, Sinners, and Sinning
21. Living in Sin
22. Sin for a Sin
23. Sinner Like Me
24. Sin of the City
25. She is My Sin
26. Most Unoriginal Sin
27. Sins of My Father
28. Abnormally Attracted to Sin
29. Sings of My Father
30. One Night of Sin
31. Sound of SInning
32. Original Sin
33. It Don't Feel Like Sinnin' to Me
34. Black Sheep
35. To Speak Is a Sin
Pet Shop Boys
36. City of Sin
Escape the Fate
37. I Write Sins Not Tragedies
Panic! At the Disco
Stone Temple Pilots
39. Original Sin
40. Sinner's Swing
41. It Don't Feel Like Sinnin' to Me
42. Drink the Water
44. Long Black Train
45. Heaven Knows
Questions & Answers
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