Top 10 Rock & Blues songs about guns

Guns have been part of American history since the colonists were killing their own food and fighting off the emissaries of King George with the Pennsylvania Long Rifle. It’s no surprise that guns are also part of our musical culture, past and present.

It goes without saying that country music songs offer a plethora of gun references.  Heck, the dramatic ballads of Marty Robbins’s work alone could produce a 10 (or 12, or 20) Gun Songs list.   A mostly modern era list of gun-influenced country songs, with a nod to more or less historical artists, can be found here.

Those of us whose tastes run in the classic rock/blues vein can make our own list. There’s no doubt that Lynrd Skynrd is our version of Marty Robbins…as a result, many references to their music have been left out here to make room for others.  In no particular order, here are ten classic rock/blues songs with references to our nation’s favorite survival tool:

1.  Bad Company – Bad Company

Depending on age, you’re probably partial to either the Five Finger Death Punch or the Bad Company version….but we all share the feeling of having been born with some sort of firearm in hand.

2.  Mr. Saturday Night Special – Lynrd Skynrd

Lynrd Skynrd’s first appearance on this list reflects on the handful of variations on “cheating,” not to mention drunkenness, that result in decisions with guns that almost always land a body in the hoosegow.

3.  Manhattan – Bob Seger

One of Bob Seger’s lesser hits from the Ed Koch era names every common form of shotgun ammunition, in the hands of someone on the wrong side of the law.

4.  Janie’s Got a Gun – Aerosmith

Aerosmith’s hit and singer/songwriter Steven Tyler’s PSA about child sexual abuse is catchy despite the dark subject matter. Maybe it’s the sweet taste of vengeance that makes this one so good.

5.  Cleaning My Gun – Mark Knopfler

By former Dire Straits front man Mark Knopfler. Too bad this wasn’t a bigger hit, because it has it all—situational awareness and firearm maintenance.  Take a listen.

6.  Leroy Brown – Jim Croce

Better be badass, seeing as he carries a caliber considered by many as  inadequate for personal defense, and goes around touching other guys’ wives.

7.  Boot Hill – Stevie Ray Vaughn

Blues guitar legend Stevie Ray Vaughn says “hand me down my shootin’ iron” in these ominous lyrics referencing the final resting place of cowboys who suffered from sudden-onset lead poisoning.

8.  Gimme Back My Bullets – Lynrd Skynrd

And my primers, powder and casings.  Thanks again, Lynrd Skynrd.

9.  The EDC Song – Jordan Winkler

Jordan Winkler is the Weird Al Yankovic of firearms. This parody of Alanis Morrisette’s Hand in My Pocket describes lots of readers, perhaps too well!

10.  The Warrior Song

Just the most kickass patriotic fight song ever, by veterans’ benefit organization The Warrior Project.  It’ll bring out the best in you if you put it in your workout mix.  TWP has created a version of the Warrior Song for most branches of the military.

What’s your favorite gun-referencing song? Post it in the comments.

Read More On:

Latest Reviews

  • Tuck & Carry: CCW in a Skirt

    Aimed at those who want the comfort and convenience of a skirt but with the protection of a holstered gun, the Tuck & Carry occupies what I term apparel holsters -- that is clothing/holster duos.

    Read More
  • The Marlin Dark in .45-70 is Stealthy and Modern

    Flash forward the lever gun of Western lore to the 2020s, where Marlin has taken that classic design and given it a modern upgrade. Meet the Marlin Dark.

    Read More
  • Gear Review: Sig Sauer Tango 6T 1-6

    Sig Sauer has long been a big name in the firearms industry, so it came as no surprise several years ago when Sig filled out its repertoire with its own optics line. Today, we’re looking at the Tango 6T, a 1-6 low power variable optic.

    Read More
  • First Look: Hornady 6mm ARC

    Hornady brought another impressive project to the shooting public in 2020 with the introduction of the 6mm Advanced Rifle Cartridge.

    Read More