Writing lyrics about guns adds urgency. It also evokes imagery of cowboys, jaded lovers, and people who have been on the wrong side of the tracks their whole lives. According to The Symbolism, there are many things a dream about a gun can symbolize. For example, if you dream about someone pointing a gun at you, it’s time to start thinking about how you treat others. Dreaming of shooting one means that there is aggression you are struggling to release. Songwriting is a creative pursuit, so anything the artist writes is based on either waking or dreaming consciousness. Many times, it’s the ethereal meaning of a gun that listeners relate to more than the story in the lyrics. If we hear a song about a jaded lover, we wonder what happened to make them come so undone and if we could be driven to those links. Songs about cowboys evoke images of a bygone era some know only in history books. Guns are written about in a myriad of different genres. These are the top ten songs with “gun” in their title.
10. Both Sides of the Gun – Ben Harper
This song has a jam band funk sound. It’s an upbeat song about all the craziness going on in the world. The analogy “both sides of the gun” means that two opposing sides are typically clashing with each other. Throughout the lyrics, Harper makes an important political statement, everybody who is creating social unrest is perpetuating a lot of negativity. Although many issues are valid, others could just as easily be forgotten with a bit of love and patience instead of hate and division.
9. Cupid’s Got A Gun – Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
This instrumentation in this song has a light bluegrass feel. The song is about an amplified moment with Cupid when he decides to stop giving hints. Instead, he will get down to business and shoot you with a gun and wake you up to the idea of being in love. Throughout the lyrics, it becomes the evolution of wanting to be in a relationship but being unwilling to put your heart out there and find someone new. The song even gets a couple of cute, comical nudges on Cupid. It’s a fun song that explores the softer side of love.
8. Love’s A Loaded Gun – Alice Cooper
Alice Cooper delivers a song with a light and an intense rock beat. It’s about someone who is leaving a relationship because they found someone better than the other person they are with; at least, the character in the song thinks so. Cooper sings the music from the point of view of someone who experienced this. However, he takes it to takes to darker levels because he’s threatening to literally shoot her. After all, she left him.
7. Don’t Take Your Guns To Town – Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash’s baritone voice sounds like a cowboy sitting around a campfire singing a cautionary tale to a group of young cowboys. Aside from light drumming and a slight bit of tambourine, it’s a song that comes close to acoustic. As the song progresses, additional instrumentation comes in to illustrate the moral of the song. The song’s lyrics are about a mother who cautions her son not to take guns to town because she feels he will get into trouble. Ironically, he is shot by a cowboy in a bar.
6. Gunslinger – Avenged Sevenfold
This song is about the horrors of war and the post-traumatic stress syndrome that soldiers bring back. The opening of the song is low-key guitar and M. Shadows’ voice at the forefront. It’s a journey into the deep emotions, and as the song progresses, the drums and guitars and drums amplify to create the anger some people feel when they have left a war zone and are damaged but must return to the life they knew before.
5. Billy Get Your Guns – Bon Jovi
This song was on the Young Guns II soundtrack. It’s an updated rock version of the classic tale of Billy The Kid and his gang, The Rustlers. The lyrics are through and through a cowboy song, but it sounds classic 80s, keeping the music relevant to current musical trends. The electric guitar replaces the less intense guitar people typically associate with the days of the wild west.
4. Tommy Gun – The Clash
This song had some political discourse because people thought it glamorized killing. The song is about all the stories we read on the front pages of the news that cover episodes of mass shootings and people. It’s also about extremist groups and the counter-culture of hate. Some of the drum licks in the song sound like a military cadence. The lyric “maybe he wants to die for the money, maybe he wanted to die for his country” unfortunately is still relevant today because terrorist groups and hate had grown since 198 when this song dropped.
3. Gunpowder and Lead – Miranda Lambert
Even though it’s said that little girls are made of sugar and spice and everything excellent, Lambert has other thoughts. The song is about a woman who’s put her ex in jail and will make sure she’s protected. Too often, the woman puts up with toxic situations for love. This song is about taking power back and being in control of the events in your life.
2. Janie’s Got A Gun – Aerosmith
According to Genius, Steven Tyler penned the lyrics of this song after he read a couple of articles in 1990. He was upset by the rising gun violence and how children were being exploited even in upper-class neighborhoods. In this song, a gun is an equalizer for a girl who was sexually abused by her father. The lyrics are a mental snap that only happens when you have been traumatized for long periods.
1. 21 Guns – Greenday
Twenty-first-century breakdown was one of the group’s catalog that focused on current issues and the world’s problems with increased violence. A 21 gun salute is a military honor. However, it’s part of the song’s irony since it’s inciting to not commit violence and instead details how it’s far too prevalent in our country.