Artists worldwide, from ancient folklore to new culture, have been thrilled by the allure of the devil. These tunes appear in all musical genres, some controversial and others more light-hearted. In this article, we look at the best songs about the devil himself.
“Devil Inside” by INXS
Song Year: 1987
From the band’s album “Kick” this song talks about how there can be a little bit of the devil in all of us. While half of our actions are good, there is another half that people or influences can easily sway us to make poor decisions. This mentality is referred to as having the devil inside of you.
While not everyone shares this mentality, the song was highly popular after being released, and its catchy beat made it a well-played radio hit. The band continued to put out music until 1997, when one of the members committed suicide.
“Sympathy For the Devil” by The Rolling Stones
Song Year: 1968
This older song comes from the band’s album “Beggar’s Banquet.” As you listen to the tune, you will notice that it is written from the devil's perspective, although the individual is trying to downplay who he is.
Throughout the song, the devil highlights some of the antics he has done in his role and what has come of them. While the premise is interesting, the song caused the band to be accused of Satanism, despite being influenced by stories of the war.
“The Devil Went Down To Georgia” by The Charlie Daniels Band
Song Year: 1979
When you think of songs that speak of the devil, this noteworthy croon by The Charlie Daniels Band is likely the first to cross your mind. The song's story is unusual, with the devil challenging a young boy. In this interaction, the devil would get his soul if the boy lost. However, if he won, he would receive a golden fiddle.
Suffice it to say the young boy in the story wins the challenge and walks away with his new golden fiddle.
“Devil’s Dance” by Metallica
Song Year: 1997
When the band Metallica formed in 1981, they stormed the music scene. Since its inception, the band has had many top hits, including this song from their “Reload” album.
In the lyrics to this tune, the lead singer talks about how the devil works hard to influence you and your life choices on a daily basis. The song goes on to say that the devil is always around, and it is a constant effort to push him away and avoid his actions.
“Devil’s Daughter” by Ozzy Osbourne
Song Year: 1988
This song comes from his infamous album “No Rest For the Wicked” by Ozzy Osbourne. The premise of this song revolves around telling a person who exhibits evil traits that they don’t want to begin the fight they are about to have.
Using references to a holy war and calling the person in question the devil’s daughter gives you insight into the level of intensity this song portrays to listeners.
“Satan, Your Kingdom Must Come Down” by Willie Nelson
Song Year: 2010
As a top-performing country artist who has won ten Grammys to date, Willie Nelson fans are loyal and supportive in every way. This song, from the artist's album “Country Music,” talks about how we must conquer the devil.
Within the song, Nelson says that Jesus has declared that the kingdom of the devil must come down. There is no room for his antics in this world, and more positive influences need to supersede his negative ones.
“Runnin’ With the Devil” by Van Halen
Song Year: 1978
Van Halen is known for their vast array of musical hits. This song comes from their self-titled debut album and is no exception. Written while the band was in their first experiences touring and being on the road, the song references how acts of the devil are all around.
For the band members, being able to have the freedom to do as they wish can have negative connotations. The devil is always by your side, encouraging you to engage in his ways.
“Devil’s Right Hand” by Johnny Cash
Song Year: 2003
This Johnny Cash song was released shortly after his death as part of his “Unearthed” collection of music that never previously made it onto albums. There have been many versions of this song, with writer Steve Earle penning it in the 80s.
The lyrics tell the story of a person shooting another during an altercation over a game of cards. When the police come to arrest him, he tells them he didn’t do it. He claims the devil's right hand was the only one to touch the trigger.
“Shout at the Devil” By Motley Crue
Song Year: 1983
When this song was released in 1983 on an album of the same name, the premise behind the lyrics was the foray into Satanism by the band's bassist. The album cover included a pentagram, which many took as a reference to the devil.
The bassist utilized similar graphics in a previous band and brought them over to Motley Crue when he joined. Although highly controversial, the song made it higher on the Billboard charts than any other song they recorded.
“Devil In Her Heart” by The Beatles
Song Year: 1963
The Beatles are an irresistible band with songs that include all topics. This one, in particular, talks about the problem that comes with liking a girl who isn’t necessarily pure at heart.
While it’s fine not to be perfect, you know at times that an individual has traits that aren’t going to mesh well with your personality. Unfortunately, the right choice is to walk away from the relationship often, even if you have feelings for them.
“Devil” by Shinedown
Song Year: 2018
Every day we come face to face with negative things that scare us or influence us incorrectly. This song, off of Shinedown’s “Attention Attention” album, paints a picture of those situations, referencing moments in which the devil is present.
Furthermore, the lyrics tell of how humans are confronted with these elements on a daily basis. The key to success is to continue pushing back on the things that come your way.