Top Country Murder Ballads – Billboard
Country music is rich in killer ballads – moving tales of revenge that often end with some scoundrel getting the reward they so richly deserve, often at the hands of one of their victims or someone acting in their name.
The latest entry in the legacy is HARDY’s searing “Wait in the Truck,” starring Lainey Wilson: a brutal, dark tale of a man who takes a wife whom he quickly discovers has been bruised and beaten. . He can’t heal her, but he decides he can save her from being hurt again. The man drives to her house, takes his gun from under her seat, kills her attacker, then coldly waits for the cop – while she waits in the truck. HARDY and Wilson trade verses to tell their story. After five years, she still visits him in prison, but there is no record of a prison romance, or even that he will ever be released – just cold comfort that she is now in security.
The pragmatic song, written by HARDY, Hunter Phelps, Jordan Schmidt and Renee Blair, is lighting up country music, with the CMA Song of the Year already emerging.
The age-old theme dates back long before the modern country era – Lloyd Price’s 1959 classic “Stagger Lee” is based on an 1895 murder, and the first sung version surfaced in 1911 – but no genre has embraced the trope as completely as country.
Below are some of the other best (and most popular) killer ballads in country music from the past 75 years.