20 Songs About Getting Caught

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Written By Julia Mehalko

Julia is a music journalist with a passion for retro songs. She holds a degree in journalism from University of Nevada.

For every song about getting away with something, there is a song about getting caught. The feeling of wanting to get away with something — whether it be a crime, cheating, telling a successful lie, or more — remains such a human endeavor that it’s a no-brainer, so many great artists have discussed this exact feeling.

In this article, we’ve listed 20 of our favorite songs about getting caught. These songs, from a variety of different genres, deal with different topics and themes — though they all deal with getting caught in some way!

1. “Red Hands” by Walk Off the Earth

“Red Hands” by Walk Off the Earth discusses how people should own up to their past mistakes when they’re caught or found to be in the wrong. Whether this has to do with a relationship or one’s own personal life, the band explains that these mistakes can be forgiven — if one owns up to their past misdeeds.

The band sings about getting caught red-handed when they sing, “I realize that I got red hands, I wanna change this / Don’t ask me why I choose to lie, I stay blind.”

2. “Cookie Jar” by Doja Cat

In “Cookie Jar”, Doja Cat uses metaphors and slang to discuss catching her partner with another woman. She sings how she caught her partner red-handed. However, she also explains that he doesn’t yet realize that she’s the only one he needs in his life!

3. “Lie” by BTS

BTS also sings about getting caught in their song “Lie”. In this song, the singer explains that he’s found himself deeply unhappy and is getting caught lying. He wants to return to who he used to be, back when he was purer.

In the English translation of the song, he sings the lyrics, “Caught in a lie / Find the me that was pure / I can’t be free from this lie / Give me back my smile.”

4. “High Infidelity” by Taylor Swift

“High Infidelity” by Taylor Swift, which appears on her album Midnights (3 am Edition), follows the singer as she explores cheating on her partner. Swift explains how unhappy she felt in this relationship, which led to her seeking out another. However, her partner catches her and she must explain why she decided to cheat on him.

Swift also explains how this situation hurt everyone involved, not just her partner. She felt hurt by the whole situation, as did the person she ended up cheating with.

5. “Broke” by Natalia Kills

“Broke” by Natalia Kills details the end of a romantic relationship. Natalia Kills sings about how terrible her ex was to her. He always made her cry and he was unfaithful to her. She caught him red-handed, which ultimately led to the end of their relationship!

She sings the lyrics, “You left me stranded / Caught you red-handed / You tore my heart out and left me here for dead.”

6. “Villainy” by Local Natives

In “Villainy”, the band Local Natives discusses wanting to start over. While the song can be interpreted in various different ways, it does appear that the singer was caught, to some degree, red-handed in a past relationship or situation. Or, the singer might want someone to catch them red-handed!

The band sings, “Manhattan on the rocks / Red-handed never caught / But hoping you’ll try.”

7. “So So Long” by Dierks Bentley

Dierks Bentley’s 2005 song “So So Long” opens with the lyrics, “Girl, I caught you in your little white lie / Red handed, red handed / You said you had to work tonight / But here you are dancing, slow dancing.”

Bentley goes on to sing about how upset he feels now that he found his girlfriend seemingly cheating on him. However, he won’t let his sadness keep him with her after this betrayal. Instead, he sings about how he’ll never forgive her. He wants nothing to do with her now and breaks up with her!

8. “It Wasn’t Me” by Shaggy

“It Wasn’t Me” by Shaggy, released in 2000 and featuring Rikrok, follows the singer as he refuses to deal with others catching him cheating! Shaggy explains that his girl caught him red-handed with another woman! However, he continues to say that this wasn’t him and tries to get out of the repercussions of his actions.

Shaggy and Rikrok sing, “Honey came in and she caught me red-handed / Creepin’ with the girl next door.”

9. “I Shot the Sheriff” by Bob Marley & The Wailers

“I Shot the Sheriff” by Bob Marley & The Wailers, which appears on the 1973 album Burnin’, tells the story of a man who admits to shooting the sheriff after getting caught by the police. However, even though the man says that he shot the sheriff, he also says that he didn’t kill a deputy!

Marley sings, “Yeah, all around in my hometown / They’re trying to track me down / They say they want to bring me in guilty / For the killing of a deputy.”

10. “Sam Hall” by Johnny Cash

In “Sam Hall”, Johnny Cash sings the story of a man who is caught after killing a man. Cash sings from the perspective of this murderer. He sings about all the people he sees before the police ultimately ending up putting him to death for his crimes.

Many artists have covered the old folk song “Sam Hall”. Different renditions of this classic song vary. However, Cash’s version tends to rise above the rest!

11. “Locked Up” by Akon

“Locked Up” by Akon, which appears on his 2004 album Trouble, follows the singer as he sings about being locked up for a crime he committed. Throughout the song, we learn that the police caught him after committing a crime. So, now he must pay for his crimes with time!

12. “First 48” by Migos

In “First 48”, Migos sings about how people shouldn’t mess with them. If they do mess with them, they’ll learn to regret it. The group goes on to talk about their lives and other topics, though they do mention what would happen to them if they were ever caught.

They rap, “Jumping these fences don’t know where to go / If I get caught, I get down on my knees and repent / But what’s a case if they ain’t got no evidence.”

13. “Locked Up” by The Avett Brothers

“Locked Up” by The Avett Brothers is open to interpretation. The band sings about different things before repeatedly singing the lyrics, “I can’t be locked up like this.” So, one could feel that this song is about getting caught and hating to be locked up, for whatever reason, as a result!

14. “Bad Man’s Blunder” by The Kingston Trio

“Band Man’s Blunder” by The Kingston Trio appears on the group’s 1960 album String Along. The classic song opens with the lyrics, “Well, early one evenin’ I was roamin’ around / I was feelin’ kind of mean, I shot a deputy down / Strolled along home, and I went to bed / Well, I laid my pistol up under my head.”

As the song progresses, we learn more about this narrator. While he tries to flee, the police eventually catch him and bring him home for his trial. After his trial, the judge sentences him to more than 90 years in prison!

15. “It Wasn’t Me” by Chuck Berry

In “It Wasn’t Me”, Chuck Berry sings about all of the times he refuses to say that he did something. Even if someone catches him — which they do throughout the song in various circumstances — he refuses to take ownership of his actions.

For example, the song opens with Berry explaining that he didn’t cheat on his partner. Even though his partner caught him and confronts him about it, he refuses to say that she’s right!

16. “Kingsport Town” by Bob Dylan

“Kingsport Town” by Bob Dylan follows the singer as he reminisces about a past love. He sings about how much he misses his ex, even though the last time he saw her, he had to flee town because the sheriff wanted to talk to him!

Though we don’t learn why the sheriff sought him out, we do learn that Dylan doesn’t want them to catch him!

17. “No Place to Go” by Charlie Daniels

“No Place to Go” by Charlie Daniels explores how hopeless many can feel when they feel that they can’t go home. If they have no place to go, they tend to feel quite lost. Daniels sings about these feelings and also explains how the police caught him and charged him with a crime, as well.

He sings the lyrics, “I been locked up in the jail-house / I been locked for two months and three.”

18. “25 to Life” by Eminem

“25 to Life” by Eminem, which appears on the rapper’s 2010 album Recovery and features Liz Rodrigues, follows the rapper as he seemingly disses hip-hop and the music industry. While it sounds as if he’s talking about an ex, he’s really talking about the industry!

Through this topic, he also discusses feeling as if someone will catch him. Rodrigues sings, “Too late for the other side / Caught in a chase, twenty-five to life.”

19. “Bad Luck” by B.B. King

In “Bad Luck”, B.B. King sings about his awful bad luck. He explains that he hasn’t had any good luck for quite a while! Instead, he just seems to only receive bad luck, something that he can’t stop.

When he talks about the last time he experienced good luck, he sings, “I felt kinda lucky / My luck was running slow / The last hand I caught four aces / And the police broke down the door.”

20. “Cocaine Blues” by Johnny Cash

At last, let’s talk about the final song on our list! “Cocaine Blues” by Johnny Cash is incredibly similar to the above’s “Bad Man’s Blunder”, as it shares some of the same music and lyrics. However, this song also feels unique to itself — hence why it’s on this list!

In this classic song, Cash sings about how he shot his partner. He flees and tries to escape the law, but this doesn’t happen. Eventually, the sheriff catches him and brings him back to town, locking him up until his trial occurs.

Once the sheriff brings him before the judge, he hears the verdict. He won’t be getting away with this crime, after all! Instead, he will have to spend 99 years in jail!

Listen to the full list on YouTube here.