The best songs about danger capture heightened emotions and edge-of-your-seat attitudes that arise when faced with threatening situations.
It’s something singers and bands of all kinds have covered in their music, from catchy pop songs by A-list celebrities to little-known jazz and blues gems.
Continue reading, and we’ll unpack these iconic songs exploring danger in its many forms, so you can include them on your latest music playlist.
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The 23 Best Songs About Danger
Whether it’s a billboard-topper song from a world-class band like the Beatles or an obscure track from a lesser-known jazz singer, danger is ever-present in music.
We’ve ensured this playlist leaves no stone unturned, covering the theme from a broad variety of genres and styles to bring you a definitive selection of music.
So, with our criteria established, here’s our playlist of the 23 best songs about danger.
23. “Me And The Devil” – Soap & Skin
Soap & Skin tackles perhaps the most dangerous concept of all with their alternative indie song “Me And The Devil.”
Released in 2013, the lyrics explore the singer’s encounter with Satan, singing, “Me and the devil walking side by side.”
Soap & Skin released “Me And The Devil” in 2013 on their third EP, Sugarbread, which also featured the song “Pray.”
22. “Radioactive” – Imagine Dragons
Like Soap & Skin, Imagine Dragons takes a dramatic approach to songs about danger with their rock classic “Radioactive.”
This song dives into the effects of the apocalypse and the new age that emerges in the wake of a nuclear disaster.
It’s perhaps the perfect song for anyone who wants a reminder of the consequences of war, featured on their album Night Visions.
21. “Gimme Danger” – The Stooges
While most people avoid danger, Iggy Pop’s song with the Stooges invites it into his life in the form of a dangerous relationship.
“Gimme Danger” explores what happens when someone lets a dangerous woman into their lives, with impressive guitars and vocals.
Comparatively, The Stooges took a lighter approach in their great song about dogs, “I Wanna Be Your Dog,” which was released back in 1969.
20. “Be Careful What You Do” – John Brim
“Be Careful What You Do” by John Brim flips the script on “Gimme Danger” and focuses on a man desperate for his lover to stay with him.
It’s a blues classic from one of the genre’s most iconic stars from Chicago, whose most famous tune is “Ice Cream Man.”
The iconic rock band Van Halen later covered “Ice Cream Man,” while “Be Careful What You Do” has also been covered several times since its release.
19. “Danger! High Voltage” – Electric Six
Electric Six released one of the most well-known danger songs, the aptly-titled “Danger! High Voltage.”
It’s another great song that uses the concept of danger as a metaphor for relationships, with the electricity in question analogous to a powerful kiss.
The Detroit-based rock band is known for its tongue-in-cheek approach to music, which runs throughout “Danger! High Voltage.”
18. “Animals” – Maroon 5
Maroon 5 are no strangers to writing music as a warning, having released one of the best songs about cheating, “Wake Up Call.”
“Animals” is about a predatory man on the hunt for a woman, singing, “Baby, I’m preying on you tonight.”
One of the more memorable songs about danger, “Animals,” was released in 2015 on the Maroon 5 greatest hits album Singles.
17. “I Will Prevail” – Kate Shindle
Some of the best songs about danger can be found in classic musicals, as is the case with Kate Shindle’s “I Will Prevail” from 2011.
This pop ballad was featured in the play Wonderland, with Shindle collaborating with the Wonderland Ensemble in its production.
Adapted from the book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, “I Will Prevail” was a stand-out song from the popular musical.
16. “Misery Business” – Paramore
Pop-punk band Paramore was at the forefront of the emo movement throughout the 2000s, helping define a new generation’s look.
“Misery Business” is another song about a dangerous woman, which serves as a cautionary tale about expressing your true feelings.
Paramore released “Misery Business” on their second studio album, Riot!, and it was the lead single from this release.
15. “Taxman” – The Beatles
The Beatles are no strangers to writing catchy music, responsible for some of the best karaoke songs that have remained classics over decades.
Their song “Taxman” warns listeners of a mundane danger, but one everyone can relate to when their paycheck arrives.
Specifically protesting the progressive tax introduced in the mid-1960s, it was released as part of Revolver, one of their most popular albums.
14. “D Is For Dangerous” – Arctic Monkeys
Arctic Monkeys brings us back to warnings about becoming romantically involved with a dangerous woman in “D Is For Dangerous.”
It’s also a good song that tackles the idea of dangerous situations more broadly through its ambiguous lyrics.
This successful band has picked up an impressive six Grammy Award nominations over the years, although they have yet to pick up a win.
13. “Safe European Home” – The Clash
“Safe European Home” was written by the Clash following the band’s trip to Jamaica, where events took a turn for the worse.
Anyone who has been alone in an unknown location will feel some sympathy for the lyrics in this song that taps into our deepest fears.
It’s a punk-rock classic that exemplifies the Clash’s hardcore style, featured on the album Give ‘Em Enough Rope, released in 1978.
12. “Monster” – EXO
Songs about danger can be found worldwide, with Korean dance-pop act EXO chiming in on the topic with their song “Monster.”
We’re back once again in the territory of the dangerous woman, with the lyrics singing, “She got me going crazy.”
EXO released “Monster” in 2016 at the height of the K-pop craze, with some impressive dancing from the band in the music video.
11. “Better Beware” – Esther Phillips
Esther Phillips’ song “Better Beware” takes a different approach to romance, sidestepping the idea of a dangerous relationship for something more bittersweet.
“Better Beware” is about her fear that she’ll completely lose her lover as she struggles to track him down to rekindle their love.
Phillips brings her trademark gorgeous vocal style to this classic song from the archives that deserves to be rediscovered by a new generation.
10. “Crash” – The Primitives
Another great song about danger that features beautiful female vocals is “Crash” by the Primitives, an underrated indie song from 1988.
“Here you go, way too fast. Don’t slow down, you’re gonna crash,” the lyrics sing, “You should watch, watch your step. Don’t look out, gonna break your neck.”
“Crash” found a global audience after the Primitives released the song on their debut album, Lovely, and it was an international hit.
9. “Let’s Kill Tonight” – Panic At The Disco
“Let’s Kill Tonight” by Panic at the Disco is all about becoming a danger yourself and not being vulnerable to other forces.
The lyrics “Show them all you’re not the ordinary type” urge listeners to stand out from the crowd and not become victims.
Panic at the Disco enjoyed their biggest hit on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, “High Hopes,” in 2019.
8. “Danger Zone” – Kenny Loggins
Kenny Loggins’ track “Danger Zone” is one of the most well-known danger songs you can listen to and is often considered a masterpiece.
It’s another great song that encourages people to face danger head-on and not shrink from responsibilities and obstacles in life.
“Danger Zone” is a nice counterpoint to “I’m Free (Heaven Helps The Man),” Kenny Loggins’ inspiring song about freedom, released in 1984.
7. “Shake Hands With Danger” – Jim Stringer
Confronting and overcoming your fears is also the topic of Jim Stringer’s iconic song “Shake Hands With Danger.”
Additionally, it’s an excellent song about reflecting on your past behavior and avoiding being reckless in the future as you become older and wiser.
This was also the title of Stringer’s 1980 album, written and produced by Jim Stringer during his time working on educational films in Kansas.
6. “You’re The Dangerous Type” – Bob Dorough
Bob Dorough takes us back in time to the 1950s with his song “You’re the Dangerous Type,” released as part of his Devil May Care album.
It’s a wonderfully upbeat song with jazzy arrangements and Dorough’s sweet, infectious vocal style that’s rarely heard today.
Dorough successfully blended elements of jazz and bebop throughout his impressive career, as well as being a pianist, arranger, and producer.
5. “Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked” – Cage The Elephant
Cage the Elephant released “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked” on their self-titled album released in 2008.
This alternative rock song explores the dangers of temptation, from the powerful attraction of the opposite sex to the urge to steal.
The success of their debut album and the band’s move from the United States to the United Kingdom saw many other rock bands following in their footsteps.
4. “Danger” – J.J. Cale & Eric Clapton
Eric Clapton joined forces with J.J. Cale for the song “Danger,” which is all about a vengeful woman who was treated badly.
It’s a classic rock song with Clapton’s trademark blues influence on full display, featuring an autobiographical undercurrent to the lyrics.
“Danger” is a great song that complements Clapton’s classic song about guilt, the genuinely moving “Tears in Heaven.”
3. “Eyes Of Danger” – Michigan And Smiley
Fusing reggae and dub style to great effect, Michigan and Smiley’s “Eyes of Danger” ignited the dancehall craze of the 1970s.
“Eyes of Danger” was recorded in Jamaica and became a massive global hit in the underground dancehall scene when released in 1979.
The duo, consisting of Papa Michigan and General Smiley, enjoyed their biggest success with the number-one song “Rub-A-Dub Style.”
2. “Armed And Extremely Dangerous” – First Choice
First Choice approached the topic of danger from the perspective of a woman who has become the victim of domestic violence in “Armed and Extremely Dangerous.”
The lyrics explore her experiences after making the wrong decision and becoming involved in a dangerous relationship with an abusive man.
It serves as a warning to other women to proceed with caution when dating and not fall into the same trap as the protagonist in the song.
1. “Careful With That Axe Eugene” – Pink Floyd
Responsible for writing and performing some of the best songs of all time, Pink Floyd tackled the topic of danger with “Careful With That Axe Eugene” in 1968.
It’s an instrumental progressive rock classic that showcases the band’s inimitable style and talent for intricate compositions.
“Careful With That Axe Eugene” was also featured in action scenes for the movie Zabriskie Point, retitled as the track “Come In Number 51, Your Time Is Up.”
We hope you’ve enjoyed these songs about danger, exploring the concept in a variety of forms, from terrible relationships to cataclysmic events threatening global destruction.
Covering the spectrum of dangerous situations we can find ourselves in, this music often serves as a cautionary tale for predicaments that should be avoided at all costs.
As the world continues to face uncertain times, we can expect to see singers and bands exploring the idea of danger in their music for years to come.