21 Songs You Should Never Sing in Prison

There are a lot of songs out there about prison, and many of them are quite popular. However, there are also a lot of songs not to sing in prison. Many of these songs contain lyrics that can be interpreted as provocative or even threatening.

In a confined and potentially dangerous environment like a prison, it’s best to be cautious. The reason is simple: prisoners are a very tight-knit community, and they take their music very seriously.

Singing the wrong song in prison can be viewed as an act of disrespect, and it can quickly make you the target of violence. So, if you find yourself behind bars, it’s best to avoid certain songs. Not only will you stay safe, but you might just make some friends in the process.

Nr Song Artist About
1 Folsom Prison Blues Johnny Cash Learn More
2 Jailhouse Rock Elvis Presley Learn More
3 Bad Boys Inner Circle Learn More
4 I Fought the Law The Clash Learn More
5 Police Truck Dead Kennedys Learn More
6 F*ck Tha Police NWA Learn More
7 Bad Moon Rising Creedence Clearwater Revival Learn More
8 99 Luftballons Nena Learn More
9 Bend Me Shape Me The American Breed Learn More
10 Get Your Freak On Missy Elliott Learn More
11 Baby One More Time Britney Spears Learn More
12 I’m Too Sexy Right Said Fred Learn More
13 I Feel Pretty Julie Andrews Learn More
14 I’m in you Peter Frampton Learn More
15 Slide it In White Snake Learn More
16 The Stroke Billy Squier Learn More
17 Love Hurts Nazareth Learn More
18 I Was Made For Loving You Kiss Learn More
19 Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’ Journey Learn More
20 Can You Feel the Love Tonight Elton John Learn More
21 I Am Woman Helen Reddy Learn More


21 Songs not to Sing in Prison

There are songs not to sing in prison especially if you find yourself behind bars. Below are 21 Songs not to Sing in Prison:


1. Folsom Prison Blues – Johnny Cash

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“Folsom prison blues” was first recorded in 1955 and was released as a single in 1955. The song was inspired by Cash’s own experience visiting Folsom State Prison in California.

It tells the story of a prisoner who is serving a life sentence for murder. The song has been covered by numerous artists, including country music singer Willie Nelson.

It’s ironic that a song about prisons would be so dangerous to sing in one, but inmates take great exception to this tune. Perhaps it’s the casual way that Cash sings about killing a man that sets them off.

Recommended: 30 Best Hype Rap Songs of the Last Years.


2. Jailhouse Rock – Elvis Presley

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“Jailhouse Rock” is a 1957 American musical drama film directed by Richard Thorpe and starring Elvis Presley, Vera Miles, and Michael Curtiz. The film is based on the story of a young man who is sent to jail for manslaughter and falls in love with a woman who visits him in jail.

This classic rock and roll tune is another no-no in prison. The lightheartedness of the song seems to rub inmates the wrong way, and it’s best to avoid it altogether.


3. Bad Boys – Inner Circle

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“Bad Boys” is a song by Jamaican reggae band Inner Circle. The song was released in 1987 on the album of the same name and became a worldwide hit, reaching the top 10 in several countries.

The song is based on the theme of police corruption and was inspired by real-life events experienced by the band members. The theme song from the television show “Cops” is not a favorite among prisoners.

The lyrics describe how the police will always catch the bad guys, which doesn’t sit well with inmates who feel they’ve been wrongly convicted.


4. I Fought the Law – The Clash

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Released in 1977, “I Fought the Law” is a cover of a song originally performed by The Bobby Fuller Four. The song tells the story of a man who attempts to rob a bank and ends up getting shot by the police.

This punk rock tune is another example of a song that you don’t want to sing in prison. The lyrics tell the story of someone who fights the law and loses, something that no inmate wants to be reminded of.


5. Police Truck – Dead Kennedys

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“Police Truck” is a song by the American punk rock band Dead Kennedys. The song was released as a single in 1980, and it appears as the opening track on their compilation album, “Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death”.

“Police Truck” is a scathing critique of the police force, and it highlights the ways in which the police can abuse their power. This punk rock tune is an anthem for anyone who feels oppressed by the government. However, it’s not a wise choice to sing in prison.


6. F*ck Tha Police – NWA

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“F*ck Tha Police” is a song by American hip hop group N.W.A that criticizes law enforcement’s use of excessive force. The song was released on their album “Straight Outta Compton” in 1988.

It features heavy use of profanity and has been viewed as an anthem for the African American community. Despite its critical message, the song has been used by law enforcement agencies across the United States as a training tool.

This rap song is not popular with prison guards or inmates who respect authority.


7. Bad Moon Rising – Creedence Clearwater Revival

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“Bad Moon Rising” is a song written by John Fogerty and performed by Creedence Clearwater Revival. It was released as a single in 1969 and reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

This song is about an impending disaster, which could be interpreted as a warning about an impending riot or escape attempt. It’s best to steer clear of any songs with potentially incendiary lyrics.

Despite its dark subject matter, the song has a catchy, upbeat melody that has made it a classic rock staple.

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8. 99 Luftballons – Nena

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The popular ’80s song “99 Luftballons” by Nena is about a nuclear war that’s started by mistake. It’s not the most uplifting song out there, and it definitely shouldn’t be on your list of songs to sing in prison.

A prison is a place where people are serving time for their crimes. It’s not a place for making light of serious topics like nuclear war. If you want to stay out of trouble in prison, it’s best to avoid singing this song.


9. Bend Me Shape Me – The American Breed

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“Bend Me, Shape Me” by The American Breed is a peppy little number about a guy who is willing to change for the object of his affection.

While that may seem like an admirable sentiment, in prison it can be interpreted as something else entirely. In this case, it might be taken as a sign that you’re willing to be someone’s b*tch – not a good thing in the notoriously hierarchical world of prison life.


10. Get Your Freak On – Missy Elliott

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We all know that Missy Elliott is the queen of getting her freak on, but did you know that her song by the same name is actually a no-no in prison? That’s right – “Get Your Freak On” is one of the many songs that are banned in prisons across the country.

And for good reason – this song is all about breaking out of your inhibitions and embracing your wild side. So, if you’re ever feeling frisky in prison, be sure to avoid this tune.


11. Baby One More Time – Britney Spears

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While “Baby One More Time” is an undeniably catchy song, it’s probably not the best choice to sing while incarcerated. The lyrics are pretty innocent on their own, but when considered in the context of a prison setting, they take on a whole new meaning.

For example, the line “Hit me baby one more time” could be interpreted as a request for physical abuse. Do you really want to be belting out a song about wanting someone to hit you one more time? Probably not.


12. I’m Too Sexy – Right Said Fred

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If you’re looking for a surefire way to get yourself into hot water while behind bars, then look no further than “I’m Too Sexy” by Right Said Fred. This overconfident ode to self-love is the last thing you want to be singing when surrounded by hardened criminals.

Not only will it earn you some serious side-eye from your fellow inmates, but it’s also bound to attract the wrong kind of attention from the prison guards. So if you want to stay out of trouble, it’s best to steer clear of this particular song.


13. I Feel Pretty – Julie Andrews

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There are a lot of songs out there that are great for belting out in the shower or in the car, but there are some that are just downright inappropriate to sing in prison. “I Feel Pretty” from West Side Story is definitely one of those songs.

The lyrics talk about feeling pretty and being happy, which are two things that are definitely not conducive to a good experience in prison. Additionally, the song is upbeat and cheerful, which would likely irritate other inmates who are trying to cope with their own dark reality.

So if you’re ever jailed, it’s best to keep this particular tune to yourself.


14. I’m in you – Peter Frampton

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You might think that singing Peter Frampton’s “I’m in You” in prison would be a good way to show your fellow inmates that you’re a changed man. After all, the song is all about being in love and wanting to be close to someone.

However, the reality is that this is not a song you should ever sing in prison. The lyrics are actually quite creepy and will likely just make everyone around you uncomfortable at best.

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15. Slide it In – White Snake

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You should never sing the song “Slide it In” by Whitesnake while in prison. The reason being is that the lyrics of the song are incredibly suggestive and could be interpreted as sexual advances.

Additionally, the tone of the song is boastful and arrogant, which could rub prisoners the wrong way. There’s a reason why most karaoke bars have a “no singing in prison” policy – it’s because singing in prison is generally a bad idea.


16. The Stroke – Billy Squier

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If you’re looking for a song to get you pumped up before a big game or a night out with friends, “The Stroke” by Billy Squier is probably not the best choice. The same goes for if you’re planning on singing it in prison.

The lyrics to this song are full of sexual innuendo and references to criminal activity, neither of which are likely to go over well with your fellow inmates. Save this one for when you’re back on the outside.


17. Love Hurts – Nazareth

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“Love Hurts” by Nazareth is about heartbreak and betrayal, two things that are all too common in prison. Inmates are likely to take offense if you start singing about how love hurts, so it’s best to avoid this one altogether.

While love may be a beautiful thing, it can also be pretty painful. And, as the old saying goes, “you should never sing love songs in prison.” That’s because, in prison, love hurts. A lot.


18. I Was Made For Loving You – Kiss

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If you’re looking for a song to get your fellow inmates pumped up, “I Was Made For Loving You” by Kiss is probably not the best choice.

The lyrics are all about being in love and wanting to be with someone, which isn’t exactly the most relatable topic for people who are in prison.

Plus, the song is pretty high-pitched, so unless you’re a trained singer, it’s probably not going to sound great coming from your cell.


19. Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’ – Journey

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If you find yourself incarcerated, it’s probably best to avoid singing Journey’s “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin'”. Why? As the title suggests, the lyrics are pretty explicitly about physical intimacy, and that’s something most prisoners would rather not think about.

The lyrics paint a picture of two lovers enjoying each other’s company, and the speaker expresses a deep need for physical connection. So, while this might be a great karaoke song for those who are free, it’s probably best to leave it off your playlist if you’re doing time.


20. Can You Feel the Love Tonight – Elton John

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If you think singing “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” in prison is a good idea, think again. This classic love song from The Lion King may seem like a romantic way to show your affection for your fellow inmate, but it will only lead to trouble.

At best, you’ll be laughed at by the other prisoners. At worst, you could find yourself in a fight or worse. So if you’re looking for songs to sing in prison, skip this one.


21. I Am Woman – Helen Reddy

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There are certain songs that just should not be sung in prison. I Am Woman by Helen Reddy is definitely one of them. The lyrics to this song are all about female empowerment and independence, which are two things that inmates are not supposed to have.

In addition, the song also talks about standing up for yourself and taking control of your life, which again, is not something that inmates are supposed to do. So, if you want to stay out of trouble in prison, steer clear of this song!



Do prisons allow music?

Music can be a powerful tool for both self-expression and self-reflection. Prisons typically have strict rules about when and where inmates are allowed to listen to music.

In most cases, music is only permitted in designated areas, and inmates are only allowed to listen to pre-approved songs as there are songs not to sing in prison. In some programs, inmates are given the opportunity to learn how to play an instrument or write their own songs.


What music can Prisoners listen to?

Not all music is appropriate for prison settings. In general, music with violent or drug-related lyrics is discouraged, as it can promote antisocial behavior.

In addition, music that is sexually explicit or degrading to women is often banned in prisons, as it can contribute to a hostile and dangerous environment.

On the other hand, music that is uplifting and positive can be very helpful for prisoners, providing a much-needed sense of hope and connection to the outside world.

Ultimately, the decision of what music prisoners can listen to is up to the individual facilities, but it is clear that music can have a significant impact on prisoners’ lives.


Can inmates listen to music on tablets?

Inmates in some U.S. prisons are now able to listen to music on tablet devices. In recent years, tablet computers have become increasingly popular in prisons, offering inmates a way to stay connected with the outside world.

But can they listen to music on these devices? The answer depends on the prison’s rules and regulations.

Some prisons allow inmates to listen to music on their tablets, while others prohibit it. In some cases, inmates are only allowed to listen to pre-approved songs or stations.


Last Words

Singing in prison is a risky business. There are some songs that are just too likely to get you into trouble, and it’s not worth risking your safety for a few minutes of fun.

Inmates have their own set of rules and etiquette when it comes to music, and singing the wrong song can get you into a lot of trouble. If you’re looking for a song to sing in prison, stick to something innocuous and forget about these 21 tunes.

Do you have any other suggestions for songs to avoid singing in prison? Let us know in the comments below!


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Music is the lifeblood of my veins. I love to listen, play and write music. Being a music band manager is what I love to do mostly because I love working with artists on their personal branding and brand building while helping them find the next level of success.

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