Murder By Numbers

Album: Synchronicity (1983)
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  • Once that you've decided on a killing
    First you make a stone of your heart
    And if you find that your hands are still willing
    Then you can turn a murder into art

    There really isn't any need for bloodshed
    You just do it with a little more finesse
    If you can slip a tablet into someone's coffee
    Then it avoids an awful lot of mess

    It's murder by numbers, one, two, three
    It's as easy to learn as your ABC's
    It's murder by numbers, one, two, three
    It's as easy to learn as your ABC's

    Now if you have a taste for this experience
    If you're flushed with your very first success
    Then you must try a twosome or a threesome
    You'll find your conscience bothers you much less

    Because murder is like anything you take to
    It's a habit-forming need for more and more
    You can bump off every member of your family
    And anybody else you find a bore

    Because it's murder by numbers, one, two, three
    It's as easy to learn as your ABC's
    Murder by numbers, one, two, three
    It's as easy to learn as your ABC's

    Now you can join the ranks of the illustrious
    In history's great dark hall of fame
    All our greatest killers were industrious
    At least the ones that we all know by name

    But you can reach the top of your profession
    If you become the leader of the land
    For murder is the sport of the elected
    And you don't need to lift a finger of your hand

    Because it's murder by numbers, one, two, three
    It's as easy to learn as your ABC's
    Murder by numbers, one, two, three
    It's as easy to learn as your A, B, C, D, E
    1, 2, 3, A, B, C
    1, 2, 3, A, B, C
    1, 2, 3, A, B, C

    Because it's murder by numbers, one, two, three
    It's as easy to learn as your ABC
    Murder by numbers, one, two, three
    It's as easy to learn as your A, B, C, D, E Writer/s: Andy Summers, Gordon Sumner
    Publisher: Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 11

  • Joel from Toronto, OnThis song is good but a little chilling. I can see a socio/psychopath using this little ditty as an instrution manual. It would have been perfect for the Showtime original series Dexter. This was also the title of a 2002 Sandra Bullock, Ryan Gosling movie. They didn't use the song in the film because the filmmakers felt that would be just too obvious although I still think it would have been cool to hear a clip when cassie is alone on her houseboat. She could have turned on the radio and whamo there is the song but no. Oh well. No harm no foul eh?
  • Thegripester from Wellington, New ZealandI'll never forget the letter to Ann Landers claiming to be from "concerned parents who listened to the Beatles and the Rolling Stones," but were disturbed by this song. And Ann Landers completely ate it up and joined them in their condemnation, without checking to see what kind of people the Police were. I guess those "concerned parents" forgot all about the lyrics to "Stupid Girl," "Midnight Rambler," and "Run For Your Life." I wonder if Ann Landers thought "Mack The Knife" was an acceptable song.
  • None from None , WyI love how it has a sort of jazzy feel to it. That's one thing I just love and The Police and some of Sting's solo career. They can combine my two favorite things: jazz and rock. Oh, and brilliant lyrics, of course.
  • Blake from Houston, TxThe 9/11 trauma involved two parts - the first caused by the Islamist mass murderers themselves; the second resulting from the loss of faith in leaders who failed to provide a modicum of protection and some who heard America's pleas to stop the plot and yet who torpedoed these efforts.

    Some of you may have read about my plea to stop the 9/11 plot. If not, please google 'Bojinka Response Error' for more details. Two Police songs helped give rise to my efforts to stop the plot - Secret Journey and Murder By Numbers.

    Soon after these songs were released I went on my own "Secret Journey" to find out how it was possible 269 people could be shot down by a missile after straying into Soviet airspace. I uncovered the most dramatic and amazing dialogue I have ever read in the pages on the Congressional Record spoken 5 years prior.

    It seems the exact same thing had happened before - a Korean civil airliner flew over Soviet territory and was shot down using deadly force - with scarcely a word of protest from our government. A lone Senator, a former astronaut, had stood up and tried again and again to bring the issue of protest up but was batted down each time for lack of Foreign Relations committee approval. Senator Harrison Schmitt argued that the use of deadly force against a civil aircraft by a government body necessitated the strongest condemnation possible. In its place was a stoney, complacent silence which could only serve to make the attacker feel his actions were warranted and the resulting misery of the survivors justified.

    As a former pilot, he argued that America's rules of engagement would not permit the shootdown of a stray plane but would call for monitoring the flight and looking any sign of aggression such as dropping bombs etc which naturally would necessitate the use of force to prevent.

    Sting's Secret Journey speaks of our search for wisdom and the discovery of love at the end of a journey, through inspection, through experience, or even introspection.

    In contrast, the rythmic appeal of Murder By Numbers reveals how easily and addictive murder can become to our political elite who hold the keys to our security. Ideally, the openness of a democratic republic would preclude an elite from abuse of power but only to the extent the media and the citizenry demand the level of vigilance necessary to keep their nation at peace and their economy strong. Sting's song is a reminder of the precarious state of the human condition and the attractiveness and ease with which humans may engage in and manipulate others to commit acts of depravity and murder.

    Let's be vigilant to these threats; working together we can stop the plots of the demented few to safeguard the life and economy of millions.
  • Xyzee from Boston, MaLiquid Len...
    You're soooo right on!
  • John from Kirkland, WaAnother thought here - One person makes mention of the comments made by Jimmy Swaggart. Then comments about his sex scandal. This sex scandle is the basis for the song "Devil Inside" by INXS
  • Danielle from Palm Coast, Fli like it it makes you think in different prospectives thats what musical art is. it gets allot of gruesome pictures in your head especial when he says then you turn a murder into art. police always has shocking lyrics that make you think.
  • Mick from Las Vegas, NvThis songs meaning is similar to the joke about the guy who carries a briefcase into a bar, walks up to the prettiest girl, opens the briefcase to reveal one million dollars, and asks the girl if she will sleep with him for the million dollars. She thnks, "Hmmm...For a million dollars? O.k.!". He then closes the briefcase and pulls out a one dollar bill and say, "Will you sleep with me for one dollar?" The girl immediately slaps him in the face and asks, "What kind of girl do you think I am?" and he says, "We've figured out what you are, now we are just negotiating the price!"

    This song is basically saying the same thing. Whether you are a individual killer slipping tabs of poison into someone coffee, or a leader of the land, such as the Prime Minister, ordering an army to attack and kill, it is still murder, just on a different scale. Very cleverly done. I remember the first time I heard this, I thought the groove was cool, but the lyrics were horrible (as in this guy is sick). Then I got that it was making fun of politicians.
  • John from Kirkland, WaI think this says it all about this song "If you become the leader of the land, For murder is the sport of the elected" - Need I say more?
  • Liquid Len from Ottawa, CanadaThis song features some very strange overlapping rhythms. Try counting what the drums are doing, compared to the actual 6/8 beat of the song.
  • Nicoletta from Bronx, Nysting is a classical genius for coming up with something so original as this song.
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