"Murder By Numbers" as written by Andy Summers and Gordon Matthew Sumner....
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

Lyrics submitted by Demau Senae

"Murder by Numbers" as written by Gordon Sumner Andy Summers

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Murder By Numbers song meanings
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  • +3
    Song MeaningThis song is government hypocrisy, irony if you will. Sure it goes on about the art of murder and the different ways to kill people . The average listener is lulled into the fact that this is an anti song about sociopaths and the shock builds as one continues to listen to the lyrics. Then like sweeping the rug from under the listener, Sting gets into how government, non chalantly kills people and the average person just accepts it for collateral damage or whatever, I know not all people do.. I digress. Sting is clearly making a political statement here and suddenly that mass murderer or serial killer that may have killed 1 person, 10 people or even 30 people is a mere bag of chips compared to top level politicians that kill thousands, if not millions in some cases, if you go back to Mussolini or Stalin or Hitler.
    HotTampaon May 20, 2013   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThe first copy of the LP I bought did not have this track. A cassette version and a CD version did. It was also the B-side of the omnipresent "Every Breath You Take". Because that song was on virtually every jukebox in the universe during the Eighties, I used to get a kick out of playing "Murder by Numbers", which tagged along with EBYT on the jukeboxes in rednecky places, making everyone wonder, "What the hell is this?"

    This song describes three more or less incompatible forms of killing. Serial killers tend to try to maintain normal lives, with the killing unknown to their (seemingly safe) families. Of course, the "sport of the elected", killing via war, is quite different. This song is, obviously, a dark satire in the spirit of "A Modest Proposal". It also has a political message if you work backwards: It suggests (implausibly) that a serial killer might go on to lead a country, but asks us to make the reverse connection: Leaders of nations are often de facto mass murderers.

    I wonder if a few years later, Sting would have felt that this song was within the bounds of reasonable taste. It was around this time that various murders and suicides were alleged to have been caused by the influence of various rock music (much harder than the Police!) on teens. A case like this concerning Judas Priest took place two years after this song was released.
    rikdadon September 12, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIf anyone knows the backgroud of this song then please comment! I'm very curious. They use this song in the movie Copy Cat, which is about a serial killer.
    LilyBearon July 28, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAbout a serial killer bragging about his profession.

    This wasn't released on Synchronicity LP.
    dcaton December 12, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYes, it was actually. Last track
    christoson January 15, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMy favourite Police song. Sting brings out his vocal range and the drumming is very. very tight.
    shroom220579on February 05, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's odd. I mean, a band called "The Police", singing about killing "anybody else you find a bore", praising murder?! That's why I find this song very funny and ironic.
    I doubt I ever will anybody, lacking the nerve and tendency to commit a sin that would give me a one way ticket to hell after sleepy hour (how much fun I'd have down there!). Anyway, if I were to kill, I'd do it how they say in this song : "slip a tablet into someone's coffee". So stay on my good side! :-[)
    AprilMoon1991on July 02, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe album’s closing jazz-rock melody, “Murder by Numbers,” charted a course to success for the most aspiring of politicians, proposing an easy means whereby they might eliminate their competition. That cut-throat suggestion, however, only increased the wrath of televangelist Jimmy Swaggart, to the point of insisting that the song had been written by Satan himself, and performed by the sons of Beelzebub.

    [From Rock & Holy Rollers: The Spiritual Beliefs of Chart-Topping Rock Stars in Their Lives and Lyrics by Geoffrey D. Falk.]
    sillybunnyon September 21, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe other eight songs (nine, if you count 'Murder By Numbers' that only appears on regular CD issues of Synchronicity) are pure Sting, and as is the usual custom, all of them rule. Some rule from the start, others on repeated listens. Contrary to initial rumours, Mr Sumner does not entirely slide into soft-rock territory; the two title tracks gotta rank among the best rockers the Police ever did, even if they're widely different from the earlier stuff - the punkish aesthetics has been swept away, replaced by a "clean-cut" New Wave punch and numerous artsy overtones, with atmospheric synthesizers and Andy's guitar assuming a totally otherworldly role. (Which reminds me - be sure to trace all the weird guitar effects that Andy uses throughout. It's Sting's album, for sure, but it also gotta rank as the peak of Summers' experimental tiddly-widdling with his six-string. No wonder the man easily found a common language with Robert Fripp).

    … and that end track, 'Murder By Numbers', which, as Sting himself confessed on Frank Zappa's Broadway The Hard Way, was written by Satan, according to Jimmy Swaggart. Cool little jazzy tune that teaches you how to, well, murder by numbers.
    [George Starostin]
    sillybunnyon September 28, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwell ok. last track on cd, but only the 7inch single b-side..
    ok great great guitar chords, swninging stuff lots of fun, ok lyrics like that wow its pretty risqué too.. bad bad Sting.

    but other than that hasn't anybody ever heard about.. say dictatoship killings ??
    naivadaon July 02, 2007   Link

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