To Die For: 25 Flawless Songs About Death

Scarface "I Seen a Man Die" (1994)


One of the darkest meditations on death in music history, Scarface recites a track that begins like a morality tale, but becomes something deeper, more transcendent. The first verse introduces a character, freed from jail and optimistic, but unable to shake "that attitude that who he was was worth it." Stuck in the same lifestyle he'd been in before his incarceration, he kills another man, and recognizes that this is necessary part of the world he's entered. He "never saw a man cry" until he killed one; in the second, verse, the narrator becomes omniscient, watching the main character's decisions damn him: "You took his life, but your memory you'll never take." But ultimately, it is his willingness to live and die with the consequences of his actions that is valued: "There lies a man not scared to die, may he rest in peace."

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