I Shot the Sheriff
|"I Shot the Sheriff"|
|Single by The Wailers|
|from the album Burnin'|
|Recorded||Harry J. Studios, Kingston, Jamaica, April 1973|
|Label||Tuff Gong, Island|
|Producer||Chris Blackwell and The Wailers|
"I Shot the Sheriff" is a song originally written by Bob Marley, told from the point of view of a narrator who admits to having killed the local sheriff but claims to be falsely accused of having killed the deputy sheriff. The narrator also claims to have acted in self-defense when the sheriff tried to shoot her or him. The song was first released in 1973 on The Wailers' album Burnin'. Marley explained his intention as follows: "I want to say 'I shot the police' but the government would have made a fuss so I said 'I shot the sheriff' instead… but it's the same idea: justice."
Eric Clapton version
|"I Shot the Sheriff"|
|Single by Eric Clapton|
|from the album 461 Ocean Boulevard|
|Recorded||April–May 1974 at Criteria Recording Studios, Miami, Florida|
|Genre||Blues rock, reggae|
Eric Clapton recorded a cover version that was included on his 1974 album, 461 Ocean Boulevard. It is the most successful version of the song, peaking at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. In 2003, Clapton's version was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||1|
|Canadian RPM Top Singles||1|
|New Zealand Singles Chart||1|
|Belgian VRT Top 30||2|
|Norwegian Singles Chart||3|
|German Media Control Charts||4|
|Dutch Top 40||5|
|U.K. Singles Chart||9|
|South African Singles Chart||11|
|Australian Kent Music Report||11|
|Danish Singles Chart||14|
|Austria Top 40||19|
|Irish Singles Chart||23|
|French Singles Chart||28|
|Canadian RPM Top Singles||11|
|German Media Control Charts||44|
|Dutch Top 40||50|
|Belgian VRT Top 30||57|
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||76|
|Australian Kent Music Report||97|
Warren G version
|"I Shot the Sheriff"|
|Single by Warren G|
|from the album Take a Look Over Your Shoulder|
|Released||February 10, 1997|
|Format||Vinyl, Cassette, CD|
|Writer(s)||Bob Marley, Warren Griffin|
|Warren G singles chronology|
"I Shot the Sheriff" was the lead single released from Warren G's second album, Take a Look Over Your Shoulder. Warren replaced Marley's original lyrics with his own, though Clapton's version of the song is sampled and R&B singer Nancy Fletcher sings the original chorus. The song was a hit in several countries, in the U.S. it peaked at 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was certified Gold by the RIAA on May 2, 1997, in the UK it peaked at #2 and in New Zealand, it peaked at #1.
|Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)||18|
|Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)||16|
|Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)||31|
|Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)||6|
|Germany (Media Control AG)||27|
|Netherlands (Mega Single Top 100)||63|
|New Zealand (RIANZ)||1|
|Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)||12|
|UK Singles (The Official Charts Company)||2|
|Billboard Hot 100||20|
|Billboard Hot R&B / Hip-Hop Songs||16|
|Billboard Hot Rap Singles||5|
Later samplings, allusions, and covers
British band, Light Of The World recorded a jazzed-up version in 1980.
On EPMD's 1988 Strictly Business LP, the title track uses a sample of "I Shot the Sheriff" (Clapton's version).
In Mary J. Blige's 1992 debut album (What's the 411?), Grand Puba declared "I shot the sheriff AND the motherfuckin' deputy" in the title track.
In The Simpsons episode #248 ("Behind the Laughter"), Marge Simpson performs the opening of the song as part of a nightclub act. She then tells her audience, "So next time you see a sheriff, shoot him.... a smile!"
In The Sopranos episode 4.11 ("Calling All Cars"), which aired in 2002, Eric Clapton's rendition can be heard playing in the background when Tony Soprano is on the phone with Svetlana. Ten episodes earlier (in episode 4.1, "For All Debts Public and Private"), Tony had set up his protege Christopher Moltisanti to kill Detective-Lieutenant Barry Haydu on the night of Haydu's retirement party.
In 2004, Tom Morello, under his persona, The Nightwatchman, borrowed and changed lyrics from the song during his performance of "Until the End", as part of the Axis of Justice Concert Series Volume 1. The lyrics he used were: "...three times I shot the sheriff; and did not spare the deputy". A studio version of the song was later released on his album One Man Revolution.
Argentine singer Andrés Calamaro made a mashup of the first verse of the song with the last one of his own “El Dia Mundial de la Mujer” (Women's World Day), when played alive on his Honestidad Brutal tour.
In the song "Be Free" by Bob's son Ziggy Marley, a brief line in the song says: "I shot the deputy, now you know." Ziggy was four years old when his father's song was released.
In the Eureka episode 'Reprise' (4.12), characters are acting out song lyrics, including Jo who shoots Carter under this song's influence.
The song can be heard during a cut-scene in Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier (2012).
Cover versions in other languages
|Sweden||Just D (1995)||"Jag sköt sheriffen"|
|Ukraine||Бумбокс (Boombox) (2005)||"Хто наклав у бобік"|
|Asturias||Ermitaños Del Rio (2005)||"Yo disparé al sargentillo"|
|Germany||Knorkator (2008)||"Ich erschoss den Kommissar"|
|Germany||We Butter the Bread with Butter (2008)||I "Shot the Sheriff"|
|Egypt||Feel El Neel (2012)||"Ana Takheet El-Zabet"|
- I Shot the Sheriff
- "Grammy Hall of Fame Award. Grammy.org. Retrieved 21 December 2012
- Hamm, Mark; Ferrell, Jeff. "Rap, cops, and crime: clarifying the 'cop killer' controversy". Retrieved 2007-06-10.
- "Australian-charts.com – Warren G – I Shot the Sheriff". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Hung Medien.
- "Warren G – I Shot the Sheriff – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Hung Medien.
- "Ultratop.be – Warren G – I Shot the Sheriff" (in Dutch). Ultratip. ULTRATOP & Hung Medien / hitparade.ch.
- "Ultratop.be – Warren G – I Shot the Sheriff" (in French). Ultratop 50. Ultratop & Hung Medien / hitparade.ch.
- "Finnishcharts.com – Warren G – I Shot the Sheriff". Suomen virallinen lista. Hung Medien.
- "Lescharts.com – Warren G – I Shot the Sheriff" (in French). Les classement single. Hung Medien.
- "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche – musicline.de" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
- "Hit Parade Italia - Indice per Interprete: W". Hit Parade Italia. Retrieved July 6, 2012.
- "Dutchcharts.nl – Warren G – I Shot the Sheriff" (in Dutch). Mega Single Top 100. Hung Medien / hitparade.ch.
- "Charts.org.nz – Warren G – I Shot the Sheriff". Top 40 Singles. Hung Medien.
- "Norwegiancharts.com – Warren G – I Shot the Sheriff". VG-lista. Hung Medien.
- "Swedishcharts.com – Warren G – I Shot the Sheriff". Singles Top 60. Hung Medien.
- "Warren G – I Shot the Sheriff – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart. Hung Medien.
"(You're) Having My Baby" by Paul Anka and Odia Coates
|Billboard Hot 100 number one single (Eric Clapton version)
September 14, 1974
"Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe" by Barry White