Bullets in the Gun (song)

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"Bullets in the Gun"
Toby-Keith-Bullets-single cover.jpg
Single by Toby Keith
from the album Bullets in the Gun
Released 27 September 2010 (2010-09-27)
Format Music download
Genre Country
Length 4:16
Label Show Dog-Universal Music
Writer(s) Toby Keith
Rivers Rutherford
Producer(s) Toby Keith
Mills Logan
Kenny Greenberg
Toby Keith singles chronology
"Bullets in the Gun"
"Somewhere Else"

"Bullets in the Gun" is a song co-written by Toby Keith and Rivers Rutherford, and recorded by Keith. It is the title track to, and second single from, his 2010 album Bullets in the Gun. The song was released on 27 September 2010 and entered the country music charts at number 37.


The song plays on the Bonnie and Clyde story to give a modernized account of a vagabond outlaw couple.

Critical reception[edit]

Juli Thanki of Engine 145 gave the song a "thumbs up", saying that Keith's vocals had "nearly tangible bravado".[1] Randy Lewis of the Los Angeles Times called the song "cinematic" and compared it to Marty Robbins's "El Paso".[2] Reviewing for the New York Times, Jon Caramanica called the song "a pumped-up and comically desperate tale" and "almost parodic".[3] Matt Bjorke of Roughstock gave the song a positive review, saying that it was Keith's best single in a decade. He also called it "a fantastic reminder of how a strongly lyrical song can take us places and into a movie in our minds." Bjorke also said that "even if you don’t condone the fictional story being told, it’s still a damn good song with a melody which suits the lyric perfectly."[4]


In January 2011, Emily Robison of the Dixie Chicks stated during a video chat that she thought the song resembled Robert Earl Keen's "The Road Goes On Forever".[5] Robert Earl Keen observed the same thing, saying, "But you know what they say about people from Oklahoma: They'll steal your hat and help you look for it." In fact, he specifically aimed his song "The Road Goes On and On" at Keith to criticize him.[6]

Music video[edit]

Michael Salomon directed the song's music video.[7] It stars Danielle Vasinova and Chad Bannon.

Chart performance[edit]

"Bullets in the Gun" debuted at number 37 on the Hot Country Songs chart dated for the week ending 9 October 2010. It also debuted at number 97 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart for the week of 20 November 2010.[8]

Chart (2010) Peak
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[9] 12
US Billboard Hot 100[10] 83

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2011) Position
US Country Songs (Billboard)[11] 69


  1. ^ Thanki, Juli (8 October 2010). "Toby Keith — "Bullets in the Gun"". Engine 145. Retrieved 24 October 2010. 
  2. ^ Lewis, Randy (5 October 2010). "Album review: Toby Keith's 'Bullets in the Gun'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 26 October 2010. 
  3. ^ Caramanica, Jon (3 October 2010). "Critics' Choice - New CDs from Toby Keith, Marnie Stern and King Sunny Adé - Review - NYTimes.com". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 October 2010. 
  4. ^ Bullets in the Gun review by Matt Bjorke Archived 24 September 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ Duvall, Erin (20 January 2011). "Court Yard Hounds Question Toby Keith's 'Bullets in the Gun'". The Boot. Retrieved 23 January 2011. 
  6. ^ Parker, Chris (17 January 2013). "Robert Earl Keen Parries Toby Keith and Shows He's Ready For Confetti'". Nashville Scene. Retrieved 14 October 2013. 
  7. ^ ""Bullets in the Gun" video". CMT. Retrieved 26 October 2010. 
  8. ^ Morris, Edward (2 October 2010). "Zac Brown Band Crowns Album Charts With You Get What You Give". CMT. Retrieved 26 October 2010. 
  9. ^ "Toby Keith – Chart history" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Toby Keith.
  10. ^ "Toby Keith – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Toby Keith.
  11. ^ "Best of 2011: Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2011. Retrieved 10 December 2011.