1001 Songs Challenge,  1990s,  Music

1001 Songs Challenge #762: How I Could Just Kill a Man (1991)

On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenging of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.

My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.

I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.

So long as I post everyday (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be…


Cypress Hill – How I Could Just Kill a Man (1991)

How I Could Just Kill a Man

” How I Could Just Kill a Man” is the debut single by hip hop group Cypress Hill from their eponymous debut album, Cypress Hill , and was their first major hit in 1991.


Lyrics (via Genius)


We have reached the end of 1991. We’re leaving the UK and making our way back to the US and heading on over to California. Cypress Hill were formed in 1989 and became notable as the first Latin American hip hop group to achieve mainstream success. We join them in 1991 with the release of their self-titled debut album and from there 1001 Songs have gone with one of the tracks that was released as the group’s first single – How I Could Just Kill a Man

How I Could Just Kill a Man was originally the B-side to The Phuncky Feel One but soon gained more traction on the radio. The song seems to describe the dangerous world of gun crime and the safety that comes with having one’s own weapon. The narrator sounds tough and takes no nonsense from anyone. This culminates in him killing an intruder in his home who tries to steal his gun. The narrator doesn’t seem to harbour any regrets or concern about their actions, even questions us as the audience on what we do i.e. kill or be killed ourselves.

How I Could Just Kill a Man is a sinister and angry rap track which addresses an important social issue in the US of gun ownership. Compared to the UK, the US is a different world with gun laws in my country being very strict. Cypress Hill are continuing to this day and have enjoyed critical acclaim with many of their albums, especially their earliest records.


Favourite songs so far:

The Animals – House of the Rising Sun (1964)

Simon & Garfunkel – The Sounds of Silence (1965)

The Beatles – A Day in the Life (1967)

The Doors – The End (1967)

Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here (1975)

Meat Loaf – Bat Out of Hell (1977)

Ultravox – Vienna (1980)

The Smiths – How Soon Is Now? (1984)

Tracy Chapman – Fast Car (1988)

U2 – One (1991)

My name is Dave and I live in Yorkshire in the north of England and have been here all my life. I hope you enjoy your visit to All is Ephemeral.

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