10 Songs That Were Used To Torture People

CIA's top 10.

Ultimate Guitar
10 Songs That Were Used To Torture People

Waterboarding at Guantanamo Bay sounds super rad if you don't know what either of those things is. But if you do know, you also know that all kinds of sick shit are going on there and music torture is one of them.

If you think you hate your wake up alarm song, CIA and other government agencies can take this hatred to completely another level. Choice of a song depends on a prisoner, their culture, upbringing, and mentality.

Here are 10 songs that were used for torture.

'The Real Slim Shady' by Eminem

Binyam Mohamed suffered Eminem's "Slim Shady" for 20 days. Mohamed said he could hear others in the prison "screaming and smashing their heads against walls."

"I heard this nonstop over and over," he reportedly told Clive Stafford Smith, his lawyer and the founder and director of Reprieve, a U.K-based organization determined to end music torture practices. "The CIA worked on people, including me, day and night for the months before I left. Plenty lost their minds."

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'Dirrty' by Christina Aguilera

Christina Aguilera's song was used as a form of humiliation for Muslim suspects. The track that is sung by a woman with sexually charged lyrics goes against their practice and beliefs. It was often accompanied by female interrogators, prolonged strip searches and invasion of space by a female.

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'Saturday Night Fever' by The Bee Gees

in 2002, Moazzam Begg had to suffer through Bee Gees during his stay at Bagram Prison.

At first, he thought that was a joke "Once they even played the Bee Gees' Saturday Night Fever soundtrack all night long. 'Hardly,' I thought,'‘enough to break anyone I knew.' ... 'We'll talk. We'll all talk,' I said in half jest when they played it, 'just turn that crap off please!'"

But as the torture began to stretch on, it became unbearable. "It was terrible, there was no light at all, it was so tight, so hot, sitting in there. You can't see or do anything, nothing to see, nobody to talk to, nothing to do but bang the walls. And then to have the music blasting ... I met several people who'd been in there ... [who were] ready to tell the Americans anything they wanted, whether it was true or not."

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'We Are The Champions' by Queen

U.S. Navy veteran Donald Vance suffered this torture after the U.S. Army raided the Iraqi security firm he had been investigating as an unpaid FBI informant.

When all the employees were rounded up, he was treated as a suspect, taken to an unofficial prison camp and tortured with the song.

Vance would catch himself singing along to songs he liked. "I can't remember how many times I heard Queen's "We Are the Champions.'"

Vance survived due to his military training. He started to talk to himself, telling himself jokes, trying to keep a rational train of thought going. He knew if he let the music completely "mask his thoughts," he would never get his mind back again. This method is likely what helped Vance emerge from this prison a "damaged" but not "broken" man.

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'The Beautiful People' by Marilyn Manson

The prisoner who was tortured by this Marilyn Manson hit song said it sounded like the hell itself. Well, can't judge him, it really sounds creepy at times.


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'Fuck Your God' by Deicide

Nothing pisses off Muslim and Christians alike as blasphemy. And Fuck Your God by Deicide does this job extremely well. From the 40-IQ-point title to the pentatonic melodies and chromatic rhythm work without any phrasal significance, this song may cause madness in even the most accustomed listeners.

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The Meow Mix Theme Song

Now this song sounds may be a torture even if you're not a 'radical' extremist Muslim. The investigators claim this song is the most effective after 2 days of heavy metal music as the sudden shift in dynamics can be truly maddening.


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'Born in the USA' by Bruce Springsteen

Many of the songs in Guantanamo Bay are patriotic, screaming 'MURRRICA left and right. And the Bruce Springsteen's war-condemning anthem happens to be one of them. Oh, the irony. One Spanish citizen accused of being linked to the terrorist network Al-Qaida claimed his interrogators played this song the majority of the time during his entire two year stay in the Cuban prison.

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'Enter Sandman' by Metallica

Using a song about sleep to keep people awake is fun, right? Well, not for Guantanamo Bay prisoners.

Metallica frontman James Hetfield was honored that Metallica's Music was Used By U.S. Military. and said: "We've been punishing our parents, our wives, our loved ones with this music for ever. Why should the Iraqis be any different?"

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'I Love You' by Barney the Dinosaur

Sick fucks.

Yes, the song from a children show is reportedly the most "overused" torture song in the CIA's arsenal (beating Sesame Street theme song which used as well).

And another thing about it is that the song's creator Bob Singleton just broke into laughter when he heard of its use: "It seemed so ludicrous that something totally innocuous for children could threaten the mental state of an adult. I would rate the annoyance factor to be about equal with hearing my neighbor's leaf blower. It can set my teeth on edge, but it won't break me down and make me confess to crimes against humanity."

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65 comments sorted by best / new / date

    This is so incredibly wrong. Hetfield never said that. They actually demanded the military stop using Enter Sandman. Lars was really pissed about it actually. Guess where I read about this news? UHHHH THIS WEBSITE. https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/news/general_mu...
    UG, you just said that Hetfield endorses torture at Guantanamo Bay. That is not something to be taken lightly. You guys have said some questionable things before but this is in really bad taste.
    This whole fucking article is in bad taste. Since when is talking casually about torturing people in concentration camps, and especially Muslim people whose countries have been invaded by the Allied, is a thing on this website? This is fucking disgusting.
    The article you're referring to features Lars Ulrich, Papa Het is pretty much ok with that. Moreover, part of him is "proud". Proof at 5 : 07.   
    "Part of me is proud, part of me is bummed." He obviously isnt super proud of it. This whole article is another BS metallica puff piece. They went "oh Enter Sandman was used in Iraq, TIME TO MAKE AN ARTICLE!"
    I used to torture myself to that Dirrty video. Wait what.
    I killed more sperm than there are atoms in the universe to that video when it first came out. I didn't even stop when Redman came in, he just became a part of the experience.
    C-C Beatroot
    The meow mix tune is my ringtone and morning alarm, I haven't changed it since they banned mephedrone
    geezus, i love so many of these songs. guess that proves I'm not a terrorist?
    Honestly I can put up with Metallica and Queen playing for a few days strait, maybe not the Meowmix song... that's just cruel.  At least even the tortures have some standards and don't subject their prisoners to "friday" for day on end. 
    That as my thought, they actually played some decent songs. I'm nearly driven mad every time I hear a pop song in a commercial that plays all the time. Right now, it's this fucking one (I apologize in advance):
    Ugh why did I click the video~! Honestly thought not terrible, I don't watch TV though so maybe it's because I never have to put up with it. lol
    They've been playing it for months now, and I often leave the TV on in the background so that doesn't help.
    why not just force them to listen to one long droning note for days? easy to record and you don't got to pay royalties.
    Blasphemy doesn't piss off Christians near as much as it does Muslims. A bit of misleading comparison
    Any song if played on repeat for years can be insane torture. It massively sucks these people are misusing the gift of music.
    I'd like to have the Christine Aguilera "Dirty" treatment please - and could I please have the music video playing on loop with a box of Kleenex and some Jergen's hand lotion
    I thought for sure some Downward Spiral songs were popular choices for torture as well. 'Heresy' would make sense (in a sick torturous way)
    "Waterboarding at Guantanamo Bay sounds super rad..." that line almost knocked me from my chair
    Hahaha . You never gonna get me with all of that song . Fuckin' love disco music , Barney Music , Metallica and Bruce hahahaahah . Except that Meow and that Cristina Aguilera song . I'd be raging if they play me that . You know , i know one song that would make " non - popheads" give up .... it's that I spinning with my hands up song ( don't really know the title ) by Beyonce . I'd give up the second that song was played .....
     "If I hear Ya mo B there one more time, I'm going to Ya mo burn this place to the ground."  
    When I was younger (maybe 5 or 6) my dad would get angry that our neighbors would leave their dogs outside all night barking. So my dad would blast Bruce Springsteen through his Bose speakers full volume - in hopes to piss off the dogs, make my neighbors wake up, etc. etc. I don't know if it actually worked but he would do this shit for hours, sometimes more than once a week. So seeing that the music of Bruce Springsteen can also be used for torture is something i can totally understand.  BORN IN THE USA
    Mountain Trash
    I hope I never get the nuke codes and then some how get kidnapped by renegade terroists that use anything Bon Jovi as a torture method, if that happens, on that day, we all burn.
    My goal in life is to write a song that everybody hates. That is how I know that people have listen to it.
    Let's not forget that episode of The Drew Carey Show where they blasted Panama to get them out of the house.
    Fun fact, when the US invaded Panama back in 1989 they used to play with their vehicles Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Guns 'n Roses, Judas Priest and Iron maiden since the country wasn't friendly to the rock/metal genre and was considered as torture for the people.
    Next one should be 10 songs to make continuos love to. Screw this torture nonsense. Or 10 songs to do bdsm to.
    cant take the facts? or do you want to put it under the rug as it dosent happen in our happy world full of luuuuuv?
    There is another "artisr" missing on this list.. Let's see if you can guess who it is _ _ _ _ _ _ - _ _ _ _ _ _
    even terrorists don't deserve the cruel punishment of having to listen to that Canadian little shit.
    It's Justin Bieber :p Is been a long long time that I've seen a Bieber joke on here so I thought to take a cheap shot at him xD