The Worst Crime

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List of Spirit songs
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The Worst Crime
Song The Worst Crime
By Depeche Mode
Songwriter Martin L. Gore
Produced by James Ford
Recorded at Sound Design (Santa Barbara)
Jungle City (New York)
Length (mm:ss) 3:48
Tempo 132 BPM
Time signature 3
Key A Minor
Programmed by Matrixxman
Kurt Uenala
Engineered by Jimmy Robertson
Mixed by James Ford
Mixing assistance Brendan Morawski
Mastered by Brian Lucey
Studio assistance Connor Long
Óscar Muñoz
David Schaeman
Brendan Morawski
Drums James Ford
Art direction Anton Corbijn
Design SMEL
Recorded April–August 2016
Originally released 17 March 2017
Live performances as Depeche Mode 0 times *
Total live performances 0 times *

"The Worst Crime" is a song from the 2017 album Spirit by Depeche Mode.


Martin Gore told Classic Pop Magazine:

"Usually I don't talk about the songs too much but I will about this one a little bit. It's metaphorical and about climate change and us destroying the world, and how we are all guilty... so the lynching is us, we are all being lynched."

Gore also told The Quietus:

"[The Worst Crime] wasn't written for [Brexit] at all. For me, it's a song about humanity hanging itself and the worst crime being the destruction of the planet, because there are so many crimes that we're committing on a daily basis, but this is the worst crime because we are not just doing it to ourselves but we're also doing it to future generations. And, like I say, we've had so much time to implement things, to put things right."

And he told El Comercio's Luces:

"Normally I do not speak about my songs, but for this one I will make an exception. 'The Worst Crime' is about the destruction of the environment. We are not only destroying it for those of us who live in the present. We are condemning the planet and the next generations, our children and our grandchildren. It seems simple to implement some measures to remedy it. However, we have an idiot like Trump in power, who does not even believe that this destruction is real. I cannot believe that some people think that this is not real. What's more, what I believe is that they purposely ignore that this is happening."

Dave Gahan said on Weekend Edition Sunday:

"Actually, this is one of my favorite songs on the album [Spirit]. It has a beautiful melody, but lyrically it's pretty slamming the way we divide each other, you know, and racial divides and kind of calling out to really question that, to kind of check yourself, me included, everybody else included. Like, where do you really stand? You know, what are the choices you're really making? Do you really love thy neighbor, all that kind of stuff? And are you willing to accept the differences? We just seem to be slipping backwards."

He also told Rolling Stone (archived):

"The lyrics to 'Poison Heart' are more of an internal dialogue, but 'Worst Crime' is looking outward. It's bringing about the change. You've got to do something different or act differently. We can all talk about whatever is going on until we're blue in the face but you have to take real action, and sometimes we don't know what that looks like. Individually, I believe people are inherently good, but we're really distorted by the information we get and we act out on that information out of fear."

And he told Amazon:

"'Worst Crime' played out like I wanted it to get out and I think there's just something beautiful about that song. It's about a fear of being different, and "I will go with that, prove me right, I'm on the right side." That song may appear in a very sad way, but lyrically it really spoke to me. I really wanted to do that song justice, and I felt like that song really came out well."


The Worst Crime

There's a lynching in the square

You will have to join us

Everyone's going to be there

We're setting up the truss

Once there were solutions

Now we have no excuses

They got lost in confusion

So we're preparing the nooses

And oh we had so much time

How could we commit the worst crime

Blame misinformation

Misguided leaders

Apathetic hesitation

Uneducated readers

For whatever reason

We now find ourselves in this

We are all charged with treason

There is no one left to hiss

And oh we had so much time

How could we commit the worst crime

We're the judge and the jury

The hangman, the convict

It's too late for fury

Our indictment was handpicked

So step up to the gallows

And accept your sentence

For being so shallow

You must pay your penance

And oh we had so much time

How could we commit the worst crime

Songwriter: Martin L. Gore
Publishing Information: ©2015 Sony ATV Music Corp. and Grabbing Hands Music Ltd. All rights on behalf of itself and Grabbing Hands Music Ltd. admin. by Sony ATV Music Corp. (BMI). (USA). Published by Sony ATV Music Publishing Ltd Licensed by Grabbing Hands Music Ltd. (Rest Of The World)

Dates where The Worst Crime was played

The Worst Crime has never been played live.