Criminal
Britney Spears Lyrics


Jump to: Overall Meaning ↴  Line by Line Meaning ↴

He is a hustler, he's no good at all
He is a loser, he's a bum, bum, bum, bum
He lies, he bluffs, he's unreliable
He is a sucker with a gun, gun, gun, gun
I know you told me I should stay away
I know you said he's just a dog astray
He is a bad boy with a tainted heart
And even I know this ain't smart

But mama I'm in love with a criminal
And this type of love isn't rational, it's physical
Mama please don't cry, I will be alright
All reason aside I just can't deny, I love the guy

He is a villain by the devil's law
He is a killer just for fun, fun, fun, fun
That man's a snitch and unpredictable
He's got no conscience, he got none, none, none, none
All I know, should've let go, but no
'Cause he's a bad boy with a tainted heart
And even I know this ain't smart

But mama I'm in love with a criminal
And this type of love isn't rational, it's physical
Mama please don't cry, I will be alright
All reason aside I just can't deny, I love that guy

And he's got my name,
Tattooed on his arm his lucky charm
So I guess it's okay he's with me
And I hear people talk
Trying to make remarks keep us apart
But I don't even hear
I don't care

'Cause mama I'm in love with a criminal
And this type of love isn't rational, it's physical
Mama please don't cry, I will be alright
All reason aside I just can't deny, I love the guy

Mama I'm in love with a criminal
And this type of love isn't rational, it's physical




Mama please don't cry, I will be alright
All reason aside I just can't deny, I love the guy

Overall Meaning

In Britney Spears's song Criminal, she sings about being in love with a man who is a criminal, and acknowledges that she knows it is not smart to be involved with him. The first verse describes him as a hustler, a loser, and a liar, with an unpredictable and violent nature. However, she ignores her mother's advice to stay away from him, and admits that she loves him despite all of his flaws.


The chorus speaks to the irrational, physical nature of her love for him, as well as her desire for her mother's acceptance of the relationship. She says that even though she knows it's not rational, she cannot deny her feelings for him. The second verse further highlights his criminal nature, describing him as a villain and a killer who has no conscience. Despite this, she is willing to overlook his flaws and stay with him, even though others try to keep them apart.


The song can be seen as a commentary on the allure of "bad boy" types and the dangers of getting involved with people who may not have our best interests at heart. It can also be interpreted as a plea for compassion and understanding from those who judge others for their choices in romantic partners.


Line by Line Meaning

He is a hustler, he's no good at all
He engages in shady and dishonest practices and is not of good character


He is a loser, he's a bum, bum, bum, bum
He is a worthless person who has no ambition and no prospects for success


He lies, he bluffs, he's unreliable
He frequently deceives people, pretends to be someone he's not, and can't be trusted


He is a sucker with a gun, gun, gun, gun
He's foolish and easily manipulated, but also dangerous because he carries a weapon


I know you told me I should stay away
Someone has warned the artist to avoid this man


I know you said he's just a dog astray
The singer has been advised that this man is like a stray dog - unpredictable and potentially dangerous


He is a bad boy with a tainted heart
This man is inherently bad and has moral impurities


And even I know this ain't smart
The artist recognizes that being involved with this man is not a wise decision


But mama I'm in love with a criminal
Despite the risks and dangers, the artist is enamored with this man


And this type of love isn't rational, it's physical
The attraction between the artist and this man is purely physical and emotional, not grounded in logic or reason


Mama please don't cry, I will be alright
The singer is aware that their mother is worried but insists that everything will be okay


All reason aside I just can't deny, I love the guy
The artist is so caught up in their feelings for this man that they cannot ignore them, even if it defies logic and reason


He is a villain by the devil's law
In some sense, this man is evil or wicked according to a moral or religious code


He is a killer just for fun, fun, fun, fun
This man takes pleasure in causing harm or death to others


That man's a snitch and unpredictable
This man is capable of turning informant and does not behave in a consistent or reliable manner


He's got no conscience, he got none, none, none, none
This man is completely lacking in moral judgment or ethical sensitivity


All I know, should've let go, but no
Despite knowing better, the artist cannot bring themselves to walk away


And he's got my name, Tattooed on his arm his lucky charm
The man has permanently marked his body with the singer's name, as if she were his good luck charm


So I guess it's okay he's with me
Because the man has shown his devotion through a permanent gesture, the singer feels justified in staying with him


And I hear people talk, Trying to make remarks keep us apart
Others are trying to convince the artist to end her relationship with this man


But I don't even hear, I don't care
The artist is so in love that the opinions of others do not matter


Mama I'm in love with a criminal
The artist repeats the title line to emphasize her feelings


And this type of love isn't rational, it's physical
The singer repeats the earlier line to reinforce the idea that her love is not based on reason or logic


All reason aside I just can't deny, I love the guy
The artist repeats the earlier line to reaffirm her intense emotions




Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.
Written by: Tiffany Amber, Max Martin, Johan Karl Schuster

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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