5 Songs You Didn’t Know Motörhead’s Lemmy Kilmister Wrote for Other Artists

It’s difficult to choose the best songs written by late Motörhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister.

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In a career spanning more than 50 years, from his psychedelic rock phase as part of the Sam Gopal band in the late ’60s and a spacier age of Hawkwind from the early 1970s through the ’90s, and ultimately his heavy metal haven, Motörhead, Kilmister penned hundreds of songs throughout the decades.

[RELATED: 5 Fearless Live Moments in Honor of Motörhead’s Lemmy Kilmister]

Kilmister, who died on Dec. 28, 2015, at 70, also collaborated with dozens of artists over the years—everyone from Slash, The Ramones, The Damned, and Foo Fighters, among many others, along with writing a number of songs for several artists.

Here are five songs Lemmy wrote for other artists from the late ’80s through the early 2010s.

1. “Can’t Catch Me,” Lita Ford (1988)
Written by Lemmy, Lita Ford, and David Ezrin

A supporter of female musicians and singers in hard rock early on, Lemmy intentionally wrote the line Don’t try to put the strong arm on me on “Can’t Catch Me,” off Lita Ford’s 1988 album, Lita.

“The song has the energy of Lemmy in it, you know,” said Ford on writing the song with Lemmy. “And I remember him writing ‘Don’t try to put the strong arm on me,’ because he was always like, ‘Lita’s a badass,’ and back in the day, people didn’t really want to accept the fact that you were a female guitar player or that you were a female front woman.”

Ford added, “They try to continuously pin me as a sex symbol, and I’m really good at being a sex symbol, but I was also trying to be a musician and wanted to be noticed as a musician, and Lemmy noticed me as a musician. And he wanted to make a song that was basically saying, you know, you can’t catch me because I am a badass, and I’m off and running. I mean, ‘I’ve seen shit and paradise.’ I mean, you can see what kind of mood we were in when we wrote that. It was just a lot of fun.”

Don’t try to push the strong arm on me
You’d better think twice, I ain’t no Sandra Dee
Don’t think I’m easy, I wasn’t born blonde
I’ve been around, ‘n’ I’ll be here ‘n’ gone
And I’ve seen things that you’ll never believe
Fast mover, ‘n’ you can’t catch me

2. “Mama, I’m Coming Home,” Ozzy Osbourne (1991)
Written by Lemmy, Ozzy Osbourne, and Zakk Wylde

Lemmy and Ozzy Osbourne collaborated on a number of songs together, mostly within the 1990s, from “See You on the Other Side,” off Osbourne’s seventh album, Ozzmosis, in 1995, to “I Ain’t No Nice Guy,” “My Little Man,” and “I Don’t Want to Change.”

Kilmister also wrote several songs for Osbourne’s 1991 album, No More Tears, including “I Don’t Want to Change the World,” “Desire,” and “Hellraiser,” which was accompanied by a new video released in 2022, along with “Road to Nowhere” and the hit ballad “Mama, I’m Coming Home.

[RELATED: Ozzy Osbourne and Motorhead’s Lemmy Reunite in Animated “Hellraiser” Video]

A more somber ballad for Osbourne, “Mama, I’m Coming Home” reveals a more enlightened state and his realization that he would be dead if he didn’t get sober. Dedicated to his wife Sharon, who stuck by him through all his crazier days, the power ballad showed a surprisingly softer side of Osbourne.

Times have changed and times are strange
Here I come, but I ain’t the same
Mama, I’m coming home
Time’s gone by, it seems to be
You could have been a better friend to me
Mama, I’m coming home

3. “Bad Boyz 4 Life,” Keli Raven (2007)
Written by Lemmy and Keli Raven

Born into a musical family, multi-instrumentalist Keli Raven met many of the greatest artists back in the 1960s since his mother was a dancer for James Brown and his father’s band played numerous clubs around New York City. Early on, Raven began working with Tom Jones, Kiss, Vinnie Vincent, and Kilmister, who co-wrote a song with him in the late ’00s.

Friends with Kilmister for many years, Lemmy even dubbed their friendship “Bad Boys for Life,” which inspired the song they wrote of the same name. The track was released on Raven’s self-titled album in 2007.

Out on the street I’m lookin’ for a girl like you
Won’t you come and play with me, I’ll show
you everything I do
Spend a little days, spend a lotta’ nights repose your mind
Give it all away, don’t wait another day, I got nothin’ but time

4. “Debauchery as a Fine Art,” Michael Monroe, featuring Lemmy (2010)
Written by Lemmy and Michael Monroe

Off Michael Monroe‘s sixth album, Sensory Overdrive, produced by Jack Douglas (John Lennon, Miles Davis, Aerosmith)—and also features Lucinda Williams on the track “Gone Baby Gone”— Lemmy co-wrote “Debauchery as a Fine Art” with the former Hanoi Rock frontman.

Pounding and pulsing in Motörhead fashion, “Debauchery as a Fine Art” unravels all the tell-tale signs of a rock and roll life.

“When it came time to do the album, I asked Lemmy if he wanted to sing on it,” said Monroe of their collaboration. “When Lemmy came in to do the song I let him know he could rework the lyrics if he wanted. I liked the original, but I thought the chorus needed some work because it just repeated itself over and over. Lemmy came in on the first day of recording in the studio so we had to set up quickly because he was going on tour the next day.”

Monroe added, “It was great that we were able to get him on the record. Lemmy is holy so to speak. He’s sacred. I was honored to have Lemmy and Lucinda on the album.”

My body’s been like an abusement park
Debauchery turned into a fine art
Goin’ down
All messed up and nowhere to go
So much to say and no-one to show
Goin’ down, get up’n’get down
My flower of youth rottin’ on the vine
Bulletproof and i’m feeling fine

5. “I Want to Fuck You To Death,” Huntress (2013)
Written by Lemmy and Jill Janus 

When California metal band Huntress released their second album, Starbound Beast, in 2013, one of the tracks was co-written by late vocalist Jill Janus, who died in 2018, and Lemmy. On “I Want to Fuck You To Death,” Janus sings through the more empowering track, about being the one in control of all the love … and lust.

[RELATED: Motörhead’s Lemmy Kilmister Memorialized with Hellfest Statue in France]

I am the huntress, but also the prey
Sometimes I find pleasure the old fashioned way
If you want a woman, don’t come to me
I’m more than just woman as you will agree

When the mood sways me, I find myself weak
Always a victim of the pleasure I seek
All of the lust held up in my breast
Come closer lover, let me suck your breath

Photo: Midori Tsukagoshi/Shinko Music/Getty Images

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