Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Song Meaning: Mr. Brownstone by Guns N' Roses

"Mr Brownstone" is a highpoint of GNR's world renowned Appetite for Destruction album.The hard rock is about one thing and one thing only: drugs, drugs and more drugs. The lyrics depict a typical day in the life of the band members. For example, on a typical day back in the 80s, bassist Duff McKagan would consume a gallon of vodka! To put that in perspective, when I first had a "shot" of vodka, I had to run to the washroom, and projectile vomit soon insured. :-( Duff's lifestyle was not different from any of four other band members. Slash, for instance, was ALWAYS high. Steven Adler was fired from the group for being too alcoholic. Mr McKagan has written a book about his past "adventures" entitled It's So Easy. It's a very good read. I'd highly recommend you check it out, even if you aren't a Guns N Roses fan.

Other GNR members have also written books in which they extensively talk about the overuse of drug and alcohols. Slash's autobiography,Slash, reads that he has to wears a pacemaker as a consequence of his Highway-to-Hell-like lifestyle in his twenties.

So without further ado, let's do some rock n' roll analysis:

I get up around seven / Get outta bed around nine#1 - suffering from serious hangover :-)

The show usually starts around seven / We go on stage around nine#6 - Axl Rose is being honest about his schedule. Axl never went on stage on time, and when he finally did, he'd usually piss someone off.

Sippin' a drink#9 - probably referring to NightTrain - a cheap, but enjoyable, alcohol they managed to afford in the old days

He won't leave me alone#16 - hard to break addicted behaviour even when you really want to "leave [alcohols] alone"

Lines #18 to #21 -  obviously if you are like Duff, "little" isn't enough; you probably need a gallon.

I just keep tryin / 'ta get a little better#27 - rehab?

Gonna kick him on down the line#37 - this just a filler line to complete the verse.

  1. I get up around seven
  2. Get outta bed around nine
  3. And I don't worry about nothin' no
  4. Cause worryin's a waste of my...time

  5. The show usually starts around seven
  6. We go on stage around nine
  7. Get on the bus about eleven
  8. Sippin' a drink and feelin' fine

  9. [Chorus:]

  10. We been dancin' with
  11. Mr. Brownstone
  12. He's been knockin'
  13. He won't leave me alone

  14. I used ta do a little
  15. but a little wouldn't do
  16. So the little got more and more
  17. I just keep tryin'
  18. ta get a little better
  19. Said a little better than before
  20. I used ta do a little
  21. but a little wouldn't do
  22. So the little got more and more
  23. I just keep tryin'
  24. ta get a little better
  25. Said a little better than before

  26. [Chorus]

  27. Now I get up around whenever
  28. I used ta get up on time
  29. But that old man
  30. he's a real muthafu@#r
  31. Gonna kick him on down the line

Lyrics from:


  1. I don't know how CLEAN this is but it sounds like the story of my life...DRUGS,DRUGS, and MORE drugs!!! Well actuallyy I am terminal ( End stage COPD and congestive heart failure, and this is my wish to die on drugs. Since I've had such a lousy life for 57 years,is this too much to ask???????????


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