Friday, August 23, 2013

Song Meaning: Shoot to Thrill by AC/DC

ARTIST: AC/DC | ALBUM: back in black | RELEASED: 1980
Song Meaning: Shoot to Thrill by AC/DC
"Shoot to Thrill" is yet another classic from AC/DC's seventh studio album, Back In Black.

As it's often the case with songs that have loosely written lyrics, the meaning of such is somewhat inconclusive. Sometimes the artist(s) purposely leave these "wholes" in the songs for the listener to fill them as they wish.

Lyrical meaning of "Shoot to Thrill" could be ambiguous when you listen to it the first time, because you might be questioning the meaning of "Shoot to thrill, I'm ready to kill?" Does that mean AC/DC wrote the song from the point of view of a shooter/killer that goes on to shoot ladies, or does the band promote such to the listeners?

It's actually none of the above. The song is predominantly about sex, with a few references to drugs. It will become quite clear when I walk through the sexual codewords in the lyrics, i, and if you happened to have a different view please share it with me in the comments.

Analysis of lyrics:

All you women who want a man of the street1 - "man of the street" refers to bandmates of AC/DC. As a rock n' roll band, they've been on the road quite often doing live shows. As for "you women," that probably refers to groupies.

I'm gonna take you down5 - this metaphorically means the act of having sex. "Take you down" refers to a dominant sexual position.

I'm gonna pull it, pull it, pull the trigger7 - similar to the that of above, this too is yet another sexual reference. "Trigger," I believe, means penis.

Shoot to thrill, play to kill8 - "Shoot to thrill" means the act of ejaculation, and "play to kill" is just a filler line to complete the chorus.

Too many women with too many pills9 - this means groupies often do drugs so they can have sex with 500 different people.

Lines #13 to #16 - these are filler lines, just to get another verse in to continue the song. This verse doesn't contribute to the meaning of the overall song in a major manner.

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Lyrics: 


  1. All you women who want a man of the street
  2. But you don't know which way you wanna turn
  3. Just keep a coming and put your hand out to me
  4. 'Cause I'm the one who's gonna make you burn
  5. I'm gonna take you down - down, down, down
  6. So don't you fool around
  7. I'm gonna pull it, pull it, pull the trigger
  8. Shoot to thrill, play to kill
  9. Too many women with too many pills
  10. Shoot to thrill, play to kill
  11. I got my gun at the ready, gonna fire at will
  12. Yeah
  13. I'm like evil, I get under your skin
  14. Just like a bomb that's ready to blow
  15. 'Cause I'm illegal, I got everything
  16. That all you women might need to know
  17. I'm gonna take you down - yeah, down, down, down
  18. So don't you fool around
  19. I'm gonna pull it, pull it, pull the trigger
  20. Shoot to thrill, play to kill
  21. Too many women with too many pills
  22. Shoot to thrill, play to kill
  23. I got my gun at the ready, gonna fire at will
  24. 'Cause I shoot to thrill, and I'm ready to kill
  25. I can't get enough, I can't get the thrill
  26. I shoot to thrill, play to kill
  27. Yeah, pull the trigger
  28. Pull it, pull it, pull it, pull the trigger
  29. Oh
  30. Shoot to thrill, play to kill
  31. Too many women, with too many pills
  32. I said, shoot to thrill, play to kill
  33. I got my gun at the ready, gonna fire at will
  34. 'Cause I shoot to thrill, and I'm ready to kill
  35. And I can't get enough, and I can't get my thrill
  36. 'Cause I shoot to thrill, play it again
  37. Yeah
  38. Shoot you down
  39. Yeah
  40. I'm gonna get you to the bottom and shoot you
  41. I'm gonna shoot you
  42. Oh hoo yeah yeah yeah
  43. I'm gonna shoot you down yeah yeah
  44. I'm gonna get you down
  45. Yeah yeah yeah yeah
  46. Shoot you, shoot you, shoot you, shoot you down
  47. Shoot you, shoot you, shoot you down
  48. Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, ooooooh
  49. I'm gonna shoot to thrill
  50. Play to kill
  51. Shoot to thrill
  52. Yeah, ooh yeah

Lyrics from: http://www.lyricsfreak.com/a/ac+dc/shoot+to+thrill_20003321.html

5 comments:

  1. thank you for damaging my mental well-being with this analysis of this great song...i will never be able to unsee this

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This song is my life's story. I'm kinda concerned.

      Delete
  2. Whats bullshit and a cover made by the band ,the song was robbed off bon after he died ,hes note book was never found but people close to bon seen it and 99 percent of the lyrics for back in black were written or the core of the lyrics ,the songs have bon all over them .

    ReplyDelete
  3. Woow I see I was blind maybe casue my latin origin, thank you. I'll wander more often through your blog.

    ReplyDelete

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