"The Drowners" as written by Brett Anderson and Bernard Butler....
Won't someone give me a gun?
Oh well it's for my brother
Well he writes the line wrote down my spine
It says "Oh do you believe in love there?"
So slow down slow down you're taking me over
And so we drown Sir we drown stop taking me over

Won't someone give me some fun?
(And the skin flies all around us)
We kiss in his room to a popular tune
Oh real drowners

Slow down slow down you're taking me over
And so we drown, Sir we drown,
Stop taking me over!


Lyrics submitted by 3ssence

"The Drowners" as written by Bernard Butler Brett Anderson

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Universal Music Publishing Group

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The Drowners song meanings
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15 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentI've always interpreted this song as one about a man being seduced by another man. The singer does not want to engage in or enjoy gay sex, but the more he gives in, the more he finds he likes it. He drowns in the pleasure he derives from the sex, to the point of no longer wanting to kill his seducer. Consider:

    The opening couplet,

    Won't someone give me a gun?
    Oh, well it's for my brother,

    implies that the singer intends to shoot his brother. Why?

    The next couplet,

    Well he writes the line wrote down my spine
    It says "Oh do you believe in love there?"

    seems like an overt reference to anal sex. If that line is in fact written down someone's spine, the word "there" would be leading straight into his bum. His brother, most likely not a biological brother but rather a brother in the "another male" sense, is attempting to seduce the singer into having anal sex with him, and this seems to be his reason for wanting to shoot him.

    So what to make of the chorus?

    So slow down, slow down, you're taking me over
    And so we drown, Sir we drown, stop taking me over

    Is he starting to like the metaphorically incestuous anal sex, against his will? Perhaps. Then the second verse chimes in,

    Won't someone give me some fun?
    (and the skin flies all around us)
    We kiss in his room to a popular tune
    Oh, real drowners

    It certainly seems like it. And again,

    Slow down, slow down, you're taking me over
    And so we drown, Sir we drown,
    stop taking me over!

    Yep. He likes it.
    Peasprouton August 20, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentBrett said that the song was very personal to him. That makes him sound a bit creepy, makes him even sexier
    bibaon December 11, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHahahahaha (sorry)
    Maybe it's my sense of humour... but I can't stop lauhging at the sentence:
    "Is he starting to like the metaphorically incestuous anal sex, against his will?"
    I think it's the best sentence ever written! xP

    Anyway... just to stick my oar in xP
    If the song is refering to his brother, it is going to be a metaphorical brother as Brett only has a sister. Personally I see it as maybe like a close friend who he see's as a brother, despite the lack of any real relation.

    Also, about the quote and being a bisexual, I found this in an interview:

    "In the heyday of Suede, Matt would impersonate me in phone interviews. This character, which was half me and half him, we'd call Brat."

    So perhaps it was Brat who was responsible for Brett's most infamous interview faux pas: "I see myself as a bisexual man who's never had a homosexual experience"?

    "No, I can't blame Matt for that," Anderson laughs. "That was me, unfortunately. I was talking about how I try to adopt different personas in my songwriting. It was a lesson in media politics, really - you just don't ever say anything that's got nuances, because all they'll use is the soundbite."
    GirlCalledJulieton January 07, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentCan't believe no one commented on this. I don't know what "drowners" are but the song almost sounds like a brother being seduced by his older brother.
    sangsueon March 31, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with the brother thing. The lines 'Won't someone give me a gun? Oh, well it's for my brother,' could mean his brother wants the gun, but also could mean he wants to kill his brother.
    'Slow down, slow down, you're taking me over' sounds almost sarcastic, like maybe he actually enjoys it?
    Great song :]
    beautiful_oneson January 29, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhen I heard:
    "Well he writes the line wrote down my spine
    It says "Oh do you believe in love there?"

    ...I figured it was about seduction.

    Hmm. Incest.
    Oh well :-).
    nhs_boyon May 03, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe first time I heard it, I thought it was about a boy (man) who was continually picked on by his brother for being in love. (The 'we' that were kissing in the brother's room being the singer and his girlfriend.)
    coffeekaton July 26, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHehe. Thanks Peasprout, for your interpretation.
    coffeekaton August 27, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm really under the impression that this is one of the greatest rock songs ever. Killer guitar riff,chorus, and the way Brett sings it is so sensual and mysterious. It's socially irreverent, filled with desire. Basically has everything that makes a great rock song.
    davidg7691on April 03, 2008   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionWhenever I hear this song I get shivers! It's so beautiful. (Yes I know people are hated for just going on about how great the song is, but I have to say it.) His voice is so, so lovely. Even though my entire family hate it. Meaning wise, I think what people have been saying so far is pretty right.
    Strangleron March 25, 2009   Link

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