I get around to singing about
That gang of gin I'm in
Then you'll know most certainly
The kind of game I'm in
You sound around to swinging about
The gang of gin I'm rolling in, oh
Then you'll know
The kind of state I'm in
Who will buy my beautiful roses?
Who will buy my beautiful songs?
Who will buy my beautiful roses?
Who will buy my beautiful songs?

Oh in a nutshell
Yeah in a nutshell, oh
In a nutshell
In a nutshell

I get around to singing about
That gang of gin I'm in
Then you'll know
The kind of game I'm in
She was getting pally with a scally in the alley
Giving head for gear
She calls a spade a spade
Got slit from ear to ear

Who will buy my beautiful roses?
Who will buy my beautiful songs?
Who will buy my beautiful roses?
Who will buy my beautiful songs?

Well I showed no decorum
Span my heart out on the forum
Looked like a snapshot
Of the most tragic day

I'll tell you my story
The treachery it bores me
Carl and McGee both promised me
It would not happen this way
Carl is kept sedated
The frontman elevated
And McGee doing all he can to ruin my band
And keep me out the way

In this industry of fools
Musclemen and ghouls
If you're not a puppet or a muppet
Then you might as well call it a day-ayay

The truth here gets distorted
The wall scrapings get snorted
I'm welcome back if I give up crack
But you gave me my first pipe anyway

Can't show no decorum
Posts left on the forum
Was like a snapshot
Of the most tragic day


Lyrics submitted by on_a_plain_11

Gang Of Gin song meanings
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22 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentHasn't been a comment in a few months, but hopefully Pete Doherty's new solo album will spark a renewed interest in his catalog. This ditty is a fine example of Pete's lyrical genius. And the new album is specatcular -- perhaps the biggest disappointment is that this beautifully tragic song is not on the album. If you're new to the music and story of Carl and Pete, who could have been the next Beatles were it not for curruption and drugs, this song is your primer. These meanings may be obvious to some. Let's start with the oft-overlooked title:

    Gang of Gin: Pete's referencing a gang-gin, a farm building built around central machinery, which allows the walking of a group of horses around the machinery to turn wheels by being attached through a harness. He is essentially calling he and his Libertines band mates workhorses, or perhaps more appropriately "slaves to the [music industry] machine".

    Alan McGee/Carl Barat - Carl was Pete's artistic partner and they formed the Libertines together back in 97. Carl and Pete both brought different styles to the table, took turns as frontmen, and much in the style of the Beatles, they shared the limelight quite well in the early days. Their combined talent was magical. Their first album was a critical success. Alan McGee of Creation records (he's attributed with discovering Oasis), took the helm as manager during the recording of their second self titled album. McGee eventually (from Pete's perspective) broke up the band in an effort to weed out Pete and his drug abuse and elevate Carl to solo frontman of the Libertines. This song was written after Carl and Pete completed their second album, amidst infighting, arrests, rehab stints, etc...this is the time when both artists were working on initial releases for their respective side projects (Carl - Dirty Pretty Things, Pete - Babyshambles)

    Knowing this, the rest of the songs references should work themselves out for you...

    A lot of people are confused by the woman referenced in the second verse. It's certainly a bit of a refrain from the rest of the narrative. Some of the best sounding lyrics in the song. Maybe Pete sees himself as this woman who is performing sexual favors in alleyways for crack or heroin who ends up being slashed with a knife "from ear to ear". Who knows? It just sounds great.

    Looking forward to hearing the thoughts of others....



    Stookieon March 31, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is Pete's version of things, or at least a brief insight into what he thinks is/was goin' on.

    I agree with paulleonard666 that it could come across harsh on Carl, who I love too, but bottom line is, if thats how it went down then what is can be said.

    Another thing, it is harsh on Carl, but then maybe it isnt...

    "I'll tell you my story
    The treachery it bores me
    Carl and McGee both promised me
    It would not happen this way
    Carl is kept sedated
    The frontman elevated
    And McGee doing all he can to ruin my band
    And keep me out the way "

    This is obviously the verse that pulls no punches, but to me its Pete sayin, all along they said they'd stick by me and McGee has ditched him... and tried to ruin his (Pete's) band. Carl just lost control. He never kicked him out, he just didnt stop it.

    To me an especially important line is...

    "I'm welcome back if I give up crack
    But you gave me my first pipe anyway"


    That gives you some more insight...

    Pete I salute you, you are amazing.
    neptunes666on March 12, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentim not liking these lyrics. well actually i am liking them. There brilliantly written and have a very deep meaning for Pete. But why does he has to keep doing this to Carl? Hes already destroyed his band! Cant he just leave it be? Cmon Pete everyone knows ur a genius but dont use it to demean Carl.
    paulleonard666on January 24, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentA beautiful song. Pete is really a genius...
    hallucinogicon February 23, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI totally agree with you, we know alot about Peter but this definatley gives us more insight to what happened and his feelings, and it's a fucking great song too. Pete is a legend.
    i-got-sweetson March 29, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah this song backs up Peters thoery that when he was kicked out of the libertines, Carl was atually still taking a lot of drugs, and pete himself hadnt done any smack for 3weeks. Thus the ''Carl is kept sedated...''line. Also he blames the music industry for starting his drug addictions,''first pipe..'' blah blah
    tatty_biloon April 06, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAn absolutely wonderful song. I love Pete. Shame it probably won't be on the album, seeing as McGee has threatened to sue over the lyrics.
    Rojjon July 26, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentumm i have live version of this and the lyrics are not even Marginally similar, maybe pete sang it different but if not these lyrics are well fucking futile
    monty123on September 21, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"I showed no decorum Spilled my heart out on the forum (Libs' forum obviously)
    bangbangyouredeadon March 27, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentdoh...
    RickZon May 07, 2006   Link

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