"Dirty Harry" as written by Damon Albarn, Jamie Hewlett and Brian Joseph Burton....
I need a gun to keep myself from harm
The poor people are burning in the sun
But they ain't got a chance
They ain't got a chance
I need a gun
'Cause all I do is dance
'Cause all I do is dance

I need a gun to keep myself from harm
The poor people are burning in the sun
No, they ain't got a chance
They ain't got a chance
I need a gun
'Cause all I do is dance
'Cause all I do is dance

In my backpack
I got my act right
In case you act quite difficult
And yo is so weakin'
With anger and discontent
Some are seeking and searching like me, moi

I'm a peace-loving decoy
Ready for retaliation
I change the whole occasion to a pine box six-under
Impulsive don't ask wild wonder
Orders given to me is
Strike and I'm thunder with lightning fast reflexes
On constant alert from the constant hurt
That seems limitless with no dropping pressure
Seems like everybody's out to test ya
'Til they see you brake
They can't conceal the hate that consumes you
I'm the reason why you flipped your soosa

Chill with your old lady at the tilt
I got a ninety days digit
And I'm filled with guilt
From things that I've seen
Your water's from a bottle
Mine's from a canteen
At night I hear the shots
Ring so I'm a light sleeper
The cost of life,
It seems to get cheaper
Out in the desert
With my street sweeper
The war is over
So said the speaker with the flight suit on
Maybe to him I'm just a pawn
So he can advance
Remember when I used to dance
Man, all I want to do is dance

I need a gun to keep myself from harm


Lyrics submitted by Cori_Pea, edited by 23Tonality, forgery, Contaminator, SuperKeroro88

"Dirty Harry" as written by Brian Burton Damon Albarn

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Dirty Harry song meanings
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  • +5
    General CommentThere are many images and direct references in this song that lead me to believe it's about the soldiers stuck in Iraq. "The poor people in the sun" are Iraqis,
    "I'm a peace-loving decoy
    Ready for retaliation "

    The troops are supposedly on a peace keeping mission.

    "I change the whole occasion to a pine box six-under "

    The soldiers are sent home in pine boxes.

    "Your water's from a bottle
    Mine's from a canteen "

    We "Americans" live our lives here and have the luxury of drinking water from a bottle while the soldiers drink from canteens.

    "At night I hear the shots
    Ring so I'm a light sleeper
    The cost of life,
    It seems to get cheaper
    Out in the desert
    With my street sweeper
    The war is over
    So said the speaker with the flight suit on
    Maybe to him I'm just a pawn
    So he can advance "

    This whole verse is pretty self-explanatory, a street sweeper is a shotgun with a short barrel for a wide spread i believe, it's commonly used for "crowd control.

    And i think the guy just wishes he could be happy again "remember when i used to dance"

    This song basically sums up my feelings for the war, I hate the politicians, but i feel for the soldiers who had no choice but to follow orders.

    icions
    koshmaron June 07, 2005   Link
  • +4
    General CommentClint Eastwood .... Dirty Harry ..... hmmmmmm
    TECon April 14, 2005   Link
  • +4
    General Commenti love the line
    The war is over
    So said the speaker with the flight suit on
    Maybe to him I'm just a pawn
    So he can advance

    obviously a reference to the infamous MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. definately about Iraq. Gorillaz Hate Bush. In Rise of the Ogre look at the pic of Russ with the Hip Hop Machine. You'll see a good anti bush sticker
    alisterblackon November 21, 2007   Link
  • +3
    General Commentheheeh i gues that this song's name is a joke about Clint eastwood song.

    i love this song, i think that a bunch of children singing in chorus something as sad as ''i need a gun to keep myself from harm'' is quite impressing, and it is one of the best qualities of this great band
    LPS-pepperson May 08, 2005   Link
  • +3
    General CommentAlright people. I was seeing the Documentary on the Gorillaz on youtube. On part 9 of Bananaz, a lady approaches Damon Albarn about the lyrics. Damon says it's not "harm" It's "I need a gun to keep myself AMONG". in the video he says: "It's a type of rhetorical theme, an anti-war song. If you look at Bootie Brown's lyrics, It's utterly and totaly anti... that. It's pacifist, the whole record is pacifist."

    And here is what he says about the gun as a symbol:
    "The gun is a... I suppose I see the gun.... and I use this throughout the record as a strong kind of.... It's such a negative image that it has to be somehow... sort of.. destroyed, and turned into something else."

    If you don't believe me, type it in on youtube: "Gorillaz Bananaz Part 9". Skip to 0:23 And watch until 4:10.
    Mar10on July 19, 2011   Link
  • +3
    General CommentDamon says in the doco 'Bananaz' that the lyric is 'keep myself among', DEFINITELY NOT 'keep myself from harm'.
    j0hnmurr3llon May 11, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General Commenti agree with koshmar completely. there is no doubt that this song is abut a soldier or "peacekeeper" in iraq. i just want to add some things from my opinion that werent explained by him or anyone else that posted here.

    "i need a gun"
    -basically, he feels he needs to join the military. its like a metaphor meaning "i need to join the military"

    "to keep myself from harm"
    -he thinks that the war in iraq is a war to help "protect our freedom" like many americans believe. but if you think about it, if our forces completely pulled out of the war in iraq, would we be at harm? would the US be attacked? would our freedom be taken? no. it wouldnt because iraq didnt have the capability to "harm" us or "take our freedom" before the war even started. this war is NOT about freedom. but the character in this song thinks so.

    "the poor people are burning in the sun"
    -this is the normal american view on the iraqis. as a poor, suffering people. and yes, saddam did cause many to suffer, but if you look into bagdad's living conditions before we attacked, the majority of people there, as much as you might want to deny, were happy. the majority was prospering.

    "they aint got a chance"
    -the character in the songfeels that the iraqis need help. he also thinks that by going in the military, he will be helping them, is false, for the most part.

    "cos' all i do is dance"
    -he basically is saying, "im not helping with the sitiuation at all. all i do is dance, and im not helping anybody."

    so to those that really want to, bitch all you want about my reasoning and back Bush up as much as you want, but just remember that this song speaks the painful truth, truth, that even to the most dedicated republican and Bush supporter, cannot be denied.
    taken-by-the-musicon July 11, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI ABSOLUTELY LOVE HOW EVERY SONG IN THIS ALBUM TIES TOGETHER!

    Here's my take:

    "I need a gun to keep myself from harm" is how it always starts out in life. That is to say, people feel they need to be stronger or protect themselves from the evils in this world by buy buying guns among other things.

    But notice how the song shifts. First its almost like upbeat, resembling the happiness and goodness personified by children. Then all the sudden you get this in your face rapper singing about how hardcore:

    Orders given to me is:
    Strike and I'm thunder with lightning fast reflexes on constant alert
    From the constant hurt that seems limitless with no dropping pressure

    Seems like everybody's out to test ya
    'til they see your brake

    Even he "remembers when he used to dance", b/c even though society changes us, most of the time making us harder people, we still remember what we were before, when we were young

    and all we wanted to do was dance...
    RTBRAND1on May 26, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentbullit6783: Do you agree that this song is about an American soldier in Iraq? If so, why would he be carrying an AK-47? It's a gun invented by a Russian during WWII that has indeed been the "assault rifle" of choice in every war since it was created, but it's almost always carried by America's ENEMIES, not America's soldiers. To my knowledge, American soldiers are still using M16's, just as they have since the M16 was invented (also during WWII, I believe). I haven't a clue why, as the AK is clearly a better choice than the M16--much more reliable; it virtually never jams, and hardly needs any maintenance at all. Besides that, they shoot a larger bullet. More stopping power in the 7.62x39mm cartridge of an AK than the .223 caliber cartridge of an M16.

    But aside from that detail, y'all are spot on--the song is an extended way of saying "GEORGE W. BUSH IS THE MF DEVIL!"
    FacUtSciamon September 09, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis politics aside is a song from a soldier in iraqs point of view

    "I need a gun to keep myself from harm"
    Hes in iraq, in a violent place he needs a gun.

    "Poor people burning"
    The iraqis who have been bombed and abused constantly.

    "I'm a peace-loving decoy
    Ready for retaliation
    "

    Hes a peace-loving person but hes ready to fight for his country, a soldier

    "I change the whole location
    to a pine box six-under
    Impulsive-don't ask why or wonder
    Orders given unto me is:
    strike and I'm thunder
    "
    He has to kill people as part of his job, he changes there location, and hes ordered to and he goes with it.

    "I'm the reason you can fill up your Isuzu. "

    An isuzu is a big old 4x4 i believe, hes out there fighting so that people can fill up there massive 4x4s to clog up the worlds atmospheres

    "Your water's from a bottle
    mine's from a canteen
    "
    Again reference to his fighting for people back homes rights to safety and water and fuel for therecars.

    "I got a 90 days extension
    And I'm filled with guilt
    From things that I've seen
    "

    Hes going to have to stay in iraq even more and hes suffering from all the things hes seen and had to do

    "At night I hear the shots
    Ring so I'm a light sleeper
    The cost of life,
    it seems to get cheaper
    out in the desert
    with my street sweeper
    The war is over
    So said the speaker
    with his flight suit on
    Maybe to him I'm just a pawn
    So he can advance "

    He hears shots at night, and life gets cheaper in the desert refers to the bloodshed in iraq and how life seems to be worth nothing, street sweeper refers to his gun and the flight suit part as already mentioned is George bush saying it was all over and it was perfectly safe and how he feels like a pawn in a politicans game
    Buzzinson November 12, 2005   Link

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