O DEANNA
O Deanna!
O DEANNA
Sweet Deanna!
O DEANNA
You know you are my friend, yeah
O DEANNA
And I ain't down here for your money
I ain't down here for your love
I ain't down here for your love or money
I'm down here for your soul

No carpet on the floor
And the winding cloth holds many moths
Around your Ku Klux furniture
I cum of death-head in your frock
We discuss the murder plan
We discuss murder and the murder act
Murder takes the wheel of your Cadillac
And death climbs in the back

O DEANNA
This is a car
O DEANNA
This is a gun
O DEANNA
And this a day number one
O DEANNA
Our little crimeworn histories
Black and smoking christmas trees
And honey, it ain't mystery
Why you're a mystery to me

We will eat out of their pantries
And their parlours
Ashy leaving in their beds
And we'll unload into their heads
On this mean season
This little angel that I squeezin'
She ain't been mean to me

O DEANNA
O Deanna!
O DEANNA
You are my friend and my partner
O DEANNA
On this house on the hill
O DEANNA
And I ain't down here for your money
I ain't down here for your love
I ain't down here for your love or money
I'm down here for your soul

O DEANNA
I am a-knocking
O DEANNA
With my toolbox and my stocking
O DEANNA
And I'll meet you on the corner
O DEANNA
Yes, you point it like a finger
O DEANNA
And squeeze its little thing
O DEANNA
Feel its kick, hear its bang
And let no worry about its issue
Don't worry about where its been
and don't worry about where it hits
Cause it just ain't yours to sin

O DEANNA
No it just ain't your to sin
O DEANNA
Sweet Deanna
O DEANNA
And we ain't getting any younger
O DEANNA
And I don't intend gettin' any older
O DEANNA
The sun a hump at my shoulder
O DEANNA
O Deanna!
O DEANNA
Sweet Deanna
O DEANNA
And I ain't down here for your money
I ain't down here for your love
I ain't down here for your love of money
I'm down here for your soul


Lyrics submitted by delial

Deanna song meanings
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15 Comments

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  • +2
    General Comment( re:D2D: the above interp: I like the comparison to a disturbing story of murder. (Natural Born Killers) My take differs in that I see the two at the _beginning_ of their atrocities.)

    Deanna is being instructed in the ways of some massive evil undertaking by a vile presence (likely masculine) in a manic and excited tone;

    If I'm reading the lyrics accurately here after a re-listen, "he" "cums a death's head" on her frock; an unsettling image of semen staining girls clothing in the form of a skull (death's head) as they "discuss murder".
    the intersections between love, sex, violence, and death are never far apart in much of his poetry. I'll leave it to another to plumb those depths more precisely. I only point them out casually now.

    These things are being introduced to her; she's new to this undertaking; perhaps new to evil itself. She's introduced to the car and the gun, and "this is day number one"; makes me imagine it's the start of training. Further that with the almost childish instructions on the use of a gun:
    "point it like a finger and"
    "Squeeze it's little thing...", and so on...

    The refrain does drive home "down here", though I see that as simply "here from somewhere else", as in "Hey, come on down for the weekend". Or, if he's otherworldly, the implication could be that this being is from "beyond" or "above", though not from the traditional Christian expectation of "above" : ) He may not be literal, either, only the voice of madness that so plainly tells her how to kill without remorse.

    A man might pursue a woman for "love or money", but this one makes no pretense: He's here to consume all that is bright or constructive in her, swallowing it whole.

    Nick Cave paints the best portraits of the worst in the human zoo.

    -Phase
    warmPhaseon January 31, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song reminds me of the Oliver Stone Movie "natural born killers", written by Quentin tarantino. Both this song and NBK are in a sense reinterpretations of the classic bonnie and clyde story. I think the song tells the story of a guy who is in hell awaiting the arrival of his lover and reminiscing about the "happy days" spent with his lover killing blacks and taking whatever they wanted living a life of "purity" - if you have seen natural born killers you'l knw what i mean by that. I could be wrong about him being in hell that's just how i interpret the lines:

    And I ain't down here for your money
    I ain't down here for your love
    I ain't down here for your love or money
    I'm down here for your soul

    another intepretation might be that he is simply mentioning the reasons why he is in love with his girlfriend and dreaming about what the future holds in store for them, but i prefer the idea that Nick is describing events and images which have already occurred.

    there is also a killer acoustic rendition and reinerpretation of this song on the b-sides album which i think is actually superior to the original
    Dressed2Depresson June 27, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAnd he does pronounce the name wrong. There used to be an actress called Deana (only one "n", I think) Durbin & I never heard her name pronounced any other way than Dee-na. But Nick needs three syllables to fit the tune! I wonder if any Cave fans have named their daughters for this song & there are now a lot of little Dee-ann-as running around?
    morbid moragon October 04, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentJust played this & noticed something odd - when he's talking about the gun he actually says "hear its kick & feel its bang" - wrong way round, a bit unsettling. Never noticed that before. Probably doesn't mean much but I thought I'd throw it into the pot.
    morbid moragon July 07, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is based on edwin hawkins's Oh Happy Day. on the b-side version, some lines are from the original:

    when Jesus washed
    he washed my sins away
    he taught me how to walk right and pray
    and live rejoicing every day everyday
    FoiNaCruzon August 21, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI originally liked this song because it is my name Deanna. Pronounced Dee-An-Ugh. And Dee-na is a mispronunciation of how it was written. It could only be pronounced Dee-On-Ugh or Dean-Ugh, because Dean is the male version of Deanna. Anyways, as i listened to this song more and more it reminded me of a Bonnie & Clyde motif. I love it more or less weather it had my name in it or not.
    DeanPearon October 07, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"I cum a death's head in your frock" made me giggle
    Applecheekson March 13, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Comment^ ha ha, best line in the song. Reminds me of Duchamp's Faulty Landscape.
    artsluton July 22, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI always interpreted this song as being from the viewpoint of the devil, considering those who are giving him their souls to be "his friends"... Deanna sounds like some sort of Nazi, what with all the purification and KKK furniture....
    I think it's pretty likely, especially considering the context. Almost the whole album is about religion, and the song before this is called Up Jumped the Devil, and is about the devil waiting out a guy's life in order to take his soul. Or something of that nature.
    MilkyFreshon October 07, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTo me this was a pretty straightforward tale of kidnap, rape and murder. Perhaps a band of thugs setting out to kidnap "Deanna", murder her husband/father/friends in the process, and taking her back to their house on the hill.
    This is Nick Cave after all. Unbridled sadism should come as no surprise.
    Brassfinchon May 08, 2013   Link

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