"With A Gun" as written by Walter Carl Becker and Donald Jay Fagen....
I could be wrong but I have seen your face before
You were the man that I saw running from his door
You owed him money but you gave him something more
With a gun
With a gun

You will be what you are just the same
Did you pay the other man with the piece in your hand
And leave him lying in the rain?

You were the founders of the clinic on the hill
Until he caught you with your fingers in the till
He slapped your hand so you settled up your bill

With a gun
With a gun
You will be what you are just the same
Did you pay the other man with the piece in your hand
And leave him lying in the rain?

When you're born to play the fool
And you've seen all the western movies
Woe to the one who does you wrong
You hide in the bushes
Murder the man
With Luger in hand

I understood that you will soon be leavin' town
Don't try to call me when they finally run you down
Just give fair warning any time you come around

With a gun
With a gun
You will be what you are just the same
Did you pay the other man with the piece in your hand
And leave him lying in the rain?


Lyrics submitted by Lukasa

"With a Gun" as written by Walter Carl Becker Donald Jay Fagen

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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With A Gun song meanings
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7 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentI can't believe no one's commented on this. I love this song.

    First a correction. I think the line is "you were the foundres of the clinic in the hills."

    I think over all it's pretty much about a guy who's addicted to drugs and owes his dealers a lot of money, so he decides to get a gun and just kill anyone who stands in his way. But that doesn't really some any of his problems.

    I love the twangy, western guitars. I can definitely Steely Dan's influence on Midlake in this song.
    goforgustoon September 27, 2007   Link
  • +2
    Song MeaningThis is one of the best songs ever - not just one of the best Steely Dan songs, the best ever! This is about a crooked man who started a medical clinic with his friend but he became crooked and stole money from the clinic. His friend caught him and was going to turn him into the authorities but he killed him before he could. But the police caught him and he runs to the teller of the story who remembers him and refuses to help him. The murderer flees town, and is hunted down and has a standoff with the police. He is arrested and sent to jail, "I understand you will soon be leaving town" and again asks the speaker for help, but he only says to warn him when he gets out of jail.
    theoneseanon June 12, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Commentprobably my #1 song on this record; like the country feel of the song.
    Flyersfanon May 23, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOr as I mentioned to my co-worker, Steely Dan does their version of a typical Johnny Cash song about criminals. Even got the Johnny Cash beat to it.
    BigFireon March 23, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti think it is about embezelment ,getting caught ,being publicly shamed with being caught.then overreacting to all of this by commiting murder.
    johnnyobreadisleaon August 09, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General Comment*founders... (that's what 3 years of french does to you).
    goforgustoon September 27, 2007   Link
  • -1
    General CommentSteely Dan rock out country-style better than anyone else! I love the "Ruby Don't Take Your Love to Town" drum beats and the desperate lyrics. It's about outlaws on the run - but in a counter-cultural hippie context(?) juxtaposed to the typical/traditional Hollywood Western.

    The "clinic in the hills" is one of those great cryptic lines that stick with you.

    Could be a meth lab? I even imagine an abortion clinic sometimes.
    NomadMonadon May 12, 2012   Link

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