Leave me out with the waste
This is not what I do
It's the wrong kind of place
To be thinking of you
It's the wrong time
For somebody new
It's a small crime
And I've got no excuse

Is that alright?
Give my gun away when it's loaded
Is that alright?
If you don't shoot it how am I supposed to hold it
Is that alright?
Give my gun away when it's loaded
Is that alright
Is that alright with you?

Leave me out with the waste
This is not what I do
It's the wrong kind of place
To be cheating on you
It's the wrong time
But she's pulling me through
It's a small crime
And I've got no excuse

Is that alright?
Give my gun away when it's loaded
Is that alright?
If you don't shoot it how am I supposed to hold it
Is that alright?
Give my gun away when it's loaded
Is that alright
Is that alright with you?

Is that alright?
Is that alright?
Is that alright with you?
Is that alright?
Is that alright?
Is that alright with you?

No...



Lyrics submitted by xXlastgoodbyeXx

"9 Crimes" as written by Damien George Rice

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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9 Crimes song meanings
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  • +10
    Song Meaning:The name of the song is "9 Crimes" because Damien Rice is Irish (from Ireland), and being Irish if he isn't Catholic, then he's at least grown up around it. And in the Roman Catholic version of the 10 Commandments, number 9 is "Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbours Wife"...or cheat, as we commonly call it now days. And since the song is about cheating, it fits very appropriately. Secondly, the "getting off" and "sex" reference sounds good for about 2 minutes until you think about it and realise that it's complete BS. The verses are self-explanatory if you just listen to them. What most people have trouble understanding is the "If I give my gun away when it's loaded/if you don't shoot it, how am I supposed to hold it?" line. This goes to the old saying (especially about marriage-at least here in Ireland) "pull the trigger". It's kind of like "crap or get off the pot". When people have trouble committing to getting engaged/married, people say "pull the trigger already". So just do it. So when it says that, both the male and the female in the song are saying "if you won't propose/marry me, what sense is it to stay in this relationship?" So they have the gun (their relationship) which they're just holding (sort of a holding pattern because the relationship is stagnant and not going anywhere) and both of they are refusing to pull the trigger (to commit to each other). And this is what causes all of the problems that occur in the verses (like cheating).
    SouthBostonon February 24, 2009   Link
  • +8
    General Comment:I believe that both individuals are referring to the other person as their "gun.” They know that the potential for love is there and "loaded" in the gun, but it means nothing if it's not being expressed. They question how they are supposed to hold onto each other, when neither of them express their emotions and love (“If you don’t shoot it, how am I supposed to hold it?”). Although they ask if it’s “alright” to let each other go, I think it’s more of a sarcastic and bitter realization that it’s over. They’ve realized that the love between them was never enough. Asking if it’s “alright” to let the other person go is sarcastic in that it shouldn’t matter if it’s alright with the other person. They have come further to realize that these “small crimes” are exactly what they say they are – small. Usually, someone would use the excuse that they are in pain from the relationship ending and need some sort of distraction. Because the relationship never amounted to its full potential, they cannot use the excuse that they are in pain from the relationship ending. Perhaps pain is there, but it’s not from love being lost – it’s from wasting time on each other and waiting for something to amount from nothing. Even though he says it’s the wrong time and place to be cheating on her, it’s more of what it should feel like rather than what it does feel like. He’s found someone else to pull him through whatever he’s going through. Based on society's norms, he should feel guilty about it, but how can you feel guilty when a strong relationship was never there to begin with?
    amylhayneson November 10, 2006   Link
  • +4
    General Comment:Leave me out with the waste
    This is not what i do
    It's the wrong kind of place
    To be thinking of you
    It's the wrong time
    For somebody new
    It's a small crime
    And i've got no exuse

    *The first part of this song is to the "forbidden" love. All pretty cut & dry. He knows it's wrong, and shouldn't be doing it.

    Is that alright?
    Give my gun away when it's loaded
    Is that alright?
    If you dont shoot it how am i supposed to hold it
    Is that alright?
    Give my gun away when it's loaded
    Is that alright
    Is that alright with you?

    *Is that alright - I have to agree, seems to be more a sarcastic. Like "Is that o-f*ing-kay with you?".
    *Give my gun away when it's loaded - give my heart away when it's supposed to be "taken" hence, the "small crime" as said previously. Just like the metaphor - Loaded Question, well here, the heart is the loaded gun. Someone can get hurt.
    *If you don't shoot it, how am I supposed to hold it - I took this as, if you don't force me to do something, what choice do I have, what am I supposed to do?

    Leave me out with the waste
    This is not what i do
    It's the wrong kind of place
    To be cheating on you
    It's the wrong time
    but she's pulling me through
    It's a small crime
    And I've got no exuse

    *Again, pretty cut and dry, but this time, this is to the person he is "with". Doesn't want to cheat, know's it's wrong. But he's drawn to her, he cannot forget her, regardless of how wrong it is, and how badly it's going to end (and trust me, it always does).

    **The lesson here - familiar in a sense to Joan Armatrading's The Weakness In Me. What the heart wants, and what you feel you sometimes have to do sometimes out of obligation, sometimes out of necessity, can leave a person feeling torn. Usually everyone involved, including the one who is torn, ends up getting hurt.
    missblackeyelineron November 20, 2006   Link
  • +4
    My Interpretation:The loaded gun is referring to his penis. He is still with his significant other, but she simply does not sexually turn him on anymore. He still cares about her but he has found somebody else who turns him on and sexually stimulates him, someone who has the ability to "shoot" his "loaded gun." He feels bad about cheating on his significant other, but at the same time he is addressing the fact that his significant other essentially cannot get him off. So he is basically saying that whenever he needs to get off he is going to cheat on her with somebody else. "is that alright yeah? I give my gun away when it's loaded"-->this line refers to him cheating on her when he is horny, when his gun (penis) is loaded (hard). "if you don't shoot it how am I supposed to hold it?"-->this line refers to how his significant other does not arouse him, so how is he supposed to stay faithful to her when she cannot satisfy him sexually. If you don't shoot it (if you don't bust my load...shoot my load out of my penis) how am I supposed to hold it?(How am I supposed to hold this gun(penis) without shooting it (ejaculating). It is obvious that he feels bad just by reading the verses. Example- "leave me out with the waste this is not what i do, it's the wrong kind of place to be cheating on you" So, he recognizes that what he's doing is wrong but he can't control himself. I feel like he partly puts the blame on his significant other as well though just by the way the lines in the chorus are stated..."is that alright with you YEAH?" Like in other words, he is saying "you cannot get me off (you can't "shoot my loaded gun") so it BETTER be alright with you. Wellll that's my interpretation...
    btflykiss3on November 17, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General Comment:This song is gorgeous. I'm not sure about the meaning, but I'm hoping the rest of the songs also tie into the album title ("9"). I love it when Damien and Lisa's voice overlap.
    NuclearBlaston September 30, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Comment:This is one of Damien's best songs in my opinion. I saw him do this live without Lisa and it was amazing, though I do love it with Lisa because there voices fit so perfectly.

    To me this song is about someone who falls in love while they are still with someone else. It is hard for them because they no longer love the person they are with but fell guilt for falling for someone new.
    Bluestarson October 02, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Comment:A close friend of mine warned me of how this song can just grab you when you least expect it and leave you in a state of emotional turmoil.
    Having been travelling I was anxious to hear this the moment I returned, I was driving when the song came on the radio, via the fine show form zane lowe, i immediately knew how it was even before the singing started.
    For me the track has an unbelievable quality heard from the first few bars, the piano, i feel can be heard in my chest before it goes to the ears.
    Another dynamite display from Mr Rice on how a moment of unrequited love is never far away.
    Failingnowon November 10, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Comment:I am currently deployed with the army overseas, and every time I listen to this song, it hits me hard. It is definately a song I feel I can relate to.

    "leave me out with the waste" - sometimes, communication between deployed service members and their loved ones is not so great. You feel like they don't understand what you are going through. You forget that though your life seems at a standstill, there's is still going on. Sometimes when yo utalk to them on the phone and hear them laughing with friends or if it feels like they aren't paying you enough attention, you feel lonely and cast aside.

    "Its the wrong kind of place to be thinking of you." When you are here, there is not much else to do but think. You think about relationships constantly, and when you are usually having bad days, then you tend to think bad thoughts. You start to question your relationship and how "true" your love is.

    "Its the wrong time for somebody new" I agree with what several people posted for this line...its the simple case that you've put so many years into this relationship, you don't want to call it quits and admit that you've waisted all this time. No matter how much you question the relationship or no matter how much you maybe already know its just not working anymore. It hurts to have to admit that to yourself, and it tears you up inside.

    "Its the wrong kind of place to be cheating on you." I have a crush on someone here, and I don't know how I'm supposed to feel about that. There has been nothing physical, and the other person doesn't even know. Still, I feel guilty for having those feelings...those thoughts. It feels to me like cheating. As a grown man, I know what's right and what's wrong. It scares me to think that if I had a chance with this new person I may take it.

    "Give my gun away when its loaded." I think this is in reference to the fact that he knows he needs help. He doesn't like the way he feels, and he's afraid he may try to hurt himself. "If you don't shoot it" and hurt me first, how am I supposed to keep going without doing it myself? How am I supposed to just "hold it" and not do it.

    "I've got no excuse" simply, I know what is right, and I know what is wrong. I can't even lie to myself and say that it is because of this or that. As long as I am in a committed relationship with you, how can I justify anything I do that would hurt you?

    Basically, I think this whole song is one big cry for help. Help against hurting himself, but mostly help against hurting the one he loves. He keeps asking if its alright. Is this alright? Is that alright? He wants her to tell him. He wants her to communicate with him. He wants her to stop floating through the relationship and have an opinion. He wants to know that yes, its going to be alright.
    soldier1983on October 08, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General Comment:orig. from Bulletproof cupid:
    "Leave me out with the waste
    This is not what i do"

    --They are disappointed in themself. They are hurting someone who doesn't deserve it. They have something perfect and want to be thrown away because they have feelings for someone else.--

    "It's the wrong kind of place
    To be thinking of you
    It's the wrong time
    For somebody new"




    --They are with someone and have feelings for another. It's not the right time for another person because they are already comitted to someone who loves them--

    "It's a small crime
    And i've got no exuse"

    --They didn't want to have these feelings for another person, it just happened. They have no excuse because they cannot change how they feel--

    "Is that alright?
    Give my gun away when it's loaded"

    --They are wanting to know if the affair is alright to one another, both partners are cheating to be with each other. Give my gun away when it's loaded basically is saying they have so much with this other person and to give it away would emotionally kill the other person--


    "Is that alright?
    If you dont shoot it how am i supposed to hold it"

    --If they do not leave their partners how are they supposed to be together. How can they have a relationship (the gun) when there is another person (the bullet). They do not want to hold a loaded gun anymore--


    "It's the wrong kind of place
    To be cheating on you"
    --Their partner is good to them and they feel so unfair becaue they are cheating on them--

    "It's the wrong time
    but she's pulling me through"

    --The person they are having the affair with is the true person they love. Though they are with someone else this other person is the one that is pulling them through life--



    This is how I interupted the song. Reguardless the lyrics are really powerful.

    Post Reply

    _________________________________________________________________________________________________


    **I interpreted the lyrics the exact same way you did!! It is definitely about cheating. The man in the song has formed feelings for someone else even though he is in a committed relationship. It may be that it started out as an emotional affair and then became more serious.

    When SHE says "its the wrong kind of place to be thinking of you" it is the voice of the woman he is having the affair with. She knows that it is wrong and feels guilty; hence her saying "leave me out with the waste"--she feels crappy about what she is doing.

    "Give my gun away when its loaded" can be referring to both of them wanting to resist temptation but its too difficult because they are undeniably attracted and feel connected to one another

    "If you don's shoot how am I supposed to hold it"--If no partner is taking action in making the awful situation better, how are they going to be happy?

    HE then gos on to say "its the wrong kind of place to be cheating on you" which clearly shows the guilt he feels for the affair he is having with the other woman. When he says "its the wrong time, she's pulling me through" he could be referring to the way this other woman tempts him.
    suzy2211on November 01, 2008   Link
  • +2
    My Interpretation:Besides the melodic attraction, a song that can draw so many interpretations is clearly a great song. So, here are my thoughts:

    I see Lisa as Damien's conscience. The song doesn't feel like they are opposing each other, but rather Damien is feeding from Lisa's words until their lyrics become one. The song starts with Damien and Lisa singing separately, but they gradually coalesce until their voice is one in the final verse. I think this represents Damien listening (and ultimately agreeing) with his inner self (i.e. Lisa).
    jbsmith99on April 18, 2009   Link

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