"Angry Johnny and the Radio" as written by and Brian Fallon....
Don't think twice
I still believe it John, we lived those nights
Like we were dyin' on the long haul drives
For our Maria, with the ragged sails high
And the radio on

And I always have remembered, in case you're wonderin'
84 takes a lifetime but Bobby does it better
I still sing 'em ragged for you and Maria
I don't drive nowhere without the radio on

And I'm still here singin', thinkin' 'bout the government
In my old man's shoes, and how you'd understand that
Are you hidin' in a basement mixin' up the medicine?
Every April Fools I say your name

I know your name
I still know your name

And I always have remembered, in case you're wonderin'
84 takes a lifetime but Bobby does it better
I still sing 'em ragged for you and Maria
I don't drive nowhere without the radio on

And on and on and on and on and on

And I always have remembered, in case you're wonderin'
84 takes a lifetime but Bobby does it better
I still sing 'em ragged for you and Maria
I don't drive nowhere without the radio on

We always loved the sad, sad songs


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"Angry Johnny and the Radio" as written by Brian Fallon

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Angry Johnny and the Radio song meanings
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12 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentSeeing this song live is just mind blowing. I've seen video's where they add in what becomes of the broken hearted but when i seen them some lyrics from Bon Iver-Blood bank were added

    Then the snow started falling
    We were stuck out in your car
    You were rubbing both my hands
    Chewing on a candy bar
    you said ain't this just like the present
    To be showing up like this
    There's a moon waning crescent
    we started to kiss

    The perfect build up to the most epic of song endings.
    EricDantonaon October 26, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI see the Bob Dylan references: "Thinking about the government" and "Mixing up the medicine" from Subterranean Homesick Blues. And then "Bobby does it better." I assume it's about times with a friend and listening to Dylan. Great song.
    Tom Selleckon October 09, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe first line of this song is also a Bob Dylan reference. "Don't think twice, it's all right" is a Dylan song.. from the "Freewheelin'" album if I'm not mistaken..
    Filbunkeon June 24, 2008   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningI'm pretty sure this song is about a buddy that died. The Dylan reference is because his name was Johnny (at lease in this song) and when it kicks in the at the end I think it's "He" always loved the sad sad songs and not "We".

    Lots of TGA's songs are about a friend that died. If you've ever seen them live the drummer Benny has a "Live Fast, Die Awesome" quote on his bass drum. That's a quote their friend used to say all the time.
    MattyBeatzon November 10, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI saw The Gaslight Anthem in November (they play an AWESOME live set, by the way), and they added an extra verse before the last chorus. I didn't get a chance to catch the lyrics, though. Anyone else know what I'm talking about?
    Lightning.Jon January 17, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThey add in bits and pieces of "What Becomes of the Broken Hearted" by Jimmy Ruffen.
    irreversalon July 26, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's possible that "Angry Johnny" is Johnny Rotten; Gaslight Anthem are punk-influenced (and some might say punk themselves), and considering that it's on an album that also mentions Joe Strummer... well, Johnny Rotten could well be called "Angry".
    antisinecuriston August 10, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFurther, "Angry Johnny" is the name of a song by Poe, and "Angry Johnny and the Killbillies" is the name of the band. The title could refer to either of those.

    This song is referenced in the Gaslight Anthem song "Even Cowgirls Get The Blues"... 'I haven't seen Sandy, Angry Johnny, or Mary'.
    antisinecuriston August 15, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Comment1984 is when Springsteen released "bobby jean"

    "In some bus or train traveling along
    In some motel room there'll be a radio playing
    And you'll hear me sing this song
    Well if you do you'll know I'm thinking of you and all the miles in between
    And I'm just calling one last time not to change your mind
    But just to say I miss you baby, good luck goodbye, Bobby Jean"

    84 does it better, bobby does it better, dont'drive nowhere without the radio on.

    Song about his first wife leaving, and reflecting on some of the more intimate moments (springsteen, bob dylan, and what became of the broken hearted) hoping she'll remeber

    Gaslight use Springsteen references alot... along with pretty well any other band,


    At least thats my take on it, not sure who'll agree.
    slip-frawgon October 16, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationThis is just my stab in the dark while jonesin' from a cup of coffee, but could it possibly be about his grandfather? I read one of the comments suggesting it's about someone who died. Perhaps Grandpa "Johnny" and Brian sat around listening to music and talking about the problems in America, "And I'm still here singin', Thinking about the government, In my old man shoes, And how you'd understand that."

    What made me think of this whole spiel was the line, "84 takes a lifetime." It may actually be the age when his grandpa died, so the line could be literally saying 84 years was his life. Granted, I know nothing about Brian's family, so like I said: stab in the dark.
    tapesforalion December 22, 2011   Link

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