"Big Exit" as written by and Polly Jean Harvey....
Look out ahead
I see danger come
I want a pistol
I want a gun
I'm scared baby
I wanna run
This world's crazy
Give me the gun

Baby, baby
Ain't it true
I'm immortal
When I'm with you
But I want a pistol
In my hand
I wanna go to
A different land

I met a man
He told me straight
"You gotta leave
It's getting late"
Too many cops
Too many guns
All trying to do something
No-one else has done

Baby, baby
Ain't it true
I'm immortal
When I 'm with you
But I want a pistol
In my hand
I wanna go to
A different land

Sometimes it rains so hard
And I feel the hurt
In my heart
Feels like the end of the world
I see the children
Sharp as knives
I see the children
Dead and alive
Beautiful people
Beautiful girls
I just feel like
It's the end of the world

I walk on concrete
I walk on sand
But I can't find
A safe place to stand
I'm scared baby
I wanna run
This world's crazy
Gimme the gun

Baby, baby
Ain't it true
I'm immortal
When I 'm with you
But I want a pistol
In my hand
I wanna go to
A different land


Lyrics submitted by shut

"Big Exit" as written by Polly Harvey

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Big Exit song meanings
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24 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentI don't think this is about suicide, or love- since it's from the album Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea, which seems to have a strong sensation of wanderlust, I think it's about just that- the want to travel, or maybe elope with a new man, to escape from where you are at the moment and discover new worlds and people, apart from the strong city atmosphere. I see the bit about "beautiful people, beautiful girls" referring to the models and larger-than-life pin-ups we are bombarded with today. I don't think this song is about suicide, because as someone who has 5 of PJ's albums and some of the harder-to-find songs downloaded, I think she would be more creative and original if she were to write about suicide. Furthermore, it would be ironic to use a suicide song as the first song on an album. I see it more as a big exit from, say, New York, ready to begin a journey round the world :-)
    Ailemaon January 02, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentCould be interpreted as a suicide-song
    LLLon April 17, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI really doubt that this can be about anything else than suicide. If not to the land of the dead, where would that gun take her?

    She can no longer see any hope for this "crazy" world of ours, she can only see the pain and suffering that no-one seems to be able to stop. Wherever she walks this feeling and these images are always following her, she wants to "run" away from them but can't. Since "the hurt" is probably taking her over, she fears it might have already managed to kill her emotionally. Maybe she thinks that the only way she now could find a "safe place" is by putting a bullet in her heart, 'cause in that way the hurt would die with her last hearbeat.
    Marajaon May 25, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI probably would think so too, if it wasn't for these lines:

    "But I want a pistol
    In my hand
    I wanna go to
    A different land"

    The title, "Big Exit", also makes me believe it's about stepping out of the mortal world and into whatever awaits you when you have. In my opinion, a "big exit" that leads to a "different land" seems to be representing death (and life after death) way too well to be some sort of coincidence or random choice of words.
    Marajaon June 17, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentYou are the one who should "get ur facts rite before u criticise", jonnybassman. The song I think you are talking about is "The Whores Hustle And The Hustlers Whore":

    [...] "I watch the news, I read newspapers. I am like most people. I am very affected and can be emotionally upset by what is going on, and it reaches the point of anger: 'This is just awful and has to stop.' I can't even remember what affected me at the time, but it is so many things on a daily basis, when it comes to world news. It was me voicing my anger and upset at the state we are in."

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but when it comes to "Big Exit" it doesn't say much about the meaning of the song, just a bit about the making of it. To be acting like you are speaking the truth, when what you call facts don't seem to be much else than a mix-up from your side... that just makes you seem inattentive.
    Marajaon July 27, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI always thought it was her intial reaction to New York City, as apparently she took her time from New York for the inspiration of this album. I think at first she found it to be a big and intimidating city, and felt safe only when she was with someone she was familiar with. But even when with that person she may have felt vulnerable in such a new place.
    MsSnoopyon October 02, 2011   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningHere's how I hear this song: I think yurigon is getting close. I hear it as being about how dangerous, fucked up, and sexist society is, and about injustice in general. The pistol/gun, on the surface, seems to refer to a weapon to protect oneself, but also represents the favored gender in the world ("gun" is a penis). "go to a different land" is talking specifically about wanting to go to a place where injustice doesn't exist.
    EPorchon February 21, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI also think that this song is about suicide. When she says "...all trying to do something no one else has done" it reminds me so much of my friend always getting angry when you do things she does or she likes...she yells at people for it and I can relate to wanting to kill yourself over it.
    arcia500on February 25, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment*heartbeat
    Marajaon May 25, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it's about how scared she feels in this world, and she wants the gun to protect her, not to commit suicide.
    tigerareyouthereon June 17, 2005   Link

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