"On Your Own" as written by Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Steven Alexander James and David Rowntree....
Holy man tiptoed his way across the Ganges
The sound of magic music in his ears
Videoed by a bus load of tourists
Shinny shell suits and drinking lemonade
Now I got a funny feeling
Which I bought mail order
From a man in a teepee in California
Said he once was a great game show performer
Then he blew all his money away
Blew it all away

So take me home
Don't leave alone
I'm not that good
But I'm not that bad
No psycho killer
Hooligan gorilla
I dream to riot
Oh you should try it
I'll eat parole get gold card soul
My joy of life is on a roll
And we'll all be the same in the end

Then you're on your own

Well we go happy day glow in the discos
The sound of magic music in our brains
Someone stumbles to the bathroom
with the horrors
Says lord give me time for I've jumped into space
I'm in outer space

So take me home
Don't leave alone
I'm not that good
But I'm not that bad
No psycho killer
Hooligan gorilla
I dream to riot
Oh you should try it
I'll eat parole get gold card soul
My joy of life is on a roll
And we'll all be the same in the end



Lyrics submitted by Demau Senae

"On Your Own" as written by Damon Albarn David Alexander De Horne Rowntree

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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On Your Own song meanings
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15 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentThis song is about the bathos of modern life. Notice how he juxtaposes the transcendent with the temporal. The first verse is about a holy man walking along the shores of the Ganges river, which is considered sacred to Hindus, hearing magic music because of the great reverence that he has for the site. Along the way, he's being gawked at by fat westerners in a bus, wearing tracksuits and slurping down corn-syrup and chemicals.

    That being the case, I have to agree with some of the other comments here: the lyrics on this page are wrong. The real lyrics to the chorus are:

    So take me home, don't leave me alone
    I'm not that good, but I'm not that bad
    Not a psycho-killer, hooligan guerrilla
    I drink to write, oh you should try it
    I'll read Thoreau, get gold-card soul
    The joy of life is on a roll
    And we'll all be the same, in the end.

    The bathos, the "high" versus the "low", is also evident in the chorus lyric. The narrator of the song is talking about transcendence, and also about how good it is to be inebriated. He drinks to write, and he also claims that the joy of life is on a roll, rolling is slang for taking MDMA (aka Ecstasy).

    This makes perfect sense as the second verse is about people having the same kind of transcendent experience in a dance club, taking psychotropic drugs.

    So, there you have it. The song doesn't have a point or a meaning, it's an observation of the ways that people find transcendence of their surroundings and give meanings to their lives; through religion, through philosophy, through substances, and in whatever other ways they find.

    But, like the song says, we'll all be the same in the end: we'll all be dead.
    DubyMDeezon August 08, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General Commentone of my personal favourites. i feel it about acid and how drugs can be accebtable but also dangerous "im not that good/ but im not that bad" expresses this duality.
    "I'll eat parole get gold card soul" again expresses the dangers with drugs use (i.e. prison) but how these can be problems can be overcome.

    the line in the first verse "but he blew all his money away" is a statements at drug prices. the main note of the song "we'll all be the same in the end" could be in reply to those who condem drugs saying that it doesnt matter what happens coz the end is the same.

    there are probably other meanings and i must say my state of mind wasnt... um... clean... when i figured this out but it kinda makes sense...

    -Az
    Azraeldrahon July 04, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentYeah I definitely agree on the acid thing.
    Love the parallel in the first and second verses:

    "Holy man tiptoed his way across the Ganges
    The sound of magic music in his ears"
    "Well we go happy day glow in the discos
    The sound of magic music in our brains"

    The context of these quotes in the verses is about the cheapening of the religious / mystical experience (the bus-load of lemonade drinking tourists and the happy day-glo clad disco-goers).

    I think the lyrics in the chorus are there mainly to make sense following on from the second verse, ie written from the perspective of the person who "stumbles to the bathroom with the horrors" on a bad trip.
    Lozzon May 16, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentYeah exactly, he's pleading that he hasn't done anything wrong. I think "I dream to riot" means that his method of rioting is just to dream, i.e. trip on acid.
    ReActoron January 13, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commentwe'll all be the same in the end
    dead! hahahahaha
    umm
    then you're on your own
    crazy good.
    the remix of this song on the Beach soundtrack is good too.
    subterranean_summeron February 18, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWhen I was sixteen I forced my second cousin to write on piece of paper all the lyrics of this song, she was sleepy so in the end there was no meaning at all for her.
    She wasn't for "I'll eat parole" ..but I can't remember what she wrote.
    I loved the outro.. is you ready to..
    I don't think drug is the main theme of the song..maybe a consequence.
    birba.mozzon December 09, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentMost of the comments here are bang on, I think.

    You'll notice Albarn starting to insert American references more often at this point. Modern Life, Parklife and The Great Escape had the odd snide commentary on America, but they become more neutral and palatable (for Americans) on Blur's 1997 album.

    And how 'bout that extraordinary guitar riff. Apparently Coxon was using the hold function on a DD-3 pedal with the feedback turned way up.

    EuchridEucrow83on April 10, 2011   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationSong really simply just makes me think of a close group of friends splitting up, going their separate ways, and then reuniting again sweetly. Nothing more, nothing less.
    unemployedninjaon April 12, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commentdamn I love this song. my last comment was at 9 a.m. maan what was I doing up that early??
    subterranean_summeron April 15, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenthaha the time is waaay off. but i posted that comment 2 months and twenty minutes ago. wow.
    subterranean_summeron April 15, 2006   Link

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