"The Drugs Don't Work" as written by and Richard Ashcroft....
All this talk of getting old
It's getting me down my love
Like a cat in a bag, waiting to drown
This time I'm comin' down

And I hope you're thinking of me
As you lay down on your side
Now the drugs don't work
They just make you worse
But I know I'll see your face again

Now the drugs don't work
They just make you worse
But I know I'll see your face again

But I know I'm on a losing streak
'Cause I passed down my old street
And if you wanna show, then just let me know
And I'll sing in your ear again

Now the drugs don't work
They just make you worse
But I know I'll see your face again

'Cause baby, ooo, if heaven falls, I'm coming, too
Just like you said, you leave my life, I'm better off dead

All this talk of getting old
It's getting me down my love
Like a cat in a bag, waiting to drown
This time I'm comin' down

Now the drugs don't work
They just make you worse
But I know I'll see your face again

'Cause baby, ooo, if heaven falls, I'm coming, too
Just like you said, you leave my life, I'm better off dead

But if you wanna show, just let me know
And I'll sing in your ear again

Now the drugs don't work
They just make you worse
But I know I'll see your face again

Yeah, I know I'll see your face again
Yeah, I know I'll see your face again
Yeah, I know I'll see your face again
Yeah, I know I'll see your face again

I'm never going down, I'm never coming down
No more, no more, no more, no more, no more
I'm never coming down, I'm never going down
No more, no more, no more, no more, no more
I'm never going down, I'm never coming down
No more, no more, no more, no more, no more
I'm never coming down, I'm never going down
No more, no more, no more, no more, no more
I'm never coming down, I'm never going down
No more, no more, no more, no more, no more


Lyrics submitted by kevin

"The Drugs Don't Work" as written by Richard Ashcroft

Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing

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The Drugs Don't Work song meanings
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87 Comments

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  • +4
    General CommentTaken from Wikipedia:

    ""The Drugs Don't Work" is a song by the Britpop band The Verve and is featured on their third album, Urban Hymns. It was released on 1 September 1997 as the second single from the album, charting at number 1 in the UK Singles Chart, becoming the band's most successful single in the UK. Composer Richard Ashcroft wrote the song in response to the death of his father to cancer [1] and is also thought to be influenced by his relationship with his wife. The chorus, and title line, 'The Drugs Don't work, they just make you worse' has double meaning; the drugs being given to his father not working and seemingly making him worse, and the undesired effect of drugs being taken to block out the pain of losing your father.

    The song has also been covered by Ben Harper on his live album Live from Mars, and has also been covered by Skin. In Australia it was also covered by Grinspoon for youth radio station Triple J's Like A Version CD."


    Yeah that should explain everything. It wasn't written about his mom or his sister or whatever, it was written about his father.
    =]
    yeseniaon July 24, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAfter listening to this song and reading the lyrics I have decided it's a song about somebody's wife or girlfriend or something and they are dying of cancer. The drugs that don't work are the chemo drugs I'm guessing, cause chemo drugs make you worse as in really sick and stuff.
    Well that is what I think, I don't know much.

    I totally love this song, it's really sad.
    Willowbearon April 10, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentReally? I heard somewhere that Richard Ashcroft wrote this song about himself getting over his addiction to drugs...
    AkumaXYZon July 11, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Commentif it doesn't make you cry...are you human?

    I f-ing love it.
    summerteeth99on December 03, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt is truly a beautiful song, but I'm not convinced it was about his father dying of cancer. According to Ashcroft's Wikipedia page his father died suddenly of a brain hemorrhage. The drugs don't work single Wikipedia page says

    'Lead singer Richard Ashcroft wrote the song in early 1995. He briefly mentioned it in an interview at the time, relating it to his drug usage: "There's a new track I've just written [...] It goes 'the drugs don't work, they just make me worse, and I know I'll see your face again'. That's how I'm feeling at the moment. They make me worse, man. But I still take 'em. Out of boredom and frustration you turn to something else to escape." '

    There is also an acoustic version on the live peel sessions where he changes the lyric to the 'The drugs don't work, they just make me worse'. The lyric 'never coming down' is also usually associated with drug use as in the come down after getting high. They were heavily drug influenced and their early music was, according to Ashcroft, recorded on acid and many other songs they wrote were also related to recreational drugs such as 'Blue' and 'make it til Monday'.

    I think people who have gone through the experience of a loved one dying of cancer can relate to this song and identify with it in their own way and that's part of what makes the verve's music so unique and so emotional, that they become personal. The song is what you want it to be, but I reckon Richard wrote it with recreational drugs in mind.

    Aside from the confusion about the 'drugs' lyric I think the meaning and themes within the song are fairly obvious. Personally, I think its a love song to someone who is in pain and whose attempts to escape the pain through drugs (recreational, medicinal or metaphorical) is ultimately just making their pain worse. But they're likely to repeat the pattern over and over again (like an addiction) - 'I know I'll see your face again' could be a double meaning for both this pattern perpetuating itself and also the hope or knowing that 'if heaven calls' you'l still see your loved one again.

    Also the first verse ends 'This time I'm coming down', indicating Ashcroft is mirroring the addiction of the loved one, which makes sense when taking into account the alternate version of the 'drugs make ME worse', in terms of how he evolved the song. Making the ending of 'never coming down no more no more' and the intensity he sings it at as he takes destiny into his own hands to change the pattern, which is certainly a theme on the urban hymns album, all the more emotional.

    But as i said before, the important thing is what you get from it.
    FrnItaBia96on April 05, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is brilliant!!
    seanoon February 26, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentur close willowbear...this song was written for his dying father.

    Brilliant song,great words,full of soul
    gez22on May 21, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhat a beautiful song! Ben Harper does quite a lovely cover of this song.. I can help but feel a bit sad when I listen to this song, and knowing he wrote it for his father gives me a whole new perspective.
    My favorite line: "If you wanna show, than just let me know and I'll sing in your ear again." Mmm
    DancingMellyon June 28, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt was in a Q interview, gez is right , it is about is dad.
    debaser2002on August 14, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is so pretty...i'm not even a huge fan of the verve, but this song makes me want to cry. howie day plays it live sometimes and he does a great job of it. does anybody know why i can't find it on kazaa?
    sarah.millson March 10, 2003   Link

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