"Prostitute" as written by and Robin Finck W. Axl Rose....
Seems like forever and a day

If my intentions are misunderstood
Please be kind
I've done all I should
I won't ask of you
What I would not do
Oh, I saw the damage in you
My fortunate one
The envy of youth

Why would they
Tell me to please those
That laugh in my face
With all of the reasons
They've taught
Fall over themselves
To give way, oh yeah

It's not a question
Whether my heart is true
I had to pull through
Look for a new
Beginning on you
Oh, I, I got a message for you
Up and away
It's what I gotta do
Give what you have
For what you might lose

What would you say
If I told you that I'm to blame?
And what would you do
If I had to deny your name?
Where would you go if I told you
"I love you"
And then walk away? Oh yeah!
N' who should I turn to
If not for the ones
That you would not save? Alright

I told you when I found you
If there were doubts you
Should be careful and unafraid
They surround you
And all that amounts too
Is love that you fed by
Perversion and pain

So if my affections
Are misunderstood
And you decide
I'm up
To no good
Don't ask me to
Enjoy them
Just for you

Ask yourself
What I would choose
To prostitute myself
To live with fortune and shame
Oh yeah!
When you should
Have turned to the hearts
Of the ones
That you could not save, oh now!

I told you when I found you
All that amounts too
Is love that you fed by
Perversion and pain

Lyrics submitted by Buddah Slap

"Prostitute" as written by William Rose Robin Finck

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management

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Prostitute song meanings
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  • +5
    My InterpretationI believe the "Prostitute" portion refers to Axl not wanting to prostitute himself to the music industry, just to crank out another album (i.e. Chinese Democracy). I imagine he's been under significant pressure from both execs and loved ones to release the album over the past 16 years, but felt he'd just be prostituting himself for "fortune", while living with the "shame" of releasing art he didn't feel was ready to be released...

    That was my gut feeling when I heard it the first couple times.
    cecilbealson April 28, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThis song is Axl's masterpiece. It lulls you in with it's apologetics and gentleness, then hits you with some of the most damning lyrics and gutwrenching music I've ever heard in a rock song.

    It seems to fuse and express Axl's total life philosophy, all the way from the early years to today. This song sometimes echoes the lyrics of the defiant "Don't Damn Me" but with the overtures and musical depth of "November Rain". The inspiration seems to be an amazing combination of everything in Axl's public and private life, the ex bandmates, the record industry, past loves. There are no doubt elements that are known only to Axl and possibly one or few others (the "you" in "I told you when I found you...", the "ones" and "you" in "the ones you could not save", I would kill to know the exact story there), all piled together into a somehow consistent philosophical whole.

    The serene fadeout comes across as an all-too-unrealised longing, almost an attempt to make peace with all that has come before.

    Brilliant; in my opinion, his finest work.
    allmhuranon March 27, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think this song is less an attack on past members but rather Axl's vindication of himself. I think it is written against the backdrop of years of criticism and speculation about the his life and the band, especially in the years between the end of the Use Your Illusion tour and Chinese Democracy.

    I think a large portion of the song, especially the first few stanzas, is about how Axl meant well even if he seemed vindictive or unpleasant in the media. He's defending his intentions, declaring how he was misunderstood, and saying how uncomfortable he felt pretending to fit in with the kingmakers and the journalists (stanza beginning "why would they tell me to please those").

    I think the next few stanzas are clearly about a specific person and love situation, but I think the themes are still the same - feeling of rejection despite (misunderstood) good intentions.

    My favourite line in this entire song and album is: "Ask yourself why (I think 'what' in these lyrics is a mistake, but I've seen both online) I would choose to prostitute myself to live with fortune and shame". I think it's basically Axl coming back at those who expected him to repent and to do certain things, especially reforming the band before he was ready. He's saying: 'I don't care how much respect or money it earns me, I'm pursuing my own path for now'. A masterpiece, to be honest.
    samjoliver97on February 10, 2018   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah, this is actually Prostitute. The only version that I recall hearing of This I Love had a load of skips in it.
    hallowedbe666on November 14, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt sounds to me that this song is addressing the fact that this record took so long to come out. He's saying that he's fine with the commercial hiatus that he chose to take, and it almost sounds like he's pointing a finger at the people who didn't stick by him through the whole process. The former members of the band? Perhaps. It doesn't seem to be too specific.

    I like this song alot. It's probably my favorite from Chinese Democracy. It certainly has the most comtemporary sound. I'd welcome more songs like this one in the future.
    Dancon7on November 22, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentA couple of corrections: It should be "why would they tell me to please those that laugh in my face", and "love that you've fed for perversion and pain".
    hallowedbe666on November 22, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song makes me want to breakdown and cry, it just has that sad feeling to it.
    julianpanion November 25, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment.
    Sprite1on December 26, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment.
    Sprite1on December 26, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment.
    Sprite1on December 26, 2008   Link

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