Meaning of Barrel of a Gun by Depeche Mode & Song Story

In the mid-nineties, Depeche Mode almost broke up. First, partners left Alan Wilder (Alan Wilder), dissatisfied with the “internal relations and working environment” in the team. Dave Gahan, who was addicted to hard drugs, caused even more problems for his associates. In 1995, he cut his wrists, and a year later he almost went to the next world as a result of an overdose.

Martin Gore tried to force his colleagues to take on a new album, but Gahan’s condition did not allow Dave to work in the studio. Only a course of rehabilitation brought him back to life, after which the group was able to return to creative activity. Among the first tracks recorded during this period was the depressing industrial song Barrel of a Gun (“Muzzle of a Gun”).

History and meaning of the song Barrel of a Gun

The music and lyrics were composed by Martin Gore. The author did not explain the main idea of ​​the composition, but, according to the unanimous opinion of Depeche Mode fans, he wrote it, being impressed by the suffering of David Gahan.

Dave doesn’t know exactly who the song Barrel of a Gun is about, but he thinks it has something to do with his drug addiction:

It really describes how I felt then. This creature eked out a miserable existence, but still somehow thought it was attractive. Martin was extremely precise in his words. I mean, I don’t even know for sure if the song was about me or for me, or if it was pointing at me to say, “Damn it, get yourself together!” But it worked. I liked her.

Entertainment Weekly, 2017

Release and achievements

On February 3, 1997, Barrel of a Gun was released as a single from the album Ultra. On the back of the record was the song Painkiller.

The song peaked at number four on the UK charts. She topped the Spanish and Swedish charts, and climbed high in the charts in several other countries.

Barrel of a Gun – Depeche Mode

The music video for Barrel of a Gun was directed by Anton Corbijn, who has collaborated with Depeche Mode on several occasions. In the clip, hints can be traced to Dave’s problems with drugs.

Interesting Facts

  • Martin Gore doubted the success of the track and did not want to release Barrel of a Gun as the lead single.
  • The Barrel of a Gun video was filmed in Morocco.

Barrel of a Gun Lyrics

Do you mean this horny creep
Set upon weary feet
Who looks in need of sleep
That doesn’t come
This twisted, tortured mess
This bed of sinfulness
Who’s longing for some rest
And feeling numb

What do you expect of me
What is it you want
Whatever you’ve planned for me
I’m not the one

A vicious appetite
Visit me each night
And won’t be satisfied
Won’t be denied
An unbearable pain
A beating in my brain
That leaves the mark of Cain
right here inside

What am I supposed to do
When everything that I’ve done
Is leading me to conclude
I’m not the one

Whatever I’ve done
I’ve been staring down the barrel of a gun
Whatever I’ve done
I’ve been staring down the barrel of a gun
Whatever I’ve done

Is there something you need from me
Are you having fun
I never agreed to be
Your holy one


Barrel of a Gun Lyrics Alternative

Are you talking about this anxious bastard,
Barely standing on my feet
And in need of sleep
Who doesn’t come?
About this spoiled, tortured junk,
About this incarnation of sinfulness,
What yearns for rest
And feel numb?

What do you expect from me?
What do you want?
What do you have planned for me?
I am not the chosen one

Vicious Appetite
Covers me every night
And there’s no way to quench him
Don’t reject him
Unbearable pain,
Pulsating in my head
Leaves the mark of Cain
Right here inside

What else should I do
If all my actions
Lead me to a conclusion
that I’m not the chosen one

Whatever I do
I keep looking down the barrel of a gun
Whatever I do
I keep looking down the barrel of a gun
Whatever I do…

Do you need something from me?
You’re having fun?
I didn’t agree to be
Your saints


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