Meaning of Sweet Child O’ Mine by Guns N’ Roses & The Story

Guns N’ Roses’ first full-length album, Appetite for Destruction, propelled the band internationally and turned its members into superstars.

Perhaps the fans of this band will not agree with me, but the rock ballad Sweet Child o’ Mine is the decoration of plasticity. We will talk about the history of the song, which has long become the hallmark of the group.

The story of creation and the meaning of the song Sweet Child o’ Mine

The composition began with a verse that Axl Rose dedicated to his girlfriend Erin Everly, daughter of the famous sixties singer Don Everly.

A word from the Guns N’ Roses frontman:

This is a true story about a girl I was dating at the time… I wrote a poem, got stuck with it, and threw it on the shelf. Slash and Izzy then worked on songs together. I joined them, Izzy began to play the rhythm, and suddenly I remembered this verse. It just all came together.

Hit Parader 1988

Slash has some of the same memories of writing Sweet Child o’ Mine:

Sweet Child o’ Mine was a joke. Everything just worked out well. I was sitting around making funny faces and acting like an idiot and playing that riff. Izzy started playing the chords I was playing, and Axl suddenly really liked it.

Guitar for the Practicing Musician, 1992

At first, the musicians – with the exception of Axl – thought that nothing would come of Sweet Child o’ Mine. Here’s what Duff had to say:

As for Sweet Child, it was written in five minutes. It was one of those songs – just three chords. Remember the guitar part that Slash plays at the beginning? It was kind of a joke because we were like, “What song is this? Nothing will come of it. Is that a place to take on the record. Although she has wise lyrics, although she is very sincere and sweet, Slash was openly fooling around when he came up with the loss.

Hit Parader 1988

But Rose was sure that the song would be a hit. In order to achieve the desired sound, he learned something from the work of Lynyrd Skynyrd:

I’m from Indiana where Lynyrd Skynyrd are considered gods until you finally say “I hate that damn band!” And yet, as far as Sweet Child o’ Mine is concerned… I went out and bought some old Skynyrd cassettes to make sure we got the same sincerity.

Rolling Stone 1987

Slash also talked about the musicians that influenced Sweet Child o’ Mine:

It’s a whole combination of sources of inspiration. From Jeff Beck, Cream and Led Zeppelin to things that would surprise you: a solo from Blinded by the Light in the version of Manfred Mann and Gerry Rafferty’s Baker Street.

Rolling stone

It took Slash a long time to accept Sweet Child o’ Mine. He was especially annoyed by the solo that sounds at the beginning of the song:

Now it seems easy, but at first it was very difficult. Especially due to the fact that I drank exorbitant amounts of alcohol and took various chemicals. I just hated playing this song for years.

But over time, he fell in love with Sweet Child o’ Mine:

Now I really like it because I’ve tweaked it to the point where it sounds really good when I play it live. Yes, and I’m used to this song, so I like it a lot more. But it certainly wasn’t something I had in my head. Rather, I was just fooling around with the guitar.

Guitar for the Practicing Musician, 1992

Release and achievements

The subsequent history of the song Sweet Child o’ Mine is full of great achievements. In August 1988, she came out as a single from the album Appetite for Destruction and topped the Billboard Hot 100. In the UK Singles Chart, the song reached number six. It is included in many well-known rankings of the best compositions, guitar tracks and solos, including the list of the 500 greatest songs of all time according to Rolling Stone.

Sweet Child o’ Mine has been covered by many singers and bands: Sheryl Crow, Texas, Luna, Anastacia, Limp Bizkit and others.

In 2013, a video featuring Michelle Kwan from Canada playing a song on the Chinese folk instrument guzheng was very popular.

Video of Sweet Child o’ Mine – Guns N’ Roses

Let’s look at the famous video, which at one time was incredibly popular on MTV and other music channels.

Interesting Facts

  • Axl Rose married Erin Everly, to whom the song is dedicated, in April 1990, but their marriage was very short-lived.
  • The video clip starred the girls of all the members of the group, with whom the musicians met at that time.
  • Sweet Child o’ Mine is featured in the movie Wrestler. Axl allowed Rourke, whom he is friends with, to use the song for next to nothing, for which Mickey thanked him at the Golden Globes.
  • The phrase “Where do we go?” Axl said at one of the rehearsals while listening to a demo tape. Producer Spencer Proffer offered to sing it at the end of the song.
  • The riff from Sweet Child o’ Mine can be heard at the end of the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Punk Rock Classic.
  • In 2006, Axl stated that they originally wanted to dedicate the video to the problem of drug trafficking. It was supposed to be an Asian woman who is carrying a child filled with heroin to the United States. Apparently that’s what the song is about.

Sweet Child o’ Mine Lyrics by Guns N’ Roses

She’s got a smile it seems to me
Reminds me of childhood memories
Where everything
Was as fresh as the bright blue sky
Now and then when I see her face
She takes me away to that special place
And if I’d stare too long
I’d probably break down and cry

Oh, oh, oh
Sweet Child O Mine
Oh, oh, oh, oh
Sweet love of mine

She’s got eyes of the bluest skies
As if they thought of rain
I hate to look into those eyes
And see an ounce of pain
Her hair reminds me of a warm safe place
Where as a child I’d hide
And pray for the thunder
And the rain
To quietly pass me by

Where do we go?
Where do we go now?

Lyrics Sweet Child O’ Mine Alternative by Guns N’ Roses

I think her smile
Brings back childhood memories
When all
Was as fresh as the bright blue sky
From time to time when I see her face
She takes me to that special place
And if I looked too long
Perhaps I could not stand it and burst into tears

My sweet baby
My sweet baby

Her eyes are like the bluest skies
As if he thought about the rain
I can’t stand to look into those eyes
When they have even a drop of pain
Her hair reminds me of a warm hiding place,
Where did I hide as a child?
And prayed for the thunder
And the rain
passed me by

What’s next?
What will happen to us next?

Song quote

I hated her for years, but she evoked such a reaction. You just play those stupid first notes and you get hysterical. So I eventually began to appreciate her.


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