Meaning of Welcome to the Jungle – Guns N’ Roses

For younger generations, “Welcome to the Jungle” might sound like a Hollywood comedy or TV show. But for seasoned rock fans, it is strongly associated with the work of Guns N’ Roses. The track Welcome to the Jungle from the debut album Appetite for Destruction became one of the band’s first hits and is considered a heavy metal classic.

History of the song Welcome to the Jungle

The composition was born in the basement of Slash’s mother’s house, where Axl Rose temporarily lived.

Slash remembers:

I had a riff and I remember playing it to Axl on acoustic guitar.

Axl liked the memorable loss. Taking it as a basis, the musicians began to compose a new song. And again the word to Slash:

It was really the first thing we worked on together.

Meaning of Welcome to the Jungle

The title and lyrics were composed by Axl Roxe while visiting a friend in Seattle. Let’s listen to the author:

It’s a big city, and yet it’s still a small city when compared to Los Angeles and everything you have to learn. Everything seemed much more provincial there. I just wrote down how I perceived it.

But we also know an interview with Spin, in which Axl Rose shared a different version of the song’s creation story. He claimed that the idea for the composition came about when he got into an argument with a homeless man on a New York bus. In a skirmish, the tramp yelled: “Do you know where you are? You’re in the jungle, baby. You’re in deep trouble!”

Jake Query, a friend of Axl’s, told a similar version on WIBC FM radio:

… Axl Rose hitchhiked to Los Angeles, California … and when he got out of the truck, the driver said, “Welcome to the jungle.”

Izzy Stradlin said that this song is “about the streets of Hollywood, close to life” (Hit Parader, 1988 Here Today Gone to Hell!).

This is how Welcome to the Jungle Slash described it:

These were very expressive lines. Just the very embodiment of sincerity. If you’ve lived in Los Angeles and lived in a ditch, so to speak, they can affect you. And knowing Axl, I could understand where they came from.

Release and achievements

The final version of the song was recorded at Rumbo Studios (Canoga Park) with producer Mike Klink.

On September 28, 1987, Welcome to the Jungle was released in the UK as the second single from the album Appetite for Destruction. In October 1988, the band released a single again, but this time also in the US, where the song peaked at number seven on the Billboard Hot 100.

Video Welcome to the Jungle

The video was the first music video for Guns N’ Roses. The debut was extremely successful. In 1988, the video won the MTV Videos Music Awards for Best New Artist Video.

Cover versions

The song was performed by the rock band Mammal, Shakira, Pink and other stars. And let’s listen to an unusual cover version.

Interesting Facts

  • The group’s manager Alan Nivel admitted that he borrowed the idea for the video from three films: “A Clockwork Orange”, “Midnight Cowboy” and “The Man Who Fell to the Ground”.
  • The composition is included in several famous ratings of the best songs, including The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time (Rolling Stone), The Greatest Metal Songs (VH1) and 1001 Best Songs Ever (Q).
  • The song was included in the soundtrack of the crime drama The Game of Death (1988), as well as in several other films.
  • Slash wanted the song to be used in the military drama Black Hawk Down, but Axl Rose did not agree.
  • Welcome to the Jungle sounds in the computer games Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock and GTA: San Andreas on the waves of Radio X.
  • This is one of the most popular songs at sports competitions of different levels. Many teams include it at home matches.

Welcome To The Jungle Guns N’ Roses Lyrics

Welcome to the jungle we’ve got fun and games
We got everything you want honey, we know the names
We are the people that can find whatever you may need
If you got the money honey we got your disease

In the jungle, welcome to the jungle
Watch it bring you to your knnn knne knees, knees
I want to watch you bleed

Welcome to the jungle we take it day by day
If you want it you’re gonna bleed but it’s the price to pay
And you’re a very sexy girl that’s very hard to please
You can taste the bright lights but you won’t get there for free
Welcome to the jungle
Feel my, my, my serpentine
Ooh, I want to hear you scream

Welcome to the jungle it gets worse here every day
Ya learn to live like an animal in the jungle where we play
If you hunger for what you see you’ll take it eventually
You can have everything you want but you better not take it from me

In the jungle, welcome to the jungle
Watch it bring you to your knnn knne knees, knees
I want to watch you bleed

And when you’re high you never ever want to come down
So down, so down, so down, yeah

You know where you are?
You’re down in the jungle baby, you’re gonna dieee

Welcome to the jungle
Watch it bring you to your knees, knees
Welcome to the jungle
Feel my, my, my serpentine
Welcome to the jungle
Watch it bring you to your knees, knees
Welcome to the jungle
Watch it bring you to your…
Its gonna bring you down, ha!!

  • The seemingly smutty phrase may just allude to Axl’s signature stage dance, in which he squirms like a snake.
  • Song quote

    Welcome to the Jungle is the quintessence of Guns N’ Roses.


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