Back to song list

The Verve - The Drugs Don't Work - Lyrics Meaning

Released in 1997, this track unwittingly became the backing track to a nation's mourning when it was announced, the day after its release that Diana Princess of Wales had died.

The song had actually been written some years previously by frontman Richard Ashcroft and is thought to have been inspired by the experience of witnessing his father's death through cancer when he was just eleven years old.

The song contains some of the most emotionally laden, gut-wrenching lyrics ever written. In fact, the words are so powerful that just listening to the track can instantly transport you to a sad place irrespective of what's going on in your life at that moment in time!

Ashcroft is reported to have described it as a "love song" but the story told through the lyrics is one of painful acceptance of something which has become inevitable.

The words draw a picture of someone waiting for death but the process is being slowed by drugs that no longer work and actually appear to be making things worse. We feel the misery of the sufferer but also the anguish of those who witness it. The cruelty and hopelessness of the situation are summed up in just a few heart-breaking lines, `Like a cat in a bag waiting to drown, I'm comin' down this time.'

Meanings of other songs by The Verve:
bittersweet symphony

Visit Music Banter - The Internet's Top Music Community

Add your own interpretation and discuss lyrics of this song: