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Gunga Din

Band songlist


Gunga Din (originally misreported as "Gunga Gin") is the first song from The Libertines' third studio album, Anthems for Doomed Youth, that was heard by fans. It was released as a single in July 2015 and released on the album in September 2015. It was first played live during Libertines' set at Best Kept Secret festival in Netherlands.

"I said we should play some new songs but they said we shouldn't play any 'til the album comes out," Doherty announced before Barat mimicked him. Doherty then decided: "We're going to give you one but it's got to be a secret. Put your phones off and we'll see how it turns out."

"She'll die, she ain't ready!" Barat responded as the band began to play the track, which was underpinned by a dubby bassline from John Hassall and opened with Doherty singing the line "Woke up again to my chagrin / I'm sick and tired of feeling sick and tired" - a lyric he recently told NME he'd taken from Peter Wolfe.

The video for the song was filmed by photographer and film maker Roger Sargent, who accompanied The Libertines doing their time in Thailand, shooting a documentary about the recording of the album. It was filmed in the city of Pattaya, which is known for its huge number of go-go bars, massage parlors and transgender cabaret shows. "Pattaya was sort of like Mordor on the horizon for us," guitarist Carl Barat explained to NME. "It's one of the world's sex capitals and it's mental. There was an American base there in the Vietnam war, so they started opening brothels. There were Miss Saigon vibes going on."

The title is a reference to Rudyard Kipling's poem with the same name. In 1892 Rudyard Kipling published his collection Barrack Room Ballads, which included the five-stanza poem "Gunga Din." A rhyming narrative from the point of view of an English soldier in India, the work tells the story of a badly-treated but loyal Indian water-bearer who saves the soldier's life.
"Tho' I've belted you and flayed you,
By the livin' Gawd that made you,
You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!"

The lines "I've got those Monday blues / Straight through Sunday blues" were taken from Billie Holidays song "Good morning heartache". In the old interview Peter told about this song (Soundtrack of my Life: Pete Doherty 2009 ):
Billie Holiday: Good Morning Heartache (1946)
Peabody Cottages, Bruce Grove, sometime in 2001. The rain was playing havoc with my attempts to finish my novel. What with the fact that my bedroom roof had just caved in. Aside from that, my girlfriend had ended another vicious row by running down Tottenham High Road in her negligé. The car that I’d bought off a young dole-scrounging, would-be superstar Johnny Borrell didn’t fancy the trip (what with it being two hundred and seventy-five quids worth of absolute shite). The phone rang, my Jobseekers Allowance key worker was calling to remind me I needed to come in today as they had concluded their investigations into my false claims and I was to be issued with a demand to repay two years worth of benefit fraud. The phone rang again. It was BT. They were cutting the line. I stubbed my toe on the sideboard and stumbled down the stairs, cracking my head on the record player and spinning it into life. ‘Good Morning Heartache’ sang Billy Holiday at slightly the wrong speed. I made two promises to myself. I’m gonna have that chord progression one day. And I’m never buying a used car off Johnny Borrell again.


Festival SOS 4.8 The LibertinesMurcia2016-05-07
AB brussels 2016 The LibertinesAncienne Belgique, Brussels2016-05-03
Live @ Olympia The LibertinesMusic Hall, Paris2016-03-09
O2 London (1) The Libertines2016-01-30
Reading Festival 2015 The LibertinesReading2015-08-30
Rock en Seine 2015 The Libertines Domaine national de Saint-Cloud, Saint-Cloud2015-08-29
3Arena Dublin The Libertines3Arena Dublin2015-07-09
Glastonbury 2015 The LibertinesGlastonbury2015-06-26


I woke up again, to my chagrin,
Getting sick and tired of feeling sick and tired again
I try to write, cause I've got the right
to make it look like I'm doing something with my life,
I find a vein, the way to sing,
and a drink to ease
The panic and the suffering.
Woke up again,
Dreamt of Gunga Din

Yeah the road it is long,
but if you stay strong,
you're a better man than I.
You've been beat and afraid
Probably betrayed
you're a better man than I.

Woke up again, to my evil twin,
In a mirror he's fucking ugly
And I'm sick and tired of looking at him.
Been up all night, i probably pick the fight,
i can't help it i'm a bastard in the morning
'Coz I can't help it I'm
A bastard in the morning
So I try to write
I think I have the right
A little drink-y now and then
To help me just to see the light
Just another day
And it feels like nothing's changed
Oh fuck it
Oh here I go again

Yeah the road it is long,
but if you stay strong,
you're a better man than I.
You've been beat and afraid
Probably betrayed
you're a better man than I.

What's the point in you now?
I can't chase you nohow
Oh, leave me alone
I've got those Monday blues
Straight from Sunday blues

Yeah the road it is long,
but if you stay strong,
you're a better man than I.
You've been beat and afraid
Probably betrayed
you're a better man than I.