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Death on the Stairs

Band songlist


Death on the Stairs is a Libertines track, released on their debut album, Up the Bracket, and credited to Doherty and Barat. Though it featured as the second track on The Libertines' debut album (produced by Mick Jones), a second, more polished recording was produced by Bernard Butler and released with single Don't Look Back Into the Sun.

Speaking of the song, Doherty and Barat have said that, though it was hard to play, it was a favourite of the band's. In a 2009 interview with Musiclandet.se, Carl further stated that, out of the songs that he had composed over the years, "Death on the Stairs" was his personal favourite.
Barât: 'It's a song we find hard to play even though it's a favourite. It's very sad but happy at the same time. It's so dear to us that we could never seem to record it right, so we had to do it about four times.'
Doherty: 'That song's a cry in the darkness. But not from us - it's when you're in the darkness and then you hear a cry.'

In Kids in the Riot, Peter explained the meaning of the phrase "Death on the stairs": "[Carl]'d had enough, he had this vision of himself that just kept reoccurring and it drove him, and me, insane. It was him, a dark bedsit, the window closed, eating beans on toast and watching afternoon telly alone and broken. He reached a point where I couldn't get through to him. 'Death on the stairs,' that's what we called it" (p.10). The phrase apparently originates from Peter and Carl being chucked out of a record company's offices and down their stairs.

Appearing on

Live at O2 Academy Glasgow (1) The LibertinesAlbum2016-02-19
#1 (Up the) Albion Radio (Rhytm Factory (2007)) Peter DohertyFan mixtape2014-02-01
Time For Heroes The LibertinesAlbum2007-10-29
Dont' Look Back Into the Sun (New recording) The LibertinesSingle2004-09-14
AOL session The LibertinesSession2004-08-28
Live For Spanish TV The LibertinesSession2003-07-15
One Live The LibertinesSession2002-10-30
Up the Bracket The LibertinesAlbum2002-10-14
XFM Session The LibertinesSession2002
Horrorshow in London Town The LibertinesSessionUnknown
RAK revisited (Alternative guitars) The LibertinesSessionUnknown
RAK revisited The LibertinesSessionUnknown
The 77 Demos (1st Demo) The LibertinesDemoUnknown


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
St.Petersburg @Kosmonavt (1) Carl Barat & The Jackals2015-12-04
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
Ahmad Tea Music Festival The Libertines2015-06-27
Glastonbury 2015 The LibertinesGlastonbury2015-06-26
100 Club Carl Barat & The JackalsWesminster, London2014-11-21
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From way far across the sea
Came an Eritrean maiden she
Had a one track mind and eyes for me
Half blinded in the war

With a pale young Anglican
Who said he'd help her all he can
Showed her Jesus and his little un-holy friend
She had no notion to please him
Just say 'ta-ra' and leave him behind

There's a little boy in a stairwell who says
"I hate people like you"
Got match sticks & cable TV half of less than 50p
We all clambered over the balcony
Banging on the window waking Steve
Bringing with a true love his un-holy friend
Singing if you really need it
You just won't leave it behind

So baby please kill me
Oh baby don't kill me
But don't bring that ghost round to my door
I don't wanna see him anymore

Please kill me
Oh baby don't kill me
Just don't bang on about yesterday
I wouldn't know about that anyway

Monkey asked the mouse before
If she loved anybody more than he
It turns you into stone
Now I'm reversing down the lonely street
To a cheap hotel where I can meet the past
pay it off and keep it sweet
It's sweet like nothing no
It's just like nothing at all

Yes I've seen you there
How could I help but stare
It rips the heart out of your baby
Now I've taken far too much to see
Or think or touch what's real
I'm stranded on this street which once
Paved my only way home

You really need it oh
You just won't leave it behind

Oh please kill me
Oh no don't kill me
But don't bring that ghost round to my door
I don't wanna see him anymore

Please kill me
Oh no don't kill me
But don't go on about yesterday
I wouldn't know about that anyway
Oh no

He got nothing no, he got nothing at all