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gangster
(sumner, marr)

it’s not the way that you would listen

or the way you comb your hair

it is the fact that you are missing

how i feel when you’re not there



i went through all the months of january

locked up in this cell

i’d like to be at home but on my own

i didn’t do too well



look at me, i always get the blame

but i can’t even learn to spell my name

i’d like to read, i’d like to write

but where i live i learned to fight



so don’t you ever say that we’re the same



i don’t need a doctor

telling me i’m full of juice

it’s not a statement that i’m making

but the plain and simple truth



i went through all the months of january

locked up in my cell

i’d like to think of home when i’m alone

it doesn’t work too well



look at me, i always get the blame

but i can’t even learn to spell my name

i’d like to read, i’d like to write

but where i live i learned to fight



so don’t you ever say that we’re the same

versions
album version (5:24)

fbi mix (7:59)

releases
electronic
disappointed
electronic/disappointed
electronic (remastered)
electronic (special edition)

comment
bernard sumner’s words are often (appealingly) impressionistic, but gangster is distinctly specific in its subject. terse and direct, it’s one of his best ever lyrics: full of attitude and frankness, and like almost every other song on electronic a potential hit single. it is based on the imprisonment of a friend of his for minor drug offences, and was written before his union with johnny marr and with his planned solo album in mind (in this respect it’s the earliest electronic song, though reality was the first to be composed collectively).



in 1992 a thumping eight-minute mix appeared on the north american disappointed single. although slightly overlong it does contain one classic electronic moment 32 seconds in when the introductory synth riff explodes from the speakers following a looped drum pattern. oddly, the song was left off some editions of the orange album altogether, presumably due to some adversative connotations in the title — a bit of a travesty considering it’s the lyrical highlight of the album.

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