Danger Little Stranger

Iggy Pop is considered to be the originator of what is called punk rock today and as the Summer of Love was ending, Iggy Pop, né James Newell Osterberg Jr., age twenty was just getting started.  Iggy lived a totally messed-up life and he wrote really f’d-up songs, but without them, the angry punk-music that followed, would have never happened.  Where ever Iggy went, he left a trail of destruction in his wake.  ‘Gimme Danger’ was recorded by the Stooges on their 1973 album Raw Power which was their third studio album, and Iggy wrote many of the lyrics for this while he was wandering around Hyde Park in London.  Raw Power is considered to be one of the most influential records in rock history and this incendiary album set the bar for a wave of punk bands to try and, in most cases, they failed to eclipse.  This song was co-written by guitarist James Williamson and it was inspired by a girl named Johanna, who not much is known about, however Pop had an unhealthy relationship with her that ended badly and he described her as a beautiful girl who “just destroyed me.”

In those days Williamson wrote songs almost exclusively on acoustic guitar sitting up in his room, because he didn’t want to disturb the neighbors.  He was fooling around and just came up with this song, feeling it was a convoluted process of actually stringing all that stuff together, but once it did come together, immediately it was like, a song.  ‘Gimme Danger’ could be alluding to drugs and their negative effects when a person goes into withdrawal and maybe trying to get them to move on in their life, or it might deal with sexual liberation and exploration that was present in the glam scene, where men were dressed in women’s clothes and they wore makeup.  Men became feminized and some went full transvestite and I think this transformation shows in these lyrics, “But if you can’t be my master, I will do anything”, where Iggy is encouraging his tormenter to take control of him.

The lyrics are dark, but the singer feels comfortable being in the company of this stranger.  On the Beatles song ‘Come Together’ Lennon wrote, “Hold you in his arms, yeah you can feel his disease”, which was incorrectly transcribed as “Hold you in his armchair you can feel his disease” and the line in this song which reminds me of that is, “And I’ll feel your disease.”  Most people tend to forget their dreams and nightmares soon after waking up, but Iggy’s seems to have nothing but ugly memories in his dreams.  The one bright spot in the song seems to be, “Kiss me like the ocean breeze.  Now, if you will be my lover, I will shiver and sing”, well maybe not bright, but not as dark as the rest.

It gets really gloomy with, “There’s nothing left alive.  But a pair of glassy eyes.  Raise my feelings one more time”, and then it seems to get angry with, “gonna feel my hand” and the stranger, “Said die a little later”.  These lyrics are distant and they make it sound like someone has been hurt or maybe someone wants to hurt somebody else.  It switches so quickly from a kiss being like an ocean breeze, to that of remorse, vengeance, sadness and anger, making it eerie and strange.

Gimme danger, little stranger
And I feel with you at ease
Gimme danger, little stranger
And I’ll feel your disease

There’s nothing in my dreams
Just some ugly memories
Kiss me like the ocean breeze

Now, if you will be my lover
I will shiver and sing
But if you can’t be my master
I will do anything

There’s nothing left alive
But a pair of glassy eyes
Raise my feelings one more time

Yeah!

Yeah, find a little stranger, find a little stranger
Yeah, they’re gonna feel my hand
Said die a little later, why no, little stranger?
Hurry on and feel my hand
Swear you’re gonna feel my hand
Swear you’re gonna feel my hand

Danger
Little stranger

Danger
Little stranger

Danger
Little stranger

Danger
Little stranger

Danger
Danger
Gotta feel the pain
Gotta feel the pain
You gotta feel it
Little stranger

Written for Song Lyric Sunday where the theme is Danger, Fear, Horror, Nightmare, Terror.

23 thoughts on “Danger Little Stranger

    1. I think that Iggy has talent, even though he is a bit strange and although this song is far from being the greatest music ever made, I had fun doing research on it.

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      1. You know, that’s the bonus isn’t it? I have loved so many songs over the years but I never really took the time to learn about how they came about. That’s why the prompts you give us each week encourage us to really think about what we are going to share and why. So thanks Jim! You’re amazing ☺️💕

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      2. Thanks Christine. I will admit to being amazing, but all the credit for this challenge has to go to Helen as she brought a community of music lovers together and all I have done is to try and carry on.

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  1. Well, what can I say … I liked reading about the song as I don’t know anything about this singer or his songs. The song wasn’t bad, but what creeped me out was looking at this person!

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