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The Rolling Stones Gimme Shelter Lyrics

Last updated: 03/31/2013 08:58:42 AM

(M. Jagger/K. Richards)

Oh, a storm is threat'ning
My very life today
If I don't get some shelter
Oh yeah, I'm gonna fade away

War, children, it's just a shot away
It's just a shot away
War, children, it's just a shot away
It's just a shot away

Ooh, see the fire is sweepin'
My very street today
Burns like a red coal carpet
Mad bull lost its way

War, children, it's just a shot away
It's just a shot away
War, children, it's just a shot away
It's just a shot away

Rape, murder!
It's just a shot away
It's just a shot away

Rape, murder!
It's just a shot away
It's just a shot away

Rape, murder!
It's just a shot away
It's just a shot away

The floods is threat'ning
My very life today
Gimme, gimme shelter
Or I'm gonna fade away

War, children, it's just a shot away
It's just a shot away
It's just a shot away
It's just a shot away
It's just a shot away
I tell you love, sister, it's just a kiss away
It's just a kiss away
It's just a kiss away
It's just a kiss away
It's just a kiss away
Kiss away, kiss away




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A song for the ages | Reviewer: Emory | 3/29/13

This song has a spiritual content to it.
Whatever Mick an Keith were thinking at the time only they know.
But for me, the first 4 line of the song are most important.
I could write them on a book marker in my BIBLE. NO KIDDING!

According to Keef | Reviewer: Shay | 7/28/12

Keith began writing this song when he suspected Anita Pallenburg of cheating on him with Mick. Yes, the backdrop of Vietnam was present and Keith's own demons of being born in London during the Nazi bombings. His father fought and was injured at the battle of Normandy; therefore this song is complex and multi-layered.

Great Threat Today | Reviewer: Anonymous | 2/3/12

I think the threat of a nuclear war is greater now then when the song was made at least when this song was being recorded we knew who could drop a bomb now today we're just tossing guesses in the air in who might drop one

Shelter | Reviewer: Doug Westendorp | 10/13/11

The use of the word shelter would seem to imply that it is a nuclear war that they are singing about here. There was a lot of nonsense about fallout shelters saving lives, back in the day. And it did seem to be just one false move away most of the time. It still is, of course. It's just not talked about so much anymore.

The verge of a crisis | Reviewer: Anonymous | 9/12/11

I believe, my readers, that this song is telling about the nuclear ¨storm¨ that threatened the whole world during the Cold War.
The fire burning the street, the ¨red coal carpet¨, may be, on just a wild conjecture, the red communist path that made the power-crazed bull known as USA to rush ahead uncontrollable on the path of total destruction. I believe it is a valid theory, but ¨The analysist¨'s one seems simple enough to explain this verse also.
As for the ¨just a shot away¨, I believe it is quite obvious that it is all about the weapons race between USA and USSR, just one missile shot could begin not just a war, but the last one humanity would live to fight.
And, the ending of the music is a perfect message for all generations. Kiss away, distribute your love, the world needs it to avoid another critical situation like the nuclear crisis.

The 60's all over its face | Reviewer: The analysist | 3/5/11

This song just shows exactly what being a hippy was about, not that I am old enough to know :P Anyway, the lyrics tell nothing but truth, that war is just a shot away, it takes very little to start one and so many deaths and so much anguish to end one.
I think the song as a whole, while focusing on war in general, particularly looks at Vietnam, and the verses try to tell the story of someone who lived there at the time, and the use of children in the chorus just shows that it is often them that are manipulated in the war, as their minds are so meldable, looking at Nazi Germany is a great example of this.
The verse talking about fire sweeping up the street may be talking about Napalms, and the mad bull lost its way is America...
And to the only other reviewer, I completely agree, and in my opinion, people aren't going to change, the world is to broken and corrupt for any real universal peace and goodness to come from it, so enjoy your own life as much as you can, while you still can... The last chorus might help... :)

Sign of the Times | Reviewer: Anonymous | 9/2/07

Such simple lyrics. Such a complex message. Still so relevant.
I thought we were supposed to learn from our ancestors' mistakes.