Dirty Harry

Album: Demon Days (2005)
Charted: 6

Songfacts®:

  • This song is named after a '70s movie staring Clint Eastwood, who was the subject of another Gorillaz song. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Spencer - Los Angeles, CA
  • The lyrics suggest that American president George W. Bush doesn't care about the soldiers in the middle-east: "The war is over so said the speaker, with a flight suit on, maybe to him I'm just a pawn." The words "Dirty Harry" do not appear in the lyrics, but the reference to Clint Eastwood's gun-toting vigilante character implies that this is the way much of the world sees Bush. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    nick - kettering, OH
  • Bootie Brown from the Pharcyde does a rap in this song and also appears in the video. The video is mostly animated, but Brown appears in real form. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • Demon Days was produced by Danger Mouse a year before he teamed up with Cee-Lo to form Gnarls Barkley. He recalled to Q magazine June 2008 about recording the album: "At first he (Damon Albarn) didn't want me to do the whole Gorillaz album or anything. He was curious about me, to see whether we could work together. The first track we did was 'Dirty Harry,' which was a really raw, stripped-down demo. I had this vision of choirs and Gregorian chants and rapping, and Damon was like, 'Well, go ahead and do it!' But Damon's Songwriting is the strongest part of that record, not any fancy production. It's only when you have really good Songwriting that you can do all the other stuff. That's what allows me to do what I do. He gave me respect and that sense of confidence. His is the biggest influence anyone's ever had on me."

Comments: 9

  • Kj from Cedarburg,wialthough I like this song, the message presented is not entirely right. I know of many veterans of iraq and Afghanistan who felt it was their patriotic duty to serve in the middle east. I don't think many vets think war is meaningless in that part of the world. the only reason we were at war for so long is because more terrorist cells kept regrouping from around the area, trying to start a hostile take over of iraq, Afghanistan,as well as others. we were the only country willing to protect its citizens and corrupt government, as they would not last a year without support if w just up and left the middle east. our entire goal after killing bin laden was to improve life in that part of the world. kind of hard to enjoy your life while being shot.
  • Megan from Stevenson, AlThis song is awesome! I love this band because of their music, but my little brother is fascinated with their videos! lol
  • Kane from Wytheville, Vawanna know something crazy before i bought the cd demon days i was a fan of Mf doom (did a song with gorillaz "november has come")
    and Mf DOOM WORKED WITH DANGER MOUSE TO BRING THE GROUP DANGER DOOM
    now i have been a fan of gorillaz seens the first album and it blew my mind when i heard that danger mouse produced Demon Days awesome!!!!
    also a big fan of cee-lo sense goodie mob rock on!!
  • S from El, Mii really like the video. go gecko! go gecko! the rap is really truthful, showing how dumb the war is from the soldier's view. YAY GORILLAZ!!!
  • Drew from North Creek, Nythis is a blantant shot @ the Iraq war and i agree with everything it says. the rap speaks the hard honest truth. its glad to see pleople can still say what they want and not be but in a milatary prision for it.
  • Blake from Hamilton, OhI've seen the live version of this too. I love this song and I agree with every word of it. It's definitely talking about the Iraqai war and how even rap and rock doesn't agree with it. My question is why this song's entitled "Dirty Harry"?
  • Michelle from Darlington, EnglandI love this song. I love most of the Gorillaz compositions. I would say this isn't as good as Dare though.
  • Jacob from Layton, UtAcutally they aren't "young boys." It's a children's choir. And they didn't do anything in Kids With Guns. Not trying to sound rude.
    The music video is hilarious though. Dancing Gecko.
  • Bill Door from Somewhere, CaThis is a blatant yet beautiful reference to the Iraq War. As do most of the songs on this CD it sympathizes with the troops, but casts Bush in an unfavorable light with them (in the part about so says the speaker in the flight suit,{Bush was in a flight suit during his victory speech}). In the video it portrays a group of kids lost in a desert who are picked up (the old bring our troops back) by the end of the song, however, the vehicle breaks down at the end possibly symbolizing that if we were to pull out now we would be even worse off. The common theme on the album symbolizes the soldiers as children (the chorus made up of young boys, who did a remarkable job in this/ and Kids with Guns). Also while people complain about the rap in the music, it is an integral part of many songs as it shows that another person or viewpoint is speaking, and is a common lyrical device. All together these songs create a firm message while keeping lighthearted, to me reminiscent of Jethro Tull.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Lace the Music: How LSD Changed Popular Music

Lace the Music: How LSD Changed Popular MusicSong Writing

Starting in Virginia City, Nevada and rippling out to the Haight-Ashbury, LSD reshaped popular music.

Narada Michael Walden - "Freeway of Love"

Narada Michael Walden - "Freeway of Love"They're Playing My Song

As a songwriter and producer, Narada had hits with Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and Starship. But what song does he feel had the greatest impact on his career?

Tom Bailey of Thompson Twins

Tom Bailey of Thompson TwinsSongwriter Interviews

Tom stopped performing Thompson Twins songs in 1987, in part because of their personal nature: "Hold Me Now" came after an argument with his bandmate/girlfriend Alannah Currie.

Weezer

WeezerFact or Fiction

Did Rivers Cuomo grow up on a commune? Why did they name their albums after colors? See how well you know your Weezer in this Fact or Fiction.

David Paich of Toto

David Paich of TotoSongwriter Interviews

Toto's keyboard player explains the true meaning of "Africa" and talks about working on the Thriller album.

Dean Friedman - "Ariel"

Dean Friedman - "Ariel"They're Playing My Song

Dean's saga began with "Ariel," a song about falling in love with a Jewish girl from New Jersey.