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: 8

  • 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

80s Video Director Jay DubinSong Writing

Billy Joel and Hall & Oates hated making videos, so they chose a director with similar contempt for the medium. That was Jay Dubin, and he has a lot to say on the subject.

Chris Fehn of SlipknotSongwriter Interviews

A drummer for one of the most successful metal bands of the last decade, Chris talks about what it's like writing and performing with Slipknot. Metal-neck is a factor.

Early Days of MTVFact or Fiction

If you can recall the days when MTV played videos, you know that there are lots of stories to tell. See if you can spot the real ones.

Scott StappSongwriter Interviews

The Creed lead singer reveals the "ego and self-fulfillment" he now sees in one of the band's biggest hits.

Michael W. SmithSongwriter Interviews

Smith breaks down some of his worship tracks as well as his mainstream hits, including "I Will Be Here For You" and "A Place In This World."

Stephen Christian of AnberlinSongwriter Interviews

The lead singer/lyricist for Anberlin breaks down "Impossible" and covers some tracks from their 2012 album Vital.