The Garden

Album: Use Your Illusion I (1991)

Songfacts®:

  • Following "November Rain" on the Use Your Illusion I album, "The Garden" is a duet between Axl Rose and Alice Cooper. In the first verse, Rose sings about the garden as a place that draws you in, but when Cooper comes in with a menacing vocal, it's clear this place has its drawbacks:

    Turned into my worst phobia
    A crazy man's utopia


    The lyric is open to interpretation, but drugs is a possibility. As Cooper sings, only smart boys do without.
  • Axl Rose wrote the song with two non-band members who often helped them out: West Arkeen and Del James. James also contributed to "November Rain" and "Estranged"; Arkeen co-wrote "It's So Easy." He also played acoustic guitar on this track.
  • Shannon Hoon of Blind Melon sang backup vocals. He and Axl Rose were good friends.
  • The song was never released as a single, but a gritty, black-and-white video showing the band members in New York City was produced.
  • On the album, this is followed by "Garden Of Eden," which is a completely different song.
  • For contributing on this, Alice Cooper was given a Platinum record for Use Your Illusion I. It was stolen when his house was burglarized in 2000.

Comments: 11

  • Bennett from Shreveport, La, UsaI had just graduated high school when these albums came. I love the guitar solo and Alice Cooper. He's perfect for this. I believe this song to be about heroin's pleasures and addiction. Once you go there, you don't return.
  • Caveman from The GardenThis song along with The Garden of Eden and many other songs on the UYI albums allude to The Bible (believe it or not). Axl states, "what's up with you man and this garden" this song and in The Garden Of Eden he says, "No ones going to believe this but we're lost in the Garden of Eden." If you watch the video for Estranged there are many biblical symbols, such as crucifixes and a tanker (Noah's ark) and a storm (the Flood) at the end. If you watch the beginning it defines the word illusion and at the end it defines disillusion, this stating that if the viewer watch carefully Axl Rose and the band can disillusion the viewer with the video. What does this mean? To understand, I'll cite The Penultimate Truth by Phillip K. Dick. In it Dick describes a group of agents using time machines to place alien artifacts on each other's land to seize such land. Phillip K. Dick was obsessed with the dead sea scrolls before he died. Now you put two and two together. Also if you notice in Don't Cry there is a child and the child (being Axl) watches his whole life flash before his eyes. At the ending we see a naked Axl underneath his tombstone going into a light where he is reborn. I cite Matthew 24 as proof of such birthpangs.

    You never truly get off of thisforever.
    This is it, forver.
    You're still in the Garden.
    The fall is yet to come.
    Beware of bad apples.
    The tree of teknowledge of good and evil bears much fruit.
    Will man remain a product of God or become a product of man?
    The consequences are disastrous for the human race.
    .....and your loved ones told you magic wasn't real....
  • Drew from MendocinoDefinetly about heroin.
  • Joni from New York, NyIn Slash's autobiography, he tells that this song was a collaboration with West Arkeen.
  • Jeremy from Lafayette, LaThis song is about heroin."If you're lost no one can show ya", meaning if you over dose you're screwed. Many former addicts refer to it as a "garden", also. And when he says he doesn't want to leave, well, that kind of speaks for itself. By the way, I'm not making this up.
  • Lynette from Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, EnglandThey got alice cooper 2 sing it because they were recording it and thought that axl's vocals sounded very much like alices. so they decided, @ around 2am in the morning, to ring alice up (he wasn't very far away) and get him 2 do it.
  • Kelly from Los Angeles, CaLove this song! Underrated but should definitely be more known. Alice Cooper's voice is just the right amount of creepiness.
  • Don from Toronto, CanadaThe Garden is written about Charles Manson and the Manson Girls. Axl has met Manson and at least one of his girls, namely Gypsy. The girls today are into gardening. They tend the garden daily. Manson has ATWA web site. It stands for air, trees, water, animals. Rose makes reference to a crazy man, life inside, trees, Gypsy and the garden. The duet is wth Alice Cooper because Alice wrote several songs about Manson in the early 70's. Copper was not selected by chance for this song. And now you know!
  • Don from Toronto, CanadaThe Garden is written about Charles Manson and the Manson Girls. Axl has met Manson and at least one of his girls, namely Gypsy. The girls today are into gardening. They tend the garden daily. Manson has ATWA web site. It stands for air, trees, water, animals. Rose makes reference to a crazy man, life inside, trees, Gypsy and the garden. And now you know!
  • Brian from Gregory, MiI always thought it was about marijuana. You are right about the solo. It could be the best one on the illusion albums.
  • Brian from Paoli, InThis is a pretty cool song really, most people haven't heard of it. Killer guitar solo.
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