S--t Arm, Bad Tattoo

Album: Achtung Bono (2005)


  • This song is commonly held to be an attack on singer Pete Doherty, although there is more evidence against this than for it. Let's examine:

    Lyrics: "I could have put my head in a bucket full of porridge and moaned about the hospital parking scheme, instead of wasting fourteen pounds that I just splashed out on your second album, for that's what it's akin to. And furthermore, you've got a s--t arm and that's a bad tattoo."
    Pete Doherty's arm and tattoo are displayed on the cover of The Libertines' self-titled second album.

    Lyrics: "If you're going to quote from the book of Revelation, don't keep calling it the book of Revelations."
    The Libertines' song What A Waster contains the line: "The book of Revelations." (However, it doesn't actually quote from it).

    Lyrics: "You only busk when it's Christmas"
    Makes no sense when applied to The Libertines, although seems to work with Franz Ferdinand. Again, probably just a coincidence.

    Nigel Blackwell, the song's author, is on record as saying "the song is absolutely not about Pete Doherty" and is actually about "flabby-armed bass players in local pub bands. Have the decency to develop some biceps, sir!" Given Blackwell's past form for brazen unambiguity in his celebrity-baiting numbers, he's probably telling the truth. If the song was specifically about Pete Doherty it would probably have his name in it, and be a lot more insulting. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Jim - London, England

Comments: 1

  • Dave from Liverpool, United KingdomThe Four Lads Who Shook the Wirral
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Paul WilliamsSongwriter Interviews

He's a singer and an actor, but as a songwriter Paul helped make Kermit a cultured frog, turned a bank commercial into a huge hit and made love both "exciting and new" and "soft as an easy chair."

Roger McGuinn of The ByrdsSongwriter Interviews

Roger reveals the songwriting formula Clive Davis told him, and if "Eight Miles High" is really about drugs.

George HarrisonFact or Fiction

Did Eric Clapton really steal George's wife? What's the George Harrison-Monty Python connection? Set the record straight with our Fact or Fiction quiz.

Kristian Bush of SugarlandSongwriter Interviews

Kristian talks songwriting technique, like how the chorus should redefine the story, and how to write a song backwards.

Jesus In Pop Hits: The Gospel Songs That Went MainstreamSong Writing

These overtly religious songs crossed over to the pop charts, despite resistance from fans, and in many cases, churches.

90s Music Quiz 1Music Quiz

First question: Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson appeared in videos for what artist?