A Junkie's Lament

Album: In The Pocket (1976)

Songfacts®:

  • This is an autobiographical song about Taylor's battles with addictions (primarily heroin), the "monkey on his back."

    Speaking with Rolling Stone in 2015, Taylor explained: "This one's a warning not to think of a junkie as a complete functioning human being. Heroin should've killed me about five times, but it never did. My kids suffered from their father being an addict. I think there's no way they can't. People take drugs to be in control. They want to short-circuit any risk that they might take in life, any uncertainty, any anxiety. They just want to find the chemical route, to just push the button that gets the final result. So all of your relationships suffer, no question about it."

Comments: 1

  • Mike from Ft. Lauderdale, FlJames Taylor reportedly watched about 15 minutes of the film Trainspotting and then remembered exactly how much he hated Heroin -- and Ewan McGregor.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Donnie Iris (Ah! Leah!, The Rapper)

Donnie Iris (Ah! Leah!, The Rapper)Songwriter Interviews

Before "Rap" was a form of music, it was something guys did to pick up girls in nightclubs. Donnie talks about "The Rapper" and reveals the identity of Leah.

Philip Cody

Philip CodySongwriter Interviews

A talented lyricist, Philip helped revive Neil Sedaka's career with the words to "Laughter In The Rain" and "Bad Blood."

Steely Dan

Steely DanFact or Fiction

Did they really trade their guitarist to The Doobie Brothers? Are they named after something naughty? And what's up with the band name?

Concert Disasters

Concert DisastersFact or Fiction

Ozzy biting a dove? Alice Cooper causing mayhem with a chicken? Creed so bad they were sued? See if you can spot the real concert mishaps.

Adele

AdeleFact or Fiction

Despite her reticent personality, Adele's life and music are filled with intrigue. See if you can spot the true tales.

David Gray

David GraySongwriter Interviews

David Gray explains the significance of the word "Babylon," and talks about how songs are a form of active imagination, with lyrics that reveal what's inside us.