"Brass In Pocket" was written by Pretenders lead singer Chrissie Hynde
and guitarist James Honeyman-Scott. Hynde rarely explains what her songs are about, but she let on with this one in a 1980 interview with Sounds
: "It's very lightweight pop type of song, nothing heavy about it. It's along the lines of the guy who is feeling very insecure, not about pulling a girl but, say, trying to be accepted by the guys down the pub. It's a front he's putting up. It's like buying a pair of new boots and you feel great but then you get home and see you spots in the mirror. Or take a couple of dexies and you're in gear for the evening but on the train home it's different."
She had clearly internalized the British argot. "Pulling a girl" means finding a companion for the evening; "dexies" are Dexedrine pills, which give the user a jolt of energy. At the time, dexy abuse was common in the UK, especially amongst musicians and clubgoers. The band Dexys Midnight Runners took their name from the pill.