Doin' Time

Album: Sublime (1996)
Charted: 87
  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • This is based on the George and Ira Gershwin song "Summertime," from the 1935 musical Porgy & Bess. They share the same first line: "Summertime and the livin's easy."
  • "Doin' Time" is the final song on Sublime's third album. The album was their commercial breakthrough, but lead singer Brad Nowell died of a drug overdose shortly before it was released. The band broke up when he died, but drummer Bud Gaugh and bass player Eric Wilson formed a new band called The Long Beach Dub Allstars.
  • The phrase "Doin' Time" isn't in the lyric; it was originally but was replaced by "Summertime" at the last minute.
  • On this track, Brad Nowell compares life with his cheating girlfriend to being locked down in prison - somewhat ironic since in real life, these roles were usually reversed. "He screwed around on the road," Sublime bass player Eric Wilson told Songfacts about Nowell.
  • This contains a sample from the Beastie Boys' "Slow and Low" from their 1986 album License to Ill. The line that's lifted is, "And when we do it like this, in the place to be."
  • Marshall Goodman, who was the percussionist/DJ in Sublime, co-wrote this song along with Brad Nowell - he gets a shout-out in the line, "Bradley's on the microphone with Ras MG."
  • The band's Dalmatian, Lou Dog, makes an appearance on this song. Lou got the band temporarily kicked off the first Warped Tour in 1995 when he bit a skateboarder.
  • The Sublime album was released in the summer of 1996, but this song didn't reach it's airplay peak until January 1998. Starting with "What I Got," songs from the album were gradually pushed to radio stations in America; "Santeria" and "Wrong Way" followed before "Doin' Time" was finally given its turn. All this radio play helped the album sell over five million copies - you had to buy it if you wanted to own the songs, since the singles were not available for sale in the US.
  • Lana Del Rey recorded a super-chilled out version of the song for the 2019 documentary Sublime about the California band. "Not a day goes by that I don't listen to at least one Sublime song," Del Rey said. "They epitomized the SoCal vibe and made a genre and sound totally their own."

    Del Rey's version peaked at #75 on the UK singles chart.
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments: 15

  • Bob from Schenectady, NyAltered lyrics to "Jump For Jah" by Ini Kamoze were included. It retains the final line from the original "show them now we've come off the shelf" but substitutes the previous couple lines with a reference to masturbation.
  • Mariah from New York, NyThe band didn't break up, they have Rome now...?
  • Mic from Tualatin, Orsorry to correct ya but the scrapped title for mca's debut sublime album was " kilin' it " and then changed because of bradley's death.
  • Pedro from Chula Vista, CaThey've remixed this song a looot of times. There used to be a whole "CD" of the different versions on the Sublime Archive but Universal shut the Sublime and LBDAS sections down. Also, Miguel Happoldt sings summertime at the beginning because Bradley had sung "doin' time" but Gershwin said no and then Brad died and they didn't get to change it so Miguel sings the beginning.
  • Bankhead from Atlanta, GaThe self titled album Sublime was orignally called Doin' Time but was changed after Brad's death and before the album was released. Because. Doin' time is a reference to DOING HEROIN. "Me and my girl got this relationship" His heroin addiction. "I love her so bad, but she treats me like...." Being strung out. "on lockdown like a penitentiary" Addiction. It goes on with references about heroin being his creative fuel. The song ends with another reference "evil, i've come to tell you that shes evil" and so on, also talking about heroin.
  • Graham from Sdfs, Cowhen he sings to "on the microphone with ras MG" he is refering to Marshall goodman who co wrote the song
  • Mariana from Annandale, VaThey REALLY did a remix with Snoop Dogg for this song, it's on the "Everything Under the Sun" Box Set!
  • Scott from Pittsburgh, PaThis song is dope. It reminds me of orange soda.
  • Jeri from Edmonton, CanadaIs this the song where in the video there's an INSANELY creepy clown guy that gives the little boy icecream and scratches his chest... then he chases the kid on the slip n' slide? If it's not... then i'm a bit stupid but I've seen it before and it's funny stuff. (the clown's the dad from the "wrong way" video....)
  • Will from Kansas City, MoThere is also a remix I have of this song that was produced by Wyclef Jean of "The Fugees".
  • Carlo from Milwaukee, WiThis song was remixed almost a dozen times. One version did feature Snoop Dogg singing the hook and adding a short verse at the end.
  • Derek from St.clair Shores, MiI dont think they remixed this song with Snoop Dogg Jennie....They remixed it with the Pharcyde. The pharcyde are great though they had that sweet song Passin Me by.
  • Jeff from San Diego, CaIf you don't like Sublime, I think you might be either deaf or a little mental. (((Todos Santos Rules!!!)))
  • Iris from El Paso, TxMy Ex, Dave(2003-2004) & Summer of 2001 with Jasmin, Adrian & Rick! That's all I gotta say!
  • Jennie from Jacksonville, FlThey later did a remix of the song with Snoop Dogg (who is also from Long Beach, CA)
see more comments

Rickie Lee JonesSongwriter Interviews

Rickie Lee Jones on songwriting, social media, and how she's handling Trump.

Phil Hurtt ("I'll Be Around")Songwriter Interviews

Phil was a songwriter, producer and voice behind many Philadelphia soul classics. When disco hit, he got an interesting project: The Village People.

Zakk WyldeSongwriter Interviews

When he was playing Ozzfest with Black Label Society, a kid told Zakk he was the best Ozzy guitarist - Zakk had to correct him.

Hawksley WorkmanSongwriter Interviews

One of Canada's most popular and eclectic performers, Hawksley tells stories about his oldest songs, his plentiful side projects, and the ways that he keeps his songwriting fresh.

Justin TimberlakeFact or Fiction

Was Justin the first to be Punk'd by Ashton Kutcher? Did Britney really blame him for her meltdown? Did his bandmates think he was gay?

Art Alexakis of EverclearSongwriter Interviews

The lead singer of Everclear, Art is also their primary songwriter.