5 Minutes

Album: The Stranglers IV (1978)
Charted: 11

Songfacts®:

  • The 5 minutes referred to in this song is the time it takes to drive from the sketchy area of West Hampstead, London to the palatial estates of Bishops Avenue. In our interview with Stranglers lead singer JJ Burnel, he explained: "I just thought that there was a juxtaposition there between the comfort of all these gated protected communities with cameras and electronic entrances and our situation on the fifth floor of an old apartment building, where people could just come in and rape someone."
  • The rape described in this song really happened. JJ Burnel told us: "I was sharing a flat with a bloke called Wilko Johnson, who was a guitarist for the band Dr. Feelgood - a UK rhythm and blues band. They had really peaked, they had got to #1 the year before. I was sharing a flat with him and a girl who worked for the Sex Pistols. That flat was an amazing thing. It was 1977, so all kinds of people would walk through. Lemmy from Motörhead was a good friend of Wilko's and various people, members of the Clash and Sex Pistols.

    And while I was away gigging one night, the girl, she got raped. Which more or less constituted the end of our stay there, because the apartment was tainted."
  • There are some French lyrics at the end of this song, which go along with the rape story. "cherie enculée" roughly translates to "girl who is f--ked."

Comments: 1

  • Zabadak from London, EnglandSuperior Stranglers single, with Rok It To The Moon on the flip. Reached #11 in the UK in 1978.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Justin Timberlake

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?

U2 Lyrics

U2 LyricsMusic Quiz

How well do you know the lyrics of U2?

Female Singers Of The 90s

Female Singers Of The 90sMusic Quiz

The ladies who ruled the '90s in this quiz.

Brandi Carlile

Brandi CarlileSongwriter Interviews

As a 5-year-old, Brandi was writing lyrics to instrumental versions lullabies. She still puts her heart into her songs, including the one Elton John sings on.

The 10 Bands Most Like Spinal Tap

The 10 Bands Most Like Spinal TapSong Writing

Based on criteria like girlfriend tension, stage mishaps and drummer turnover, these are the 10 bands most like Spinal Tap.

Lecrae

LecraeSongwriter Interviews

The Christian rapper talks about where his trip to Haiti and his history of addiction fit into his songs.