Giving Up the Gun

  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • Vampire Weekend takes a stab at arena rock on this synthy number. Frontman Ezra Koenig commented in the band's track-by-track production notes: "On this song, we wanted to get across some big feelings, but still keep a sense of minimalism. I think we found a way to do that, musically and lyrically."
  • The origins of this song date tack to the mid 2000s. Bassist Chris Baio explained to Drowned in Sound: "The first time I heard (a pretty different version of) this song was at a L'homme Run show in Lerner Hall, Columbia's student center, in the fall of 2005. Rostam (Batmanglij) came up on stage and sang along with the choruses. I think CT (Chris Tomson) was playing bongo? It was fun! I remember we tried playing it together as a band in an early Vampire Weekend practice but felt it wasn't working and needed a different approach. This year we revisited it from a more studio/production perspective and wrote new parts. I'm personally proud of the bass part I wrote on this one--it's minimal but sing-songy, which is not the way I usually write."
  • Koenig explained to the NME February 16, 2010: "I got the idea for the song from a book my dad gave me called Giving Up The Gun. It's a history book about the time when Japan expelled all the foreigners from the country, closed off all trade and stopped using guns and reverted back to the sword. It seems unimaginable now that humanity could willingly go back to an older technology. It got me thinking about whether you could give up all the things that you have and go back to a simpler way of life."
  • The song's music video, which centers on an unbeatable female tennis player, features guest appearances from Joe Jonas, actor Jake Gyllenhaal and rapper/producer RZA. The Malloys, who have worked with the Jonas Brothers in the past, directed the clip. The unbeatable female tennis player is played by Jenny Murray, who previously was the goth girl in the "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa" clip. Her coach in the video is Lil Jon.
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Janis IanSongwriter Interviews

One of the first successful female singer-songwriters, Janis had her first hit in 1967 at age 15.

Eric BurdonSongwriter Interviews

The renown rock singer talks about "The House of the Rising Sun" and "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood."

They Might Be GiantsSongwriter Interviews

Who writes a song about a name they found in a phone book? That's just one of the everyday things these guys find to sing about. Anything in their field of vision or general scope of knowledge is fair game. If you cross paths with them, so are you.

George ClintonSongwriter Interviews

When you free your mind, your ass may follow, but you have to make sure someone else doesn't program it while it's wide open.

AC/DCFact or Fiction

Does Angus really drink himself silly? Did their name come from a sewing machine? See if you can spot the real stories about AC/DC.

Dean PitchfordSongwriter Interviews

Dean wrote the screenplay and lyrics to all the songs in Footloose. His other hits include "Fame" and "All The Man That I Need."