What is the meaning of the song "Golden Brown"?


The song “Golden Brown,” by English rock band The Stranglers, is about both drugs and relationships, according to the band’s former lead singer, Hugh Cornwell. In his 2001 book, “The Stranglers: Song by Song,” Cornwell states that the song is about a girl but also about heroin and how "both provided me with pleasurable times." According to The Telegraph, Cornwell was once addicted to heroin as well as cocaine.

Prior to the publication of Cornwell's book, the meaning of the song had been the subject of much speculation. According to the BBC, the song avoided being banned because the lyrics were obscure enough to make the drug references unclear. The band claimed listeners could interpret the song in multiple ways and were therefore able to add whatever meaning they desired. Released in December 1981 in the USA and the following month in the United Kingdom, "Golden Brown" went on to become the band's biggest ever hit, reaching the No. 2 position in the UK Singles Chart. The song also reached the top ten in the Netherlands, Ireland and Belgium. It appears on the soundtrack of the Guy Ritchie film, "Snatch," and also the 2001 Australian comedy, "He Died with a Felafel in His Hand."

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