When the Sun Goes Down
Arctic Monkeys Lyrics


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I said, who's that girl there?
I wonder what went wrong so that she had to roam the streets
She don't do major credit cards, I doubt she does receipts
It's all not quite legitimate
And what a scummy man
Just give him half a chance, I bet he'll rob you if he can
Can see it in his eyes, yeah, that he's got a driving ban
Among some other offences
And I've seen him with girls of the night
And he told Roxanne to put on her red light
They're all infected but he'll be alright
'Cause he's a scumbag, don't you know?
I said, he's a scumbag, don't you know?

Although you're trying not to listen
Avert your eyes and staring at the ground
She makes a subtle proposition
I'm sorry, love, I'll have to turn you down
And oh, he must be up to summat
What are the chances? Sure it's more than likely
I've got a feeling in my stomach
And start to wonder what his story might be
What his story might be, yeah

'Cause they said it changes when the sun goes down
Yeah, they said it changes when the sun goes down
And they said it changes when the sun goes down
Around here
Around here, oh

Look, here comes a Ford Mondeo
Isn't he Mister Inconspicuous?
And he don't even have to say owt
She's in the stance ready to get picked up
Bet she's delighted when she sees him
Pullin' in and givin' her the eye
Because she must be fuckin' freezin'
Scantily-clad beneath the clear night sky
It don't stop in the winter, no

And they said it changes when the sun goes down
Yeah, they said it changes when the sun goes down
And they said it changes when the sun goes down
Around here
Well, they said it changes when the sun goes down
Over the river going out of town
And they said it changes when the sun goes down
Around here
Around here, oh

And what a scummy man
Just give him half a chance, I bet he'll rob you if he can




Can see it in his eyes, yeah, that he's got a nasty plan
I hope you're not involved at all

Overall Meaning

The Arctic Monkeys' "When the Sun Goes Down" paints a vivid picture of a seedy red-light district in Sheffield, England. The song tells the story of a young prostitute and her interactions with the shady patrons of the area. The opening lines introduce a girl that the singer wonders about, questioning what drove her to sell herself on the streets. The following lines describe the characters she interacts with, particularly a "scummy man" who is known to be a thief and has been banned from driving.


As the story unfolds, the singer is propositioned by the prostitute but turns her down. Meanwhile, he observes the man in the Ford Mondeo picking up the girl and taking her away. The song comes full circle as it ends with a repetition of the chorus and a warning about the dangers of getting involved with the wrong crowd.


The lyrics of "When the Sun Goes Down" are incredibly detailed and evocative in their description of the dingy, illicit setting. The song highlights the harsh realities of life for those who are struggling to get by in economically deprived areas, as well as the dangers posed by nefarious figures who take advantage of vulnerable individuals.


Line by Line Meaning

I said, who's that girl there?
The singer wonders about a girl he sees on the street.


I wonder what went wrong so that she had to roam the streets
The singer ponders why the girl is out on the streets.


She don't do major credit cards, I doubt she does receipts
The girl is probably involved in illegal activities.


It's all not quite legitimate
The girl's activities are dubious and not legal.


And what a scummy man
The singer observes a man who is a lowlife.


Just give him half a chance, I bet he'll rob you if he can
The lowlife man is likely to steal from people if he gets the opportunity.


Can see it in his eyes, yeah, that he's got a driving ban
The lowlife man has had his license taken away for some reason.


Among some other offences
The lowlife man has committed other crimes.


And I've seen him with girls of the night
The singer has seen the lowlife man with prostitutes.


And he told Roxanne to put on her red light
The lowlife man has requested the services of a prostitute named Roxanne.


They're all infected but he'll be alright
The lowlife man may be involved in risky behavior, but he thinks he'll be okay.


'Cause he's a scumbag, don't you know?
The singer emphasizes that the lowlife man is terrible.


Although you're trying not to listen
The singer notices that the listener is trying to avoid the topic of the lowlife man.


Avert your eyes and staring at the ground
The listener is avoiding making eye contact with the singer, perhaps because they're uncomfortable with the topic.


She makes a subtle proposition
The girl on the street makes a suggestive gesture to the lowlife man.


I'm sorry, love, I'll have to turn you down
The singer imagines turning down a proposition from the girl on the street.


And oh, he must be up to summat
The singer suspects the lowlife man is plotting something.


What are the chances? Sure it's more than likely
The singer thinks it's very probable that the lowlife man is up to something.


I've got a feeling in my stomach
The singer has a gut feeling about the situation.


And start to wonder what his story might be
The singer thinks about what could have led the lowlife man to this point in his life.


'Cause they said it changes when the sun goes down
The singer notes that things might change at night, suggesting that the lowlife man's behavior may be different at night.


Around here
The singer is referring to the area where he is.


Look, here comes a Ford Mondeo
The singer points out a car passing by.


Isn't he Mister Inconspicuous?
The driver of the car, a Ford Mondeo, seems unremarkable.


And he don't even have to say owt
The driver doesn't even have to say anything to get the girl's attention.


She's in the stance ready to get picked up
The girl expects the driver to pick her up.


Bet she's delighted when she sees him
The girl is probably happy when she sees the driver pick her up.


Pullin' in and givin' her the eye
The driver pulls over and looks at the girl suggestively.


Because she must be fuckin' freezin'
The girl is probably cold because she is scantily clad.


Scantily-clad beneath the clear night sky
The girl is dressed in revealing clothing despite the cold weather.


It don't stop in the winter, no
The activities of the girl and the lowlife man don't stop in the winter.


Over the river going out of town
The singer is referring to a location near a river where people leave town.


Well, they said it changes when the sun goes down
The singer is repeating his earlier observation that things change when the sun goes down.


Around here
The singer is referring again to the area he is in.


And what a scummy man
The singer again emphasizes that the lowlife man is terrible.


Just give him half a chance, I bet he'll rob you if he can
The lowlife man will take advantage of people if he gets the opportunity.


Can see it in his eyes, yeah, that he's got a nasty plan
The lowlife man has a sinister plan in mind.


I hope you're not involved at all
The singer hopes that the listener is not involved with the lowlife man or the girl on the street.




Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Written by: Alex Turner

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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robin

DAMNNN THEY ARE GOOD GOOD

Most interesting comment from YouTube:

@williamduncan7401

The intro is JUST GREAT. Here are some timestamps to perfectly illustrate the lyrics:
0:17 "She don't do major credit cards"
Him: Hi, can I pay with a visa?
She: (you can see her frown right before the scene is changed)
0:27 "Just give him half a chance"
Him: Begging
Her: Ok, ok, ok, fine!
0:29 "I bet he'll rob you if he can"
Him: "Oh, let me just take that, you're not eating it are you?"
Her face: SCUMBAG
0:34 "He's got a driving ban"
Him: (no comment needed. if you're not from the UK, you probably didn't see he's driving [driver sits on the right side])
0:44 "And he told Roxanne to put on her red light"
Him: Hey Roxanne, put on your red light.
0:49 "They're all infected"
She: (seems quite sick)
0:57 Alex: "I SAID HE'S A SCUMBAG DON'T YOU KNOW"



All comments from YouTube:

@ClwkInstnct

2006: Classic
15 years later: Legendary

@retrogta3692

Not really

@metallicanirvana100

Legendary!! From Mexico

@retrogta3692

@@metallicanirvana100 I prefer Kenny Chesney's version

@beccadeches9751

No.

@andrew_8000

Yes

17 More Replies...

@user-fr3gh5cx4w

the amount of love i have for this band is unreal

@callmealpha7548

Yea im a 5 yo fan

@uhhhhh2672

Ikr! I can't help but be on the verge of tears when I listen to them sometimes

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