Thin Lizzy – “Got To Give It Up”

I remember tearing up hearing this song for the first time a few years ago.  It hit me again that Phil Lynott was dead at such a young age and wasn’t coming back.  I think for all of his fans and family it is therapeutic to have the ability to watch his music videos, and interviews.  You have the opportunity to see him as he was in life, hear his voice and see him walk, talk, and sing. He was singing truth in this song, but the lyrics are still sad.

This song is an early cry for help from lead singer Phil Lynott. Scott Gorham mentions in the Lynott biography The Rocker that while recording this album, Phil started to take heavier drugs and drink a lot more. He was clearly going through tough times, and died as a result of his drinking in 1986. Scott Gorham recalled to us in a 2013 interview:: “We hadn’t really hit the peak of our drug thing at this point. We weren’t feeling the down drag, if you know what I mean. But I think Phil also realized the dangers of it; well, we all knew the dangers of the whole drug world. And I think he was being honest. ‘I’ve got to give this up. I’ve got to give this s–t up or it’s going to kill my ass.'”
 
There is a song on Thin Lizzy’s last album, Thunder And Lightning, that also cries out for help. It is called “Heart Attack.” 
 
Many assumed that the song was about ex-Lizzy guitarist Brian Robertson, who was ousted from the group under hazy circumstances (Black Rose was the first Lizzy album without him). However, Scott Gorham denied this. “No, the Black Rose album, that was the beginning of the end for the band right there,” he told us. “For some reason in that city the drug dealers were just beating the door down trying to get into the studio. And unfortunately, we let them in.”
 

 
Song Lyrics –
 
[Chorus]
I’ve got to give it up I’ve got to give it up
That stuff
I’ve got to give it up I’ve got to give it up
That stuff

Tell my mama and tell my pa
That their fine young son didn’t get far
He made it to the end of a bottle
Sitting in a sleazy bar

He tried hard but his spirit broke
He tried until he nearly choked
In the end he lost his
Bottle drinking alcohol

[Chorus]

Tell my brother I tried to write and
Put pen to paper but I was frightened
I couldn’t seem to get the words out right
Right quite right

Tell my sister I’m sinking slow
Now and again I powder my nose
In the end I lost my bottle
It smashed in a casaba

[Chorus: x2]

I’ve been messing with the heavy stuff
For a time I couldn’t get enough
But I’m waking up and its wearing off
Junk don’t take you far

Tell my mama I’m coming home
In my youth I’m getting older
And I think its lost control
Mama I’m coming home

[Chorus]

Written by: : PHILIP PARRIS LYNOTT & WILLIAM SCOTT GORHAM