Meaning of “Perhaps” by Guns N’ Roses

Guns N’ Roses is a legendary American rock band which traces its origins back to the mid-1980s, and their heyday was also circa the late-1980s/early-1990s. By the looks of things, the band never officially went on hiatus, but they have had their up and downs. For example Guns N’ Roses has only dropped one studio album thus far during the 21st century, that being 2008’s “Chinese Democracy”, and it is actually from those recording sessions that “Perhaps” is derived.

To note, the official members of the band who participated on that album and are still involved with the group as of this release are:

  • Axl Rose (frontman)
  • Frank Ferrer (drummer)
  • Dizzy Reed (keyboardist)  

The entire crew is collectively credited with writing this song, with hits producers being Axl Rose and Caram Constanzo.

And as with the band itself, this song has also had an up-and-down history. For instance, its first leakage transpired in 2019.  Then it was slated for release earlier in August of 2023, did not make that date due to whatever unspecified reason yet did end up accidentally leaking. However, “Perhaps” was eventually released officially, via Geffen Records, on 18 August 2023.


The Lyrics of “Perhaps”

Maybe the reason that this song didn’t come out when it was first recorded is because it is somewhat difficult to understand. Furthermore, it possesses bit of a confrontational or mocking tone, with some listeners concluding that it might be based on a personal beef that Axl Rose may have gotten into, i.e. with one of his bandmates for instance.

Indeed, this can be defined as a diss-laden track, though said disses are not direct per se. Reading in-between the lines, it’s as if the vocalist has come to the conclusion that the addressee is a shiesty person, one who “pulled the gun that shot and crucified (his) savior”. 

Said “savior” would obviously be a reference to Jesus, since Axl also uses the word “crucified” to describe him, but of course Jesus was not “shot” with a gun. So it would seem that what he’s saying is that the addressee is the type of person who would have been involved in the crucifixion of Jesus, i.e. that said individual is a persecutor of the righteous.

That, of course, is a very bad thing to say about somebody, but it reads as if Axl has been deeply hurt and disappointed by the person he’s singing about/to. 

To reiterate, the lyrics are in fact indirect. So for instance, it isn’t clear what type of relationship existed between the vocalist and addressee, nor is it revealed what exactly Rose’s gripe with this individual may be. But what is discernible is that this person – in some way, shape or form – has deeply betrayed the vocalist’s trust. 

Or viewed from a different angle, at one time the two of them were apparently fighting for the same cause. But eventually the addressee “sold out” and is now being put on blast for resultantly suffering from loneliness.

“Got a lot more than I bargained for
You’re all alone now
You forgot about the others you were fighting for
You’re all alone
Sold out to the ones that you once ignored
You’re all alone now
You used to be a little crazy, now there’s so much more
You’re all alone”

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