Oasis’ “Gas Panic” Lyrics Meaning

Noel Gallagher wrote this song during a particular night when he was suffering from an especially-acute case of what he has termed as “difficult agony attacks”. These are withdrawal afflictions he was plagued with in the aftermath of giving up a hard-substance addiction he was privy to for a good five years. But once again on this particular night it was quite severe, and in response to being unable to sleep he grabbed a guitar and penned this song.

And likewise the subject of this track is persecuted by what is described in the first verse as a “tongueless ghost of sin”. He comes to visit the protagonist during “a stormy night”. And basically, the narrator interprets the entire scenario as in he being visited by an entity tantamount to a demon. Thus he is stricken with fear. In fact his anxiety is so high that he basically decides to pray to God, even though he is not particularly a believer in such.


And of all the various metaphors used to relay this tale, the chorus is actually the most-challenging to decipher. For in it the singer utters the phrases “my family don’t seem so familiar, and my enemies all know my name”. This particular part of the track doesn’t necessarily read as if it is directly related to the vocalist’s interactions with the demon. And generally, fans have concluded that it alludes to the overall foundation of the song, which once again is premised on the subject dealing with substance addiction. 

But it is also interesting to note that, as Oasis fans are well aware, the two key members of the band, Noel and his brother Liam, eventually had an ugly falling out. So perhaps the phrase “my family don’t seem so familiar” served as a foretelling of their eventual tiff. Though a more logical explanation, within the context of the song, would be that such sentiments are actually related to his overall paranoia.


But that aspect aside, this is clearly a song in which the narrator is suffering from a “panic” attack. He is basically hallucinating, being visited by an ominous spiritual being. Owing to this, he’s overtaken with fright. And although it is never actually mentioned, what has actually spurred this whole episode is his past dependency on illicit substances.

Lyrics of "Gas Panic"

When did “Gas Panic” come out?

“Gas Panic!” is a song that came out as part of Oasis’s fourth-studio album, “Standing on the Shoulder of Giants”, on 28 February 2000. This song was also included in Oasis’ bestselling live album titled “Familiar to Millions”. Other noted songs from that album include “Wonderwall” and “Don’t Look Back in Anger“.

Writing and Production Credits

The song was written and co-produced by Noel Gallagher. And its other co-producer is prominent English studio musician Mark “Spike” Stent.

At the time Noel Gallagher wrote this song, he was actually a recovering addict. In fact he had reportedly quit as early as mid-1998. However, the “panic attacks” he suffered as withdrawal symptoms, which the lyrics are based on, were so pronounced that they persisted for an additional year.

Before performing this track live, Liam traditionally gives a shoutout to the addicts in the audience.

1 Response

  1. Maja says:

    But why is it called _gas_ panic? Is that a common phrase?

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