Guns N' Roses Sweet Child O' Mine meaning

Guns N’ Roses Sweet Child O’ Mine | The cruel story behind a Rock classic

guns n' roses sweet child o' mine

From its conception to its meaning, Guns N’ Roses’ most famous song, Sweet Child O’ Mine, hides more than you can imagine. So much so that it can even make you stop liking the song 😖

Guns N’ Roses Sweet Child O’ Mine

Trembol | Story behind Sweet Child O’ Mine

Let’s start with the facts, Sweet Child O’ Mine is a song by the hard rock band Guns N’ Roses that was released as the third single from their first album, Appetite for Destruction, in 1987.

  • The first 2 singles, It’s So Easy and Welcome To The Jungle‘ were a flop. It looked like the band was going nowhere until ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ came to the rescue.
  • Within a couple of months the song was No. 1 and, with it, the album 🔝

How did Sweet Child O’ Mine come about?

The band was in Los Angeles rehearsing in a house. During a break the guitarist, Slash, started playing a tune that he describes as “dumb, which sounded like circus music.

Guns n’ Roses drummer Steven Adler heard it and asked Slash to repeat it, Slash didn’t want to because he said it was silly and he didn’t like it, but Steven insisted and Slash played his guitar riff again. Then the second guitarist, Izzy Stradlin, added other chords and bassist Duff McKagan created a bass line.

  • In a matter of 5 minutes they had composed the main part of a Rock classic and some of the most legendary guitar riffs of all time 🎸

Axl Rose, the vocalist, upon hearing it, immediately thought of a poem he had recently written to his girlfriend at the time, Erin Everly, whose father was Don Everly of the famous band ‘Everly Brothers’.

When the band recorded the demo, their producer Spencer Proffer, suggested adding something different to the end of the song. Axl Rose began to wonder:

Where do we go? Where do we go now?”

Proffer suggested Axl to sing it, becoming the famous ending of ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine in which they repeat multiple times “Where do we go (now?)“.

By the way, when Slash is asked about the song, he says he hated it because it all started as a joke 😲, although over time he has changed his mind 🤑

sweet child o' mine meaning
guns and roses sweet child
sweet child o' mine story behind

Guns N’ Roses (Facebook Images)

It all came together. A lot of rock bands are too weak to have any feeling or emotion in any of their stuff unless they are suffering. It’s the first positive love song I’ve ever written, but I guess I never had anyone to write something so positive about.

Axl Rose (Guns N’ Roses frontman)

The story behind ‘Sweet Child of Mine’ | Axl Rose and Erin Everly’s Toxic Love

Axl Rose and Erin story
axel rose and erin everly relationship

Axel Rose and Erin Everly (Google Image)

To understand the story we have to go back to when Axl Rose was 3 years old, his mother, who had him when she was only 16 years old, divorced his father, later marrying a reverend with a very bad character, who used to beat Axl, his mother and the other 2 children they had.

The thing did not stop there, Axl confessed that this man named Stephen L. Bailey, who died in 1992, also sexually abused him.

Since then Axl suffered from bipolar disorder with periods of great aggressiveness, he even tried to commit suicide in 1989 with an overdose of painkillers.

A few years earlier, in 1986, at the age of 24, he began a relationship with model Erin Everly. Both were madly in love, they were the typical couple who were kissing all the time.

But it changed on time, when they weren’t cuddling, they were banging. Their relationship became very toxic.

On one occasion, after a fight in which Axl hit Erin, he went to a bar and wrote on a napkin a love poem dedicated to her 📝. That text would be the embryo of the lyrics of ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’.

Unfortunately Axl’s fits of rage only got worse. Fed up with it, Erin decided to return home. It was the year 1989, Erin tells that Axl followed her home, hit her, pulled out a gun and pointed it at her head telling her that he would not put the gun down until she agreed to marry him.

The wedding would be in 1990. Erin got pregnant soon after, but things did not get better, in one of the beatings that Axl gave her she had an abortion. That was the culmination and finally Erin left Axl, divorcing him in 1991.

A few years later, Erin sued Axl for all the damages he had caused her. One of the evidence she presented against him would be the song “Sweet Child O’ Mine”.

Some fans, who know this story, stopped appreciating the song, because of the harsh undertones it hides.

You can’t miss ⭐️ Best parts of Sweet Child O’ Mine

1. The first chorus when Axl starts singing the poem he wrote for Erin.

2. Slash’s legendary guitar solo that was cut out of the radio version of the song.

3. The final part with the famous “Where do we go now?” and Axl’s brutal singing.

This is what it says | Sweet Child O’ Mine Lyrics

Englihs lyrics

GUNS N' ROSES Sweet Child Of Mine (Original Lyrics)

He’s got a smile that it seems to me
Reminds me of childhood memories
Where everything was as fresh as the bright blue sky

Now and then when I see his face
He takes me away to that special place
And if I stare too long, I’d probably break down and cry

Whoa, oh, oh, sweet child o’ mine
Whoa, oh, oh, oh, sweet love of mine

He’s got eyes of the bluest skies
As if they thought of rain
I’d hate to look into those eyes and see an ounce of pain

His hair reminds me of a warm, safe place
Where as a child I’d hide
And pray for the thunder and the rain to quietly pass me by

Whoa, oh, oh, sweet child o’ mine
Whoa, oh, oh, oh, sweet love of mine
Whoa, oh, oh, oh, sweet child o’ mine
Oh, oh, oh, oh, sweet love of mine

Where do we go?
Where do we go now?
Where do we go?
Where do we go now?
Oh, where do we go now?
Where do we go?
Where do we go? (Sweet child)

Ooh, where do we go now?
Ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah, Where do we go?
Oh, where do we go?
Where do we go now?
Where do we go?
Oh, where do we go?
Where do we go now?

Now now now now now now now
Sweet child, sweet child o’ mine


GUNS N' ROSES Sweet Child O' Mine (Lyrics in Spanish)

Tiene una sonrisa que me parece
Me recuerda recuerdos de la infancia
Donde todo era tan fresco como el brillante cielo azul

De vez en cuando cuando veo su cara
Me lleva a ese lugar especial
Y si me quedo mirando demasiado tiempo, probablemente me echaría a llorar.

Whoa, oh, oh, mi dulce niña
Whoa, oh, oh, oh, mi dulce niña

Tiene ojos de los cielos más azules
Como si pensaran en la lluvia
Odiaría mirar en esos ojos y ver una pizca de dolor

Su pelo me recuerda a un lugar cálido y seguro
Donde de niño me escondía
Y rezaba para que el trueno y la lluvia pasaran en silencio

Whoa, oh, oh, mi dulce niña
Whoa, oh, oh, oh, mi dulce niña
Whoa, oh, oh, oh, mi dulce niña
Oh, oh, oh, oh, mi dulce niña

¿A dónde vamos?
¿Dónde vamos ahora?
¿Adónde vamos?
¿Adónde vamos ahora?
Oh, ¿a dónde vamos ahora?
¿Adónde vamos?
¿Adónde vamos? (Dulce niña)

Ooh, ¿a dónde vamos ahora?
Ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah, ¿A dónde vamos?
Oh, ¿a dónde vamos?
¿Adónde vamos ahora?
¿Adónde vamos?
Oh, ¿a dónde vamos?
¿Dónde vamos ahora?

Ahora ahora ahora ahora ahora ahora
Dulce niña, dulce niña mía

Songwriters: Duff Rose McKagan / Izzy Stradlin / Saul Hudson Hudson / Steven Adler / W. Axl Rose Rose | Lyrics Sweet Child O’ Mine © Universal Music Publishing Group | Background Image: Guns N’ Roses Facebook Image

Did you know...?

Sweet Child O’ Mine‘ is the first song from the 1980s to reach 1000M views on YouTube, they achieved this in 2019.

The line in the song that goes ‘Where everything was as fresh as the bright blue sky‘ is a memory from Axl’s childhood. He commented that as a child he would look up at the blue sky and wish he could disappear into it because he thought it was so beautiful.

All of the band members’ girlfriends at the time (year 1987) appear in ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ video, including Axl Rose’s Erin Everlyn.

The original song had a third verse that Axl had written, but it was cut because the record company thought the song was too long.

Much more | Sheryl Crow ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ and other covers

Sheryl Crow Sweet Child O’ Mine

In 1999, Sheryl Crow did a cover of ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ for the movie ‘A Cool Dad‘. Sheryl would go on to win a Grammy for Best Female Rock Performance for this cover.

Although ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine‘ has been interpreted by multiple artists, there are 3 versions to highlight:

  • Victoria Bergsman, in her solo project known as Taken by Trees, covered it in 2009.
  • During the 2011 Super Bowl halftime show by The Black Eyed Peas, Guns n’ Roses guitarist Slash joined Fergie to perform the song.
  • Another cool version is from the 2016 movie ‘Captain Fantastic’, where the actors sing it in the final scene.

Technical Note | Guns n’ Roses Sweet Child O’ Mine

Axl Rose commented that Guns n’ Roses didn’t want to be the typical hard rock band that didn’t show their feelings and was afraid of romantic songs, that’s why he insisted on making ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’, a rock ballad.

  • The song is played at a tempo of 126 bits per minute in a 4 by 4 rhythm, using a non-typical D Major scale called D Mixolydian, although the bridge modulates to E minor.

🎼 What is a Mixolydian scale?

A Mixolydian scale is one that is built from the fifth degree of any major scale, respecting all accidentals.

  • In the example of ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’, we could say that it is played in G major: G – A – B – C – D – E – F#
  • As you can see the fifth degree (fifth note) is ‘D‘. If we build the scale from D with the same notes we would have: D – E – F# – G – G – A – B – C
  • This is the scale of D Mixolydian, which differs from D in that its seventh degree is one semitone lower (D scale: D – E – F# – G – A – B – C#).
Sweet Child O' Mine chords

‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ single cover

guns n' roses sweet child o' mine
guns n' roses sweet child o' mine

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1 Comment
  1. james c.

    y’all forgot the boy and family singing it in the car (A cappella) in the movie STEP BROTHERS!


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