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Brass In Pocket
Song

Brass In Pocket

Pretenders
Album:
Pretenders

Song Meaning and Background of Brass In Pocket by The Pretenders


"Brass in Pocket", is a song by English–American rock band the Pretenders, released in 1979 as the third single from their self-titled debut album. It was written by Chrissie Hynde and James Honeyman-Scott. Originating as a guitar lick written by Honeyman-Scott, the song's lyrics were explained by Hynde to be about the cockiness that one needs to effectively perform. The song's title derives from a phrase she overheard after a show.


"Brass in Pocket" originated as a guitar line that James Honeyman-Scott played for Chrissie Hynde. Hynde then recorded the part with a tape recorder and wrote the song's lyrics. Musically, Hynde described the song as "trying to be a Motown song, but it didn't quite get it".


Hynde got the idea for the song's title when, during an after-show dinner, she overheard someone enquiring if anyone had "Picked up dry cleaning? Any brass in pocket?"


Of the song's reference to "bottle", Hynde explained, "Bottle is Cockney rhyming slang. It means bottle and glass. The way Cockney rhyming slang works is the word you're really saying rhymes with the second word. So bottle and glass rhymes with ass.


In England, to say somebody has a lot of ass they have a lot of funk. So you say, 'That guy has a lot of bottle.'"


Of the song's meaning, Hynde stated:

The tradition of Brass in Pocket is that you're supposed to be kind of cocky and sure of yourself. You're not supposed to go on stage and say, "I'm small and I have no confidence and think I'm a shit."

Because you just can't do that on stage. You're not supposed to, and probably you don't have much confidence, and you do think you're a little piece of shit or else you wouldn't have gotten a rock band together in the first place.


During an interview with The Observer in 2004, she revealed she was initially reluctant to have the song released: "When we recorded the song I wasn't very happy with it and told my producer that he could release it over my dead body."


Hynde later reflected, "Now I like that song because it's one of those songs that served me well. I didn't like my voice on it. I was kind of a new singer, and listening to my voice made me kind of cringe."


Lyrics of Brass in Pocket by The Pretenders


Got brass in pocket

Got bottle, I'm gonna use it

Intention, I feel inventive

Gonna make you, make you, make you notice

 

Got motion, restrained emotion

Been driving Detroit leaning

No reason, just seems so pleasing

Gonna make you, make you, make you notice

 

[Chorus:]

Gonna use my arms

Gonna use my legs

Gonna use my style

Gonna use my side step

Gonna use my fingers

Gonna use my, my, my imagination

 

'Cause I gonna make you see

There's nobody else here

No one like me

I'm special so special

I gotta have some of your attention give it to me

 

Got rhythm I can't miss a beat

Got new skank it's so reet

Got something I'm winking at you

Gonna make you, make you, make you notice

 

[Chorus]

 

'Cause I gonna make you see

There's nobody else here

No one like me

I'm special, so special

I gotta have some of your attention

Give it to me

'Cause I gonna make you see

There's nobody else here

No one like me

I'm special, so special

I gotta have some of your attention

 

Give it to me

Release Date

1979

Songwriter/s

Chrissie Hynde, James Honeyman-Scott

Producer/s

Chris Thomas

Label/s

Real, Sire

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