What does Baker Street mean?

Gerry Rafferty: Baker Street Meaning

Album cover for Baker Street album cover

Song Released: 1978

Baker Street Lyrics

Winding your way down on Baker Street
Light in your head and dead on your feet
Well another crazy day
You drink the night away
And forget about everything
This city desert makes you feel so cold
It's got so many people but it's got no...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
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    Jul 1st 2009 !⃝

    Baker Street was and is a hip area in London known for young,stylish and fast living. This song explores the emptiness and the vacuousness of such a lifestyle.


    #2 top rated interpretation:
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    Aug 16th 2014 !⃝

    It is a song about a woman who is passing young age, probably entering her 30's. She used be able to pick up anyone she wanted but is no longer finding it so easy to do as she gets older. She keeps seeing a guy who is a player who keeps talking about giving up drinking and one night stands. She keep hoping he will change. He never does. That's why he is a "Rolling Stone". She hopes he will change but he doesn't. The next morning, she is heading home after sleeping with him and she is finally realizing he won't change and she has given up her best years on a guy who will never become what she hope he will be. The whole song talks about her realization of this... It's a pretty clear story. Don't know why so many get it all so wrong...


    #3 top rated interpretation:
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    Mar 17th 2007 !⃝

    I see this as sort of a coming of age song-about a young man finding, or figuring out his way in life. The first verse finds him walking home after a night of drinking. He thinks that last year at this time, he thought he'd be somewhere else by now, not here. He thought it would be easy to get out whenever he wanted-"just one more year, and then you'll be happy."

    He then happens upon the residence of a friend, an older friend, and he realizes that his friend was once young, and thought that he, too, would be somewhere better, different. But, his dream about buying land and giving up booze and settling down never came to fruition, and the young narrator knows that it will never happen, just as his dreams of moving onto a new chapter in life will never come true.

  4. anonymous
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    Jul 6th 2022 !⃝

    This is not my interpretation - it is what Gerry Rafferty was writing about.
    Rafferty was in London recording with Steeler's Wheel. He had a year left on his contract (another year and then you'll be happy") and wanted desperately to get out and go home to Scotland. The only positive about being in London ("this city desert makes your feel so cold, it's got so many people but it's got no soul)from Rafferty's point of view was being able to spend time ("drink the night away") with a close friend who lived on Baker Street.
    So the "you" in the song is Rafferty himself. He is heading to his friend's flat on Baker Street, he is exhausted, hates London and just wants to go home.
    The last verse was rewritten when Rafferty was actually able to get out of his contract early ("when you wake up it's a new morning, the sun is shining it's a new morning and you're going, you're going home").

  5. anonymous
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    Feb 14th 2022 !⃝

    Iain Campbell, died aged 73, after a heart attack, but will live on as long as people sing Gerry Rafferty’s Baker Street, for he was the guy with “that look on his face”. Fans of the song will be pleased to learn that Iain never did settle down, give up the booze or the one-night stands. He remained a rolling stone until the end.

  6. Bronson
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    Nov 13th 2021 !⃝

    Baker Street is an obvious reference to the well-known street in London by that name.

    The song reflects the period during the breakup he was having with his band Stealers Wheel when he was unable to record any of his own music due to contractual agreements with the band.

    The first two verses reflect the legal pressure he was under as he went through countless meetings with his lawyer.

    The verse that talks about a light in his place is about a friend who lived on Baker Street where he would go often to unwind and play music.

    The following verse may simply be an FYI about his friend and some aspirations he might have had. Or perhaps it could refer to Gerry's own plans to go solo after the band's breakup was settled - this would explain the line about the booze and the one-night stands.

    The final verse, then, reflects the light he sees at the end of the tunnel.

  7. anonymous
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    May 20th 2021 !⃝

    People are seriously confused or simply don't read the lyrics. This song is about BOTH a man and a woman it is about a COUPLE who want different things. The guy promises they will get a quiet place in the country "one day" and forget about everything. But that day never arrives and she continues to hope they will move to that place but she ends up sleeping with him at his place in the city every single time and going home alone AGAIN. SO it is about explaining to this woman that this guy is never gonna change . He promises he will find a nice place in the country and settle down with her but it is never going to happen because he is a drifter and he is not ready or wanting to settle down with anyone.

  8. anonymous
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    May 6th 2021 !⃝

    "You" in this song is a woman who is disillusioned with life in a big city and trapped by her love for a man who has been stringing her along with false promises. "He" in this song is her lover, "the rolling stone". Try to see things his way, too: the big city may be a desert, but a small town is a swamp. This song really captures the existential angst of our times...

  9. anonymous
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    Feb 20th 2018 !⃝

    I kind of had the feeling that the person in the song was perhaps a high-flyer in banking possibly in London and used drink as his escape, as so many did/do (Another crazy day at share trading?) He has money as he considers buying some land and moving to a quiet little town. He used to think it was so easy (making money) but he finds he is sad. Is the person he goes to visit his dad? He is ready to be a listening ear and opens the door to him even when it's dark and maybe quite late?

  10. anonymous
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    May 10th 2017 !⃝

    Here is my pedestrian interpretation: It most likely refers to the Baker Street in London because Rafferty was born in Scotland and spent a lot of time in London. And It's obviously about drinking to excess because that is what Rafferty did all his life and what eventually killed him. In short these are the lamentations of a dyed in the wool (I have no desire to and will never ever stop drinking) alcoholic the morning after an all night bender.

  11. anonymous
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    Feb 5th 2016 !⃝

    Sad. I'm not surprised that so many have interpreted the song with a mind and soul half full of discernment. Yes, two lives judged as wasted on empty promises and misguided choices. Maybe, the song infers a sense of hope, a belief in faith and a dream to be a better person. Or not.

  12. anonymous
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    Jan 4th 2014 !⃝

    I was always told very matter-of-fact that the reference to Baker Street was the main downtown street of Nelson, BC in Canada, a very hip place for musicians and cultures of all stripes, especially draft-dodgers, hippies, and spiritual wanderers from all over the world from the 60's to 80's and that he had been there at one time. Still a pretty cool place to hang out to this day.

  13. anonymous
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    May 17th 2012 !⃝

    беспредел .. подписываюсь что я Миронов Олег Михайлович (Москвич 1959 г.р.) действительно гнида, трус и мягко говоря врун . :)))юность весна-лето 2008 Карл ,крайний николай николаевич, кретов евгений владимирович, соматин Арам,собаки жизнь земля Иллеш Бренд Тимченко Дремлюга - замечательный человек Стандрик Сечин Яхты умные вещи Настя Заворотнюк скрытый нацизм . Якименко , Крайний , ЧМ-2018 НЛО яхтинг ВОВ ! оптовый рыбный рынок google с 10.12.2002г. – 01.07.2003г.. заместитель генерального директора Группы компаний Доброслав; Казахстан ,
    А еще я Миронов О.М. 1959 тупой г0вн0блоггер и редкий мудак !

  14. anonymous
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    Jan 13th 2012 !⃝

    Gerry rafferty had so much talent song writer singer etc. Was part of my teen years. Alcohol has a firm grip on your life, it becomes your life, and gerry fell because of the booze. Alot of his songs menthion alcohol. It ruled his life then it took his life. What a waste

  15. anonymous
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    Nov 16th 2011 !⃝

    It's about a person from a bad part of their town and they can't get out 'cause they have a drinking problem and the love of their life can't settle down.

  16. anonymous
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    Mar 29th 2011 !⃝

    It's a homo-erotic ballad about the lust Sherlock Holmes felt for Dr. Watson.

  17. anonymous
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    Jan 6th 2011 !⃝

    According to Wikipedia..

    The irony of the success of "Baker Street" was that the lyrics reflected Rafferty’s disenchantment with certain elements of the music industry. This was elaborated by music journalist Paul Gambaccini for BBC World News:
    “ His song "Baker Street" was about how uncomfortable he felt in the star system, and what do you know, it was a giant world hit. The album City to City went to no. 1 in America, and suddenly he found that as a result of his protest, he was a bigger star than ever. And he now had more of what he didn’t like. And although he had a few more hit singles in the United States, by 1980 it was basically all over, and when I say ‘it’, I mean basically his career, because he just was not comfortable with this. ”

  18. anonymous
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    Jan 5th 2011 !⃝

    Baker Street is written about Ian Campbell who was a good friend of Gerry's and played guitar with him.

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