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Don't Cry (Guns N' Roses)

"Don't you cry tonight
Don't you cry tonight
There's a heaven above you baby
And don't you cry tonight
Give me a whisper
And give me a sign
Give me a kiss before you
tell me goodbye"

The Band

 Guns N' Roses are an American rock band, formed in Los Angeles, California in 1985. The band, led by Axl Rose, have gone through numerous line-up changes and controversy since their formation. Guns N' Roses have released five studio albums, two EPs, one live album, and three music video DVDs during its career. 
The band's historic Use Your Illusion Tour ended in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on July 17, 1993. The tour set attendance records and lasted for 28 months, in which 192 shows were played. The show in Buenos Aires marked the last time original members Slash and McKagan as well as newcomers Clarke and Sorum would play a live show with Rose.


The Song

"Don't Cry" is a song by hard rock band Guns N' Roses, two versions of which were released simultaneously on different albums. The version with the original lyrics is the fourth track on Use Your Illusion I, while the version with the alternate lyrics is the thirteenth track on Use Your Illusion II. There is also a third version, officially released only on the single for the song, which was recorded during Appetite for Destruction sessions in 1986. Along with "Estranged" and "November Rain," "Don't Cry" forms a narrative inspired in part by the short story "Without You" by Del James. Axl Rose stated that the song is about a girl that Izzy Stradlin (rhythm guitarist of Guns N' Roses from 1985 to 1991) once dated. As Rose tells the story, the girl approached him after he was despondent over losing her to Stradlin and told him, "Don't cry". He continued by stating that he and Stradlin wrote the song the following night in five minutes. Rose explained that the song is about a woman leaving a man. The song was written about a girl that Izzy used to go out with, and Axl was attracted to. Here are some quotes from Axl about the incident: "It was [about] a girl that Izzy had gone out with, and I was really attracted to her, and they split up, and we wrote the song", "I was sitting outside the Roxy, and you know, I was like really in love with this person, and she was realising this wasn't going to work, she was doing her things, she was telling me goodbye, and I like sat down, and just started crying, and she was telling me 'don't cry'. Next night we got together and wrote the song in 5 minutes. He'd been through some things with her, himself".

The Singer

The song features Shannon Hoon (lead singer of of Blind Melon), who like Axl Rose grew up in Indiana, on backing vocals. The two became friends when they subsequently met in Los Angeles and discovered they were from the same state. He also appears in the video for the song.
Shannon Hoon was born on September 26, 1967 and died on October 21, 1995, at the age of 28. The cause of Hoon's death was attributed to an accidental cocaine overdose. 


The Guns and the Roses

According to Freudian psychology, guns are phallic symbols. The roses   have been traditionally said to represent women. In the video of the song "Don't Cry", Axl Rose is seen to be playing with a gun during a therapy  session.
There are at least two events involving guns and roses (women) in the history of the band. The first one took place when Guns N´ Roses were visiting Argentina and a girl in Temperley committed suicide because her father did not allow her to attend the concert. In desperation her father shot himself when he saw that the girl had died.
The other incident has to do with a rumour. It was supposed that the girl on the November Rain video, the character on it, which was played by Stephanie Seymour, her name according to the story was Elizabeth,  committed suicide, shooting herself in the face with a gun. It can only be seen half of her face in the coffin on the video. This video is based on a story found in a book written by a friend of Axl (Del James). The story title is "Without You" and the book's title is "The Language of Fear". Apparently that's the answer on: Why does the girl die in the November Rain video?

My Comment

There has been been a lot of controversy about the influence of rock music over the incidence of teen suicide. I guess this debate has been even greater in the case of Guns N' Roses due to the name of the band itself and some of their videos hinting at suicide. Why did the girl in Temperley kill herself ? Jorge Lanata published an interesting article about this in the newspaper Página 12. I agree with him when he said that "the girl would have killed herself all the same, even if she had not been allowed to see The Simpsons".