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The Garden (Use Your Illusion I, 1991)

“The Garden” Lyrics:

No, I won’t

You know you’re all alone, your friends, they aren’t at home
Everybody’s gone to the garden
As you look into the trees, you can look, but you don’t see
Flowers seem to tease you at the garden
Everybody’s there, but you don’t seem to care
What’s it with you, man, and this garden? Yeah

Turned into my worst phobia
A crazy man’s utopia
If you’re lost, no one can show ya
But it sure was glad to know ya
Only poor boys take a chance
On the garden’s song and dance
Feel her flowers as they wrap around
But only smart boys do without

You can find it all inside, no need to wrestle with your pride
No, you ain’t losing your mind; you’re just in the garden

They can lead you to yourself, or you can throw it on the shelf
But you know you can look inside for the garden

I wasn’t really scared
Lost my virginity there
To a gypsy with blond hair
But now no one seems to care
Like a mouse inside a maze
Wandering ’round for daze
With a smile upon my face
I never want to leave this place
Only poor boys take a chance
On this garden, song, and dance
Feel her flowers as they wrap around
But only smart boys do without
Turned into my worst phobia
It’s a crazy man’s utopia
If you’re lost, no one can show you
But it sure was glad to know you

Bye-bye, so long, bye-bye
It’s glad to know you
Aw, so long

This week we, once again, step outside of the Alice Cooper catalog and into another one of his guest appearances.

Many musicians and bands in the ‘80s and ‘90s were heavily influenced by Alice Cooper and other bands from the ‘60s and ‘70s – Guns N’ Roses was one of them.

“When I listen to Guns N’ Roses or Skid Row or Jane’s Addiction, I hear ‘70s-influenced bands. They’ve got it down – ‘70s rock was very experimental and guitar-oriented.” – Alice Cooper

In 1991, fans and critics alike had long awaited the release of Guns N’ Roses’ new LPs, Use Your Illusion I & II (arguably two of the preeminent LPs of the ‘90s, if not all-time). At this point, they had become a household name, and they were notorious – people either loved them or hated them.

Use Your Illusion I & II, like Appetite for Destruction (their debut album), were gritty, hard-hitting LPs but embraced a more diverse, wide-ranging style of composition.

With songs like “November Rain,” a cover of Wings “Live And Let Die,” “Don’t Cry,” and Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door,” the band proved they were not just indefensible, bad-attitude delinquents. Instead, they were, first and foremost, an incredible group of musicians.

The Garden,” the eleventh track on Use Your Illusion I, finds Alice lending his sneering vocals to the LP. As he bellows out his lines, it’s apparent “The Garden” is something “only smart boys do without.

Turned into my worst phobia, a crazy man’s utopia
If you’re lost, no one can show ya, but it sure was glad to know ya
Only poor boys take a chance on the garden’s song and dance
Feel her flowers as they wrap around, but only smart boys do without

I wasn’t really scared, lost my virginity there
To a gypsy with long hair, but now no one seems to care
Like a mouse inside a maze, wandering ’round for days
With a smile upon my face, I never wanna leave this place
Only poor boys take a chance on the gardens song and dance
Feel her flowers as they wrap around, but only smart boys do without
Turned into my worst phobia; it’s a crazy man’s utopia
If you’re lost, no one can show ya, but it sure was glad to know ya

So long, bye-bye
It’s glad to know ya
Aw… So long

Many sites and articles based on Guns N’ Roses’ music define “The Garden’s” lyrics depicting drug use/addiction. It’s evident, and the video hints at that vice and others as well. However, there’s also an element of isolation and lust as well. As if the abuser is lost in their own world – surrounded by the depravity that haunts them.

NOTE: This week’s song hits very close to home. A dear friend from college lost his battle with drug addiction this past Saturday. It was a shock and heartbreaking to digest. It is so hard for those on the outside looking in to understand why some are never quite able to kick the curse while others find their way out.

With that being said, if you or someone you know is struggling, find or continue seeking help – not only through God and His Word but also from others. “The Garden” hints at isolation in addiction, but that doesn’t have to be the case.

Open up, be honest, face those demons with the help of others – family, friends, professionals, and anyone willing to listen. You are worth it!

Addiction is only as powerful as we allow it to be. We’ve often spoken about the battlefield of the mind – replacing our thoughts with God’s Word (Romans 12:2). Altering our lives requires action; it’s something we must strive to want and do.

“Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed;
save me, and I will be saved,
for you are the one I praise.
They keep saying to me,
“Where is the word of the Lord?
Let it now be fulfilled!”
Jeremiah 17:14-15

The above-listed verses are paramount concerning addiction and life in general. We all require an intervention. We were created with the need for connection – the need to connect with our Creator and one another.

Heal me, LORD, and I will be healed.” Let us pray the words of Jeremiah 17 daily and remember the struggles of others as we endure our own.

“And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”James 5:15-16

Honesty and interaction. It’s pretty simple but hardly ever easy. However, if we can learn to reserve judgment and bestow God’s grace and humility (given to us by Him) upon others, might we see many afflicted people recovering instead of relapsing? We’ve been called to carry (not bury) each other (Galatians 6:1-6).

Wrapping up this week’s post, how do we endure our time spent here? Do we strive for connection with others? With our Creator? Or do we focus on the “thrill” of disconnection – the opportunity to numb our emotions and kill reality by drowning everything and everyone out?

Life is tough – navigating the twists and turns is not easy. However, we’ve been offered a roadmap and a compass to guide us. With God’s Word as our instruction manual and the Holy Spirit as our shepherd, we are destined to do wonderful and miraculous things.

Once we begin walking and striving to know our Creator, we begin to crave something new, something more profound. We begin to desire Him and His Word. We find peace within, lessons that change our hearts, and we are shown what it means to Love.

We are presented the Greatest Commandment, to Love God and Love People (Matthew 22:34-40). Therefore, it only makes sense that part of a healthy life includes connections.

Could it be that we are all wired to be addicts? And, the only substance that will fulfill and sustain us is an everlasting relationship with our Heavenly Father, through His Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.

All we must do is seek His face and knock (Matthew 7:7-8). Then, once we’ve entirely accepted His Mercy, Grace, and Love, there is no other addiction greater than the embrace of Our Mighty Creator.

In conclusion, Alice has collaborated with many musicians, singers, and songwriters, some more notorious than others. However, there was something special about the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. It was as if Alice had found a way to transform into a new, sleeker version of his ‘70s persona.

It was also endearing to watch Coop mentor so many bands he had influenced. In hindsight, there’s no disrespect or love lost with Alice Cooper’s classic LPs, but for “Fridays With Alice,” the real magic started around the same time he collaborated with the guys from Guns N’ Roses on “The Garden.”

That’s it for this week, be well and catch you next Friday.

Until then, Keep Walkin’ in Faith and Rockin’ With Alice!

Have you accepted Christ as your Savior?

If you would like to accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, please pray the following prayer:

"God, I believe in you and your son Jesus Christ.  I believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave to save me. Today, I invite Jesus into my heart to stay.  I make you Lord over my life. Make me new. Wash me, Lord, and cleanse me. In Jesus Name, Amen"

If you have just prayed that prayer, we want to celebrate your new victory with you.  Please contact us at so we can welcome you into the kingdom.  We don't want you to have to walk alone and we have some resources we would like the opportunity to share with you.

NOTE: We’d also like to share the following resources used by “Fridays With Alice.” Without these books and sites, this would be a much more complicated endeavor. So be sure to check them out if interested.

Click the images to learn more about these resources:

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