Thin Lizzy

About Jailbreak

"Jailbreak" is a song by Thin Lizzy that originally appeared as the title track on their 1976 album Jailbreak. Along with "The Boys Are Back in Town", it is one of their most popular songs, played frequently on classic rock radio. The song is typical of the band's music, with the dual lead guitar harmony and Brian Robertson's use of the wah-wah pedal. Phil Lynott's lyrics about a prison break are the typical personification of the "tough guys", also seen in "The Boys Are Back in Town" and the regular concert closer and fan favourite "The Rocker". An alternate version of the song appeared on the bonus disc of the 2011 remastered deluxe edition of the Jailbreak album, featuring a short spoken introduction and additional guitar parts throughout. 


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Tonight there's gonna be a jailbreak
Somewhere in this town
See me and the boys we don't like it
So were getting up and going down

Hiding low looking right to left
If you see us coming I think it's best
To move away do you hear what I say
From under my breath

Tonight there's gonna be a jailbreak
Somewhere in the town
Tonight there's gonna be a jailbreak
So don't you be around

Don't you be around

Tonight there's gonna be trouble
Some of us won't survive
See the boys and me mean business
Bustin' out dead or alive

I can hear the hound dogs on my trail
All hell breaks loose, alarm and sirens wail
Like the game if you lose
Go to jail

Tonight there's gonna be a jailbreak
Somewhere in the town
Tonight there's gonna be a jailbreak
So don't you be around

Tonight there's gonna trouble
I'm gonna find myself in
Tonight there's gonna be a jailbreak
So woman stay with a friend

You know it's safer


Tonight there's gonna be a breakout
Into the city zones
Don't you dare to try and stop us
No one could for long

Searchlight on my trail
Tonight's the night all systems fail
Hey you good lookin' female
Come here!

Tonight there's gonna be a jailbreak
Somewhere in the town
Tonight there's gonna be a jailbreak
So don't you be around

Tonight there's gonna be trouble
I'm gonna find myself in
Tonight there's gonna be trouble
So woman stay with a friend

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Thin Lizzy

Thin Lizzy are an Irish rock band formed in Dublin in 1969. Two of the founding members, drummer Brian Downey and bass guitarist/vocalist Phil Lynott, met while still in school. Lynott assumed the role of frontman and led them throughout their recording career of twelve studio albums. Thin Lizzy are best known for their songs "Whiskey in the Jar", "Jailbreak" and "The Boys Are Back in Town", all major international hits still played regularly on hard rock and classic rock radio stations. After Lynott's death in 1986, various incarnations of the band have emerged over the years based around guitarists Scott Gorham and John Sykes, though Sykes left the band in 2009. more »

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Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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18 facts about this song

Song Creation
"Jailbreak" is a song by Thin Lizzy off their 1976 album of the same name. The song, as well as the entire album, was written primarily by the band's frontman Phil Lynott.
Album Performance
The 'Jailbreak' album was a substantial success, reaching No. 10 in the UK Albums Chart, and giving the band their breakthrough in the U.S. where the album reached No. 18 in the Billboard 200 chart.
Song Theme
The song, "Jailbreak," tells the story of a man who has spent his life in prison and decides to break out. The lyrics, like many of Thin Lizzy's songs, were inspired by Phil Lynott's interest in storytelling.
Music Video
Interestingly, "Jailbreak" was one of the first songs to have a promotional video made for it. The video was low-budget and the band used some of their roadies as extras.
Song Legacy
Since its release, "Jailbreak" has been covered by several famous artists like Anthrax and Dropkick Murphys.
Phil Lynott's Contribution
Phil Lynott, the band's primary songwriter and lead vocalist, was known for his poetic lyrics and storytelling ability. His work in "Jailbreak", as well as other songs, cemented his place as one of rock's underrated geniuses.
Album's Influence",
The album 'Jailbreak', having hits like "The Boys are Back in Town" and "Jailbreak," was instrumental in paving the way for future 'twin-lead' guitar teams and sophisticated lyrical themes in hard rock music.
Music Style
"Jailbreak" showcases the distinct sound of Thin Lizzy, which includes a dual lead guitar playing style, something that was quite innovative at the time. This influenced many later bands and musicians.
Band Formation
"Jailbreak" is a song by the Irish rock band "Thin Lizzy". Phil Lynott, the band's lead vocalist, bass player and primary songwriter, formed the group in Dublin in 1969.
Album Information
The song "Jailbreak" is the title track of Thin Lizzy's sixth studio album, which was released in 1976. This album was largely responsible for the band's international breakthrough.
Chart Performance
Despite its classic rock status, "Jailbreak" never charted in either the UK or the US. However, other tracks from the album achieved substantial commercial success.
Phil Lynott composed "Jailbreak" with a powerful riff and a narrative about a prison break, reflecting his fascination for storytelling in his lyrics.
Phil Lynott's Influence
As a biracial individual in a predominantly white Irish society, Lynott's success, including the popularity of "Jailbreak", made him a cultural icon in Ireland. He paved the way for acceptance and inclusivity within the Irish music scene.
Music Video
The promotional video for "Jailbreak" is notable for being one of the first music videos that narrative-driven, something that would become common in the MTV era.
Live Performances
"Jailbreak" was a staple of Thin Lizzy's live performances and remained a crowd favorite until the band's break-up in 1984.
Cover Versions
Numerous bands have covered "Jailbreak", including Anthrax, Six Feet Under, The Dropkick Murphys, and Mastodon, underlining the song's continued influence in rock music.
In 2016, the album "Jailbreak", including the song itself, celebrated its 40th anniversary, and to this day it is considered among Thin Lizzy’s best work.
Rolling Stone listed the song "Jailbreak" as one of the 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All-Time.

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