She Sells Sanctuary

The Cult

About She Sells Sanctuary

"She Sells Sanctuary" is a song by the British rock band the Cult. It is from their 1985 album Love and was released as a single in May of that year, peaking at number 15 on the UK Singles Chart. "She Sells Sanctuary" was the last song to be recorded with the Cult's longtime drummer, Nigel Preston, who was fired from the band shortly after its release. According to Billy Duffy, the iconic introduction effects were the result of the fact that all of the guitar effects pedals were on at the same time. The recording was edited to include the introduction with the effects, whereas earlier versions started the song more abruptly. 


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Oh, the heads that turn
Make my back burn
And those heads that turn
Make my back, make my back burn

The sparkle in your eyes
Keeps me alive
And the sparkle in your eyes
Keeps me alive, keeps me alive

The world
Oh, the world turns around
The world and the world, yeah
The world drags me down

Oh, the heads that turn
Make my back burn
And those heads that turn
Make my back, make my back burn, yeah
Hey yeah hey, yeah hey

The fire in your eyes keeps me alive
And the fire in your eyes keeps me alive
Inside her you'll find sanctuary
Inside her you'll find sanctuary

And the world, the world turns around
And the world, and the world, the world drags me down
And the world, and the world, and the world, the world turns around
And the world, and the world, and the world, and the world
The world drags me down

Ah, hey yeah, hey yeah
And the world (hey yeah, hey), and the world turns around (hey yeah, hey)
And the world, and the world (hey yeah, hey)
Yeah, the world drags me down (hey yeah, hey)
And the world (hey yeah, hey)
Yeah, the world turns around (hey yeah, hey)
And the world, and the world (hey yeah, hey), the world drags me down (hey yeah, hey)

Yeah hey, hey yeah
Sanctuary, hey
Sanctuary, hey

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The Cult

The Cult are a British rock band formed in 1983. They gained a dedicated following in Britain in the mid 1980s as a post-punk band with singles such as "She Sells Sanctuary", before breaking mainstream in the United States in the late 1980s as a hard rock band with singles such as "Love Removal Machine" and "Fire Woman". The band fuse a "heavy metal revivalist" sound with the "pseudo-mysticism ... of The Doors [and] the guitar-orchestrations of Led Zeppelin ... while adding touches of post-punk goth rock". Since their earliest form in Bradford during 1981, the band have had various line-ups; the longest-serving members are vocalist Ian Astbury and guitarist Billy Duffy, the band's two songwriters. more »

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Written by: Ian Robert Astbury, William Henry Duffy

Lyrics © Round Hill Music Big Loud Songs, Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind


11 facts about this song

Song Creation
"She Sells Sanctuary" was released by the British rock band The Cult, produced by Steve Brown and written by Ian Astbury and Billy Duffy in 1985.
Peak Position
The song hit its peak in the UK Singles Chart at number 15 and stayed on the chart for 23 weeks.
Musical Inspiration
The song was influenced by Southern Death Cult, a band Astbury was previously a part of. His experiences with that band inspired the creation of "She Sells Sanctuary."
Multiple Versions
There are several versions of the song, including a long version and a shorter version known as the "Howling Mix."
Global Recognition
"She Sells Sanctuary" became The Cult's breakthrough track, popular not only in the UK but also in the United States, where it made the Billboard Top 100.
Activision's Game Inclusion
The song was included in the 2007 video game 'Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock' as a playable track.
Covered by various artists
Bands like HIM, The Dandy Warhols, Anberlin, Keane, and several others have covered the song.
Generational Transmission
"She Sells Sanctuary" continues to be played on various classic rock and alternative rock radio stations across the world.
Utilization in Advertisements
In 2012, the track was used in a commercial for the Nissan Juke, highlighting its longevity and appeal.
Meaning Behind the Song
Though the exact meaning of the song remains a mystery, Astbury once stated in an interview that the song was about finding beauty in unlikely places.
Sample Use in Electronic Music
Electronic music duo Utah Saints have frequently used a sample from "She Sells Sanctuary" in their live sets.

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