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3. The Worst Crime
4. Scum
List of Spirit songs
5. You Move
Depeche Mode
Produced by
Recorded at
Sound Design (Santa Barbara)
Jungle City (New York)
Mute Records
Length (mm:ss)
95 BPM
Time signature
C Major
Kurt Uenala
Jimmy Robertson
Mixing assistance
Brendan Morawski
Brian Lucey
Studio assistance
Connor Long
Óscar Muñoz
David Schaeman
Brendan Morawski
Art direction
April - August, 2016
Originally released
March 17, 2017
Played live
1 times *
Total live plays
1 times *

'Scum' is a song from the 2017 album Spirit by Depeche Mode.


Dave Gahan told Steve Wright:

"When I first heard that song, when Martin gave me his demo, I just couldn't wait to get my teeth into it. That's right up my street. It's punchy, and it's rant. He's pretty angry at someone, I think."

Dave also told Billboard:

"There are songs that are quite literal on the album. “Scum” for instance, it was a lot of fun recording that song and singing it. Great lyric. But to me, I internalize that: “Hey scum, hey scum, what have you ever done for anyone?" I immediately take that in, and I ask myself that question. That’s how I perform that song... really, it’s from my own fear, like, "What the f--k have I ever done? And what am I doing? Am I really helping those around me that are less fortunate? Do I really care?" I don’t know."

Martin Gore said in Myśliwiecka 3/5/7:

"During interviews, quite a few people asked me, "Who made you that angry? Who is that about?" It would really take away the power of the song if I would just tell you, "I wrote about this person", because it's better for a listener to listen to it and imagine, because imagination is far more powerful."

Martin also told Radio Eins in 2017:

"I like 'Scum' particularly because it's very different for us. Quite aggressive, but it's also got a real kind of sleazy groove to it. There's something very unusual for us about that song."

Andy Fletcher told 91.9 WFPK:

"I really like 'Scum', it has the weirdest rhythm. In fact we're not playing it live - we're not sure if it can be played live. It's some weird beat."

Keyboard programmer Matrixxman said in an interview with

"I didn’t personally work with the vocals at all during the album but in reference to Scum, I’m pretty sure Martin’s original demo had heavily distorted vocals on it. So that would explain why Dave’s vocals had the same treatment on that particular tune."



Hey scum, hey scum

What have you ever done for anyone

Hey scum, hey scum

What are you going to do when karma comes

A' calling

And you're falling

And there's nowhere left to run

And you're weeping

And not sleeping

And you're begging for your gun

Pull the trigger

Hey scum, hey scum

What have you ever done for anyone

Hey scum, hey scum

What will you do when judgement time has come

And you're kneeling

And you're squealing

And you're looking for someone

To bear witness

To your goodness

You can't even find your son

Pull the trigger

Pull the trigger

You wouldn't even offer up your crumbs

To the dying

And crying

You're dead inside, you're numb

You're hollow

And shallow

Your empty life is done

Pull the trigger

Pull the trigger

Hey scum, hey scum

Pull the trigger

Songwriter: Martin L. Gore
Publishing Information: ©2015 Sony ATV Music Corp. and Grabbing Hands Music Ltd. All rights on behalf of itself and Grabbing Hands Music Ltd. admin. by Sony ATV Music Corp. (BMI). (USA). Published by Sony ATV Music Publishing Ltd Licensed by Grabbing Hands Music Ltd. (Rest Of The World)

Dates with available recordings of Scum

  • There are currently no recordings of Scum available to download.

Dates where Scum was played

2017-2018 Global Spirit Tour

Scum was played only once during this tour.