"Sweet Child O' Mine" is a song by the hard rock band Guns N' Roses. It was released on their debut album Appetite for Destruction on August 21, 1987.
"Sweet Child O' Mine" was Guns N' Roses' first number-one single on the Billboard Hot 100, spending two weeks at the top spot in the summer of 1988.
The song is credited as being written by Guns N' Roses as a band; more specifically it contains Slash's riff, Izzy's chords, Axl's lyrics, and McKagan's bass line. The subject of the song is generally thought to be lead singer Axl Rose's then-girlfriend and eventual wife, Erin Everly.
Former Guns N' Roses' lead guitarist, Slash, has been quoted as having a disdain for the song due to its roots as simply a technical exercise and a joke at the time.
In a VH1 special, it was stated that Slash played the riff in a jam session as a joke. Drummer Steven Adler and Slash were warming up and Slash began to play a "circus" melody while making faces at Steven. Adler asked him to play the riff again, and Izzy Stradlin came in with the chords.
Axl became intrigued and started singing the poem he had written. In an interview with Hit Parader magazine in 1988, bassist Duff McKagan noted:
The thing about 'Sweet Child,' it was written in five minutes. It was one of those songs, only three chords. You know that guitar lick Slash does at the beginning?
It was kinda like a joke because we thought, 'What is this song? It's gonna be nothin', it'll be filler on the record.' And except that vocal-wise, it's very sweet and sincere, Slash was fuckin' around when he first wrote that lick