"You Bet Your Life" as written by and Geddy Lee Weinrib Neil Peart....
Just another hunter, like a wolf in the sun
Just another junkie on a scoring run
Just another victim of the things he has done
Just another day, in the life of a loaded gun

The odd get even, you name the game
The odds get even, the stakes are the same
You bet your life

Just another winner, pours his life down the drain
Just another island in a hurricane
Just another loser, like a cat in the rain
Just another day, in the path of a speeding train

The odds get even, you name the game
The odds get even, the stakes are the same
You bet your life

Anarchist, reactionary, running-dog, revisionist
Hindu, Muslim, Catholic, creation, evolutionist
Rational, romantic, mystic, cynical, idealist
Minimal expressionist, post-modern, neo-symbolist

Armchair rocket scientist graffiti existentialist
Deconstruction primitive performance photo-realist
Be-bop or a one-drop or a hip-hop lite-pop-metallist
Gold adult contemporary urban country capitalist

Just another gypsy with a plastic guitar
Just another dancer with her eyes on the stars
Just another dreamer who was going too far
Just another drunk, at the wheel of a stolen car

The odds get even, you name the game
The odds get even, the stakes are the same
You bet your life

Lyrics submitted by shed27

"You Bet Your Life" as written by Gary Lee Weinrib Neil Elwood Peart

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., OLE MM, Peermusic Publishing

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You Bet Your Life song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentThis was a song from Roll The Bones, which was not only about taking chances, but also about what to do when fate intervenes and messes up our plans. The lyrics cover people from all walks of life who are not as different as they seem because they are all gambling with their life in a reckless manner, whether you are doing something on a dare like a daredevil, or something dangerous. And then he follows up how people who don't take chances in life despise the ones who would gamble away their security and comfort in the "rambling-rap" part ---- it's funny that he is very deliberate when he talks about the parts of the gambling people and creates rhyming stanzas and then when he talks about the people who are laid back, he uses an almost mono-tone type of verse with all of the sentences ending in the same predictable "-ist"!

    Cooincidentally, this whole album was about the fear of loss in one's life and right after this was released, Neil Peart lost his only daughter in a one-car accident and the following year lost his first wife to cancer.
    artistofthecenturyon June 19, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentby Razormasticator on 06-14-2005 @ 03:03:17 PM
    i thought they died after test For Echo? Oh well, this is a badass song.

    T4E was 19996...this song is 1991...
    z22on March 02, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThey did die right after T4E. Neil's daughter on August 10th 1997, and his wife on June 20 1998. For reference T4E was released September 1996 and RTBs was released in September of 1991.

    On a different note I read somewhere that the song La Vie Boheme from the musical Rent was somewhat inspired by this song. The whole fast talking listing of different people and things etc. Has anyone heard that? or can confirm? Thanks for the help.
    iceberg210on August 13, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentartistofthecentury has a good start but could've taken it a bit farther.

    Part of it's stating that yes, if yeu play the odds, be prepared for the odds to beat yeu, but as they also stated, the monotone chanting of the 'safe' ones, the non-risktakers, says just the same... the life not lived isn't worth examining.

    Being safe in a secured belief from the start can cover many walks of life, and at the same time, it can also cover each of the risk takers as well. Yeu have the option to risk it all, to go for broke, maybe yeu'll win it all too. And maybe... yeu won't. Understand the risks yeu take; a random falling piece of debris is all it takes to turn a hero who rescues someone from a fire, into a mere statistic, where they are listed as "the fire killed 3" instead of just 2.

    As we start life, our tasks our small, our rewards in kind, but it all leads to something larger. The choices we make, even early on in life, are truly betting with our lives. We have a hand in determining our own fate to a degree. Fate can be the roll of the dice, but yeu choose which cases to roll them, yeu don't have to take every risk yeu see.

    Keep in mind though... each time yeu take a chance, the law of averages creeps closer. If yeu bet yeur life, and win, the next time the chance of loosing is greater than before. "Luck can only last a lifetime if you die young" ~ Despair.com and a truthful fitting quote for this song it is.
    Katsunion August 05, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationHave to say that I disagree with Katsuni.

    It's just flat bad statistics to say that, "each time you take a chance, the law of averages creeps closer." If the events are independent, then no matter how many times you win, the risk of losing never changes. If you flip a fair coin 10 times and it comes up heads each time, the 11th flip is still only 50% likely to be tails; the chances for tails don't aggregate.

    As for the meaning, I think they're pointing out that you're risking your life no matter what you do. Even if you play it "safe" the whole time, you're still risking your life. "You name the game, the stakes are the same." Every single time you make a decision you're betting your life. If you're betting your life every time you do anything, then you might as well make that bet be worth something. The point as I see it is that, since the risk remains the same regardless of our choices, we should go ahead and make the ambitious choices. They're saying that you _don't_ get to avoid "risks", but that _everything_ is a risk, so you might as well make the bet worthwhile.

    I see this theme of everything being a risk reflected in the contradictory listing of types of people"

    anarchist reactionary running-dog revisionist
    hindu muslim catholic creation/evolutionist
    rational romantic mystic cynical idealist
    minimal expressionist post-modern neo-symbolist

    armchair rocket scientist graffiti existentialist
    deconstruction primitive performance photo-realist
    be-bop or a one-drop or a hip-hop lite-pop-metallist
    gold adult contemporary urban country capitalist

    The list includes all types, reactionaries, revisionists, creationists, evolutionists, etc. No matter which end of the spectrum you're on, no matter what you believe, no matter what you do, no matter how "safe" you try to be, not matter how many "risks" you attempt to avoid, the stakes are the same, you're betting your life.

    Since you're betting your life no matter what, at least bet it on something worthwhile; not on just trying to maintain the illusion of "safety".
    Zenmervolton December 14, 2010   Link
  • -3
    General Commenti thought they died after test For Echo? Oh well, this is a badass song.
    Razormasticatoron June 14, 2005   Link

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