"Sin City" as written by Gram Parsons & Chris Hillman...
This old town is filled with sin,
It'll swallow you in
If you've got some money to burn.
Take it home right away,
You've got three years to pay
But Satan is waiting his turn




This old earthquake's gonna leave me in the poor house.
It seems like this whole town's insane
On the thirty-first floor your gold plated door
Won't keep out the Lord's burning rain




The scientists say
It'll all wash away
But we don't believe any more
Cause we've got our recruits
And our green mohair suits
So please show you ID At the door.




A friend came around.
Tried to clean up this town,
His ideas made some people mad.
But he trusted his crowd,
So he spoke right out loud
And they lost the best friend they had




On the thirty-first floor your gold plated door
Won't keep out the Lord's burning rain


Lyrics submitted by focused

Sin City song meanings
Add your thoughts

7 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +2
    Song MeaningThe song is about Los Angeles, specifically the music industry in LA. Chris Hillman came up with the opening line and Gram Parsons helped him finish the song. Much of it is inspired by Chris Hillman reflecting on the bitter end of The Byrds. The Byrds manager Larry Spector had a condo on the 31st floor with a gold door, and Hillman felt that the industry had "swallowed in" his Byrds bandmate Gene Clark. I'm not sure what Robert F. Kennedy has to do with any of this, but apparently he is the "friend" that Parsons refers to in the last verse.
    Source: articles.latimes.com/2007/apr/22/entertainment/…
    Clydicuson May 30, 2016   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song may be thought to be about Las Vegas, but it's not. It's about L.A. What gives it away is the mention of the earthquakes. I think that the first verse suggests gambling, but it could be more complex. I'm not sure who the friend who came around was. I used to think it could be mario savio but i'm not sure. it could also be about martin luther king jr, but i don't think so.
    gulfman_74on December 14, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis song is mentioned as playing on the radio in a Philip K. Dick book, I think it's A Scanner Darkly. I'll try to remember the passage and reproduce it here.

    Anyway, nice hippie apocalyptic mood here.
    orphan_yachtson March 06, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWasn't this about some record company executive in LA?

    Great imagery, just terrific.

    And play it with Las Vegas "No place for a poor boy like me".
    Durangoon May 11, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWasn't this about some record company executive in LA?

    Great imagery, just terrific.

    And play it with Las Vegas "No place for a poor boy like me".
    Durangoon May 11, 2009   Link
  • 0
    Link(s)connecthook.wordpress.com/music/he-darked-the-sun/sin-city/

    "...the Lord's burning rain."
    NomadMonadon June 27, 2013   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI always sing " ... Lord'd burning rage." This fits "simpler" to me.
    Yes, the town and the people are selfish, and all your money
    and status-a high rise office-don't insulate you from the Lord.
    Right ? And he made this a waltz. What a great song !

    And the poor guy-a number of his songs speak of sin, the devil, an
    uncaring woman, etc. I always assumed he grew up with good
    Christian parents, but he saw the corruption of fame. And he felt
    it as his lifestyle tempted him. Ironically,the devil took "his turn"
    and won. Well at least Gram died tragically too early. I'm sure we all
    pray the devil didn'y get his soul
    james r.10on November 25, 2016   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain