"Big Casino" as written by and James Christopher/burch Adkins....
Before this world starts up again
It's me and night
We wait for the sun
The kids and drunks head back inside

Well theres lots of smart ideas
In books I never read
When the girls come talk to me
I wish to hell I had

Get up, Get up
Turn the ignition
Get up, Get up
Fire up the system
Play my little part in something big

I'll accept with poise with grace
When they draw my name from the lottery
And they'll say "all the salt in the world couldnt melt that ice"
I'm the one who gets away
I'm a New Jersey success story
And they'll say "Lord give me the chance to shake that hand"
They'll say

Back when I was younger
I was someone you'd have liked
Got an old guitar I had for years I'd let you buy
And I'll tell you something else
That you ain't dying enough to know
Theres still some living left when your prime comes and goes

Get up, Get up
Dance on the ceiling
Get up, Get up
Boy you must be dreaming
Rock on young savior
Don't give up your hopes

I'll accept with poise with grace
When they draw my name from the lottery
And they'll say "all the salt in the world couldn't melt that ice"
I'm the one who gets away
I'm a New Jersey success story
And they'll say "Lord give me the chance to shake that hand"

I have one last wish
And it's from the heart
Just let me down
Just let me down easy

I'll accept with poise with grace
When they draw my name from the lottery
And They'll say "all the salt in the world couldnt melt that ice"
I'm the one who gets away
I'm a New Jersey success story
And they'll say "Lord give me the chance to shake his hand"
They'll say


Lyrics submitted by Slapdown

"Big Casino" as written by Richard E Burch James Christopher Adkins

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Big Casino song meanings
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53 Comments

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  • +2
    General Comment*small correction* "I was someone you'd have liken" should be "I was someone you'd have LIKED". Great job on the lyrics.

    I'd heard the chorus for awhile as a ringtone, but hearing the whole song... damn. It gave me chills, especially the second verse:
    "And I'll tell you something else
    That you ain't dying enough to know" AND the bridge "I have one last wish /And it's from my heart". His voice sounds to amazing on that section. My favorite band has still got it. Can't wait to hear a studio version of Chase This Light.

    But does anyone know what the song means? It sounds like a older/wiser Jimmy Eat World talking to some of the up and coming bands. Talking about casinos, lotteries, primes, young saviors. Catchy song though...
    thecrowing83on August 30, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentJimmy Eat World returns with a bang, this is easily one of Jimmy Eat World's best though in my opinion "Kill" was their best song.

    I think the song is about how JEW looks back, they realized that they were lucky to have succeeded "When they draw my name from the lottery" and also how they say they were a New Jersey success story. A lot of part of the song is about how they feel on how lucky they are to get away. To have girls "pray that I can touch that hand" going all crazy for them and also how they never had any information on how to deal with that.

    The other part is to all the new bands, to get up and don't give up hope. Just keep doing what you're doing and if its your time, its your time and you're gonna be big. Just don't give up.

    JEW is now more mature, this song is them telling their success story and to tell all these aspiring bands, keep going and if you're lucky you're gonna get to where I am. Beautifully done.
    PuppyKillingMachineon September 06, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentDoes anyone else get reminded of Shirley Jackson's short story, "The Lottery" when they hear this song?
    Billie_idolon September 13, 2007   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationI took something away completely different from this song that the previous posters. Particularly the lines "Well there's lots of smart ideas / In books I never read / When the girls come talk to me / I wish to hell I had" and "Back when I was younger / I was someone you'd have liked" are bittersweet. This entire song is filled with regret. He should have been more studious so he'd have something interesting to say when people who look up to him talk to him.

    He's grown older and see all these bands coming up with crazy hair and neon clothes and says to himself, "If this is what is cool nowadays, then I am not cool." When you get older, the need to be cool gets less and less important. But it's possible he looks at his younger fans who feel kinship towards him and he think if he was closer to their age, they would feel intimate towards him, not just some kind of big bro relationship.

    I feel that Jim thinks that he's a dork. There's nothing wrong with that. And he's happy with where he's at in life. I think the main meaning behind this song is that you don't grow older, you grow better.
    ikickedagirlon October 01, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI'm going to go out on a limb here and make a prediction: This will be JEW's last album. I believe this song is a clear farewell to the music industry, from the perspective of a successful artist at the end of his career.

    The lines "There's still some living left when your prime comes and goes" and "I have one last wish...Just let me down easy" seem to solidify their intent clearly.

    This song is not merely a humble reflection on their against-the-odds success, it is a farewell and a passing of the torch to newer upcoming "young saviors". I will be surprised if I'm wrong, and sad if I'm right.

    Artistically, I find this song much less cryptic and easier to interpret that most JEW productions. The meaning is plain, the only real question is whether it actually reflects their real-life intent. I especially like their use of so many references to chance and gambling as metaphors for the process by which bands become famous. Even the song title comes from this: the Big Casino that is the music world. Jimmy Eat World hit the jackpot, and they humbly attribute it to luck. I don't think it was luck.
    mikepon September 07, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI don't know...things can always change but I don't think they built their own studio to make just 2 albums in it. Having said that, did anyone catch their last mini tour? Zach seemed painfully bored. Jim Tom and Rick still seemed amused. Also, they're music has always been reflective of the music industry (see Clarity). This just seems a continuation. If the album title was We Quit, then I'd wonder...
    jimmyfan1on September 07, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSeems to me that it's about making it even when odds are stacked against you and just enjoying yourself when you finally get there...

    I hope to hell that this isn't their last album. J.E.W. are, without a doubt, my favourite band... and for some reason I still haven't seem them live.

    Still it's starting to sound like a good album however overdue it might be.

    Oh and by the way, for those that are wondering, the title comes from Jim's side project; Go Big Casino...
    Gingerbreadroachon September 07, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI completely disagree with the assesments that JEW is quiting after this album. People like Jimmy and Davey von Bohlen *close friends that collobarated on "A Praise Chorus"* (see promise ring, maritime, etc) have an addicition, you could say, for making music and song writing.

    Secondly, I saw JEW in Austin, TX on the mini-tour and I have to agree with other critics *see website* that it is probably one of their best tours especially because that pulled off some rarity songs extremely well.

    Lastly, I agree with past comments that this song's meaning plays to JEW's tendency to play/write songs that are a kind of populist approach to music that are based on fan appreciation. That is to say, songs like "Big Casino," "Sweetness," and "New Aesthetic" are meant to bring down the house when played live; leaving the fans to say "wow these guys went the extra mile to create a song that goes beyond some vague universal meaning and kind of give us a shout out for our support as fans."
    avelaon September 11, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSuch a great song. This could be about success as a bad, but I think it's just about success at life in general. Because this world is just a 'big casino,' with all the chances we take, with all the people we meet, and then how quickly everything can change (for better or for worse) in an instant due to pure luck.
    radical347on September 24, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHonestly, I thought it was about going to war...

    "Before this world starts up again
    It's me and night
    We wait for the sun"

    He's up in the middle of the night while everyone else is asleep...

    "Fight off the system
    I play my little part in something big"

    Obviously, he's just one soldier fighting in a big war.

    "I'll accept with poise, with grace
    When they draw my name from the lottery"

    The draft lottery, he's not gonna run away, he'll stand up and take on the duty.

    I don't know, I just got that sort of picture when I heard it. Obviously the war may not be a literal war, it could mean pretty much anything.
    silentmuffinon January 10, 2008   Link

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