"Ain't No Rest For The Wicked" as written by Matt Shultz, Brad Shultz, Jared Champion, Daniel Tichenor and Lincoln Parish....
I was walking down the street when out the corner of my eye
I saw a pretty little thing approaching me
She said "I never seen a man, who looks so all alone
Could you use a little company?
If you pay the right price, your evening will be nice
Or you can go and send me on my way"
I said "you're such a sweet young thing
Why you do this to yourself?"
She looked at me and this is what she said

"Oh, there ain't no rest for the wicked
Money don't grow on trees
I got bills to pay, I got mouths to feed
Ain't nothing in this world for free
I know I can't slow down
I can't hold back though you know I wish I could
No, there ain't no rest for the wicked
Until we close our eyes for good"

Not even fifteen minutes later, after walking down the street
When I saw the shadow of a man creep out of sight
And then he swept up from behind, he put a gun up to my head
He made it clear he wasn't looking for a fight
He said "give me all you've got
I want your money, not your life
But if you try to make a move I won't think twice"
I told him "you can have my cash
But first you know I've got to ask
What made you want to live this kind of life?"

He said "there ain't no rest for the wicked
Money don't grow on trees
I got bills to pay, I got mouths to feed
Ain't nothing in this world for free
I know I can't slow down
I can't hold back though you know I wish I could
Oh no, there ain't no rest for the wicked
Until we close our eyes for good"

Well, now a couple hours past and I was sitting at my house
The day was winding down and coming to an end
So I turned on the TV
And flipped it over to the news
And what I saw I almost couldn't comprehend
I saw a preacher man in cuffs, hr taking money from the church
He stuffed his bank account with righteous dollar bills
But even still I can't say much because I know were all the same
Oh yes we all seek out to satisfy those thrills

You know there ain't no rest for the wicked
Money don't grow on trees
We got bills to pay, we got mouths to feed
Ain't nothing in this world for free
I know, we can't slow down
We can't hold back though you know we wish we could
You know there ain't no rest for the wicked
Until we close our eyes for good


Lyrics submitted by laurentheinvincible, edited by dodgerblue, crg4

"Ain't No Rest for the Wicked" as written by Daniel Tichenor Brad Shultz

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Ain't No Rest For The Wicked song meanings
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43 Comments

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  • +12
    My InterpretationTo me, each verse represents something that could completely take control of you. The street he's walking on represents the course of his life.

    In the first verse, the narrator encounters sex/lust. When he says, "You're such a sweet young thing, why do you do this to yourself?," I think he overcomes his temptations in search of a deeper form of love, though not completely.

    I like to picture the person that the narrator encounters in the second verse as a drug dealer. I think that the whole verse vaguely talks about the risks and struggles associated with drugs and drug deals. I think it takes awhile for him to overcome his temptation for drugs, contrasting the 15 minutes that passed after his first encounter and the couple hours after his second encounter.

    In the third verse, the narrator finally gets off of the street and into his house, as his life is winding down. He encounters religion, as a lot of people do towards the end of their life. He witnesses the corrupt bullshit that can take place behind the scenes of a church. He ends the verse in understanding because he has confronted these different temptations and he understands how easy it can be to get lost on the street of wickedness, even when you're subscribed to a religion that is meant to be pure.

    These social issues exist as a result of our flawed capitalist system. Money fuels impurity and everybody is looking for their next thrill.

    I hope that kind of makes sense for some people.
    qwermon June 18, 2009   Link
  • +6
    General CommentThis is what wikipedia says: (it's pretty interesting & def makes sense)

    The song talks about three particular instances in which the narrator realizes "there ain't no rest for the wicked". First, he encounters a prostitute. The narrator proceeds to ask her why she does what she does. The chorus (her response) analyzes the main reasons why individuals follow the paths they follow ("...Money don't grow on trees, I've got bills to pay, I've got mouths to feed..."). The narrator then encounters a second individual who robs him, whom he asks the same question. Finally, upon turning on the television, the narrator sees a preacher being arrested for pocketing the funds of his church. This is followed by a third chorus with the same answers.

    The song was inspired by a co-worker of lead singer Matt Schultz, who at the time was a drug dealer. When Schultz asked him why he did what he did, his response was there "ain't no rest for the wicked".
    fallonon October 02, 2009   Link
  • +5
    Song MeaningThe song is about the evils of capitalism. Capitalism pins everybody against each other, so we have to compete against one another instead of working together as a society. Capitalism makes even good people do bad things when they get desperate to eat and pay the rent. They are also saying that when people do these things that seem terrible on the surface, like selling drugs and prostitution, when you look deeper its really justifiable. It isn't entirely their fault, the American capitalistic way is also to blame. I would even go as far as to say that he feels like we would be better off in a more socialistic society.

    I think the name, Cage the Elephant, refers to the republican party and how we as a society had better stop them from pushing their greedy agenda on all of us. But the Republican party just represents right winged politics which would include Democrats so don't take that too personally. Both parties are equally corrupt and greedy, and we need to cage both the elephant and the jackass or we're gonna continue being poor and resort to crime just to make it in society.
    skins189lbson February 24, 2011   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationI really like this song, even after listening to over and over again. The tune is catchy and the song is stylistically different from anything else I've heard.

    Now, you can correct if I'm wrong, but I believe this song's all about humanizing the common evils of the world. In each verse, a different crime is described (prostitution, robbery, fraud). The chorus says that each of these "wicked" people have their reasons for doing the things that they do. They've fallen between the cracks somehow, and the only way they can survive is by perpetrating these crimes because "money don't grow trees". After all, they do "got bills to pay" and "mouths to feed".

    The chorus notes that these people know that they "can't slow down" and they "can't hold back", meaning that they've become so caught up in this life, there isn't anywhere else they can turn; and while they "wish they could" stop what they're doing, there isn't anyway else to survive.
    Resonantyawon November 01, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI love the twang in this song. The first time I
    heard it it was stuck in my head. The song does
    echo "What It's Like" but I love it anyways!
    Udahoon August 07, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think they have potential. they kinda remind me of system when they were starting with the exception of the singer. little more mellow, not in a bad way. great lyrics, original and creative and somewhat poetic, and the band seems to flow together in sync well. good composition with the guitars and large emphasis on the back beat. Kinda reminds me of Beck "loser" except the guitars and vocals seem to meld better with the beat. System was a bit more balls to the wall though, and their songs gave a message without saying it out strait.

    Tip for Cage the Elephant if they want to stick around for a while: It helps generally in music to not actually say anything that makes sense word for word. It seems better to send your message through the emotion the music gives you, and have your lyrics give only a general idea, but at the same time make the idea flexible. It's better to have your personal views influence your music and not have your music inflict upon your audience's personal views so they can interpret it freely for themselves.It's hard to say what I'm getting at, but so far (imo) Cage the Elephant is on track to a good music career.

    I liked this song because it gives 3 truths of life. 1) that people can be wicked when they are in desperate situations (bills to pay). 2) people can do wicked things out of selflessness (mouths to feed). 3) People can also be wicked for the sake of being wicked (we all have to satisfy those thrills)

    in the end i think this song is saying "everyone has their reasons" good or bad. cool thing is they never give any indication if these reasons justify the wicked. that is for us as human beings to decide based on our beliefs.
    poomon November 13, 2009   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretationjust a little patch up, laurentheinvincible got a few words wrong xD
    And it's a hella good song, kinda self-explanatory.



    I was walking down the street,
    When out the corner of my eye
    I saw a pretty little thing approaching me.
    She said "I've never seen a man
    Who looks so all alone,
    Could you use a little company?
    If you pay the right price
    Your evening will be nice,
    And you can go and send me on my way."
    I said "You're such a sweet young thing
    Why you do this to yourself?"
    She looked at me and this is what she said,

    "Oh, there ain't no rest for the wicked,
    Money don't grow on trees.
    I got bills to pay,
    I got mouths to feed,
    There ain't nothing in this world for free.
    I know I can't slow down,
    I can't hold back,
    Though you know, I wish I could.
    Oh no there ain't no rest for the wicked,
    Until we close our eyes for good".

    Not even fifteen minutes later
    I'm still walking down the street,
    When I saw a shadow of a man creep out of sight.
    Then he walks up from behind
    He put a gun up to my head,
    He made it clear he wasn't looking for a fight.
    He said "Give me all you've got
    I want your money not your life,
    But if you try to make a move I won't think twice."
    I told him "You can have my cash
    But first you know I got to ask
    What makes you want to live this kind of life?"

    He said "There ain't no rest for the wicked,
    Money don't grow on trees.
    I got bills to pay,
    I got mouths to feed,
    There ain't nothing in this world for free.
    I know I can't slow down,
    I can't hold back,
    Though you know, I wish I could.
    Oh no there ain't no rest for the wicked,
    Until we close our eyes for good". (yea)

    Now a couple hours passed
    And I was sitting at my house,
    The day was winding down and coming to an end.
    So I turned on the TV
    And flipped it over to the news,
    And what I saw I almost couldn't comprehend.
    I saw a preacher man in cuffs he'd taken money from the church,
    He's got this bank account with righteous dollar bills.
    But even still I can't say much
    Because I know we're all the same,
    Oh yes we've all got to satisfy those thrills.

    "Oh, there ain't no rest for the wicked,
    Money don't grow on trees.
    We got bills to pay,
    We got mouths to feed,
    There ain't nothing in this world for free.
    I know we can't slow down,
    We can't hold back,
    Though you know, we wish we could.
    Oh no there ain't no rest for the wicked,
    Until we close our eyes for good".
    VonDarkmooron November 28, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think if you live your life by not cheating, stealing or lying in the first place you won't end up in these situations, but I agree that yes once you're locked into that world there is no rest for the wicked.
    AbsentMindedon July 14, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Comment1st comment (:
    this band is going to be huge.
    amazing summer song, and the front man actually had a personality. which is a change these days.
    .dreaming.of.you.on June 23, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI looove this song,
    meaning's obvious,
    but great song.
    thatgirl_on June 24, 2008   Link

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