"Fat Man In The Bathtub" as written by and Lowell George....
Spot-check Billy got down on his hands and knees
He said "Hey momma, hey let me check your oil, alright?"
She said "No, no honey, not tonight --
Come back Monday, come back Tuesday, then I might"

I said Juanita, my sweet Juanita what are you up to?
My Juanita
I said Juanita, my sweet chiquita, what are you up to?
My Juanita

Don't want nobody who won't dive for dimes
Don't want no speedballs 'cause I might die tryin'
Throw me a line, throw me a line
'Cause there's a fat man in the bathtub with the blues
I hear you moan, I hear you moan, I hear you moan

Billy got so sad and dejected, put on his hat and start to run
Runnin' down the street yellin' at the top of his lungs:
All I want in this life of mine is some good clean fun
All I want in this life of mine is some hit and run

I said Juanita, my sweet Juanita, what are you up to?
My Juanita
I said Jaunita, my sweet chiquita, what are you up to?
My Juanita

Put my money in your meter baby, so it won't run down
But you caught me in the squeeze play on the cheesy side of town
Throw me a line, throw me a line
'Cause there's a fat man in the bathtub with the blues
I hear you moan, I hear you moan, I hear you moan


Lyrics submitted by nagromnai, edited by Anarchitek, jivetolkin, crazychef

Fat Man In The Bathtub song meanings
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  • +5
    Song MeaningSpotcheck Billy's a junkie who's in love with a prostitute - he's in a "squeeze play" on the "cheesy side of town" (i.e. he's in the quarter where the prostitutes and drug dealers ply their trade, and he only has enough cash in his pocket for one or the other.)

    He'd rather spend his money on his favorite girl, who goes by the name "Juanita" - not only because he loves her, but also because he's concerned that his use of speedballs (a combination of heroin and cocaine) is endangering his life (regular use of speedballs often results in cardiac arrest).

    "Juanita", however has another client this evening -- literally, an overweight man soaking in the bathtub of her rented-by-the-hour room.

    One can imagine Billy standing in the hallway, "Juanita" with the door just cracked open, and telling him to go away, come back Monday or Tuesday (presumably the "slow nights" in the trade), she has a high-paying client with a bathing fetish and she doesn't need him hanging around, acting crazy and scaring him off.

    Since Billy can't get time with his "Juanita" tonight he wants to save his money for Monday or Tuesday -- knowing that otherwise he'll just run out and blow it on speedballs that might just as likely kill him -- he's begging her to throw him a "dime" (a bag of weed) or a "line" of cocaine -- just enough to keep the monkey off his back for the night.

    For me the killer line is "I hear you moan, I hear you moan, I hear you moan." That's Billy with his ear against the door listening to Juanita servicing her client for the evening.

    Sexual jealousy, addiction, longing and love .. one of my all-time favorite songs and one of Little Feat's best.. check out the live version on "Waiting for Columbus". No doubt Lowell George was writing from personal experience .. what a talent. R.I.P.
    jivetolkinon September 09, 2012   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningIn short, the tune is the ultimate ode to sexual frustration. The girl keeps putting him off and the tension builds. Definitely some drug stuff going on, too. George often referred to cocaine and 'dimes' seems to be one of his names for it. 'Don't want no speedballs' is also a drug reference indicating the protagonist prefers cocaine without concurrent heroin use. I'm pretty sure he deals it and Juanita is a prostitute. Best line: "All I want in this life and time is some hit and run!"
    SpacePedestrianon February 01, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI first heard Little Feat when I was maybe 12 years old. I'm almost 40 now . . . and a couple of weeks ago I was singing along to this song and I realized this song is hysterically dirty!!!!!

    'Let me check your oil, all right' is a euphemism for sex. As is 'putting money in your meter.'
    "Fat man in a bathtub with the blues" is a really creative way to describe a woman's anatomy.
    And "I hear you moan"; man, this song, especially with their female singer is just about as sultry as any song I've ever heard.

    Questions:
    What does dive for dimes mean?--Is that also sex?
    And a taquita?

    dogmanstaron August 08, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionIMHO I find skidds intuitive reply very convincing. I would hope he/she will provide interpretation of othe rparts of the song. "Fat" is one. On line searches for its meaning with respect to drug addiction are ellusive.
    fb0727on December 12, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Fat Man In the Bathtub" is slang for a woman's clitoris.
    beroach85on January 01, 2013   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionFirst up I always heard it as chiquita - what does taquito mean and where did this come from?

    I reckon it is possible to drop the drug references. I see the story like this: Billy is busy. He's in a hurry. He's pressed for time, squeezed between this spotcheck on Juanita and playing the cheesy side of town. He begs her for a quickie and is prepared to pay for the full time.

    She says no; she doesn't like men who waste money like that. She says rushed sessions kill her, and asks him to come back when he has more time. She says she understands how Billy feels because she's ready too.

    Billy sadly gets the message and has to rush off. As he does, he moans about how he just wanted a quick bit of fun with her and that he'd paid for the full time, he wanted was her to give him a break, especially as she was all ready.

    This is cobbled from: Spotcheck meaning a person who pops up, quick etc. "But you caught me in the squeeze playin the cheesy side of town" shows he's trying to be in two place at the same time - he's caught in a hurry. He wanted some "Hit and Run".

    "I put my money in your meter baby so it won't run down" - means he's paid her the full session, but she says she doesn't want anyone who "won't dive for dimes" (wastes money, even pennies), she likes to give her money's worth and she doesn't want any speed balls (quick parties) because she might die trying (perhaps if she's caught by her pimp or perhaps she'd have too many clients in one day, or perhaps quickies would bring her to an early grave etc), so he'd be better coming back Monday or Tuesday.

    The fat man in the bathtub means both Billy sad in a tub at the end, and the reference to a ready clitoris as suggested elsewhere.

    I do think it is about prostitution (money in meter, spotchecks etc), but I think it is NOT about drugs (all he wants is some good clean fun). What do y'all reckon to this?
    PaulCarlawon February 27, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General Commentshes on the rag fat man in the bathtub dive for dimes is oral on a woman don't get me messed up speedball I might die tryin
    yippeiaon January 27, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTaquito="Little taco." Another reference to the vagina.
    Shapokliyakon January 27, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGuys, with tons of due respect I think you're overthinking this. Fat man in a bathtub, as one of the other posters has observed, refers to Juanita's clitoris. Problem is, she is on her period. That's why the fat man has the blues, and it's why she says "No, no honey, not tonight/ Comeback Monday, comeback Tuesday, then I might." It also may explain the "good clean fun" reference.
    crazychefon March 24, 2017   Link

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