"Midnight Cruiser" as written by Walter Carl Becker and Donald Jay Fagen....
Thelonius my old friend
Step on in and let me shake your hand
So glad that you're here again
For one more time
Let your madness run with mine
Streets still unseen we'll find somehow
No time is better than now

Tell me where are you driving
Midnight cruiser
Where is your bounty
Of fortune and fame
I am another
Gentlemen loser
Drive me to Harlem
Or somewhere the same

The world that we used to know
People tell me it don't turn no more
The places we used to go
Familiar faces that ain't smilin' like before
The time of our time has come and gone
I fear we been waiting too long

Tell me where are you driving
Midnight cruiser
Where is your bounty
Of fortune and fame
I am another
Gentlemen loser
Drive me to Harlem
Or somewhere the same


Lyrics submitted by SongMeanings, edited by amigi

"Midnight Cruiser" as written by Walter Carl Becker Donald Jay Fagen

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Midnight Cruiser song meanings
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22 Comments

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  • +6
    General CommentThis song is about passing your prime without accomplishing anything.

    The first verse is really about the singer hoping to rediscover old avenues of fortune and inspiration from his younger days, when he was in his prime and all avenues seemed open to him.

    The chorus rips on the people who should have been famous for being so artistic and with it and hip all that. The singer self-identifies as one of these "gentlemen losers", with all the posture and none of the necessary substance of action. So he asks to be taken to Harlem or wherever the hip place is now so he can attempt his great reconnection.

    Last verse is talking about how all the stuff that was going on when it was cool to be doing what the singer is still doing - i.e. that whole world - is gone. The people, the sense of fortune, etc. It wasn't just a matter of the singer choosing to take part in the world, it was about the juxtaposition of the opportunities with the willingness to take them.

    The coup de gras, the killer line of it all, is: "The time of our time has come and gone/I fear we been waiting too long." Like, literally, the years of the singer's invincibility and inspiration are behind him, and all those doors are closed to him now, and he squandered it because he never thought those doors would close.
    idunnowhaton January 26, 2015   Link
  • +4
    General CommentYour painfully bad YourGoldTeeth, a real SD fan would recognize that Can't Buy A Thrill is one of the best albums
    A_Mickon May 15, 2007   Link
  • +3
    General CommentIt is Felonius not Thelonius as in Monk ~ buy the album the lyrics are on it. Geez

    I think the song is pretty self explanatory guys meet up and have a good time or what they perceive to be a good time......maybe a bit sarcastic in the lyrics
    Dmaguireon August 29, 2011   Link
  • +3
    General Comment"I am another gentleman loser". Fagan is the kind of guy who would make me honored to call me that. To be a loser is easy -- to be a gentleman loser is to know the sweet and the bitter.
    HudFudon February 16, 2013   Link
  • +2
    General Commentis it?
    NJJon March 09, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song has such a great guitar solo and duet.We used to listen to this riding the back roads back in the day all smoked up, late at night, young and thinking we were bullet proof party animals.
    BH61on February 13, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General Commentthis is clearly about a Cab driver in NYC
    charcolon November 02, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Commentgod this was one of my favorite SD songs growing up...stil is =)

    but yeah i agree with A_Mick - can't buy a thrill is amazing
    take it 2 the limiton June 21, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt could be that it's about a man who returns to a life of crime.

    "Felonius" is the criminal intent and the name of this archetypcal friend

    Maye a prequel to "turn that heartbeat over again' ?

    But then again it could just mean that he's just reunited with his old buddy that he used to hang with in the old days (a fellow Deacon Blues)
    TribeVoiceon February 24, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General CommentFagan idolized Thelonious Monk. He even played on a 1984 tribute album for this amazing jazz artist. Midnight Cruiser is absolutely about Monk....don't let the spelling fool you.
    4everautumnon April 22, 2015   Link

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