"Only Son of the Ladiesman" as written by and Joshua Tillman....
When I heard the ladiesman was dead
I saw the rolling stone stopped moving
Saw my ancient hero on the Sunset Strip
He left behind a legacy of ruin

Now painted ladies want to hold my gun
Wonder if the whole time if I'd been acting
When I sang "Moon River" in that silent film
Had I really made a sound when they called action

I swear that man was womankind's first husband
They all died in a line to save him
I'm a steady hand, I'm a Dodger's fan
I'm a leaning brand of a one night stand
I'm a ladiesman

Oh, some ladiesman
Oh, some ladiesman

Couldn't see his used up body at the funeral
By virtue of the flailing of his conquests
They tied down his casket with the garter belt
Each troubled heart was beating in a sequin dress

Someone must console these lonesome daughters
No written word or ballad will appease them
Cowboy and the cop shot down the ladiesman
The humid nights in L.A. are now silence
I swear that man was womankind's first husband

Only son of the ladiesman
Only son of the ladiesman
Only son of the ladiesman, oh

Lyrics submitted by casiopt10, edited by Gabrielsmith, JaySugar

"Only Son of the Ladiesman" as written by Joshua Tillman

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Only Son of the Ladiesman song meanings
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  • +4
    General CommentLots of layers. No one "meaning" here. That said, let's explore a few things. Sometimes in his live shows, after he sings "ladies man," Tillman in his wry manner will then sing, "in quotations" just to make it's clear not to take this too literally. Also, Tillman writes out of the So. Cal/LA/Hollywood milieu---where film rules. Look up something about the silent film star Rudolph Valentino's funeral, and you'll see the parallels in Tillman's lyrics. To take that point further, in the final verse we have "The cowboy and the cop shot down the ladies man," which I think alludes to how film evolved; the Valentino type gave way to cowboy and gangster movies. Bottom line: it's a great song. Make sure to pass FJM on to all of your friends. Tillman is a rare kind of artist---intelligent, beautiful, talented. He'll make it out alive and die on his own terms. I think we can count on that.
    JaySugaron March 11, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThank you for these lyrics :)
    Leikaaon February 20, 2012   Link
  • 0
    Lyric Correctioni hear "Couldn't see his used up body at the funeral", because of all the flailing from the attending ladies and all

    and thanks for transcribing all these lyrics btw.
    idlehhhandon March 25, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIn the second verse, it's LEADING brand, not leaning.

    Saw him do this on Letterman recently and he did some goofy swag dance moves, playing the part of the ladies' man. It was pretty great.
    avernoeson May 02, 2012   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningThe death of the American dream?
    creativetim32on January 22, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI've only heard it once, but my impression is that he's using sarcasm to basically say that nobody cares how much of a "ladies man" you are. Like when one of your friends goes on and on about how he totally "made out with two sexy dime pieces at the bar last night," and you're just like, "Yeah man, you're a total badass. The day you get married will probably be a day of international mourning for women everywhere, lemme tell ya."
    tama2hot4u06on April 01, 2015   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningI've been told the ladies man might be a reference to Leonard Cohen.
    Jakobberryon March 11, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFirst, sorry for the typo above: "just to make it clear"---NOT "just to make it's clear".

    Also, the prescribed “correct” dictionary spelling is “ladies’ man,” but I’m not going to worry about that here.

    I submitted a correction for this line: “I'm a leading brand, I'm a one night stand”

    It had been “I’m a leading brand of a one night stand,” which apparently is an incorrect lyrics meme because I’ve seen it in numerous places. It’s quite clear in the studio version and his live performances (for example on Letterman) that he says “I’m a” not “of a.”

    I underscore the point here because the list of things the ladies man can be—“a steady hand,” “a Dodger’s fan,” “a leading brand,” “a one night stand”—suggests he’ll be whatever you want/need him to be; in other words, it’s all artifice.

    A specific note on the “Dodger’s fan” line: At a live unplugged performance in Philadelphia, when Tillman sings the line, he gets some “whoos” from the audience (weird bc they’re in Philly, but that’s not my point here). Slightly perturbed, Tillman then sings the line again, adding, “I’ve got very literal friends. I don’t give a f--- about baseball.”

    Also a minor point on the “Sunset Strip” line. Tillman makes a hitchhiking gesture when he sings the song on Letterman (sans guitar). If the ladies man is hitchhiking, things probably aren’t going very well in his life, right?
    JaySugaron March 12, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General CommentLeonard Cohen
    Beat Poet/Musician
    Died 2016
    egeisenheimeron January 11, 2017   Link

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