"Sad Sweetheart Of The Rodeo" as written by and Sult/huffman/nelson/lin....
Not another extastential cowboy
And no more California champane
Not another sattle tramp
sick, sore, lonely, and out of place
cryin in his coffee icecream
Edyth cannot fix another engine
nor paint another face on a rubber can clown
she takes another temp job
but in her secret heart she rides
she's gotta sad sweet heart of a rodeo
a whoohoo not an urban legand now
sad sweetheart of a rodeo
a whoohoo hoooo
Give it a rest, give it a rest
give it a bad night's sleep
Norman says you can take a valum
or maybe something stronger
because he doesn't understand how you can get so excited watching the lusty men
the marboro man died of cancer
aaand he wasn't a rocket scientist when he was healthy, haha
she took one last gulp of his soft city condesention and blasted off from his little launch pad to parts west
sad sweetheart of the rodeo
awhoohoo not an urban legend now
sad sweetheart of the rodeo
awhoo hoo hoohoo (oh oh lonesome cowboy headed west)
Sad sweetheart of the rodeo a whoohoo
not an urban legend now
Sad sweetheart of the rodeo a whoohoo

Lyrics submitted by NeoNess

"Sad Sweetheart of the Rodeo" as written by

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Sad Sweetheart Of The Rodeo song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentI feel like Harvey Danger, in general, may have the most underrated lyrics of all time. Really, every line is so precisely chosen that I never doubt their ability as a band.
    mofloon January 15, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is pretty clear if you pay attention to the lyrics. Edith is taking jobs that she doesnt like or want to keep to 'pay the rent' but what she really wants is to be a rodeo rider. No one thinks that she can do it and they condescend to her.
    Cocobunny73on July 03, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song. I really don't know what else to say.. and as Cocobunny said, it's pretty straightforward and tells a story about Edith. Woohoo.
    avarchielon April 14, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthese lyrics are way too cryptic to be summed up by what cocobunny73 said. for instance, how many ways can the opening stanza be interpreted?

    i'm wondering if by norman he means norman rockwell? it could make sense because his art was all about suburban plight and homogenization, which this and tons of other h.d. songs are a smart, strong reaction to (among other things)

    The marlboro man died of cancer, and he wasn't a rocket scientist when he was healthy ha ha ha. <---wtf?

    that line is so awesome, but i can't figure out what its purpose is in this song.
    themagnetcon June 26, 2009   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningMy understanding of this song as evolved since I first commented back in 2003 under the name of Cocobunny. Themagnetc is right; the meaning of this song is deeper. Though, in my defense I was only 13 and hadn’t put much thought into it.
    I recently had the opportunity to ask Sean Nelson one question, and this is what I wanted to know:
    “Who or what was the inspiration for Sad Sweetheart of the Rodeo, and who or what is a rubbercan clown?”

    He replied (paraphrasing):

    This song is about a girl I was dating, who I later married, who hated her job and was having dating problems, which is a recipe for great rock music. I was listening to a lot of Edith Frost at the time, which is why she’s named Edith. I wrote Edith an email to this affect, and would you believe that she never wrote back?

    A rubbercan clown refers to the rodeo clown, whose job it is to get the bulls as mad as possible. The only protection they have is a big can made of hardened rubber. It offers more protection than if they can were made of, say, tinfoil.

    End of paraphrase. Begin over-thought interpretation.

    Sean’s then-girlfriend (now ex-wife) wasn’t necessarily obsessed with the rodeo, or dreaming of running away with cowboys, but the sentiment is the same. She, like Edith, was dissatisfied with her love-life and work and dreamed of doing something more fulfilling.

    Now, for the lyrics:

    “Not another existential cowboy, and no more "california champagne."
    Not another saddle tramp--sick, sore, lonely and out of place, cryin� in his coffee ice cream (come on).”

    Hear me out; I’ll try to back myself up. This sounds to me like Edith’s commentary on the degenerating spirit and state of the rodeo. She is a hand working ‘backstage’ at the rodeo and observing these men who ride, but lack the heart for it. They’re sad, sick, alcoholic (California champagne = cheap alcohol, not imported), lonely men. She is both disgusted by and jealous of them, living her dream of riding in the rodeo.

    “Edith cannot fix another engine, nor paint another face on a rubbercan clown. She takes another temp job, but in her secret heart she rides!”

    She’s doing odd jobs at the rodeo, such as fixing engines and doing the face painting for the rodeo clowns. She’s fed up with it, but she keeps doing it just to be near her dream.

    “Sad sweetheart of the rodeo not an urban legend now sad sweetheart of the rodeo.

    Give it a rest, give it a rest, give it a bad night�s sleep.
    Norman says that you should take a valium (or maybe something stronger) Cause he doesn�t understand how you get so excited watching "the lusty men."

    The marlboro man died of cancer and he wasn�t a rocket scientist when he was healthy. ha ha ha. ”
    Norman (her boyfriend — watch the music video) is ridiculing her for her interest. He doesn’t understand why she cares about watching the cowboys (ie: lusty men). He suggests that she should just chill (ie: take a valium) and give her silly dreams a rest. The bit about the Marlboro man is Norman trying to prove that cowboys are stupid. The Marlboro man was a figure in old Marlboro cigarette ads, who ironically died of cancer. (Read more: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…)

    “She took one last gulp of his soft city condescension and blasted off from his little launch pad to parts west. (lonesome cowboy bill, where are you?)”

    She got fed up with the ridicule and condescension and left him, to pursue her dreams of riding the rodeo in the West. That last line maybe what she’s thinking to herself as she makes leaves (ie: “Adventure, here I come!” )

    NOW - having dissected story of Edith, I leave you to make your own interpretation about what Sean is really trying to say. To me, he’s commending the virtue of sticking with your dreams, regardless of what anyone else thinks, and just, being true to yourself. Thoughts?
    pikabooon August 29, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI do like that Norman Rockwell interpretation. Good call on that.
    pikabooon August 29, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentall i gotta say is...

    "soft city condescension...?"

    that's perfect. just perfect.
    relampagoson March 02, 2012   Link

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