"Ol' 55" as written by and Tom Waits....
Well my time went so quickly
I went lickety-splickly out to my old '55
As I drove away slowly, feeling so holy
God knows, I was feeling alive

And now the sun's coming up
I'm riding with Lady Luck, freeway cars and trucks
Stars beginning to fade, and I lead the parade
Just a-wishing I'd stayed a little longer
Lord, let me tell you that the feeling's getting stronger

Six in the morning, gave me no warning
I had to be on my way
Now the cars are all passing me
Trucks are all flashing me
I'm headed home from your place

And now the sun's coming up
I'm riding with Lady Luck
Freeway, cars and trucks
Stars beginning to fade
And I lead the parade
Just a-wishin' I'd stayed a little longer
Lord, don't you know, the feeling's getting stronger

Well, my time went so quickly
I went lickety-splitly
Out to my old '55
As I pulled away slowly
Feeling so holy
God knows I was feeling alive

And now the sun's coming up, yes it is
I'm riding with Lady Luck
Freeway, cars and trucks
Freeway, cars and trucks
Riding with Lady Luck
Freeway, cars and trucks
Riding with Lady Luck
Freeway, cars and trucks
Riding with Lady Luck

Lyrics submitted by Demau Senae

"Ol' 55" as written by Tom Waits


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Ol' 55 song meanings
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  • +2
    General Commentok, this is one of the greatest songs on the frickin planet. how i interpret this is like he had this girl and he's happy with the time he had with her but he 'just a wishin' i'd stayed a little longer' meaning that it wasn't quite perfect. also, with the cars all passin' me and those lines, that like means that life seems to just pass by before your eyes without stopping. i could be dead wrong about this but w/e. it's still the best song by the eagles. it should be on the greatest hits album.
    take it 2 the limiton December 30, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI hate to be a kill-joy, but if you know Tom Waits' attitudes and keep an open mind while enjoying this classic, this song is written from the viewpoint of the recently departed of a funeral procession. He's leading the parade, driving away slowly (Eagles substitute "pulled away" in first verse which does sound like leaving a woman), had no warning (he died unexpectedly), life went by too fast (lickety splitly), original lyrics had "trucks are all passing me, lights are all flashing me" because funerals used to get stop lights to blink so everyone would stop & let funeral go by...

    Give it a listen with that in mind and see if you don't experience it in a whole different "light".

    Definately of the best of the Eagles, made only better by it's multiple layers of meanings.
    sholleranon March 23, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentNot by the Eagles. Written by Tom Waits. Both versions are really good though
    FallSemester_on December 22, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBut this cover is awesome!
    MookieBomberon March 04, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentNo, Tom Waits himself states that this song is about a friend calling him up in the middle of the night asking for gas money so he could drive the girl he was out with on a date back to her house. The car was in such bad shape that it only had reverse left on it so the friend sold Tom some jokes he could use in exchange for money so he could buy some gas to drive his date home. Tom claims the car was either a '55 Buick Roadmaster or Cadillac and his friend actually drove home all the way in reverse.. If you read the lyrics it all makes sense.
    FallSemester_on February 11, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt could be about leaving behind a period of your life and starting out new. Even though he knows he has to leave, he's already feeling the pangs of nostalgia/homesickness: "wishin' I'd stayed a little longer".
    Lioness89on September 13, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe Old 55 isn't a Truck, it's a Hurst.

    The Literal meaning is about driving his old truck home after hooking up. The Deeper meaning is about death after having lived a full life, and going to Heaven.
    timbokingon July 11, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is written all about death. I would interpret he is driving his life slowly to the end in one morning. He feels holy and wish he could stay alive a little bit longer with his lover but of course, he cannot. He leads the parade(funeral) and for all the rest of the lyrics are stated in the first person POV from the funeral vehicle after he passed away. He sees trucks are passing and lights are flashing. Since he is on the way to be sent to the grave, it is the last time he could stay so close with her. ("Riding" in the same car is like riding with a lady luck.) He goes back to the heaven from her embrace(her place). OL 55 = he died @ 55.
    wallace113on February 29, 2016   Link

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