It was back in '32 when times were hard
He had a Colt forty-five and a deck of cards
Stagger Lee

He wore rat-drawn shoes and an old stetson hat
Had a '28 Ford, had payments on that
Stagger Lee

His woman threw him out in the ice and snow
And told him, "Never ever come back no more."
Stagger Lee

So he walked through the rain, and he walked through the mud
Till he came to a place called The Bucket Of Blood
Stagger Lee

He said "Mr. Motherfucker, you know who I am?"
The barkeeper said, "No, and I don't give a good goddamn."
To Stagger Lee

He said, "Well, bartender, it's plain to see
I'm that bad motherfucker called Stagger Lee."
Mr. Stagger Lee

Barkeep said, "Yeah, I've heard your name down the way
And I kick motherfucking asses like you every day."
Mr Stagger Lee

Well, those were the last words that the barkeep said
'Cause Stag put four holes in his motherfucking head

Just then in came a broad called Nellie Brown
Was known to make more money than any bitch in town

She struts across the bar, hitching up her skirt
Over to Stagger Lee, she starts to flirt
With Stagger Lee

She saw the barkeep, said, "O God, he can't be dead!"
Stag said, "Well, just count the holes in the motherfucker's head."

She said, "You ain't look like you scored in quite a time.
Why not come to my pad? It won't cost you a dime."
Mr. Stagger Lee

"But there's something I have to say before you begin
You'll have to be gone before my man Billy Dilly comes in,
Mr. Stagger Lee."

"I'll stay here till Billy comes in, till time comes to pass
And furthermore I'll fuck Billy in his motherfucking ass."
Said Stagger Lee

"I'm a bad motherfucker, don't you know?
And I'll crawl over fifty good pussies just to get one fat boy's asshole,"
Said Stagger Lee

Just then Billy Dilly rolls in and he says, "You must be
That bad motherfucker called Stagger Lee."
Stagger Lee

"Yeah, I'm Stagger Lee, and you better get down on your knees
And suck my dick because if you don't, you're gonna be dead,"
Said Stagger Lee

Billy dropped down and slobbered on his head
And Stag filled him full of lead
Oh yeah



Lyrics submitted by typo

"Stagger Lee" as written by Lloyd Price, Harold Logan

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind


Stagger Lee song meanings
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18 Comments

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  • +4
    General Comment:I didn't think I could like this song more, then I saw the video. Nick Cave does the best homoerotic out, and still manages to look incredibly bangin' in a pink shirt.
    SpearmintSallyon May 25, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General Comment:There are various recordings and various spellings (stackolee, stagolee, stagger lee, stack a lee) of this song going back decades. With it's explicit lyrics, Nick Cave's version most closely resembles 'The Great Stack-a-Lee' by Snatch and The Poontangs (a band led by Johnny Otis), in 1969. The line "I'll crawl over fifty good pussies just to get one fat boy's asshole" is actually from another Snatch and The Poontangs song called 'Two-time Slim'.

    The Great Stack-a-Lee: cowbell.fm/track/…

    Two-Time Slim: youtube.com/…
    shockmon November 22, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:Stagger Lee songs are rumored to have come to America on slave ships- I've read that he's been killing poor Billy for centuries and centuries.
    I've also read, and agree with, that the overblown violence and profanity in Nick's take on Stag is a commentary/parody on gangster rap.
    Anyway, this is my second favorite Stagger Lee song, the best imo is The Clash's Wrong "Em Boyo.
    MammaBirdon June 08, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:It is very rappy, I love that! Cave is a brilliant satirist, and if there's any good place to take the piss out the rap phenomenon, it'd be Murder Ballads. It's got a fantastic bass line, metronomic rhyme-droppin', and of course, all that fucking profanity. Absolutely genius. One of my favorite songs he's done!
    feel me loudon June 11, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:great song....good times.
    Razormasticatoron April 10, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:This song is SORT of based on a 50's song also called Stagger Lee.
    wildwillon May 12, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:I'm a bad motherfucker, don't you know
    And I'll crawl over fifty good pussies just to get one fat boy's asshole"

    Nick Cave's best line
    SCRMNGRon June 03, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:I don't usually leave blatant comments on lyric pages, but I have to for "Stagger Lee". This song kicks ass all the way through. Nick Cave is a storyteller.
    aphekqson June 22, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:Its not really based on the 50's song Stagger Lee, but its based on an old folk song, which the 50's Stagger Lee took inspiration from.
    Gloomon June 28, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:Stagger Lee has had many songs written about him
    this is just another added to the list
    and a brilliant one at that
    i love that bass line
    Girgoon November 24, 2004   Link

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