Just a' urchin livin' under the street
I'm a hard case that's tough to beat
I'm your charity case
So buy me somethin' to eat
I'll pay you at another time
Take it to the end of the line
Ragz to richez or so they say
Ya gotta-keep pushin' for the fortune and fame
It's all a gamble
When it's just a game
Ya treat it like a capital crime
Evrybody's doin' their time
Chorus:
Take me down
To the paradise city
Where the grass is green
And the girls are pretty
Take me home
Strapped in the chair of the city's gas chamber
Why I'm here I can't quite remember
The surgeon general says it's hazardous to breathe
I'd have another cigarette but I can't see
Tell me who ya gonna believe
Chorus
So far away
So far away
So far away
So far away
Captain America's been torn apart
Now he's a court jester with a broken heart
He said -
Turn me around and take me back to the start
I must be losin' my mind - "Are you blind?"
I've seen it all a million times


Lyrics submitted by mike


Paradise City song meanings
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64 Comments

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  • +4
    Song MeaningThis song is about Axl Rose reflecting on his childhood, up-bringing and home town: Lafayette, Indiana. At the age of 16, Axl (then William Bruce Bailey) was made homeless by his parents as he refused to cut his hair. The line, "Just an urchin livin' under the street, I'm a hard case that's tough to beat, I'm your charity case so buy me somethin' to eat- I'll pay you at another time. Take it to the end of the line" refers to the time he spent on the streets, with no money or food. The line "Ragz to richez or so they say, ya gotta-keep pushin' for the fortune and fame. It's all a gamble when it's just a game, ya treat it like a capital crime. Evrybody's doin' their time" refers to the conversations he'd had with his parents about his dreams and ambitions of moving to LA and becoming a rock star, they were unsupportive and told him 'horror stories' about what happened to people in LA. This is also the meaning behind the line "Strapped in the chair of the city's gas chamber, why I'm here I can't quite remember. The surgeon general says it's hazardous to breathe, I'd have another cigarette but I can't see. Tell me who ya gonna believe"- his 'father' (he later discovered that Bailey wasn't his real father) discouraged him from moving and tried to convince him that he'd never succeed. The phrase "Paradise City" is in refference to his home town Lafayette, Indiana- he's reflecting on its beauty.
    BethLovesGNRon May 19, 2011   Link
  • +3
    General Commentwen this song was being written slash thought it sounded gay so he tried to get it changed from
    "grass is green and th girls are pretty"
    to
    "girls are fat and theyv got big titties"
    but the other band members thought it was stupid and overruled it

    this isnt me makin shit up its in slashs autobiography
    kojakfeltzgon November 02, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General Commenti know most of the stuff i'm responding to was written ages ago, but i'm new to this site and have to agree with G.E.R.M.S, that just to be a little piece of the puzzle on Appetite would make you a genius. as for what nothing2lose said:
    1) if axl is not original, please tell me who he stole his sound and/or lyrics from, i will download the tracks immediately and then thank you for expanding my music collection.
    2) how many other singers could sing multiple verses without taking a breath or hold a note as long as axl could at his peak?
    3) he was egotistical??? i'm sorry, but it's pretty naive to think that most celebrities DON'T think they're better than the rest of us. in other words, so what??
    sorry, just had to vent
    wicked1on January 04, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commentfirst thing , to NOTHING2LOSE, you have to get your shit right buddy, if you don't like someone because they broke up your fav band"AXL" thats fine, .... but you can't say things like," axl is the most talentless human beind on the planet." that is the worst call man , even being a part of the album "appitite", must put you up there in the rock hall of fame, no matter how much of a dickhead you are, i don't think to much of axl either, but you have to admit he is good. come on dude , think about it ,they were one of the biggest things in the late 80's. you know it. and this is comeing from someone who is not that much of a gunners fan. but i know good music and the gunners rock, and axl was the front man remember. so think again be fore you make that kind of statement.
    G.E.R.M.Son March 29, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthat isnt how it stars
    kojakfeltzgon August 23, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI put this song on just before I go out partying - always gets me in the mood - explosive heavy riff and strong drumming.....exquisite.
    turtonhoton April 26, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti agree, this song always gets me going.
    stacibugon May 11, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is Great, it means you can only live once, party it up and die young. there's no after life anyways.
    Not my point of view but defitely axles.
    seaked1on June 11, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis always reminds me of going downstate on Michigan. this is a really cool song, definitely an anthem of some sort, like it could be an american anthem imo.
    UseYourIllusionon June 20, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is so fun! I know that sounds stupid, but it really is. You can listen to it anywhere and it will put you in a good mood. I'm surprised not many people have commented on it yet, it's one of my favorites.
    bodaciousbia84on August 16, 2002   Link

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