"One In A Million" as written by W. Axl Rose, Saul Hudson, Duff Rose Mckagan, Izzy Stradlin and Steven Adler....
One, two, one, two, three, four
Yes I needed some time to get away
I needed some peace of mind
Some peace of mind that'll stay
So I thumbed it, now it's six in L.A.
Maybe a Greyhound could be my way

Police and niggers, that's right
Get outta my way
Don't need to buy none of your
Gold chains today
Now don't need no bracelets
Clamped in front of my back
Just need my ticket 'till then
Won't you cut me some slack

You're one in a million
Yeah that's what you are
You're one in a million babe
You're a shooting star
Maybe some day we'll see you
Before you make us cry
You know we tried to reach you
But you were much to high
Much too high
Much too high
Much too high

Immigrants and fagots
They make no sense to me
They come to our country
And think they'll do as they please
Like start some mini-Iran
Or spread some fucking disease
And they talk so many God damn ways
It's all Greek to me

Well some say I'm lazy
And others say that's just me
Some say I'm crazy
I guess I'll always be
But it's been such a long time
Since I knew right from wrong
It's all the means to and end I'm
I keep it moving along
Hey, hey, hey, yeah

You're one in a million
You're a shooting star
You're one in a million babe
You know that you are
Maybe some day we'll see you
Before you make us cry
You know we tried to reach you
But you were much to high
Much too high
Much too high
Much too high

Radicals and racists
Don't point your finger at me
I'm a small town white boy
Just tryin' to make ends meet
Don't need your religion
Don't watch that much TV
Just makin' my livin' baby
Well that's enough for me

You're one in a million
Yeah that's what you are
You're one in a million babe
You're a shooting star
Maybe some day we'll see you
Before you make us cry
You know we tried to reach you
But you were much too high
Much too high yeah, yeah, yeah
Much too high
Much too high
Much too high yeah, yeah, yeah
Much too high
Much too high
Much too high
Much too high
Much too high
Much too high


Lyrics submitted by mike

"One in a Million" as written by (usa 2) Slash Duff Mc Kagan

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

One In A Million song meanings
Add your thoughts

84 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +4
    General CommentThis is a highly emotional song for me. I have no clue as to what motivated Axl to lash out at the world, but the one thing I value above all else in art is sincerity. This tune paints a picture describing exactly the emotions of some "small town white boy" as he first sets foot in L.A., and encounters people and situations he is profoundly unfamiliar with and understandably frightened of (Rose is originally from small town Indiana).
    Even if it is not autobiographical (it probably is), it is a stark portrait of a young man who has never interacted with anyone who wasn't white protestant and is freaked out by his first exposure to the hostile and apathetic "big city." Writers such as Cormac McCarthy, William Burroughs, and J G Ballard often wrote about psychopaths and the nadirs of human degradation, but that did not mean the authors themselves were sadistic, violent beasts. The object of art, so the saying goes, is to hold a mirror up to reality. "One in a Million" reflects a certain reality, not necessarily shared by the majority, nakedly and without the filter of political correctness.
    Not all white people have it made in the shade. A lot of racism, in fact, arises from the anger that poor, disenfranchised whites feel. You spend your whole life hearing about how America is the greatest land of opportunity the world has ever seen, and yet you're still shit-poor, your family business reliant upon moonshine and methamphetamine, and people who've been in the country a month are treating you like scum? Damned right you're going to be angry and not entirely sure who to blame for your lot in life.
    I don't care if this was purposefully controversial; it was poignant when I was twelve years old, it is godd---ded poignant now.
    ChrisGon February 03, 2008   Link
  • +3
    General CommentIf you read Axl's explanation on the cover of GN'R Lies, he explains that the song is an over generalisation and gives all the reasons why he wrote it. It's very true to some extent: I've had Indian shop owners giving me the evil eye in their shops like I don't belong there when he doesn't even speak proper English. I haven't been hassled by the cops, but my bro and his mates were pulled up once by some punk cops who tried to hold just about anything they could against them. And I've never had a dark guy try and sell me stolen goods... but I've had a dark guy in Nike shoes and jacket with a Sony CD player ask me for money for the train saying he's broke. I can only assume those items were stolen. I don't have anything against the groups mentioned in this song, but yeah... I guess I see where Axl's coming from to some extent. Where I live, I can walk through the city streets and a black guy will call me a "white c***", but when I retaliate with "f***head", I'm a racist all of a sudden and I have him and 20 of his mates beating the crap out of me.
    I feel sorry for Axl because he felt he needed to write that song.
    Pickles the Ion April 14, 2003   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI honestly don't think this song is racist at all... I think it is probably a pretty acurate interprataition, of taking the bus in East LA.
    Mr. Brownstoneon June 09, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentAwesome song about how white males are stereotyped by different groups and how those groups assign a set of beliefs to them, rather than treating them as individuals. The 2 salient stanzas are as follows:

    Some say I'm lazy...and others say that's just me.
    Some say I'm crazy. I guess I'll always be.
    But it's been such a long time
    since I knew right from wrong
    It's all a means to and end
    I keep it moving along


    Radicals and Racists
    Don't point your fingers at me
    I'm a small town white boy
    Just tryin' to make ends meet
    Don't need your religion
    Don't watch that much TV
    Just makin a living baby
    And that's enough for me

    It's not surprising that this song is misunderstood as a racist looking at looking at the world rather than everyone with an ax to grind (Niggers, Cops, Immigrants, Faggots, Radicals and Racists) projecting their own prejudices. Once you get past the hot button words and listen to the lyrics, the meaning of the song is plain as day
    Weygandon April 25, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"Immigrants and faggots
    They make no sense to me
    They come to our country
    And think they'll do as they please
    Like start some mini Iran,
    Or spread some fuckin' disease
    They talk so many goddamn ways
    It's all Greek to me"
    Can anyone explain this without him being some racist asshole?
    Sniperwulf 2on November 02, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI feel this song is talking about a guy who gets pissed off at the world, and then kind of thinks he's above it. Then there is what people are saying to him, with the whole your one in a million deal, it's like he's thinking he's better than everyone else everywhere, angry and hateful because people haven't treated him with respect. People are saying "hold on there, your feeling pretty high and mighty, but come back down a bit before you end up getting yourself hurt" all the racial slurs and such are just showing his despise for the HUMAN race, not any one in particular. The line about being a smalltown whiteboy is like saying that you judge me and hate me for what i am, well, i hate all of you. He hates the "boxes" that people are put in, and doesn't feel like it's fair, but if they're going to do it to him, he's going to give it right back. I really like this song, and listen to it almost daily, but i don't think it's meant to disrespect anybody, but more show them that disrespect is there, that people judge each other.
    nothingwrongwithmeon May 22, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis is a "guilty of being white" song.
    ANTWANmyMANon June 02, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentCan't we all just get along?

    This song is him giving his views, which would be perceived by many people as racist and homophobic etc. When he says 'don't point your finger at me' he is telling people who are ready to attach him for the views he has just expressed to back off. He does have the right to freedom of speech after all even if the things he says are deeply offensive and ignorant.

    I think as well as a big 'fuck you' to political correctness this song was probably intended to raise loads of controversy and publicity for GnR.
    convexconcaveon January 19, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentLook this song is easy to understand.
    Axl is a small town white boy who moved to L.A. (a very busy melting pot of all different kinds of people)
    basically what hes saying is, he needs a break from this fast life thats going on in L.A.
    Some people can hang and others cant, Axl couldnt ,so he got on a greyhound and left to get away from it all.
    All the racist stuff is how he sees everyone,
    the thing with the niggers selling him chains and bracelets
    he looks at is as "fuckin nigger trying to sell me stolen shit"
    but he doesnt know they are stolen, the black guy is trying to make money
    so he can make ends meet
    the immigrants who come to this country, join up with their people cuz they are not used to american ways
    its tough to make it here, especially when you are a foreigner, they have their culture, but dont want to be oppressed by their countries dictators and communism
    he sees it as them "changing america for the worse"
    when in fact this country is founded by immigrants and got its start by immigrants
    the faggot part, he sees it as them spreading disease
    well straight people catch aids and hiv and herpes too
    so hes just stupid about that, hes probably just homophobic

    he even labels himself
    as a simple small town white boy.
    hes mad at the world, he feels hes above everyone else
    to me when he sings

    Well some say I'm lazy
    And others say that's just me
    Some say I'm crazy
    I guess I'll always be
    But it's been such a long time
    Since I knew right from wrong
    It's all the means to an end, I
    I keep it movin' along
    You're one in a million
    Oo, you're a shooting star
    You're one in a million, babe
    You know that you are
    Maybe someday we'll see you, Oo
    oh, Before you make us cry
    You know we tried to reach you
    But you were much too high

    to me it means that he has friends or family that care about him and they too also deal with the everyday shit that he deals with, only thing is hes letting it get to him
    hes on a whole other level then they are, he is fed up with it!
    they say maybe someday we'll see the real you axl not this crazy racist axl who ,maybe, says something to the wrong person and gets killed
    we're trying to help you and understand that this is life, but he doesnt want to hear it, hes mad at the world!

    to me its a great song, cuz we've all been there.

    but you never can tell with axl cuz he became a nut in the early 90's
    he thought he was the voice of a generation, and after a while people got tired of hearing his bullshit
    Cleanrusson January 28, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOk after giving it some real thought I think most people are right by saying its Axles retaliation to his struggle in L.A.

    However I don't think anyone is really getting the big picture of this one.
    I feel its written more as a hand off to the next generation and people thinking of becoming rockstars (or having a rockstar mentality) but not knowing the ropes. This was a memoir of his personal anger that he turned into a political and social analogy. He's saying look I know your angry with all these different groups of people because they don't allow you to be yourself or pick at your soul and stand in your way BUT DONT LET THAT GAS YOUR HEAD UP. ALWAYS REMEMBER YOUR ONE IN A MILLION.

    Then he goes on to say--
    Maybe someday we'll see you, Oo
    oh, Before you make us cry
    You know we tried to reach you
    But you were much too high
    Much too high, Oo, much too high
    Yeah,

    Meaning we tried to tell you that its all nonsense and it barely affects your life at all but you were much too caught up in your anger and just faded away.
    If its meant to be ironic like the self analogical type of song I think Axle wrote it to be, then it makes an incredible breakthrough by boldly telling off politics, racism, religion, immigrated dissidents by making cliches out of them with the generalizations. The song is not only meant to uplift white people spirits but everyones as thats what rock n' roll was brought up to do. So he's also telling all these different groups of people live their life and remember their one in a million of their kind so do what you want before its too late and you become cliches.

    Of course it might not be about this but I choose to use this explanation to define the song because it could be written from anyones perspective and STILL HOLD THE SAME MEANING.

    Your still one in a million no matter what everyone else from your race, ethnic group or sexual preference is labeled as, everything else is just obstacles you have to overcome.

    drunkinjunton February 06, 2010   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain