It's all the same, only the names will change
Every day, it seems we're wastin' away
Another place where the faces are so cold
I'd drive all night just to get back home

I'm a cowboy
On a steel horse I ride
I'm wanted dead or alive
Wanted dead or alive

Sometimes I sleep, sometimes it's not for days
The people I meet always go their separate ways
Sometimes you tell the day by the bottle that you drink
And times when you're alone, well, all you do is think

I'm a cowboy
On a steel horse I ride
I'm wanted (wanted), dead or alive
Wanted (wanted), dead or alive

Oh, and I ride
Yeah

Oh, I'm a cowboy
On a steel horse I ride
I'm wanted (wanted), dead or alive

And I walk these streets, a loaded six-string on my back
I play for keeps 'cause I might not make it back
I've been everywhere, still I'm standing tall
I've seen a million faces and I've rocked them all

'Cause I'm a cowboy
On a steel horse I ride
I'm wanted (wanted), dead or alive
'Cause I'm a cowboy
I got the night on my side
And I'm wanted (wanted), dead or alive
And I ride (and I ride), dead or alive
I still drive (I still drive), dead or alive
Dead or alive
Dead or alive
Dead or alive
Dead or alive


Lyrics submitted by Demau Senae

Wanted Dead Or Alive Lyrics as written by Richard S Sambora Jon Bon Jovi

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Wanted Dead or Alive song meanings
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46 Comments

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  • +8
    General Comment

    Well this song is a pretty clear cut. Its a parallel between Bon Jovi's live on the road and that of an out law cowboy.

    Point 1: The first line says "Its all the same, only the names have changed." Thats about how they used to be called outlaw cowboys and now they're rock stars.

    Point 2: "Im a cowboy, on a steel horse I ride. Wanted dead or alive." This is just restating the parallel he is about to illustrate. Outlaws used to ride horses. Now the bad boy image is a guy on a bike. Plus a steel horse is obviously a motorcycle thats totally obvious.

    Point 3: "Sometimes I sleep, sometimes it's not for days." Thats is showing how both rock stars and outlaws get little to no sleep because of their schedules/activities.

    Point 4:"Sometimes you tell the day by the bottle you drink." You drink what appropriate for what youre doing. A beer if youre relaxing and not needing your basic motor skills(shooting or playing guitar) or water if you cant relax.

    Point 5:"I walk the streets with a loaded six string on my back" That is merging the tow independent identities of a rockstar and outlaw into one. The six string is obviously a guitar but the fact that its "loaded" means that its some what like a six shooter.

    Point 6: "Ive seen a million faces" is a reference to the fact that both rockstars and outlaws travel alot and meet many different people. One sings songs and rocks them with music the other takes their money and i suppose "rocks" their normal lives.

    pritchardmhereon January 02, 2010   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    This is just one kick-ass tune. If I am not mistaken, it's about the band's life on the road, incessantly touring as BJ is known for doing, and the trials and tribulation therof. THE quintessential song from this band, in my mind anyway......

    jules4099on May 11, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    nope, its the tour bus. been confirmed over and over =)

    zeveon November 29, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    Awesome song. My steel horse is my '65 Mustang, and I always listen to this while cruising down the highway, with my windows open.

    carljenk I'm calling BS...go back and listen to this, and Call of Ktulu again. There are NO similarities.

    gnisrohon September 14, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    you are correct jules, it is mostly about the bands life on the road. "A loaded six string on my back," refers to his six string guitar, and the million faces that he has rocked are of all the fans going to the concerts. This is a song that should be played loud in your cars, just blasting.

    Outsideron June 05, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    "steal horse i ride" means the tour bus :-D

    zeveon October 15, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    i know this song is about touring but this is wat i think when i hear it. more just a couple of outlaws just ridin the highways on their hogs, being the steel horse. Think about it, its a thing between your legs pounding at speed, and it aint a hooker. The solo evens sounds like a hog sometimes.

    The ultimate outlaw riding song. Its beautiful

    big timmyon February 21, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    FYI - Jon Bon Jovi hosted Saturday Night Live this weekend (Oct. 13th), and he specifically said the steel horse is his tour bus!

    maramermaidon October 15, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I think that the steel horse is a motorcycle, and the song is about a biker. Either that or its about traveling on tour.

    coupegoodon October 04, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    This song can also be used to describe a fisherman's life minus the millions and guitars and fans, some trips we sail all night to get back home. I love listening to this song on the rough days when its windy and its the perfect song for deadliest catch.

    LobsterPot21on June 22, 2010   Link

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