"The Ballad of Michael Valentine" as written by Brandon Flowers, Dave Brent Keuning, Mark August Stoermer and Ronnie Jr. Vannucci....
Michael plays with stars
Soul Sister won't you take a ride in his car
Late to call
When you wanted to be all

Baby don't be so shy
Rock children hold your heads up high
In the night while I try
And tell the ballad of Valentine

You got it bad, but you know it's true

I caught up with a friend in Dallas
We took a trip to New Orleans
Those black-eyed ladies
Won't say they're sorry

We finally caught a train to Memphis
Where everybody talks the same
Those blue suede babies
All know my name

And I said hold tight
Can't you see it's hurting me
But I've got the buzz
Like Marlon Brando
Michael Valentine, can't we unite?

We ended up in North Dakota
Although my heart's in Mexico
All went to Soho

With your new suit, and your black tie
Hold on, you're just a gambling man, all proper like
I broke to the right and I caught your eye
Shut your mouth and wave goodbye
Tonight, I ain't gonna let you rain on this parade

And I said hold tight
Can't you see it's hurting me
But I've got the buzz
Like Marlon Brando
Straight faced with misery tonight

And I will not lie when I say I ain't cold no more
But I've got the buzz
Like Greta Garbo
Walking forwards in the sun
And I've got a cold tale left to write

Well uh oh
I know he's gonna be there tonight

Lyrics submitted by foldsbaldwin, edited by Mellow_Harsher

"The Ballad of Michael Valentine" as written by Dave Brent Keuning Brandon Flowers

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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The Ballad of Michael Valentine song meanings
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  • +3
    General CommentTaken from the Killers biography "Destiny is Calling Me" by Jarrett Keene:

    "While Flowers' song isn't exactly accurate in describing Valentine, it does capture the essence of the man. Valentine was a professional gambler based in Vegas whose own alt-rock band, Romance Fantasy, would inspire Brandon to acheive a new level of dangerous romanticism in his songwriting.

    Michael Valentine loves the classics of Western literature: Jane Austen, Herman Melville, Charles Dickens. He's a huge fan of Roxy Music and the Smiths. He sings and plays guitar like Johnny Cash fronting Blur, and his band has played every Vegas dive bar from one end of town to the other. At night you can find him at a poker table somewhere on the Strip.... Young women haven been known to follow him around, drawn to his powerful 6'3" physique, his wit and charm."

    Apparently Valentine was in the band Romance Fantasy with Ronnie Vannucci. RF didn't make Ronnie famous - The Killers did. I have a feeling that Michael perhaps felt pissed that The Killers took Ronnie from his band... and yet I think that Brandon saw some value in Michael (as a friend and as some sort of ally to the Killers... he clearly admired his songwriting capabilities)... but maybe Michael brushed Brandon off and now Brandon just wants to impress Michael that he, too, can write well - and can't we all just get along? That sort of thing ("can't we unite?"). But if Michael doesn't want to unite, then Brandon is prepared to move on without him ("I ain't gonna let you rain on this parade.") And all in all, he wrote this prior to a show that he knew Michael would attend, so he wanted to perform this for him as one last-ditch effort to win his friendship back ("I know he's gonna be there tonight.")

    I don't know... that's just my take on it...
    mintjulepon October 24, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentFor all those who want to know about Mr Michael Valentine...and no i don't think by any means does BF hold some beef with him in the lyrics or is fascinated with him in a gay-manner...come on seriously!

    Michael Valentine(a.k.a Rod Pardey) played guitar for and sang in Romance Fantasy with Ronnie. He also attended UNLV. At night he could be seen on the Strip playing poker. The Killers' song about him wasn't completely accurate in describing Michael Valentine, but it captured his essence. Michael once referred to Ronnie as "the best drummer on the planet." Michael ended up playing with Ronnie again later on in Daphne Major.

    Recently they went on a five day tour with The Killers and Louis XIV in Dallas, Houston and El Paso, Texas, and also opened for Paolo Nutini and Peter Bjorn and John at Stubb’s in Austin, Texas during the week of the Austin City Limits music festival.

    When not performing in Romance Fantasy, Valentine holds a not-so-ordinary day job as a professional poker player and uses his songs to capture the highs and lows he faces in his life as a gambler.
    BelieveMeNatalieon November 14, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI wonder if there's any connection between Michael Valentine and Valentine Michael Smith.
    thomas doyleon May 29, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI have no idea what this song means. I like it, but I wish I knew!
    The_Decocksteron August 16, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think its about this guy who wants to meet up with an old friend so he goes to texas to meet his friend and they travel to find valentine and at the end they find him. they want to find him because hes rich so they want to ride his coat tail (benefit from him).
    josh131on August 19, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentMichael Valentine is a real person; he's a friend of Ronnie's (I think) and he's a professional gambler in Vegas, and he opened for The Killers on a few shows, and he did (I'm not sure if he still does) have some sort of job with the band, I can't remember what he did/does though. I think this song is kind of telling the story of Michael Valentine... his travels. The "narrator" in the song (Brandon) may be a best friend or might have a crush on Michael or something, it's hard to tell, but it's plausable, especially from what Zythe said.
    AndreaFlowerson October 08, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentRodney (Rod) Erin Pardey (born September 14, 1976 in Las Vegas, Nevada) aka "Michael Valentine" is a songwriter and professional poker player. Pardey is the son of seven-card stud player Rodney H. Pardey.

    In 2002, Pardey formed and fronted the band Romance Fantasy, which featured Ronnie Vannucci Jr., later of The Killers, on drums. Pardey was the inspiration for the Killers' B-side, "The Ballad of Michael Valentine.
    moethebartenderon December 07, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI read in an interview somewhere that Ronnie really had to beg Brandon to write this, because Brandon wasn't that interested, but Ronnie assured him Michael (Ronnie's old bandmate) would make for an interesting song.
    I'm glad he convinced him because I love this song.
    I love the Brando and Garbo references too, it's a nice touch.
    amycaryson January 16, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOy, I've been wondering the same thing! Actually, that's the whole reason I got into this band in the first place, because I saw the song name and thought there might be a connection. 'Stranger' is one of my favorite books of all time.

    Oh, and it's muñequita (little doll) not monequita, and coattail left to ride, not cold tail left to write. There are lyrics printed on the Japanese version of the single.
    thelesserthreaton June 15, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song reminds me of the ballad of John and Yoko. All the cities and such.. yeah.
    Okay anyways, cool song. I love the Killers.. traveled from Detroit to Chicago as a minor to see them at Lollapalooza.. yeah. :D
    Punker829on September 10, 2005   Link

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