If I go, before I'm old
Oh brother of mine please don't forget me, if I go

Bartender please
Fill my glass for me
With the wine you gave Jesus, that set him free
After three days in the ground

Oh, and if I die, before my time
Oh, sweet sister of mine
Please don't regret me, if I die

Bartender, please
Fill my glass for me
With the wine you gave Jesus, that set him free
After three days in the ground

Bartender, please,
Fill my glass for me
With the wine you gave Jesus, that set him free
After three days in the ground
In the ground, watch the light

I'm on bended knees
I pray bartender please

When I was young I didn't think about it
Now I just want to run and hide

I'm on bended knees, father please

Oh, and if all this gold, here, should steal my soul away
Oh, dear mother of mine,
Please redirect me, if this gold

Bartender, you see, the wine that's drinking me
Came from the vine that strung Judas from the Devil's tree
His roots deep, deep in the ground

Bartender, you see, the wine that's drinking me
Came from the vine that strung Judas from the Devil's tree
His roots deep, deep in the ground

In the ground, you watch the light

I'm on bended knees,
Oh, Bartender, please
I'm on bended knees
Father, please

When I was young I didn't think about it
Now I just want to run and hide

I'm on bended knees, oh Bartender, please
Bartender, please


Lyrics submitted by antifox64, edited by bps

Bartender song meanings
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78 Comments

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  • +5
    General Comment

    Anyone who listens to DMB knows that Dave has had many a fase where he's gone back and forth between Theism (obviously Christianity) and Agnosticism. I feel this songs meaning is pretty clear whether people want to admit it or not. He's praying. The bartender is God and he's apologizing for what he's done wrong and it seems that he's not only longing for salvation, but seeking reconciliation with the people he's hurt in his life on Earth. and that's what's up.

    Jesus is a DMB fan.

    collin058on December 28, 2010   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    is it just me or are christian songs by non-christian bands better than most christian band's songs?

    deathbearon July 24, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I have learned from 13 years in catholic schools that Judas hung himself because he believed God couldn't forgive for what he did. Dave is begging for God to forgive him when he screams on bended knees bartender please. And yet the wine that is drinking him is one that will lead him to a place where God can't forgive him. Maybe dave thinks if he can't beat the alcoholism and the "gold" that's stealing his soul, maybe God can't forgive him. He is begging God (the bartender) for a sign (the wine) that will resurrect him for the alcohol and the "gold" as Jesus rose from the dead. And, in his weakened faith state, he is asking his brother, sister, and mother to remember him as he was before all of this regret, and maybe if God can't forgive him for this regret, his family will remember him the way he wants to be remembered. It's a great song, but I think it's just a lot scarier than people think it is.

    tata5799on August 14, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    As many have said this song he must've written in a time where he was feeling down on himself. He's asking the bartender (God) for the full glass of wine that set Jesus free because the wine represents the blood of Jesus. The blood of Jesus that washes away all the sins of the world. He died for all our sins, we just need to believe it. Dave's asking for it because of all his sins. He wants to be cleansed from them through Jesus's blood. He also says if the gold should steal his soul he asks that he be reminded that the materialistic things are only temporary. You see he knows that this world we live in is only for a short time and these things will not come with us once are bodies die. Are bodies are only hosts to our souls, our true selves. God loves and wants us all and that is why he sacrificed his only son, Jesus, to clense all our sins so that we could spend eternity with him. God bless you all. I hope that one day you will believe what God, Jesus did for us all.

    ManafterGodon February 21, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    Tata got it right. I just spent a few days learning the song. For me the song is about salvation and forgiveness. The wine that's drinking me gives life to alcohol as an entity. It's an incredible turn of a phrase. When he connects the vine to the devil's tree, we know he sees it as evil, and when it's deep deep in the ground, maybe he's recognizing that it comes from a place in his subconscious that has a big impact on his life and is hard for him to get to. He's exposing himself, and by doing that, he's exposing those of us who relate to the song. Powerful stuff.

    But in that phrase he also added Judas. The vine that strung Judas from the devil's tree. Again, what an incredible phrase. Judas couldn't forgive himself. The vine helped keep Judas -- lack of forgiveness -- tied to evil. Then the comments about the deep roots are more ambiguous. Is it the evil (in Dave) -- the devil's tree -- that has roots deep deep in the ground, or is it the vine (the alcohol that's drinking Dave)? Again, either way, dark.

    In terms of death, I think there's both fear and acceptance. He wants to run and hide, but he's working through it, thinking about the people he loves, so there's some acceptance of it. It's interesting that he connects with his brother (don't forget me) sister (don't regret me) and mother (redirect me), before begging his Father for forgiveness. Maybe Dave's father was the bartender for the family, or maybe he's remembering himself as a bartender at a time when he was more forgiving. He wants to forgive himself. He's leaving out his father. Or maybe his relationship with his father was more complicated.

    It's also interesting to choose a bartender as a father/lord/saviour/god figure. When he ties the vine to the devil's tree, and asks the bartender for forgiveness, he's saying that the father/lord/saviour figure is capable of giving out the sin of alcohol with one hand and forgiveness with the other. A carpenter is a less complicated idea for a saviour. But Dave doesn't want alcohol. He wants the wine that set Jesus free. He's asking for a spiritual release. He wants divine love-- watch the light. Or maybe he just wants to be resurrected from his current depressed/dark state, freed from his own fear of death.

    Whatever he's doing, it feels like a bit of a Jesus thing: He's experiencing something for us, so that we can learn from him.

    I'm not religious, but I love the idea from Collin that Jesus is a DMB fan. Happy Easter.

    bpson April 17, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    a masterpiece

    apache9warrioron April 12, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Dave used to be a bartender..thats where he met the rest of his band. I guess this song is about that

    Big Kevboon April 18, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Dave used to work at a bar, this is true. This song is more then that however. I believe that Dave is in somewhat of a depressed state of mind. With lines like "Please don't forget me if I go" and "Please don't regret me if I die" How could you not think that? He's fearing death, and is asking people to not regret knowing him. He's asking the Lord to forgive him for what he did, he seems to be praying "I'm on bended knees, oh Bartender, please, Bartender, please..." I believe the Bartender in this song is the Lord. It seems like he's preaching him. Anyways, I believe that he's fearing death, and is giving his last words to everyone before he dies.

    This is, indeed a masterpiece

    DMB is my god :)

    Emoon May 01, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    yea i think the bartender is the Lord, b/c the lyrics fit so well with that idea, and dave is noted for his whole obsession with Jesus, and the existence of all that

    sean7711on June 08, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I pretty much agree with the previous.. it's a song about death.. and remorse.. and.. salvation.. but some lines make it seem like Dave is regretting all this wealth etc.. or at least trying not to want wealth too much..

    "Oh, and if all this gold, Should steal my soul away. " and the lines about judas.. well.. judas sold jesus out for 40 pieces of silver.. perhaps Dave is hoping he doesn't suffer the same mistake..?

    garrick52on June 15, 2002   Link

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