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
Add your thoughts

77 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +1
    General CommentTata 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

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