"Tumbling Dice" as written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards....
Mmm yeah! (Woo, woo)
Women think I'm tasty, but they're always tryin' to waste me
Make me burn the candle right down
But, baby, baby, don't need no jewels in my crown

'Cause all you women is low down gamblers
Cheatin' like I don't know how
Baby, got no flavor, fever in the funk house now
This low down bitchin' got my poor feet a itchin'
Don't you know you know the duece is still wild

Baby, I can't stay, you got to roll me
And call me the tumblin' dice
Always in a hurry, I never stop to worry
Don't you see the time flashin' by

Honey, got no money
I'm all sixes and sevens and nines
Say now baby, I'm the rank outsider
You can be my partner in crime

Baby, I can't stay
You got to roll me and call me the tumblin'
Roll me and call me the tumblin' dice
Now baby

Oh my, my, my, I'm the lone crap shooter
Playin' the field ev'ry night
Baby, I can't stay
You got to roll me and call me the tumblin' dice (Call me the tumblin')
Got to roll me (ya yes), got to roll me, got to roll me (Oh yeah)

Got to roll me
Got to roll me (yeah)
Got to roll me (Keep on rolling)
Got to roll me (Keep on rolling)
Got to roll me (Keep on rolling)
Got to roll me

Call me the tumblin' dice, yeah
Got to roll me
Got to roll me
Baby sweet as sugar (Got to roll me)
Yeah, my, my, my yeah (Got to roll me)
Now now now now (Got to roll me)
I went down baby, oh
Got to roll me (hit me)
Baby I'm down

Lyrics submitted by spliphstar

"Tumbling Dice" as written by Mick Jagger Keith Richards

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Tumbling Dice song meanings
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  • +8
    General CommentTo me,

    Having read and watched several documentaries on what the Stones were going through at this point in their career....I've always felt that this song was the epicenter of the entire album.

    To be more exact, at the time, the band was trying to figure out if they should stay together as a band. Having been through all sorts of legal and financial troubles, and also with their personal lives taking them in very different directions (Mick enjoying the jet set with Bianca...) The making of this album, as chaotic as it was, was an effort to see if the band could or should continue. Looking through the album, you can easily pick up on this as one of the main lyrical themes: keep on rolling, soul survivor, the diesel drumming all down the line, etc.....

    To me, the answer to the question of "should the band stay together" was resolved in tumbling dice, when Keith chimed in (seemingly out of nowhere - and also very much 'going against the grain' of the song's rythm) "Keep on rolling". Obviously, they are the rolling stones, and so this exclamation of "keep on rolling" goes way beyond the simple lyrics of tumblin dice (gambling and women). This little "keep on rolling" jam kind of takes the song over, and meaning-wise, it basically sums up the entire album.... No matter what you're going through - Keep on Rolling !!!

    To comment on the above, I believe the lyric actually is "rank outsider", and this goes to the theme of being an exile (from their home in the UK) or more generally, the theme of being somewhat "lost" and out of the mainstream of society. Being "rank" is also a somewhat common theme...for examnple "yes i'm nitty gritty and my shirts all torn", "seen too many flies on you", etc...

    So, to me, this song becomes all about the major theme of "keep on rolling". Otherwise, the lyrics I think are fairly straightforward - mixing gambling metaphors with other tongue-in-cheeck expressions to describe all the women who have rubbed him the wrong way (not that he isn't to blame for this, but that's another story).
    MikeyRockson March 27, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General Commentdefinitely one of my favorite stones songs....i think this is just about taking chances and dealing with whatever life throws at you.....
    dasquien!on May 06, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentReminds me of life when I hear it. You know? Life? Some somes just make you have these feelings...I don't know how to explain it. It's like rolling down the highway with no place to go and nothing matters, I guess.
    JosephWolfon February 09, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentA rolling stone gathers no moss. Is this the song that totally encapsulates what the band is about? I think it is.
    degree7on August 26, 2015   Link
  • +1
    General CommentA real gem. My favourite Stones song and up there overall too. Not hard to see why Keith Richards said he loved the groove of the song. Love some of their choruses too where it seems like they all join in.

    Not sure where the gambling influence came from. Close to Monaco during the recording, the interest in US culture that crept into other songs of the period ( Brown Sugar, Dead Flowers, Honky Tonk Women etc) perhaps.

    One meaning I drew was just that the singer seems to be observing his love relations through the eye of a gambler with the highs and lows, the metaphor of cheating in love as in gambling yet love is a gamble worth taking.

    " Women .. always trying to waste me,make me burn the candle right down"
    (Maybe a reference to the gamble exposes a vulnerability ( chance of loss) and gambling can be timeless as in all night and on end.)

    "All you women is low down gamblers, cheating like I don't know how"
    (Direct reference to cheating as also in love and life.)

    " Deuce is still wild" (2 in cards is wild. Still a chance of drawing a deuce and winning and optimism)

    " I can't stay, you got to roll me" (Running out of time in life so let's take a chance ie roll me)

    " alwasy in a hurry, never stop to worry" (Gamblers can't dwell on their losses and maybe always in a hurry is from the law, loan sharks or again getting old and running out of time again)

    "Don't you see the time flashing by" (he wonders if the girl is also aware of maybe getting old)

    "honey , got no money I'm all sixes and sevens and nines"
    (He's broke maybe in love. If you roll that order you lose in craps. You have to roll a six 2x before a 7 to win.)

    "fever in the funk house" ( a funk is a down spell. maybe reference to more bad luck)

    "I'm the rank outsider' ( I am unfavorably ranked ie long shot) " But you can be my partner in crime" ( Would hope for you anyway?)

    "Oh, my, my, my, I'm the lone crap shooter, ( Love like craps is a lonely life)

    Playin' the field ev'ry night." (Obvious expression for hoping to meet someone in the singles field each night)

    "Keep on rollin" ( Keep on trying with me)
    jgm4661on June 28, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthe best song on exile on mainstreet. classic stones song
    poohblueskyon July 02, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhat a brilliant acappella breakdown - the got to roll me/got to roll me part towards the end. It simultaneously breaks down and builds up, with such ease.
    Chinupon December 29, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song rocks...it makes me feel very meloncholly...it's like mick jagger realized that the shit that he puts up with is all his fault...like he could fix it at any moment...but he is so caught up in his life...so he is just like a tumbling dice that people just roll....who doesn't feel that way sometime in their life
    jack_sparrowon January 25, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentRecorded in Keiths Villa in Ville French sur Mer in south of france, not far from casinos in Monaco. (see casino boogie)
    hipshoton January 20, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think Jagger is just using gambling as a metaphor for his permiscuous life style. ..."And make me burn the candle right down" is pretty song sexual innuendo to say the very least. I almost want to say that he's saying he doesn't have the same sexual vitality anymore and thus girls are taking a chance on him by "rolling the dice." In any case, one of my favs by the Stones
    RobotRockon April 30, 2006   Link

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