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View Full Version : What the Hell does "Lido Shuffle" MEAN?


CalMeacham
07-07-2008, 10:02 AM
I am incredibly clueless when it comes to pop music, and particularly inept at making out the lyrics. One of the Wonders of the Internet is that I can finally make out what the actual lyrics are. The problem is, that frequently doesn't help much.

It doesn't help that the comments I frequently come across, even of this Board (even from the Perfect Master Cecil himself) are frequently one of two types:


1.) Isn't it obvious? (Answer -- No. As I say, I'm clueless)

2.) It doesn't mean anything -- the guy's just trying to get the song to scan, and he'll put anything in there. (I got that omne when asking about Billy Joel's "Always a Woman to Me " -- the line "She can't be connvicted/she's earned her degree") -- I can't always buy this one, either. It's a panacea -- It'll answer any question about the meaning of lyrics.

The thing is, very often the lyrics do mean something. But you need to know the song's backstory (As in the case of Elton John's "Daniel". Extra credit question -- How the hell do the artists expect people to know this? How do they find out?) In other cases my understanding would be greatly enhanced if I knew the particular slang/argot of where the song is set, but I don't.


With all that as background, can someone clue me in to the meaning of "Lido Shuffle"?


1.) What kind of name is Lido? I'll bet it has nothing to do with the topless bunch "Lido de Paris", but that's the only Lido I know.

2.) Why is Lido running? I get the impression he owes somebody something, and is trying to get money from gigs either to pay it back, or to keep running.

3.) "Until he got the note -- "Tow it or blow it"" Huh???? Evedently it's bad news, though, 'cause it makes him run for the border. What's THAT all about?

4.) What the hell is a tombstone bar?


5.) Don't tell me it's all just nonsense to fit the meter. It's pretty clear this isn't "Jabberwocky". And I hate being on the outside of an inside joke.

Argent Towers
07-07-2008, 10:26 AM
I always assumed Lido was about a small time gambler/con man.

Spoke
07-07-2008, 10:31 AM
"Tow it or blow it"

That should be "Toe the line or blow it."

Which makes a lot more sense.

(Well, relative to the rest of the lyrics.)

CalMeacham
07-07-2008, 10:35 AM
That should be "Toe the line or blow it."

Which makes a lot more sense.

(Well, relative to the rest of the lyrics.)



Thanks, but I'm still clueless.

"Toe the line or blow it" means ... what?

"Hey, Lido, you gotta pay up or leave? Or is it something else? If he leaves, howcum he's gotta go cross the border? That sounds a lot more serious.

Spoke
07-07-2008, 10:37 AM
And looking again at the lyrics (http://guntheranderson.com/v/data/lidoshuf.htm) after many years, I'm thinking Lido has left his girlfriend and is on a bender of some kind (drugs? gambling? booze? all three?) and she is sending him a note telling him to come home now or forget it. (Toe the line or blow it.)

"Toe the line" means "man up" or "do your part" or "pull your weight" or "fall in line." I take it as his girlfriend telling him to come home and get serious about the relationship or it's over.

GrandWino
07-07-2008, 10:40 AM
Makes me think of the Lido Deck on cruise ships. As does Shuffle (as in Shuffle Board).... The One More Shot and Toe the Line bits sound like Shuffleboard as well.

Spoke
07-07-2008, 10:43 AM
Makes me think of the Lido Deck on cruise ships. As does Shuffle (as in Shuffle Board).... The One More Shot and Toe the Line bits sound like Shuffleboard as well.
Whatever he's singing about, I'm pretty sure it's not shuffleboard. :D

elmwood
07-07-2008, 10:47 AM
Maybe there's some 1970s slang in there that was frequently used in popular music, not unlike "stone in love" or "steal away". The song might have made perfect sense when it was released, but today sounds like nonsense.

jayjay
07-07-2008, 10:53 AM
For the longest time I'd convinced myself that this song was by Elton John. It was only when the local oldies station started playing it and I heard the DJ note that it was Boz Skaggs that I realized I was wrong.

CalMeacham
07-07-2008, 10:55 AM
Are you telling me that it's not just me and my legendary cluelessness? That other people don't know what this is about, either?

Are ALL pop songs like "Jumping Jack Flash"? -- people just sing 'em or listen to 'em without knowing or caring what the hell they're about?

GargoyleWB
07-07-2008, 10:57 AM
Ahh...this is the song that I always sang as:

"Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold
Lido waiting for his soup, Lido"

Maybe that will help shed meaning.

Spoke
07-07-2008, 11:01 AM
Over at this site (http://songmeanings.net/lyric.php?lid=3530822107858497812), a poster reached a similar conclusion to mine:

So, heres my basic analysis and some questions I have:

Lido is a small time hustler and gambler. He's fed up with his life, maybe he suffered some setback (Lido missed the boat that day) so he leaves his home town (he left the shack But that was all he missed and he ain't comin' back) (where ever that may be, Tombstone, Arizona? from the reference to the tombstone bar). He heads to Chicago (Chi-town), intent on winning big playing craps (put the money down, let it roll).

A handle is a bottle of liquor, in case you didn't know. I just learned that recently.

He just wants to win big once and then he's out (He said one more job ought to get it, One last shot 'fore we quit it, One more for the road)

Apparently things are going well for Lido, (Lido be runnin', havin' great big fun) until he gets a note from his girlfriend or wife telling him to shape up or she's leaving him (until he got the note Sayin' toe the line or blow, and that was all she wrote) at which point he quits gambling and eagerly heads home with his winnings (He be makin' like a beeline, headin' for the borderline
Goin' for broke)

A different poster says a "handle" is a gambling stake.

E-Sabbath
07-07-2008, 11:05 AM
I always thought 'She can't be convinced / she's earned her degree', that the degree in question was her MRS.

Bosstone
07-07-2008, 11:07 AM
Are ALL pop songs like "Jumping Jack Flash"? -- people just sing 'em or listen to 'em without knowing or caring what the hell they're about?Probably not all, but...yeah, wouldn't surprise me.

Interesting you mention Jumping Jack Flash; it's one of a bunch of pop songs in the game Elite Beat Agents. Each song is set to a scenario, and more often than not the song has nothing to do with the scenario. My favorite is one in which a retired baseball player proves to an adoring young fan that he still has major-league skills...set to Good Charlotte's Anthem. The music is peppy and fits the action well, but once you understand the lyrics, the cognitive dissonance is liable to make your head explode:

I don't ever wanna be like you
I don't wanna do the things you do
'Cause I don't ever wanna
I don't ever wanna be you

This is a total hijack to the specific question in the OP, but hey.

CalMeacham
07-07-2008, 11:17 AM
Over at this site, a poster reached a similar conclusion to mine:



That interpretation helps a lot, but I still don't think it covers it.

1.) Just because the line says "...and that's all she wrote" doesn't mean that he got a note from a lady. I've heard the slang "and that's all she wrote", and it means -- "and that's all it/he/she said. That's the end." I think this guiy is taking it much too literally.

2.) There has to be something more srerious involved. Unless the "run for the border" is another bit of slamnf (I suspect it isn't), Lido's in big enough trouble with the law or the Mob or whatever that he feels he's gotta get out of the country.

3.) I never would have thought of him as a con man or gambler. The "gig" terminology and other things make it sound like he's a musician, getting money for playing his gigs. But I concede it makes more sense the other way.

4.) I never heard of either slang meaning of "handle"

CalMeacham
07-07-2008, 11:19 AM
I always thought 'She can't be convinced / she's earned her degree', that the degree in question was her MRS.


It's not "convinced", it's "She can't be convicted", which, despite what was said on these Boards when I brought that up earlier (by you? I don't recall), doesn't mean at all the same thing to me.

Scumpup
07-07-2008, 11:20 AM
Just a guess...but especially in older drinking establishments one still runs into bars where the bartop itself is made from polished marble or granite; just like tombstones. Sounds to me like Lido pulled into such an tavern in a car he boosted from a jukejoint and either stuck the place up or swiped money from the cash register. That the money is described as his " handle off the top" makes me lean toward the idea that he just snatched the cash from the till. He then lands in Chicago and, it seems to me, commences to gambling with the money and otherwise living it up.
The song is about a small-time lowlife on a bender. His wife wants him to come home and toe the line i.e. live like a square, but Lido isn't having any of that.

Spoke
07-07-2008, 11:35 AM
3.) I never would have thought of him as a con man or gambler. The "gig" terminology and other things make it sound like he's a musician, getting money for playing his gigs. But I concede it makes more sense the other way.

Well now that's interesting. I never really looked at it that way, but you could look at the gambling references as a metaphor for trying to make it in the music business.

By the time he wrote this song, Skaggs had been in the business a long time without much success. Maybe this song describes his last attempt to "make it" before hanging it up. He's out on the road playing gigs, trying to find success, and his girlfriend is urging him to give up the dream, come home, and get a 9 to 5 job. He's taking a gamble on making it in the music business.

The Tombstone bar might be a small gig he takes to get a little money so he can afford to head to Chicago.

plnnr
07-07-2008, 11:37 AM
The "handle" is the amount of money wagered on an event at a race track or casino. "The race handle was $2,000,000" means the facility "handled" that much money on that race.

Yllaria
07-07-2008, 11:54 AM
I always thought 'She can't be convinced / she's earned her degree', that the degree in question was her MRS.
Darn. I always heard it as 'earned her decree', as in, she's got a get-out-of-jail-free card. So it wouldn't matter if she was convicted.

Tom Tildrum
07-07-2008, 02:48 PM
Apparently things are going well for Lido, (Lido be runnin', havin' great big fun) until he gets a note from his girlfriend or wife telling him to shape up or she's leaving him (until he got the note Sayin' toe the line or blow, and that was all she wrote) at which point he quits gambling and eagerly heads home with his winnings (He be makin' like a beeline, headin' for the borderline, Goin' for broke)
The last lines about the borderline and going for broke suggest to me that he is NOT going home, and is ignoring the summons from his girlfriend -- instead he is doubling down on his debauchery.

Earl Snake-Hips Tucker
07-07-2008, 03:16 PM
I can't advance the answer anymore than it has already, but just to add a personal observation: I heard the song many times before I saw the title. I thought it was the "Lido Shovel."

Acsenray
07-07-2008, 03:18 PM
Are ALL pop songs like "Jumping Jack Flash"? -- people just sing 'em or listen to 'em without knowing or caring what the hell they're about?

Pop songs are more about conveying emotional messages than literal ones. Some lines really don't mean anything in particular. And as for inside jokes, the audience is usually not expected to find out the "secret meaning." Songwriters and composers write different songs for different reasons, but conveying explicit messages is not the most common one.

CalMeacham
07-07-2008, 03:48 PM
Pop songs are more about conveying emotional messages than literal ones. Some lines really don't mean anything in particular. And as for inside jokes, the audience is usually not expected to find out the "secret meaning." Songwriters and composers write different songs for different reasons, but conveying explicit messages is not the most common one.


I'm not sure I belie ve this. Frequently there IS an intended obvious meaning -- if you can make out the damned words, and the subject isn't obscure. If that weren't the case, people wouldn't have any reason to be annoyed at others for thinking "Every Breath You Take" is some sort of love song, instead of being a stalkerish fantasy.

Acsenray
07-07-2008, 04:11 PM
I don't think I expressed myself clearly. I don't mean to say that there isn't often an intended, obvious meaning, but that it isn't always dependent on the exact words used. Lyrics in a pop song are more expressionistic tools rather than literal ones. Yes, they might convey a specific meaning or a general feeling, but examining them word-by-word and trying to understand the exact meaning of each line and each word in that line is not usually the key to understanding the message.

CalMeacham
07-07-2008, 04:26 PM
I don't think I expressed myself clearly. I don't mean to say that there isn't often an intended, obvious meaning, but that it isn't always dependent on the exact words used. Lyrics in a pop song are more expressionistic tools rather than literal ones. Yes, they might convey a specific meaning or a general feeling, but examining them word-by-word and trying to understand the exact meaning of each line and each word in that line is not usually the key to understanding the message.


No, I understood yopu. But you can't deny that the literal words actually mean something and are agents in expressing that meaning. Certainly others on this Board feel that way. If they didn't, we wouldn't have as many threads about what lyrics mean and how ignorant people are about them on these Boards. And we've had plenty of those threads.

WordMan
07-07-2008, 04:36 PM
I'm not sure I belie ve this. Frequently there IS an intended obvious meaning -- if you can make out the damned words, and the subject isn't obscure. If that weren't the case, people wouldn't have any reason to be annoyed at others for thinking "Every Breath You Take" is some sort of love song, instead of being a stalkerish fantasy.

I agree with this - and to use your example from earlier - Jumping Jack Flash. You can find the lyrics on line easily these days - I had to suss them out on my own back in the day. But anyway, the basic gist of the song was "I was down, but now everything's cool" - and the verses are Mick using different ways to express how down he was - I was drowned, I was washed up left for dead - and the chorus always comes back to "but it's all right now - in fact it's a gas." I always have assumed that the narrator of the song has gotten high or something - so their troubles aren't gone, but at least they are all right now - so Jumping Jack Flash to me was a reference to getting high on something so life would be a gas...

FYI - He used the exact same approach for a song called You Got Me Rockin' off one of their more recent albums. He uses the verses to describe how bad it has been, but now things are better because...well, You Got Me Rockin'...

The point being that there IS some meaning to that particular song...but most folks just dig the groove of it...

Yllaria
07-07-2008, 05:36 PM
I don't think I expressed myself clearly. I don't mean to say that there isn't often an intended, obvious meaning, but that it isn't always dependent on the exact words used. Lyrics in a pop song are more expressionistic tools rather than literal ones. Yes, they might convey a specific meaning or a general feeling, but examining them word-by-word and trying to understand the exact meaning of each line and each word in that line is not usually the key to understanding the message.
It seems like some artists are more prone to this expressionism than others. Remembering the oldies, Stevie Nicks and Elton John were (are?) both particularly prone to the practice.

astro
07-07-2008, 05:42 PM
First I think the era the song refers to is 40's & 50's not contemporary

Lido missed the boat that day he left the shack
(left home/ small town)

But that was all he missed and he ain't comin' back
(no regrets in leaving)

A tombstone bar in a jukejoint car, he made a stop
(unclear - a dive bar of some kind, possibly a bar in a railroad car - these were very popular in the 30's - 50's)

Just long enough to grab a handle off the top
(he won some money gambling at cards)

Next stop Chi town, Lido put the money down and let it roll
(he's using the bar winnings to bankroll his action in the big city)

He said one more job ought to get it
One last shot 'fore we quit it
One more for the road
(all refer to taking one last shot at whatever his gambling/con/hustle speciality is)

Lido be runnin', havin' great big fun, until he got the note
Sayin' toe the line or blow, and that was all she wrote
He be makin' like a beeline, headin' for the borderline
Goin' for broke
("All she wrote" is not referring to a woman but is simply an idiomatic phrase that means "that's it" - he got some sort of warning from the underworld/gangster associated club owners/powers that be to cool it or else, so he's moving on to the next opportunity)

Sayin' one more hit ought to do it
This joint ain't nothin' to it
One more for the road
(he's done in Chicago time to move on)

eleanorigby
07-07-2008, 05:51 PM
Ahh...this is the song that I always sang as:

"Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold
Lido waiting for his soup, Lido"

Maybe that will help shed meaning.


Thank you. I read the lyrics and the song started in my head, but I could swear that the written lyrics are not the ones I know to that song. Trouble is, I can't dredge up "my" lyrics.

I do recall, "making for a beeline, going for broke".

Maybe this song is up there with Louie, Louie for inarticulateness. And I don't know the backstory on "Daniel". I know the backstory on "Someone Save My Life Tonight" and "Empty Garden". :(


Oh! <raises hand>

The tombstone bar = the bar is empty, probably rundown and skanky.

Jukejoint car--some kind of old beater, but with some panache.

But I never heard any of the above in the song when it was popular. :confused:

RMutt
07-07-2008, 07:05 PM
Sayin' one more hit ought to do it
This joint ain't nothin' to it
One more for the road
(he's done in Chicago time to move on)

This helps explain why it's called Lido "Shuffle." Maybe it's a reference to his lifestyle, shuffling around the country/world looking for more action. I think he's a gambler too, also because of the word shuffle.

lobotomyboy63
07-07-2008, 07:21 PM
This helps explain why it's called Lido "Shuffle." Maybe it's a reference to his lifestyle, shuffling around the country/world looking for more action. I think he's a gambler too, also because of the word shuffle.

I think it has multiple meanings, like those above but also he's calling a song and/or dance a "shuffle." There are others like swing, twist...this one's a shuffle. I can't find a cite; always thought it was slang.

ETA hate to bring it up b/c it was heinous, but remember the Bears "Superbowl shuffle"?

ETA 2: Harlem Shuffle dates from 1963
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harlem_Shuffle

eleanorigby
07-07-2008, 08:20 PM
But shuffle goes with the gambling theme and the song is too fast for anyone to shuffle to, unless they are so wasted that's all they can do....


I remember the super bowl shuffle. And my dad used to sing "shuffle off to Buffalo".



I'm old.

astro
07-07-2008, 08:29 PM
But shuffle goes with the gambling theme and the song is too fast for anyone to shuffle to, unless they are so wasted that's all they can do....


I remember the super bowl shuffle. And my dad used to sing "shuffle off to Buffalo".

I'm old.

Old.. nah... I just think you're here looking for trouble.

eleanorigby
07-07-2008, 09:35 PM
Old.. nah... I just think you're here looking for trouble.


"I'm just here struttin' for fun, struttin' on down for everyone!"
:cool:

lobotomyboy63
07-07-2008, 10:26 PM
But shuffle goes with the gambling theme and the song is too fast for anyone to shuffle to, unless they are so wasted that's all they can do....


In music, a swung note or shuffle note is a rhythmic device in which the duration of the initial note in a pair is augmented and that of the second is diminished. Also known as "notes inégales", swung notes are widely used in jazz music and other jazz-influenced music such as blues and Western swing. A swing or shuffle rhythm is the rhythm produced by playing repeated pairs of notes in this way. Lilting can refer to swinging, but might also indicate syncopation or other subtle ways of interpreting and shaping musical time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shuffle_note

Like so many things, it's hard to differentiate one genre from the other; it doesn't strictly have to be danceable to be shuffle, I think. I'm imagining dancing to it; I think it would have that jerky kind of feel to it.

In the swing era, swing meant accented triplets (shuffle rhythm), suitable for dancing. With the development of bebop and later jazz styles independent of dancing, the term was used for far more general timings. There is much debate over use of other ratios than 2:1 in swing rhythms.

eleanorigby
07-07-2008, 10:47 PM
Hmmmm... that gives the phrase, "shuffle off this mortal coil" a whole new subtext.

CalMeacham
07-08-2008, 08:16 AM
astro's explanation seems logical and consistent, and has the ring of plausibility to it. I agre with his interpretation that "that was all she wrote" being idiomatic, and not reffering to any particular lady (and I said so in post #15), and I'm surprised at how many people take that literally. The rest makes sense, and my only quibble is that the reference to "headin' for the borderline" makes it sound as if Lido's reasons for leaving sound pretty serious -- or is that a normal circa 1930's-50's way of saying your leaving town?



Still unanswered:

1.) What kind of name is "Lido"? I've never heard it as a name, and all I can think of is "Lido de Paris". Or maybe the head of Houise Atreides, misspelled. Neither seems appropriate.

2.) Not relevant to this song, but from my OP: But you need to know the song's backstory (As in the case of Elton John's "Daniel". Extra credit question -- How the hell do the artists expect people to know this? How do they find out?)

KneadToKnow
07-08-2008, 09:15 AM
I will never be able to enjoy listening to this song again.












:)

Earl Snake-Hips Tucker
07-08-2008, 09:45 AM
[1.) What kind of name is "Lido"? I've never heard it as a name.

Lee Iacocca's given name is Lido.

Freddy the Pig
07-08-2008, 09:58 AM
That should be "Toe the line or blow it."

Which makes a lot more sense.No, I think it's just "toe the line or blow". Blow was formerly used more often to mean "leave"--as in, let's blow this joint, or I'm bored, I'm gonna blow. Either toe the line or blow--either behave or get out. Nowadays if you say "blow" people start thinking about blow jobs. Or blowing chow.

Spoke
07-08-2008, 01:11 PM
I agree with his interpretation that "that was all she wrote" being idiomatic, and not reffering to any particular lady (and I said so in post #15), and I'm surprised at how many people take that literally.

We understand that "that's all she wrote" is idiomatic. We just believe Skaggs is playing with the idiom by using it literally, just as Hank Williams had done a generation earlier in Dear John (http://lyricsfreak.com/h/hank+williams/dear+john_20064083.html):

Well when I woke up this mornin'
there was a note upon my door
said don't make me no coffee babe
cause I wont be back no more,
and thats all she wrote, "Dear John,
I've sent your saddle home."

No, I think it's just "toe the line or blow".

You're right; I misheard the lyric. The sentiment is the same, though: Straighten up or beat it.

CalMeacham
07-08-2008, 01:26 PM
We understand that "that's all she wrote" is idiomatic. We just believe Skaggs is playing with the idiom by using it literally

Why? Nothing else in the song suggests he's got a woman waiting for him back home, unlike the Hank Williams example you give.

Spoke
07-08-2008, 01:33 PM
Why? Nothing else in the song suggests he's got a woman waiting for him back home, unlike the Hank Williams example you give.

Yeah there is. "Lido missed the boat that day he left the shack."

He's shacked up with someone; and he missed the boat on that relationship by cutting out to do whatever it is he's doing. (Gambling, if you read the song literally, perhaps pursuing a music career if you take the song as metaphor.)

CalMeacham
07-08-2008, 01:44 PM
Yeah there is. "Lido missed the boat that day he left the shack."


That's REALLY a stretch. A "shack" is a house or a pla ce to live. Aside from the term "shacking up" there's nothing about it to suggest another person -- and that's quite a stretch.

Spoke
07-08-2008, 04:04 PM
Aside from the term "shacking up" there's nothing about it to suggest another person -- and that's quite a stretch.

The note came from someone.

MisterThyristor
07-08-2008, 09:33 PM
I always figured it was a gambling thing myself, most of the slang in the song is gambling related. What seems to have happened in Chicago had to be serious, he's not just leaving town, he's headed out of the country (borderline). Maybe he owed some money to the mob, and a friend of his who was also connected, told him he better either come up with the money or really leave town, and fast. But, being addicted to gambling, he's already got his next game (or con, if you think he's a scam artist instead of a gambler) all planned out.

Snooooopy
07-09-2008, 12:19 AM
I can't advance the answer anymore than it has already, but just to add a personal observation: I heard the song many times before I saw the title. I thought it was the "Lido Shovel."

Oh, that's actually the sequel. The bad guys catch up to Lido before he reaches the border, and they force him to dig his own grave before they shoot him.

Little Nemo
07-09-2008, 08:50 AM
My take on this song is that Lido is a small time crook who's decided to live fast and die young. He stole some money from the local mob ("grab a handle off the top") and now they're looking for him. So he's evading them as long as he can (the shuffle) and spending the money but eventually he'll be caught and killed.

Acsenray
07-09-2008, 10:40 AM
My take:

Lido screwed something up (missed the boat), probably related to gambling debts and money belonging to loan sharks/mobsters and took off (left the shack) in a once-flashy but now run-down (juke-joint) car. He stole money (grabbed a handle off the top) from a bar in the boonies where old drunks go to die (tombstone bar). (Or maybe he stole money he was transporting for the mob.) He went to Chicago and gambled his stolen money. He got a message from his former employers telling him to straighten up or else (toe the line or blow it). He dropped his fooling around (that was all she wrote) and headed for Mexico.

plnnr
07-09-2008, 11:07 AM
Lido is a card shark/gambling cheat and has been warned by to skip town or face the consequences from the criminal element running the city.

Of coure, that way of phrasing it has no beat and you can't dance to it. I still give it an 85.

plnnr
07-09-2008, 11:09 AM
And the "shuffle" is a play on words. "Shuffle" is certainly a type of song ("Chinatown Shuffle"), a way of walking ("shuffle off to Buffalo"), and a preparation to playing cards ("shuffle the deck").

foolsguinea
07-09-2008, 06:50 PM
Wait! Is it |li' do| like Lido Iacocca, or |lai' do| like short for English pronunc. of lidocaine?

B_A_Bay
07-10-2008, 08:51 PM
I listened to the song and it's pretty clear.

Lido is a gambler, and he's not a good one.

He's leaving because people are after him but like most gamblers he thinks "one big score and I'm even." This is how people with a gambling addiction get taken in.

In otherwords, I'll make one more score, win, pay back what I owe then QUIT, cause this time I learned my lesson

The words

Lido be runnin', havin' great big fun, until he got the note
Sayin' toe the line or blow, and that was all she wrote

Have nothing to do with a woman, Lido was a gambler and he was having a great time, blowing money all over but now his creditors have said "Ok fun's over pay up." In other words "toe the line," (we used to say "toe the mark") In other words fun's over PAY UP.

And that was the note, the she isn't refering to a woman, it's just like you call a ship a she or a car a she, it's just a way to use a pronoun.

Shuffle is just a way to describe how he's fleeing.

It's kind of like songs, "Kay's lament," or Tess's Torch Song. Plus the shuffle has the bonus of being a play on cards which may (or may not be) the source of Lido's gambling problem which now means he must pay up or leave the area to avoid being knocked around.

RAMBODINI
04-01-2013, 09:12 AM
The line from lido about the tombstone bar... it was a one horse (juke box joint) in phoenix arizona...it is (was) actually called lidos.. named after the lido in paris..(a burlesque show)... after he grabbed a handle off the top a shot of booze (top shelf)... off to shy town..... chi town.... partying his butt off. 1more shot 1 last job refers to a trick he is with... a girl .. a hooker ... then she wants to get serious... man up or spit... he splits the borderline isnt the U.S. border... its the breaking point.. hes pushin it all the way.. well thats how i see it..i will try to decifer more later.

astorian
04-01-2013, 10:15 AM
The song "She's Always a Woman" was a tribute to Billy Joel's first wife, Elizabeth. For many years, she was his business manager as well as his wife.

The song reflects the fact that people (record company execs, for instance) who had business dealings with Elizabeth found her to be a real hard-nosed bitch, a woman who was tenacious in fighting for every dime, and relentless in negotiations. People who'd been through a business meeting with Elizabeth Joel would sometimes tell Billy, "I feel sorry for you man- it must be brutal to be married to such a shrew." The song was Billy's way of saying, "The harpy you see in a business meeting isn't the person I live with- when she's alone with me, she's a totally different woman. With me, she's a sweet, kind, loving woman... but you'll never get to see that side of her."

The line "She can't be convicted, she's earned her degree" probably means something like, "She'll take you to the cleaners, and squeeze you for every penny she can get- and it's all perfectly legal. She has a business degree, she knows how to play the game, and she'll rob you blind."

tullsterx
04-01-2013, 10:20 AM
That song is rather vague.

It's basically about a con-man, made-man, organized crime guy or something, who wants out and he's planning on doing one more job and then leaving. But, apparently they don't want him to leave.

Lido be running having great big fun
Till he got the note
Saying tow the line or blow
And that was all she wrote

"Tow the line or blow" just means get back in line or disappear (or else?)

tarheelhockey
12-18-2013, 11:13 AM
A note on the title:

"Shuffle" refers to the structure of the song -- not a dance, or anything like that, but the basic underlying rhythm. A shuffle (which some people call a boogie) is probably the most common rhythm in blues music, and you can hear it most clearly if you listen to the backing guitar during the opening verses of this song. That "swing" that makes you want to tap your foot is the shuffle.

Calling this song the "Lido Shuffle" is along the same lines as names like "Summertime Blues", "Bohemian Rhapsody" or "Maple Leaf Rag". It's a shuffle about Lido.

tarheelhockey
12-18-2013, 11:18 AM
As far as the verses are concerned:

Lido missed the boat that day he left the shack
But that was all he missed and he ain't comin' back
He had responsibilities (ie, a ferry to work or something similar) and happily ditched them

A tombstone bar in a jukejoint car, he made a stop
Just long enough to grab a handle off the top
Next stop Chi town, Lido put the money down and let it roll
Pretty obviously, he went on a gambling/drinking bender through small-town dives on the way to Chicago

He said one more job ought to get it
One last shot 'fore we quit it
One more for the road
Couldn't stop gambling once he got started; typical of someone on a bender

Refrain:
Lido, whoa-oh-oh-oh
He's for the money, he's for the show
Lido's waitin' for the go
Lido, whoa-oh-oh-oh
He said one more job ought to get it
One last shot 'fore we quit it
One more for the road
He's living it up, etc

Lido be runnin', havin' great big fun, until he got the note
Sayin' toe the line or blow, and that was all she wrote
He be makin' like a beeline, headin' for the borderline
Goin' for broke
Got in over his head, probably on the bad side of the folks who make their living fleecing gamblers, and ran for the border as a final gamble.

j666
12-18-2013, 08:50 PM
I always that Lido's problem was that he was doing too well. Taking too much money out of the game if a gambler, drawing attention if running cons …

njtt
12-19-2013, 04:03 AM
I agree with this - and to use your example from earlier - Jumping Jack Flash. You can find the lyrics on line easily these days - I had to suss them out on my own back in the day. But anyway, the basic gist of the song was "I was down, but now everything's cool" - and the verses are Mick using different ways to express how down he was - I was drowned, I was washed up left for dead - and the chorus always comes back to "but it's all right now - in fact it's a gas." I always have assumed that the narrator of the song has gotten high or something - so their troubles aren't gone, but at least they are all right now - so Jumping Jack Flash to me was a reference to getting high on something so life would be a gas...

I agree, but I wonder whether there could also be a reference there to Phineas Gage (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phineas_Gage), who actually did get a spike right through his head, and went from being a rather serious person to someone who just didn't give a shit. I don't know how The Stones might have learned about Gage, but it is not impossible. The "spike right through my head" is a little odd and specific as a general metaphor for being down.

Perhaps people today find the lyric confusing because they are not familiar with the expression "it's a gas," whose meaning (not to say derivation) is far from obvious.

Isham
08-07-2014, 01:38 PM
Makes me think of the Lido Deck on cruise ships. As does Shuffle (as in Shuffle Board).... The One More Shot and Toe the Line bits sound like Shuffleboard as well.

Lots of good interpretations for Lido Shuffle's meaning. I personally think Boz Scaggs wrote this song with multiple meanings and innuendos through out. On the More obvious side of things, he is singing about a gambler; which has been prominently stated. but otherwise subtly i feel it's a drug song about getting drunk and high. REASONS: 1)Lido missed the boat- mind frame reference- and he ain't coming back- he's at the point of no return in this lifestyle (possible stretch here i know, but keep reading).
2)handle off the top- liquor from the top shelf, likely moonshine if you look into 'Jukejoint bars' from the slavery days in southern US
3)next stop Chi-town- slanted eyes from getting stoned. -Lido put the money down and let 'em roll- meaning pay the man for the bag o' green and roll me a dube
4) One more job oughtta get it - the big score so they can afford some Blow
5)Chorus- time passing and he is stating to live the big life. He found coke and a woman
6)Toe the line or blow it and that was all she wrote- she took all his stuff, but left him one line of coke and a brief message.
7) He be making like a beeline headin for the boarderline going for broke- i infer that she ratted him out to the cops during point #6 and left specifically those 2 things out of remorse; warning of the cops and a little 'bump' to feel better about the situation
8) one more hit oughtta do it, this joint ain't nothing to it- you don't feel stoned when your high on coke but he's gonna enjoy the last toke carefreely cause he's now broke and going to Mexico.
I hope I have helped you to see the song in a positive new light, CalMeacham, without offending anyone.

Isham
08-07-2014, 02:46 PM
Reason #6 Toe the line or Blow it - Kick the habit or put it up you nose. (I totally forgot to put this in the last comment)

Starving Artist
08-07-2014, 06:37 PM
I don't know that Lido's being told to pay up or blow by some criminal element. The reputation of most gangsters is that if you don't pay up, you die. They don't say give up the green or beat it.

I'm thinking it was law enforcement that told Lido to toe the line or blow.

Mister Rik
08-10-2014, 02:59 PM
3.) I never would have thought of him as a con man or gambler. The "gig" terminology and other things make it sound like he's a musician, getting money for playing his gigs. But I concede it makes more sense the other way."
"Gig" is most commonly used by musicians, but it generally just means "job". My current gig is cooking in a retirement home.

Little Nemo
08-10-2014, 05:48 PM
I figure the "Toe the line or blow" note was from his girlfriend. She's tired of putting up with Lido's criminal lifestyle and she's telling him to go straight or get out of her life.

sensordev
12-31-2014, 12:34 PM
An artistic rendering with only one explicit meaning has missed the boat.
Scaggs and Paich are true artists, and that's all she wrote.

This song conveys meaning on several levels and it's a delight to connect the multi-colored dots from the minds of many posters. On the other hand, repeat insistence on a one-dimensional interpretation stirs the soul about as much as an engineering drawing of the single shiny nail it suggests.

I'll do what my subject says and add my own take later. Broke a couple of wrist bones last week and typing is a tedious task right now. Boz said the song was structured after "The Fat Man" by Fats Domino.

Spoke
12-31-2014, 01:13 PM
Hmm. There do seem to be drug references, so maybe it's about a drug bender after all. Either way, I think it's his woman sending the note.

One more hit ought to do it
This joint ain't nothing to it

...

He's for the money
He's for the show
Lido's waiting for the blow

kayaker
12-31-2014, 01:52 PM
A buddy of mine is a musician. He has written lyrics for many songs. I once asked what a particular song's lyrics meant and he explained the details of an event that happened to him in his youth.

When I pointed out that nobody could possibly know these details he shrugged his shoulders. To him, lyrics are poetry he has written. Whether his audience understands his words or finds their own meaning in them is irrelevant to him. Just an observation.

sensordev
12-31-2014, 03:06 PM
A buddy of mine is a musician. He has written lyrics for many songs. I once asked what a particular song's lyrics meant and he explained the details of an event that happened to him in his youth.

When I pointed out that nobody could possibly know these details he shrugged his shoulders. To him, lyrics are poetry he has written. Whether his audience understands his words or finds their own meaning in them is irrelevant to him. Just an observation.

And a good one. When the facets of real human experiences are submerged in a song or painting or poem they leave traces that other humans can sense without conscious awareness. Contemplated long or frequently they will produce resonances in the observer of a kindred nature that can lead to discovery of what truly lies beneath, or construction of alternate realities, or simple enjoyment of the distant subliminally felt familiar. Soul touching soul.

Isham
01-17-2015, 06:52 PM
A funny connection I just made, figured it was worth posting: Lido Shuffle 1977 .... but in 1969, CCR on Bad Moon Rising has Lodi. (a song about a struggling musician is stuck without money in the small town of Lodi) i wonder if Boz was a Creedence fan

Acsenray
01-17-2015, 08:13 PM
If he was referencing "Lodi," he would have said "Lodi," not "Lido." They don't have the same connotations.

Boyo Jim
01-17-2015, 08:29 PM
I figured Lido Shuffle was just another of thousands of dance craze tunes like Peppermint Twist. And I have a vague recollection of some famous place (possibly a night club?) named The Lido.

Clearly, I paid no attention at all to the actual lyrics.

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