What does Wanted (Dead or Alive) mean?

Search Login

Bon Jovi: Wanted (Dead or Alive) Meaning

Tagged:

No tags, suggest one.

Get "Wanted (Dead or Alive)" on MP3:

Get MP3 from Amazon
Get MP3 from iTunes

Wanted (Dead or Alive) Lyrics

It’s all the same, only the names will change
Everyday it seems we’re wasting away
Another place where the faces are so cold
I’d drive all night just to get back home

Chorus:
I’m a cowboy, on a steel horse I ride
I’m wanted dead or...

  1. 1TOP RATED

    closer
    click a star to vote
    Aug 30th, 2008 8:37pm report


    This song is all about life as a touring rock band, the whole "cowboy" theme is just a metaphor, Jon Bon Jovi has always been a fan of the old western heroes, and was able to see a link between his life as a rock star, and the cowboy's life he was so inspired by.



  2. 2TOP RATED

    nadiacoyle
    click a star to vote
    Nov 13th, 2007 11:57pm report


    You've got it so wrong- remember after new jersey how the band nearly split up- they had nothing more to say to each other after all those packed in tour buses and living out of each other's pockets- well jon said that was what the song was about and the first persons "steel horse" metaphor is right jon said it himself- and wanted dead or alive comes into it because jon said that in the time of slippery when wet and new jersey he literally felt he was wanted dead or alive- that he was killing himself touring at the pace they where- that people- fans, critics, producers- didn't care as long as they got their show



  3. 3TOP RATED

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Feb 23rd, 2007 2:22am report


    when I listen to this song I pick up some strong references to touring, and the relentless pressure on the artist to perform. When he says... "I'm a cowboy.. on a steel horse I ride" I definitely think horse translates to bus, and cowboy translates to badass. The song to me seems to have been written with somewhat mixed feelings. It seems to radiate confidence, possibly born from the constant praise, and the willingness of the fans to do anything for these musicians who are speaking to their souls. Maybe even Arrogance which could come from having young men and women confess a willingness to do anything to gain approval or even any sort of attention from the band. I think as the song progresses though, the artist tries to portray to the listener a picture painted from his perspective... That being: a few regular guys who have been lifted to fame and placed on a stage as if they were slaves working merely for the pleasure of others. "I'm wanted dead or alive" for me seems to be an attempt at revealing just how taxing being on the road can be. Who knows how these artists are feeling when they get on stage? (tired, stoned, drunk, depressed, DEAD, or ALIVE). Regardless of which state they find themselves in; they are there, and I think this song deals with the inability of the fans to understand that.



  4.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    May 21st, 2017 5:42am report


    A Lonely person who thinks the world of himself. But when the world goes against him he realizes that he is not the person he thinks he is and that he is a lone wolf that has no more meaning to life but he realizes that he no longer has the life that he had thought to be everything



  5.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jul 14th, 2012 7:01am report


    Sheriff hes saying hes a sheriff. Could go both ways though too

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway


  6.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Mar 1st, 2012 3:38am report


    steel horse is and will always be a MOTORBIKE,,,sorry bon jovi....a BUS IS A BUS



  7.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Dec 6th, 2010 12:29am report


    The "Steele Horse" is the motorbike....

    It's the likening of the modern day outlaw bikie to the outlaw cowboys of old....

    A legendary rock anthem!



  8.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Oct 4th, 2010 10:53pm report


    He is riding a motorcycle, not a car.



  9.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Sep 16th, 2010 9:44am report


    I think this song is about a cowboy who is being hunted for some kind of crime



  10.  

    songinterpreter95
    click a star to vote
    May 9th, 2009 5:48pm report


    My thought is that he is a convict wanted dead or alive, hence the name. And his steel horse is his runaway car.



  11.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    May 6th, 2008 5:08pm report


    He rides into towns where there are posters of guys wanted dead or alive. He becomes one of them so he gets his gun and horse and leaves



  12.  

    Jag528cbr
    click a star to vote
    Jan 24th, 2008 1:31pm report


    I think 'steel horse' is referring to a motorcycle. Like an outlaw biker or something.



  13.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Sep 14th, 2007 9:10am report


    OK, this interpretation was most probably not intentional by Bon Jovie, but was something that came from my own musings.
    It seems to me that almost all the lines could be connected to being a christian.

    let me explain;

    "Its all the same, only the names will change
    Everyday it seems were wasting away"

    Everyday, I see less and less christians standing up for what they believe in (at least on the internet)the same opposition to our ideals will always be there- and get stronger. only the names of the people will change.

    "Another place where the faces are so cold
    I'd drive all night just to get back home"

    standing up for something different means the people who oppose you in beliefs will most likely act coldly. Seeing reactions like that probably would make a person want to take long measures to get back where they came from

    "I'm a cowboy, on a steel horse I ride"

    cowboys (in movies and such)are often worn out and still trying to fight against their opposition. This relates directly to christians. "steel horse" may be a metaphor for having a stronger foundation for faith than others who have "regular horses", or looser morals and convictions.

    I'm wanted dead or alive"

    "dead" being shut up, and "alive" being accepted.

    "Sometimes I sleep, sometimes its not for days"

    losing sleep over lost souls.

    "The people I meet always go their separate ways"

    either becoming interested, ignoring you, or arguing against you, people choose a path and leave in "seperate ways".

    "Sometimes you tell the day
    By the bottle that you drink"

    no interpretation for this line, really.

    "sometimes you're alone all you do is think"

    continual self-observation can lead to doubt.

    "I walk these streets, a loaded six string on my back-
    I play for keeps, cause I might not make it back"

    no interpretation here, either

    "I've been everywhere, still I'm standing tall"

    I've seen a lot of things, been a lot of places, met a lot of people, but I keep on "standing tall" for the lord.

    I've seen a million faces an I've rocked them all

    I've known tons of people, but I'm sure I've influenced most of them in one way or the other.




    well, that's my interpretation. It might sound stupid, but I thought there was something to it. oh, well.

    please no flaming...



  14.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jul 3rd, 2007 7:46pm report


    This is song is simply reflection on fame and touring. He's saying that touring certainly comes along with its stresses and drawbacks. The main drawback, other than exhaustion, is clearly the inability to form relationships with hardly anyone he meets who idolize him because of how short-term playing a show is.

    The lyric that expresses both of the these stresses the most would be "Sometimes I sleep, sometimes its not for days / And the people I meet always go their separate ways."

    In the end it's what he does best and enjoys most. It becomes clear that when all is said and done, it's worth it.
    "I been everywhere, still I'm standing tall"
    "I've seen a million faces and I've rocked them all"

    And yeah...the steel horse is the tour bus.



  15.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Oct 18th, 2006 10:22am report


    Much more simple than all of that guff. It is an image thing and he is comparing himself as a outlaw biker (wanna-be) to the outlaws of old. Hence the 'steel horse'. Can't you just see it - John on a chopper with a cowboy hat, leather pants and an acoustic guitar. It is just how he sees himself. Pretty deep eh! Nice song ;)



  16.  

    abz
    click a star to vote
    Apr 24th, 2006 4:28am report


    This song is one of those old classic rock n roll songs about wanting to be a cowboy! In this song he's a lone ranger running from trouble on a 'steel' horse. He refers to his horse as being steel because it must be , both pysically and mentally strong and determined in order to keep going, carrying this cowboy to safety in search of some place better.

    He meets new people, as we all do, but in his world they leave and go their seperate ways, he has no reason to keep track of time and days, and not much to live for.

    Although he's alone and on the run, he's still happy to be alive as he's lost in thoughts about memories of better days. He's stuck through hard times, knowing each day could just easily be his last, he's still standing tall.



  17.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Mar 24th, 2006 3:46pm report


    Wanted dead or alive goes along with the metaphore of being a cowboy, the fans want him "dead or alive."



  18.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Feb 12th, 2006 2:17pm report


    Assuming you believe that first explanation, then it would be a reference to how obsessive people are over musicians.



‹ prev 12



More Bon Jovi song meanings »


 


Submit Your Interpretation

[ want a different song? ]






Just Posted

WHATS POPPIN anonymous
Delta Dawn Sexiscomedy
Lips of an Angel Angelboo
The Knife in my Back anonymous
Paper Crown anonymous
Birthday Suit anonymous
I See Red anonymous
Russian Roulette anonymous
My City Was Gone anonymous
Neon Moon anonymous
A Thousand Years, Pt. 2 anonymous
Blue Eyes anonymous
Human anonymous
You Are Not anonymous
Forsaken anonymous

Get a weekly email update

(We won't give out your email)

Latest Releases

Dirt Road
Kidd G
We Didn't Have Much
Justin Moore
Come As You Are
Tenille Townes
Make It A Good One
Brothers Osborne
If It Wasn't For Trucks
Riley Green
Baby, I'm Jealous
Bebe Rexha
My Way, Soon
Greta Van Fleet
Show Them The Way
Stevie Nicks