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Is Paradise City Home?

Could this classic rock be against the paradise city?

Could this classic rock song be against the paradise city?

You probably know the song Paradise City by Guns N’ Roses.
It is a staple in the classic rock playlist.
Even if you don’t like the song you have been exposed to it somewhere along the line.
The song is about a guy who wants to be apart of the big city.
The Paradise City.
A place of fame and fortune where as the song says “the grass is green and the girls are pretty.”
But is that what the song actually about?
The singer claims he wants to go down to the paradise city.
He describes it as a place where many would like to go. (seemingly)
Take me down the paradise city.
Where the grass is green and the girls are pretty.
Oh won’t you please take me home?

What is that last line in the chorus about?
The singer is asking to be taken home?
We can all agree that Paradise City is a place that is not really a home.
More like a fantasy world.
So he wants to go home after going to the paradise city.
Unless of course Paradise City is home.
But with the description given to it (the green grass and pretty girls), we can assume it is not.
Is the song that seems to be about loving fame and fortune actually against the whole thing?
Won’t you please take me home?
Why would you want to leave the paradise?
Unless you don’t want to be there anymore.
And what place is the only other place a person would want to go besides paradise?
So far away.
So far away.
So far away.
From what?
Home or paradise?
Because the singer seems to be saying he wants to go home, not to paradise.
Just a’ urchin
livin’ under the street
I’m a hard case
that’s tough to beat
I’m your charity case
So buy me somethin’ to eat
I’ll pay you at another time
Take it to the end of the line
The first verse is about how he is a poor guy and needs help.
Since the chorus has the lines that go with the theme, we can assume he is talking about help to get fame.
To go to Paradise City.
Also the singer is the one going to the end of the line in this verse.
At a charity there would be lines and he already says he is a charity case.
The singer promises he will pay back whoever is the person helping him to get fame.
Ragz to richez or so they say
Ya gotta-keep pushin’
for the fortune and fame
It’s all a gamble
When it’s just a game
Ya treat it like a capital crime
Everybody’s doin’ their time

The second verse seems to imply the singer’s take on fame.
How he needs to keep pushing to get it.
But what is capital crime?
A crime punishable by death.
So everyone is paying with their life when they try to play the game that leads to fame.
Fame he says, is a gamble that is just like a game.
And should be treated like a capital crime.
And what time would you do for a capital crime?
You’d pay with your life.
Strapped in the chair
of the city’s gas chamber
Why I’m here I can’t quite remember
The surgeon general says
it’s hazardous to breathe
I’d have another cigarette
but I can’t see
Tell me who you’re gonna believe

The third verse is weird.
He is strapped in a chair and forgot how he got in the city’s gas chamber of all places.
It reads as if it is a scene from an action movie.
This verse could be the one that leads the singer to hate the paradise city.
Is this him paying his price for fame?
A promise he made in the first verse.
The singer clearly is not okay in this verse.
The surgeon general is controlling the situation.
Not him.
And what is hazardous to breath?
The air?
Or the smoke?
Since the singer would have a cigarette but can’t see.
Is that because of all the smoke around him?
Also that last line gets me.
Who are you gonna believe?
He is asking someone if they will believe him.
As if to imply that they will not.
But why wouldn’t someone believe him?
Captain America’s been torn apart
Now he’s a court jester
with a broken heart
He said-
Turn me around and
take me back to the start
I must be losin’ my mind-
“Are you blind?”
I’ve seen it all a million times

The fourth verse gets even weirder.
He knocks America as being torn apart and says it is a court jester.
That maintains the theme of the case and capitol crime, and surgeon general in the earlier verses.
Captain America talks to the singer asking if he is blind.
Note how that quote is the only line that is in quotation marks.
It could be useless also, since that could have been put there by a listener.
Please keep that in mind.
The singer already said he couldn’t see in the last verse.
So what is the meaning behind him seeing?
Unless the whole thing is to be taken literally.
Which makes the last two verses even weirder then they already are.
He also says about going back to the start.
Which is him being a poor guy.
And even thinks that he is losing his mind.
What is that about?
Could that have to do with the other verse of being tied down?
What is making him question his sanity?
I’d say he is having a hard time deal with the fame.
The song ends with the singer saying he has seen it all a million times.
The same experience that he went through?
But what did he go through?
It is never really clear.
Whatever it was, it was enough to make him want to go home.
Not Paradise City.
According to the singer the paradise city is not a paradise at all.
Which is why he is asking to be taken home.

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About Theodore Ficklestein (34 Articles)
Theodore Ficklestein is a blogger, author and writer whose blog post you may have just read. He has written three poetry books and has a upcoming novel being released in 2017. You support his work by becoming a patron on his Patreon page.
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