Lido Shuffle by Boz Scaggs: Lyrics Meaning and Interpretation


Lido Shuffle is a pop rock song by the artist Boz Scaggs. It was released as a single from the album Silk Degrees in 1977.

Before exploring the Lido Shuffle lyrics meaning, you should know the intent behind its title.

Title – What does it mean?

Lido is a fictional character who is addicted to gambling. The term “Shuffle” refers to the shuffling of the cards, commonly used for many gambling games.

Now that the title of the song has been explained, it is time to understand the Lido Shuffle lyrics meaning.

Verse 1 – What does it mean?

Lido missed the boat that day he left the shack

But that was all he missed and he ain’t comin’ back

The first verse enfolds like the beginning of a tale. Lido, the protagonist of this story, decided to leave “the shack” one day. In doing so, Lido also “missed the boat”.

“The shack” in these lines refers to hearth and home. Lido probably lived with a family. He had a wife and maybe some children. But he made a choice to leave all his loved ones behind. This was the “boat” he missed. “Boat” here means opportunity. Lido had the chance to live a fulfilling life adorned with love and support. But he threw all that away.

It is emphasized that whatever made Lido take such a drastic step took him further and further away. Later in life Lido probably even forgot he had a family. Or, it could imply that even if Lido wanted to come back he could not. He had, after all, missed the boat. His family and loved ones may never forgive him. Sometimes, there is no going back which is why it is important to consider all the important factors before making such decisions.


A tombstone bar in a jukejoint car, he made a stop

Just long enough to grab a handle off the top


These lines reveal the reason why Lido ran away from home. He had turned into a gambler. Like many other addictions, gambling too takes a toll on its victim. The rush of winning lured Lido into throwing everything away and chase a unicorn. Of course, there is no unicorn to chase and Lido ended up losing more than winning.

On his way to becoming a gambler Lido tried his luck “in a jukejoint car”. A “jukejoint” could refer to any pub or bar with a jukebox where customers can play the songs of their liking on the jukebox machine. The use of the phrase “tombstone bar” foretells the doom that awaits Lido. His addiction will finally lead Lido to his demise, his grave.

The phrase “grab a handle” indicates that Lido also turned to drinking. It is not surprising as many gamblers rely on alcohol to calm their nerves. The alcohol also keeps them from thinking straight and stopping before it is too late. The phrase “off the top” suggests that Lido preferred to drink expensive, high quality alcohol. Lido probably won a lot in his gambles. This is what prompted him to continue betting in the first place. To celebrate his temporary victories, Lido would order expensive liquor.


Next stop Chi town, Lido put the money down and let it roll


The phrase “Chi Town” means Chicago Town. During the 1920s, Chicago was the hub for many illegal activities. People visited Chicago to indulge in prostitution and gambling. As Lido was now an avid gambler, moving to Chicago seems like a natural progression for his character.

Chicago was also a town run by the mafia and gangsters. Visiting such a place is fraught with risks. But Lido was so heavily into gambling that he threw caution to the wind and “let it roll”. The term “roll” also refers to rolling the dice, a common feature in gambling.

Chorus – What does it mean?



He said one more job ought to get it

One last shot ‘fore we quit it

One more for the road


Most addicts wish they could overcome their addiction. But they get caught up in the loop of “One last shot”. They wish to indulge in their addiction for the last time, for old time’s sake. Then they promise themselves that they will “quit” it.

Lido was no different. In his heart he knew that gambling will destroy him. But his mind was completely brainwashed by gambling. He thought he would gamble for the last time and make a fortune. When he is rich, Lido would finally quit and get on with this life.


Lido, whoa-oh-oh-oh

He’s for the money, he’s for the show

Lido’s waitin’ for the go


The second line “He’s for the money…” is a homage to the Carl Perkins’ song “Blue Suede Shoes”. While subconsciously Lido knew he had to get out, he was actually still smitten by the glitz and glamor of the gambling world. He liked the casinos with their expensive drinks and beautiful women. Lido was all “for the show”.


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


These lines recount the immediate moment right before Lido rolled the dice during a game. He thought (or wished) that this would be the last time he gambles.

The use of the phrase “one more job” could imply two things. First, it could mean the act of gambling itself. Second, it could hint at the odd jobs Lido had to do to get the money for gambling. Lido was probably working for the mafia as well. This means, he engaged in criminal activities like robbing, stealing and maybe even murder.

The chorus effectively explains the real Lido Shuffle lyrics meaning.

Verse 2 – What does it mean?


Lido be runnin’, havin’ great big fun, until he got the note

Sayin’ toe the line or blow, and that was all she wrote


Lido was most probably in debt. But he was in no shape to pay back all the money he owned. Compelled by his addiction and drowned in alcohol, Lido had become a careless and carefree man. He was “havin’ great big fun’.

But all good things come to an end. He received “the note”, which could mean a threat from the mafia. Lido had to repay all the money, by hook or crook. He could either “toe the line” and follow this order or “blow” and get killed. There was no other option to choose.


He be makin’ like a beeline, headin’ for the borderline

Goin’ for broke


Almost “broke” and desperate, extreme thoughts began to plague Lido’s mind. He started contemplating the idea of “headin’ for the borderline”. Lido thought he could escape to either Canada or Mexico.


Sayin’ one more hit ought to do it

This joint ain’t nothin to it

One more for the road

But it was already too late for Lido. Instead of cleaning his act up or running away, Lido continued to gamble. He thought “one more hit” will win him all the money required to pay the debt and live a lavish lifestyle. Needless to say, that did not happen.

Hope you have now understood the Lido Shuffle lyrics meaning.


Staying away from gambling is the message behind Lido Shuffle lyrics meaning. Like any other addiction, gambling will consume you and leave you with nothing, not even your life.

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