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Too Late to be Saved Lyrics and Meaning – Jordan Zevon’s Message in a Bottle

Jordan Zevon’s Message in a Bottle – Too Late To Be Saved Lyrics and Meaning

Jordan Zevon is an accomplished musician in his own right, but will also be recognizable to many as the son of the great Warren Zevon. Like many great songwriters, Jordan Zevon has made use of the image of the message in a bottle to hook listeners into his song’s central story or idea. Like the character in Sting’s “Message in a Bottle”, Jordan’s central character is alone and philosophizing. And like the character in Zac Brown’s “Let it Go,” Zevon’s character is letting go of something, or trying to. This page offers a brief analysis and discussion of Zevon’s Too Late To Be Saved lyrics and meaning (including audio for the song below).

Jordan Zevon as a kid with guitar for Too Late to Be Saved Lyrics and Meaning analysis

Jordan Zevon’s Facebook profile photo! Isn’t it great? Photo: Jordan Zevon / Facebook.

Zevon’s “Message in a Bottle” Leads to Contemplating Faith, the Past, and the Furutre

Zevon’s song, “Too Late to be Saved,” takes place in a bar and in the mind and memories of the song’s central character. The song is kicked off by the idea of a message in a bottle. From there it follows the main character’s thoughts as he picks apart his past and the way he has lived. He has no faith, and doesn’t seem to want any. The whole song is quite straightforward, really–he even sings, “No hidden message in my verse / no need to play it in reverse”. Jordan Zevon’s message in a bottle here is as advertised: This character believes it is too late for him to be saved, at least in any religious or spiritual sense. 

The song kicks off with the lines, “There’s a message in this bottle / and I’ll drink until I find it / Cause I’ve searched my soul for answers / and discovered I’ve been blinded”. It’s not clear that he ever does find the message in the duration of the song, unless the message is simply the title.

Check it out for yourself. What do you think? What is Jordan Zevon’s message in a bottle here?

Jordan Zevon “Too Late to Be Saved” Lyrics and Video

There’s a message in this bottle
And I’ll drink until I find it
Cause I’ve searched my soul for answers
And discovered I’ve been blinded

Found my reflection in the pools of disregard
Fed in streams from water rings
Collecting on this bar

Where I’m poring over memories
But they only help remind me
Of a timeline mined with should haves
And the fading chance at could be

Lived in the moment but it didn’t get me far
Just a few more tragedies to sing to my guitar

And they say I’ll find my faith
All I have to do is pray
But as I’m winding down the days
I know it’s too late to be saved
Too late to be saved

The path of righteousness is one
That I’ve never walked upon
Only look to heaven
When I want to check the weather
No hidden message in my verse
No need to play it in reverse
Spare your needling
Save your own soul
I’ll take care of me

Just a sinner in a saint’s façade
And with a faith like mine I kind of pray there’s no God
To answer to
What would I say?
Tell him, ‘sorry for the things I’ve done
But take a good look down
I’m not the only one’ and then he’d
Wish me well and send me straight to hell

And they say I’ll find my faith
All I have to do is pray
But as I’m winding down the days
I know it’s too late to be saved
Too late to be saved

I said the song was straightforward, but there are some tricky bits.

The song does make me wonder, for example–is Zevon simply painting a scene for us of a self-pitying person, caught in their moment of despair? I mean, is he just down because he is drinking alone in a bar? In contrast, in the light of day, when this person is not crying into his beer, would he feel differently? Or is this really his deeply-held belief–that it is too late to be saved?

One last thought: It is a bit irreverent, so maybe the song is intended to be a bit of a dark joke. The character says “Only look to heaven / when I want to check the weather,” which is a pretty clear way of saying he doesn’t think anything is up there. So maybe he doesn’t actually want to be saved–maybe he never did. Maybe he is saying that it was always too late for him to be saved?

That’s it, folks! Those are my thoughts on Jordan Zevon’s Too Late to be Saved lyrics and meaning. But what do you think?

***If you liked this post, click here to find me on Facebook and like my page for more message in a bottle stories! You never know when YOU could be the one to solve a message in a bottle mystery! Also, click here for more songs about messages in bottles. Click here to learn more about messages in bottles, and you can always contact me with questions, ideas, or stories.

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