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Beautiful Loser

by

Bob Seger



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

This song is about people who set their goals so low that they never achieve anything. It is not about Seger personally. He told Creem magazine in a 1986 interview: "A lot of people think I wrote 'Beautiful Loser' about myself. I got the idea for that song from a book of Leonard Cohen poetry by the same name. The song was about underachievers in general. I very rarely write about myself that much. I draw on my own experiences like anyone else, but I'm not what you'd call auteuristic. I'm not like my songs at all. I'm a lot more up person than what I write."
Cohen's book that Seger refers to is called Beautiful Losers.
Seger took almost a year to write this. He played around with many different arrangements of this until he got it right. In a 1994 interview with Music Connection, he explained: "I've never written the lyrics and tried to build the music around that. It's usually a feel or a verse or a chorus, and the lyrics will come after I've decided that a certain pattern or groove or rhythm is cool. Then I'll start singing gibberish over that and just find a lyrical idea that fits the ideas that I started out with.

Other times I'll just sit down and say, 'I wanna write a song called this.' That's how 'Beautiful Loser' happened. I just loved the title, which I got from a book of poetry from Leonard Cohen called Beautiful Losers, with an 's,' and I thought it was a really cool title.

Actually, I wrote three or four songs called 'Beautiful Loser' until I came up with the one that worked. But that's a pretty rare thing."
Glenn Frey, a member of the Eagles and a friend of Seger's, was one of the first people Seger played this for. Frey loved it and helped Seger tweak it before it was released.
Radio stations usually play the live version of this together with "Traveling Man" off the 1976 Live Bullet album. The 2 songs are separate cuts on the CD, but flow together seamlessly.
A regional hit in Michigan, this song gained a much wider audience when it was included on Seger's breakout album, Live Bullet.
Bob Seger
Bob Seger Artistfacts
More Bob Seger songs
More songs inspired by books
More songs about regret

Comments (9):

Come on people, who is the beautiful loser at your house? Mine is my 18 year old Chihuahua1
He wants to dream like a young man (esspecially about the little girl dog next door)

With the wisdom of an old man. ( he is very wise)

He wants his home and security, (he loves his home and his bed and keeps our home safe from intruders)

He wants to live like a sailor at sea. (he wants to be free to roam around the neighborhood)


You realize you just can’t have it all. ( he realizes he can't have it all, he waits at the door untill you say come on))


He’s your oldest and your best friend, (well duh, dog years he is your oldest and mans best friend)

If you need him, he’ll be there again. (he is always ready to go, any hour of the day or night)

He’s always willing to be second best, (to him, you are the best there is, he is second)

A perfect lodger, a perfect guest. (he will sleep on the floor or any place out of the way, the perfect guest)

And realize, you just can’t have it all. ( he doesn't even try to have it all)

...you can’t have it all, you can’t have it all, ( a dog will never be able to have it all)

Oh, oh, ... can’t have it all.


He’ll never make any enemies, (my dog makes friends with every dog and every person and anything else that moves)

He won’t complain if he’s caught in a freeze. (our dogs are left outside all the time, with no complants)

He’ll always ask, he’ll always say please. ( my dog asks with his eyes and says please with his tail)

Beautiful loser, never take it all (if other dogs are around he leaves food for them, he never takes it all)

You just don’t need it all (we should be more like our dogs, we just don't need it all, having it all doesn't make you happy)

Oh, oh, ... you just don’t need it all. ( my dogs name is Charlie and he is my best friend and my Beautiful Loser!
- Dean, Santa Ana, CA
A song I've always loved.The perfect marriage of words & music.I prefer the studio version however.
- dane, Green Cove Springs Fla., FL
To Chris, in Waterford Township, the song you are looking for is from Live Bullet, and the name of the song is "Let It Rock". "Ev'rybody in Detroit, C'mon, I'm gonna turn ya loose!"
- Ken, Margaritaville
What is the song that Bob Seger sings where he introduces his Silver Bullet band ob Seger and I'm from Ann Arbor, MI? Have been trying to find this song for a while and need help please?
- Chris, Waterford, MI
This song, along with "It's Only Rock and Roll" by the Stones were the last two songs ever played on LA's classic rock station KMET.
- Dave, Northridge, CA
Ted, thanks for mentioning Point Blank, every time I sit down with the guitar I can't help but do the riff to "Nicole".
- Jay, Atlanta, GA
The lyrics to me describe my ex-husband! The most perfect beautiful looser! All of Bob Seger's music & lyrics are very powerful!
- Angela West, Tomball, TX
I always thought it was a song about a man's best friend - a loser who is always willing to take a backseat when a woman enters the picture, but a loyal friend.
- Jay, St. Louis, MO
This song was covered by Point Blank, on their album "Second Season."
- Ted, Loveland, CO
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