"Or steal my Daddy's cue..." - literally?

Should I put this in GD? :slight_smile:

For reasons too inane to explain, my friends and I got into a discussion of these lyrics from Rod Stewart’s Maggie Mae:

I always believed Rod was saying that he supposed he could literally take his daddy’s pool cue from his daddy’s billiards room and go hustle.

Some of my friends are of the opinion that Rod is using the expression “steal a cue” to actually mean “I suppose I could do what my Daddy always said he was going to do, and go hustle.”

What say you Dopers?

I vote for the literal interpretation.

I have to vote for the literal interpretation as well.

I also agree with Dooku. It’s unanimous, so far.

Another vote for literal interpretation.

I’ve always taken the literal interpretation but I see no reason why the lyric couldn’t be a play on words: “steal my Daddy’s cue”, figuratively AND literally.

There are a lot of double meanings in rock lyrics, but you guys are all probably aware of that.

I also have to go with the literal interpretation. I’ve never heard the expression “steal a cue”; I’ve always heard it said “take a cue”. Google finds 20,000 "take a cue"s and only 11 "steal a cue"s.

Just given my knowledge of Rod Stewart’s brain capacity I’d doubt the double-meaning concept.

I always figured he was contemplating theft, myself.

One more vote for the literal interpretation. I’ve also never heard of anyone “stealing a cue”, although I have agreed with those who’ve urged someone to “buy a clue.”


Maybe he stole a cue from his Da AND took his advice.
I’m just saying…

If I had known how little “steal a cue” was used I wouldn’t even have posted this. It’s an expression I use all the time.

At any rate, sounds like there’s a quorum. I declare myself the winner. :slight_smile:

He’s talking about “queue”, French for “line”. I’m sure you’ve heard of the expression “get back in the queue”, or a DJ queuing up the next song?

In the Rod Stewart song, he means steal his daddy’s line of work and make a living as a praying fool. In other words, Maggie May has him so disdrought, he doesn’t know what to do now nor where his life is going.

Ok, I’m done…that’s your cue! :smiley:

  • Jinx

I vote literal.
Now, set yourself to “laid traps for troubadors who get killed before they reach Bombay.”

You may not remember way back when, but Rod Stewart’s first three solo albums were fine examples of the singer/songwriter format. Admittedly, they were better on music than lyrics, but he didn’t have Bernie Taupin working for him. (Elton John and Rod Stewart came out with almost identically styled albums around 1970, and Stewart even covered “Country Comfort.” Things were sure different then.) Yeah, later on Stewart made a fool of himself, but he was both a critical and popular darling at the time.

So a double meaning could easily be intentional.

But I always thought of it in my head as being literal.

If literal, how do you know he didn’t mean “steel a cue”? Maybe he wanted it bronzed! Better yet, maybe it was a Q, as in Q-tip? Or, As Fred Mertz said "they just won’t sell the cue tips without the cue sticks! - Jinx

Does we have to make an either/or choice? It’s a pun. He meant both meanings at once.

I’m with AndrewT. I always took it to be a clever turn of phrase that works either way.


At best, it’s a half-pun; “steal a cue” doesn’t make sense as an idiom. When you take a cue from someone, you don’t steal it, you merely observe what they’re doing.


Literal. I’ve always thought that line was the worst in the song … so bad as to be almost laughable. Stewart clearly painted himself into a corner with “collect my books and go back to school” and had to really reach to come up with a rhyme that worked.

Almost as bad as Weiss and DeShannon rhyming “precocious” with “pro blush” in Bette Davis Eyes … .