Blues Image: Ride Captain Ride Meaning
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Ride Captain Ride Lyrics
Rolled off of their ship, and here's what they had to say
"We're callin' everyone to ride along to another shore
We can laugh our lives away and be free once more"
But no one heard them...
anonymous Oct 30th, 2007 10:02am report
Neither is correct. Here's the text of an interview by the song's writer.
"The producer came in and said, "Do you have any more songs, because if you don't, this is your last day in the studio,"' Pinera says. "So I said, "Oh, I have a song,' which I didn't. So I went into the bathroom, and I shut the door, and I just meditated. I calmed my mind, and I started hearing music. I went out and sat at the piano, which was a Rhodes Model No. 73, which had 73 keys. So I say, "Okay, I need a first word.' And what came into my head was 73. I liked the rhythm, and I went, "73 men sailed in, from the San Francisco Bay. ... The song sort of just wrote itself."
The keyboard player clinked out a melody for the chorus, and Pinera added the lyrics, "Ride, captain, ride, upon your mystery ship. ..." and the rest is rock history. The song reached No. 1 in 1968.
Ok here are some concepts to help you understand how to interpret any given song.
First, There are different levels of meanings.
What the song writer was thinking and trying to convey is one level.
People over estimate this level.
The spiritual level is worth considering.
The ultimate artist is something like a conduit to let the Spirit (check the meaning of inspiration) convey a special divine message. This is the level that often calls attention to Jesus...regardless of how unpalatable this may be for some of you.
That is why the songwriter has no idea he's talking about Jesus sending out 72 as in Luke chapter 10.
That is why this song can best be understood as a metaphor for some of the main concepts in Luke chapter 10.
Jesus + 72 = 73
Jesus is the captain.
The level of difficulty in interpreting this song is no where near that of other songs.
Again I say that many songs are difficult to interpret. This is piece of cake.
anonymous Oct 8th, 2012 10:32pm report
I believe the writer wrote the song spur of the moment.
The key is he meditated. Then he tapped into something and just wrote it and it 'flowed'. What he tapped into was the Pueblo, the mutiny, the counterculture, maybe even someones future burritos (lol), all those things, expressed the Spirit of the Times. I remember the Spirit of the Times when I hear the song and ALWAYS remember where I was and what I was doing the first time I heard it! Back in The Day!
anonymous Aug 26th, 2012 8:52am report
I'm a former CT also. The song has nothing whatsoever to do with the USS Pueblo, and there isn't a shred of proof to back up that claim. The ship didn't leave SFO with 73 men. It left Sasebo, JP with 82 Navy crewmembers and two civilians.
Like the Drake voyage, it's highly unlikely that the songwriter knew anything about the Pueblo.
The songwriter has very clearly stated that the number 73 came from the number of keys on his Fender electric piano.
anonymous Jul 23rd, 2012 7:30pm report
USS Pueblo. Timing is everything. 1968 and everyone was worried about the hostages. It was the top national story for months. Everyone knew it was a spy ship. The contention was whether or not it was in international waters.
anonymous May 10th, 2012 5:15pm report
It's pretty clear by now that the composer was vamping on the spur of the moment. What he came up with is cryptic enough to inspire speculation, but has clearly been debunked. It IS NOT about the Pueblo, nor Drake, nor specifically about drugs, or gay cruise ships nor anything more than just a call to adventure and to sail away to a more meaningful, loving, supportive culture than the one they are leaving. This was a common theme at the time, as the youth culture was convinced that they could come up with a better way to live than the life of their parents, which they were rejecting. Those who INSIST that it is otherwise are injecting their own beliefs onto a song and lyric that was written on the spur of the moment for valuable and dwindling studio time for a struggling group.
anonymous May 7th, 2012 5:27pm report
While I grew up hearing this song, I never really listened to the lyrics. I just watched the movie "Diggers" (2006) and they played it during the closing credits. It got me to wondering what the song was about. On my own interpretation, I went with 60s counterculture, as it seemed to me to be speaking of not only The Merry Pranksters but the Grateful Dead, led by Jerry Garcia, AKA "Captain Trips".
ok I'm kind of surprised nobody got the meaning of this song so far...on a level of diffficulty I'd put this song as one of the easiest to interpret as I could think of.
In a way I'm somewhat reticent to reveal the meaning of this song...sigh...
hopefully some of you will recall the parable of the sower and be like the
fertile ground which took the message and understood it.
So here is the meaning:
Jesus sent out 72 men....check your bible-
you'll find it...
the 73 men represent Jesus + the 72 men.
Jesus is the captain.
The entire song makes perfect sense in a metaphorical way if you first realize that the 73 men represent Jesus and the 72 men he sent out.
anonymous Oct 30th, 2011 10:25pm report
Don't kid yourself some smart guy knew how to read the fads and make a buck
anonymous Oct 14th, 2011 10:40pm report
San Francisco being the closest point in N. AMERICA I always think of the early sailors to Hawai'i who could go to Hawai'i where there was little to no laws forbidding 'love' and all of the other demands and restrictions we're forced to abide by from the State & Church. Aloha
anonymous Sep 9th, 2011 9:59pm report
its about the USS Pueblo
anonymous Sep 5th, 2011 9:50am report
I'm not that interested in what the author was thinking when he wrote the song.
But what I like about the song is that it's a great metaphor for our own life. Each of us is the captain of our own ship, and we can be amazed at the friends we'll meet on our trip (of life), the worlds that we might discover, etc. as long as we're not too busy focusing on unimportant details (like the raindrops falling).
Or maybe the song is the mystery ship that takes us away from our everyday cares?
anonymous Aug 29th, 2011 8:04pm report
I love the song, no matter what the intrepretation. Ride Captain Ride captured my imagination the first time I heard it. In the end, who really cares what was behind the inspiration, but during that time and place the man had the desire to share his imagination with us.
anonymous Jul 18th, 2011 7:20pm report
Everyone of y'all are reading way to much into this song.lol.. people do this all the time. I'm a musician, and I can promise you that there are very few songs that are historically researched. And the guy talking about all the drug use in the first "translation" is a jackass. He must be an aspiring psychiatrist. This song has nothing to do with drug use. It has nothing to do with drake. The only correct answer is the one given by the writer and artist. The song was written in story in a matter of minutes pretty much ad-libbed. The way most hits are written. And like most hits, there are always conspiracy theorists.haha... its a great song. Just enjoy it.
anonymous May 8th, 2011 5:25am report
I heard it was a reference to L. Roon Hubbard's ship. heard it from a 30+ year scientologist. Lots great stories here though. and trust me, i believe EVERYTHING i hear and read..... hehe
K?vin B?árd?n Mar 29th, 2011 3:58pm report
One person nailed this song...that would be milkiewaysmiami...
This song IS about the USS Pueblo..although there are some factual inconsistencies, ie, 73 men, it was to make the song flow better.. there were actually 83, but they needed that extra syllable..
The Pueblo did leave San Francisco bay..it certainly was a "mystery ship", as it was an intelligence gatherer, manned by Navy cryptologists..
"and be free once more.." implies their mission to help make the world free from cold war enemies, to include the North Koreans..
"No one heard them calling..." references the fact that the Pueblo send out emergency condition reports, but they were not received in time by an aircraft carrier that was operating a few hundred miles away..
"to a world that others might have missed.." - that's what cryptologists do..they obtain information that others will not..
and they certainly sailed off to "history", didn't they?
How do I know all this? I'm a retired cryptologist..
Rock on, Blues Image..
This is no interpretation it is just some facts I have been a friend of Mike Pinera for over forty years, as well as other Blues Image members. I see Mike daily and play with him in a new group. All I will address here is the drug culture comment and the Pueblo comment. The song had NOTHING to do with drugs or drug culture, nor the pueblo, the song was written and released BEFORE the Pueblo incident (which was top secret) was even released. As to the guy saying Mike is no Keith Richards you are right,HE IS SO FAR SUPERIOR TO RICHARDS AND MOST PLAYERS WORKING TODAY. If you have ever heard Mike play this should be obvious.
anonymous Feb 11th, 2011 2:36pm report
Right. So no musician in a band from the '60s and '70s knows anything about history? And every song from the '60s is about or inspired by or written while the writer was on drugs?
Sounds like a whole lot of fear of reality from mental conservatives to me.
anonymous Feb 4th, 2011 2:41pm report
For my two cents worth I can believe drugs played a part in the song but to me the song has been inspiration to take chances in life do not be afraid of the unkown.Do not fear traveling a path or believing what others do not. I have told my children this is one of two songs that can be played at my funeral as I also see the song speaking to moving from this world to the next. By the way the other song is Blood Sweat and Tears' song "When I Die" from the same time period.
anonymous Dec 14th, 2010 12:54pm report
you know i don't really care where the artist got their inspiration from, and further more i hate it when people insist that a song is about drugs. Csn&y's Cathedral was inspired when one of them with a head full of acid walked into a church, but the lyrics "too many people have died in the name of christ for anyone to heed the call" is not about acid. Ride captain Ride is a song about 73 men who despite better judgement road off into a storm in order to discover a new land. the song is about risk, bravery, loyalty, friendship, and adventure.
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