What does Ride Captain Ride mean?

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Ride Captain Ride Lyrics

Seventy-three men sailed up from the San Francisco Bay
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...

  1. 1TOP RATED

    anonymous
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    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.



  2.  

    anonymous
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    Yesterday, 15:31 report


    It's a song from the writer's imagination, like the story says. Reminds me of when I wrote a poem about JFK's assassination & funeral, and in it was the line "Rose with the sun to watch cartoons" and my teacher said, very smart "Rose and her son JFK" and I said Nooo, got out of bed when the SUN came up. Not everything has double meanings. Take this for the simple song it is and, as pointed out earlier, get over yourselves.



  3.  

    anonymous
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    Aug 18th, 8:38pm report


    What a "trippiness" this song had - when on an acid trip the music had an ethereal spacey rhythmic sound that made me feel like I was being guided in a snake charmer kind of a trance. The singer was offering to be the captain of my "trip" and represented a guiding figure who could help me avoid the dangers of running aground into the rocky shoals of a bad acid trip. Mike Pinera was like a captain for my trip and his voice like the lapping of his ship gave me succor and I had the impression I was floating near his imaginary ship on a dark and foggy night. Hearing the lyrics to the song again I have no doubt this song was written for acid heads like me. The trip on a magic ship had to be an acid trip and who but somebody on an acid trip would watch raindrops fall. While tripping I could get involved for hours watching a faucet drip or staring at the patterns on a wall. The person who wrote this song had to be talking from the experience of being on an acid trip.



  4.  

    anonymous
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    Feb 21st, 2014 2:08pm report


    To Mike653, and with respect to your assertion that you were "close to" Mike, even if the "top secret," Pueblo incident hadn't been "released," to the press "before the song was written--;" consider the possibility that the inspiration may have occurred through a "leak."
    Mynameisien is disturbingly condescending.
    May 10, 2012 at 5:15PM is convolutedly Dogmatic beyond-description.
    To the both of the last-two, a very-serious, "GET-OVER YOURSELVES--!!!"



  5.  

    anonymous
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    Feb 3rd, 2014 2:23pm report


    Just let me say Christianity was one of the many things we were revolting AGAINST back in the Sixties and anyone who tries to put a Christian interpretation on this is nuts. There is no freedom in the tyranny of religion whether it is Christian, Muslim, Jewish. Down with religion- Be Free! Be Free! Be Free! There is no hidden meaning!



  6.  

    oracle
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    Oct 6th, 2013 10:04am report


    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.
    Enjoy it.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway


  7.  

    anonymous
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    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!

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway


  8.  

    anonymous
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    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.



  9.  

    anonymous
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    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.



  10.  

    anonymous
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    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.



  11.  

    anonymous
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    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".



  12.  

    oracle
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    Mar 31st, 2012 3:06am report


    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.



  13.  

    anonymous
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    Oct 30th, 2011 10:25pm report


    Don't kid yourself some smart guy knew how to read the fads and make a buck



  14.  

    anonymous
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    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



  15.  

    anonymous
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    Sep 9th, 2011 9:59pm report


    its about the USS Pueblo



  16.  

    anonymous
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    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?



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