Bob Seger: Against the Wind Meaning
Song Released: 1980
Against the Wind Lyrics
But it was long ago
Janey was lovely, she was the queen of my nights
There in the darkness with the radio playlng low
And the secrets that we shared
The mountains that we moved
Caught like a wildfire out of...
This song is clearly about a man's look back at his first love... and his regret over losing her. It sounds so much like my situation, it breaks my heart to hear it... Even the name sounds similar to my first true love. I never should have ended the relationship.. That was the single worst mistake I ever made in my life... and it has torn me apart for decades!
anonymous Jun 19th, 2011 6:48am report
This is about a man who has matured and is looking back and reflecting upon his younger years. About the promise of young love. About the tendency of the young to pursue goals at any cost, without regard for what that pursuit really costs.
The first verse reminds me of spending time in the back seat of my car with my high school girlfriend, with the radio playing low. We swore to stay together forever, now I have to look her up in my yearbook just to remind myself what see was like. If I knew then, what I know now, it would sure have taken all the powerful emotions out of the way we felt then.
Verse two makes me think about how years passed and I traveled away via enlisting in the military in the mid 70's. I met a lot of people around who swore to be friends forever, only to be gone in a few months. That was also a time of rampant drug use. Many of the military personnel were recently back from Vietnam and neighboring countries. Amphetamines like white cross, speed balls, crystal-meth and other powders were causing many to 'lose their way'. They were 'living to run and running to live' & 'moving eight mile a minute for months at a time'. Running was a way to use the drug and how also a person acts when taking amphetamines. Moving very fast and staying awake for weeks, months at a time was typical. Now to do all this, you must break many rules, which will get you kicked out of everywhere . . . you'll need a new place to stay 'searching for shelter again and again'.
Then in verse three you grow up and conform back into society, stop drifting and get a job. But you remember where you have been . . . you're older, but still runnin' against the wind.
anonymous Sep 21st, 9:07am report
Wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know than just makes me want to be young and stupid with my whole life ahead of me not caring what people think ,only living in the moment a great carefree period just to be young
anonymous Jul 18th, 7:43am report
During an interview on WWFX, "100 FM The Pike", Bob Seger said that "Against the Wind" came about from his days as a high-school cross country runner. The line "Let the cowboys ride!" towards the song's end is a reference to the closing lyrics of the song "Santa Fe/Beautiful Obsession" by Van Morrison.
Seger later said that the line "Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then" bothered him for a while, but that everyone he knew loved it, so he left it in. He also said that it has since appeared in several other hits by other artists, so that proved it was an acceptable lyric.
Music critic Maury Dean described the theme as being about aging and dealing with "all the burdens we'll ever have to face."
Rolling Stone Magazine critic Dave Marsh stated in his review of the Against the Wind album that none of the ballads (including the title track) contained any memorable lines, but he later amended that to acknowledge that the lines "Well, those drifter's days are past me now/I've so much more to think about/Deadlines and commitments/What to leave in/What to leave out" are not only memorable but also haunting in the way Seger "haltingly expresses his indecisiveness."
For the recent post, don't be mad if they rated your comment negatively on this song. Don't focus on the negative approval, it's your opinion and not everyone has the same opinion. Chill out.
anonymous Jul 17th, 7:56pm report
The one from Jan. 5 2019 , says this one is poor but you can read it if you want, how about deleting it, it’s an insult to the person who wrote it, That was me ,please remove, passing judgment to someone who spends a lot of time listening to his music, not to mention the money I have spent on bobs wonderful songs which I will always love. You ask for interpretations, then you put them down,
anonymous Jul 17th, 7:01pm report
It’s a beautiful captivating song with wonderful lyrics that has a good story.
anonymous Jul 16th, 7:42pm report
This song explains it's self except for the line "wish l didn't know now what l didn't know then".The line before that he tells how "Janie swore that it never would end". She must have ended it by doing something he doesn't want to remember.Doesn't want to know now.lt must hurt Bob Seger each time he hears this song.lt's happening to me now and it's a life changer to be rejected.lf he didn't know "now"he would look her up to try and recapture maybe some of their past magic but he just can't emotionally handle it.When you love someone and you find out the truth......
anonymous Jul 16th, 7:13pm report
The lyric line Wish l didn't know now what l didn't know then means he found out something about Janie that he didn't know when he thought he was her only lover.Now, looking back, he feels used and their relationship was nothing more then the empty fling she was aware of and he wasn't.
anonymous Jan 5th, 2019 1:35pm report
Against the wind, I felt there was a strong passion between a young couple in love. When they went their separate ways “ running against the wind was a struggle and hurtful time for him or whom ever the song is about. He stopped caring about the important things in life for a time. Then went on a self finding journey to find his way back to reality, and struggled the whole way, Even though “I’m older now and still running against the wind”, when he looks back it’s still a difficult time for this person.Hes still pushing through life and the pain of his earlier life and life in general at times, lessons from past and present being learned still.”Running against the wind”, I feel is a powerful lyric, struggling to push through the pain of moving on.Something so many can relate to,. If it’s him, a friend, a story he’s heard from someone close to him. It doesn’t matter if it was co-wrote. The lyrics bring feelings,this is one of my many favorite songs of his, The man is a musical ,lyrical genius, his songs ,including this one draw me in, there is stories in his songs that captivate the listener ! My favorite artist of all times, run as long as you need to!!
anonymous Jun 4th, 2018 6:31am report
I think the song, Against The Wind, is everyone’s typical life in one great song. The song does remind you of someone, realize friends won’t be around forever & eventually remind you about things you care about now. Overall it’s a great song & the best line is,"I wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then”. Maybe some things are best unknown, who knows. Cheers & keep running against the wind.
anonymous Aug 31st, 2017 8:35am report
Bob Seger is a sailor--RUNNING AGAINST THE WIND
also refers to "running" in sailing, which is a sailing direction WITH THE WIND AT YOUR BACK. Running against it would be just the opposite.
so you see running against the wind refers to "struggles".
Bob uses many references to sailing in his songs.
anonymous May 31st, 2017 5:42pm report
The truth of deep young love. The strength of two hearts going against anything and always tied together.
Year's go by and You always reach back to the memories and your heart strings pull when you realize without that person you're still running against the wind.
anonymous Apr 7th, 2017 4:29pm report
He thought of lyrics while out running on a windy day.
anonymous Mar 1st, 2014 3:09pm report
For the record the line " wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then" was written by Glen Frey from the Eagles who coincidently also for the first time he was on a recording was Bob Seger's Rambling Gambling Man. They were friends in Detroit in their late teens. Glen Frey also arranged the song musically and originally played the piano, and it was his idea to have the guitar part layered over the piano part and is singing back up. If you listen to the song with that in mind especially the latter part of the song I mentioned you can hear the Eagles signature sound and style. I believe during the same time period this song was written was when the eagles were struggling to write songs for the long run album and Glen Frey took a long break and worked w/ Seger. During that time period Seger helped him write Heartache Tonight. Which as I mentioned Frey's style is reflected on Against the Wind, Seger's style is all over Heartache tonight.
anonymous Sep 28th, 2012 9:51am report
This is one of my favorite Bob Seger songs. It definitely refers to an earlier love that he is remembering and reflecting upon. Everyone does this as they grow older in life - lessons learned from past experiences in relationships with past loves. The best line of the song to me has always been, "Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then." I can so relate to that. They say love is blind, but somewhere along the line the eyes open and the truth sets in and when it does, it hits so hard and you certainly feel like you are "running against the wind." And two lives that at one time seemed inseperable begin to sever and take different paths in life. This song is definitely a testament to Seger's ballad writing genius.
anonymous May 12th, 2012 5:33am report
I think the song is simply about growing up. You think things are tough when you are young, yet they become harder everyday. As time goes on, you wish you could go back to a simpler time and life. The title sums it up for the most part. A GREAT song, with some GREAT lyrics! As far as the line, "Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then", B.S. said when he first wrote the song, he did not like the line at all. Everyone told him it was great, and he decided to leave it in. He claimed he made a good choice, as he has heard the line used in several hit songs, so it must have been good.
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