What does Against the Wind mean?

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Bob Seger: Against the Wind Meaning

Song Released: 1980

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Against the Wind Lyrics

It seems like yesterday
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...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    Jun 16th 2010 report

    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!


    #2 top rated interpretation:
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    Sep 28th 2012 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.


    #3 top rated interpretation:
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    Sep 26th 2009 report

    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.

  4. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jul 29th 2020 report

    I really enjoy the song and many of Bob Seger's music..
    However, I have heard this song is actually about hell ..a repeating of one's life without any way of now going back to your original life choices
    ..interpret how you will ,, it's still a great tune

  5. Moe
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    Jan 3rd 2020 report

    This is one of my all time favorite songs. I think because I relate to the lyrics so much.

    Life doesn't always turn out the way we planned. For a lot of us we at some point in our life get way, way sidetracked.

    Some how we manage to climb out of that hole, grow up and live our life. But even when we get to that point. it can still feel like we are running against the wind.

  6. anonymous
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    Sep 21st 2019 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

  7. anonymous
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    Jul 18th 2019 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."
    -from wikipedia

    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.

  8. anonymous
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    Jul 17th 2019 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,

  9. anonymous
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    Jul 17th 2019 report

    It’s a beautiful captivating song with wonderful lyrics that has a good story.

  10. anonymous
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    Jul 16th 2019 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......

  11. anonymous
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    Jul 16th 2019 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.

  12. anonymous
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    Jan 5th 2019 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!!

  13. anonymous
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    Jun 4th 2018 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.

  14. anonymous
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    Aug 31st 2017 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.

  15. anonymous
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    May 31st 2017 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.

  16. anonymous
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    Apr 7th 2017 report

    He thought of lyrics while out running on a windy day.

  17. m320753
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    Mar 3rd 2014 report

    This song is the epitome of the saying, no matter where life takes you " you will never forget the first person you fell in love with".

  18. anonymous
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    Mar 1st 2014 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.

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