What does Wooden Ships mean?

Crosby Stills Nash & Young: Wooden Ships Meaning

Album cover for Wooden Ships album cover

Wooden Ships Lyrics

If you smile at me, I will understand
'Cause that is something everybody everywhere does in the same language.
I can see by your coat, my friend,
You're from the other side,
There's just one thing I got to know,
Can you tell me please, who...

  1. anonymous
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    Dec 22nd 2020 !⃝

    It is about Crosby sailing out on his boat to scatter the ashes of his girlfriend Christine Hinton who died in a car accident while taking her Cats to the vet in 1969. I heard him explain it.

  2. anonymous
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    Dec 19th 2019 !⃝

    It seems as if "Wooden Ships" is about the affects of war, and the US dominance over other countries, and people deciding that they can no longer help the people they've presumably been trying to help, so that the only way they can help is to leave that country, and go back to their own homeland, with their sisters.

  3. anonymous
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    Feb 6th 2019 !⃝

    In 1803, Brooke Johnson And Steven Johnson had a young child, the child had a cleft palate. He did not breathe for 3 minutes and 2 seconds. They threw him in the fireplace to cure the condition. A wooden stick rose up with a king cobra head. When the the stick turned to metal, the lamp was used to cultivate marijuana.

  4. anonymous
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    Jan 23rd 2018 !⃝

    The Monitor is a Civil War ship made of metal.

  5. anonymous
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    Jul 28th 2017 !⃝

    The title lead me to think of war in colonial times (circa The Monitor) where sea battles were fought in wooden ships. The reference "your coat" might refer to a uniform, as in Blue vs Gray. I envisioned the 2 men as survivors on a charred and smoking battlefield. Out of rations, only berries were available. The enemy combatant,or maybe both men, are wounded and one is unable to speak. It is a one sided commentary. But now they are no longer enemies.

    The battle is over. Which of them fought for the winning side, or did ANYONE actually win?

    In contrast to nuclear war, whereby nothing would survive (except maybe penguins on the South Pole)this is in the wooden ships era

  6. astorian
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    Oct 25th 2012 !⃝

    The song was written by Stephen Stills, David Crosby and Jefferson Airplane leader Paul Kantner while they were together in Crosby's sailboat in the Caribbean. At first, they were having fun, and started writing a song about living forever on a boat, just floating peacefully forever in perfect freedom and happiness.

    Then, their fantasy took a dark turn, and the resulting song,"Wooden Ships," was about the aftermath of a nuclear war.

    Weeks after the smoke from the atomic bombs and missiles clears, one survivor meets a surviving soldier from the enemy side. He asks the soldier, ironically, if he knows which side "won" in this insane war.

    They don't understand each other's languages, but they exchange smiles and share some berries (which must not be contaminated), which one of them has been surviving on.

    The survivor dreams of building a wooden boat, finding some women, and sailing away to someplace better. The place he's in has been destroyed beyond salvation... but perhaps, if he could sail away, he might find someplace where there's still hope, still some kind of future for humanity.

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