What does Black Cow mean?

Steely Dan: Black Cow Meaning

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Album cover for Black Cow album cover

Black Cow Lyrics

In the corner
Of my eye
I saw you in Rudy's
You were very high
You were high
It was a cryin' disgrace
They saw your face

On the counter
By your keys
Was a book of numbers
And your remedies
One of these
Surely will screen out the...

  1. anonymous
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    Sep 25th 2022 !⃝

    After hearing the melody first then lyrics, something comes to mind and that this .. In the corner of my eye I saw you at Rudy your were very high ( you were high )
    So clearly a drug problem

    “On the counter by your keys is book of numbers and your remedies ..

    Book of numbers ( drug dealers to get that fix )
    Remedies —- how to mix or what to mix .. such as speed balls .

    I think back when the song was written air play did not allow certain words expressed so written in parables .. big black cow ( herion ) since herion is not allowed to be said … black cow also could refer to black herion ( monster stuff) with Donald who knows lol

  2. anonymous
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    Sep 7th 2022 !⃝

    Steely Dan frequently writes lyrics in the female tense about drunk male behavior that send off gay kind of vibes. Through With Buzz is an example. Black Cow is another. This song is creepy because itsounds like it is written by some weak homo who is finally fed up with being last in line taking it from some alpha male gay who has multiple nightly conquests before returning home to the poor sap narrating this song.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  3. anonymous
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    Apr 16th 2022 !⃝

    I agree with all other interpretations a desperate drunk girl. When it's all over she continues to run to him. It's the " Black Cow " a song listening to over and over.

  4. anonymous
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    Jan 27th 2022 !⃝

    It's about a person in a relationship with someone who has drug and alcohol problems.
    It's not necessarily a romantic relationship because the reference to the "book of numbers" means "phone numbers of people I can call for a one-night stand" and presumably when drunk or high.
    "How all the pros play the game (change your name)" is a safer way to hook up with strangers or be part of a scene than using your own name.

    "You will stagger homeward to your precious one (I'm the one)" means the singer is always the one they turn to for help when things crash, and they're tired of it.

  5. anonymous
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    Nov 28th 2020 !⃝

    This song reflects a relationship similar to that between Charlie and Paulie in Pope of Greenwich Village; is the character about whom “It’s Probably Me” is written about…
    He’ll recount the story, and the person won’t even remember… So outrageous… ;-)

  6. anonymous
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    Sep 23rd 2018 !⃝

    STEELY DAN'S ''Black Cow'' song meaning for me, especially if you're a concerned Palestinian/Israeli citizen, Jewish or not, that's about the holy Cow's charred by fire remains. Which was/is 'another way' of saying by the ''Book Of Numbers'' in this song, that's to His[the Protagonist's] girlfriend. Which could be a modern day Israeli ''High'' Priestress who's also high at the bar. In a new way for her to take her ''red heifer'' new born drink that was ''raised up'' to be a sacrifice without a blemish and then for Her to get out of the state of Israel and leave Him alone drinking at the bar.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  7. anonymous
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    Aug 20th 2017 !⃝

    He's in love with a party girl and has had his fill.

  8. anonymous
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    Jan 16th 2017 !⃝

    A Black Cow is a mixed drink. "Ie". Booze

    Take your big black cow an get out of here


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