Steppenwolf: Born to be Wild Meaning
Song Released: 1968
Born to be Wild Lyrics
Head out on the highway
Lookin' for adventure
And whatever comes our way
Yeah Darlin' go make it happen
Take the world in a love embrace
Fire all of your guns at once
And explode into space
anonymous Jun 26th, 6:49am report
This was written by Mars Bonfire, which is the stage name of Dennis Edmonton. He wasn't a member of Steppenwolf, but his brother Jerry was the band's drummer. Bonfire wrote a few other songs for Steppenwolf as well, including "Ride With Me" and "Tenderness."
Explaining how he came up with the song, Bonfire said: "I was walking down Hollywood Boulevard one day and saw a poster in a window saying 'Born to Ride' with a picture of a motorcycle erupting out of the earth like a volcano with all this fire around it. Around this time I had just purchased my first car, a little secondhand Ford Falcon. So all this came together lyrically: the idea of the motorcycle coming out along with the freedom and joy I felt in having my first car and being able to drive myself around whenever I wanted. 'Born To Be Wild' didn't stand out initially. Even the publishers at Leeds Music didn't take it as the first or second song I gave them. They got it only because I signed as a staff writer. Luckily, it stood out for Steppenwolf. It's like a fluke rather than an achievement, though."
anonymous Jul 3rd, 2012 7:20pm report
Born to be Wild is a Viet Nam War protest song. It was written and released during the time of protest over the war.
The first verse uses the slang of helicopter pilots as they start the engines and begin their aerial patrol, ready to take on anything.
The second verse refers to the smoke and thunder of a heavily armed helicopter in combat and heavy metal lightening is referring to the flash created by the weapons as they were fired.
The bridge lyrics refer to being a child of nature as is discussed in philosophy. Man's nature is one of wildness and self preservation, but it is within the context of the laws of nature where peaceful coexistence is prime. Within the laws of nature man can climb above his internal nature, but at the same time, his internal nature is one of self preservation.
The chorus is where everyone gets confused when they try to interpret it as a biker song. Bikes can't "fire all their guns" and "explode into space" as they are not armed war machines. Combat helicopters are capable of exploding into space.
anonymous Jun 17th, 2011 6:54am report
I think it sounds a bit like it's about protesting the Korean War. It was released at about the same time, and some of the lyrics sound a bit like it's about being peaceful, and influencing others in mass quantities. "Get your motor running" Sounds like he means "Get ready for the event", the event being a war protest. "We can climb so high," Sounds like it means that multiple people are grouping together, , making their influence high all around the country. "Yeah darling, go make it happen": Stop the war. "Take the world in a love embrace.": Do I even need to explain this one? "Like a true nature's child.": Nature is often thought of as peaceful. They are people who are like nature. Maybe this isn't what it's supposed to mean, but I think it really sounds like one of those songs with a hidden meaning.
JasmineStar Aug 11th, 2009 8:27am report
This is one of the early metal songs, "heavy metal thunder". In this song you can almost feel the wind in your hair riding a motor bike, maybe a Harley, and feeling free. The song has movement that mirrors that feeling, and it has a lot of images of freedom that just flow in with that feeling, like "explode into space". It is one of the best early metal songs, full of passion.
More Steppenwolf song meanings »
Submit Your Interpretation
|The Only Exception||anonymous|
|19 You + Me||anonymous|
|(I Used To Make Out With) Medusa||kooljohn176|
|Three Wooden Crosses||anonymous|
|Knockin' On Heaven's Door||anonymous|
|Like I Can||anonymous|
|Stairway To Heaven||anonymous|