"Where to Now St. Peter?" as written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin....
I took myself a blue canoe
And I floated like a leaf
Dazzling, dancing
Half enchanted
In my Merlin sleep

Crazy was the feeling
Restless were my eyes
Insane they took the paddles
My arms they paralysed

So where to now St. Peter
If it's true I'm in your hands
I may not be a Christian
But I've done all one man can
I understand I'm on the road
Where all that was is gone
So where to now St. Peter
Show me which road I'm on

Which road I'm on
It took a sweet young foreign gun
This lazy life is short
Something for nothing always ending
With a bad report

Dirty was the daybreak
Sudden was the change
In such a silent place as this
Beyond the rifle range

So where to now St. Peter
If it's true I'm in your hands
I may not be a Christian
But I've done all one man can
I understand I'm on the road
Where all that was is gone
So where to now St. Peter
Show me which road I'm on
Which road I'm on

I took myself a blue canoe


Lyrics submitted by toadtws

"Where to Now St. Peter?" as written by Elton John Bernie Taupin

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Where to Now St. Peter? song meanings
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  • +2
    General Commentthats the second verse the first one is about an drug aduict
    zameronon January 17, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's about someone who's been killed in war.
    gweepson August 24, 2006   Link
  • +1
    MemoryAs a Vietnam Veteran (1966 mostly around the DMZ) I immediately identified with the lyric 'It took a sweet young foreign gun'. Indeed. The courage of those 'peasants' standing up to the most vicious military in history (not at all how I saw it at the time!) was a wake-up call for more than just some of us Vets. The relatively comfortable life of working people in advanced capitalist countries contrasts sharply with what I saw in SE Asia and the Philippines. And, I always heard the words 'This lazy life is yours' and not 'short'. I now know that, ultimately, capitalism has had nothing to offer humanity since the 1890's and THAT realization was sudden, dirty, and violent. And whether the lyrics mean I'm dead or not one thing is for sure : "I understand I'm on the road where all that was is gone" and I'll continue on that road until it ends.
    Roadsteron May 25, 2017   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it's about someone being executed by lethal injection and slipping off into death. The blue canoe is the gurney. They "took the paddles" because they're killing him, they "paralyzed his arms" because they're strapping him down. The change from day-to-day life in the prison to the silence of the execution chamber (away from the rifle range of the guards) is so sudden.
    OpalEyedEssenceon May 05, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionThis was from a detailed review of the album and seems like a good explanation:

    "Where To Now St. Peter" benefits from some tremendous Gus Dudgeon production. The song, which features a soldier killed in action as he faces St. Peter, revolves around an ethereal theme, so Dudgeon adds echo to John's stunning falsetto vocals and swirls them around the speakers as Caleb Quaye's guitar licks flicker like the flames of hell itself."

    toptenreviews.com/scripts/eframe/…
    dancingdallasdandyon June 25, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt is generally thought that Taupin, the lyricist, had in mind a soldier killed on the battlefield, either in the (U.S.) Civil War or in World War I, and finding himself drifting toward the afterlife, asking (St. Peter), "What comes next?"
    mbrachmanon February 13, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOpal Eyed Essence ... This song was released in 1970 and using Lethal Injections as a form of capital punishment do not begin until sometime around the mid-1990's. So although insightful, probably not correct.
    joeforce22on May 02, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMy take is it is clearly about death - I think we all can agree on that. I feel the two verses are about two ways one may die - but the result is the same - we "are on the road to where all that was is gone" - the lyric acknowledges that your identity and memories are gone. The song offers no answer to what lies beyond but because of the lyric I quote, I feel that Bernie was trying to accept that it may be nothingness.

    The first death in my mind was drug related - at first a pleasurable experience and then it goes bad with paralysis and death. Song writers - like Steely Dan's Deludin in Gaslighting Abbie - like to make up new names for drugs, hence Blue Canoe. Remember the narrator in the song took it voluntarily - it wasn't forced on him like in an execution. The second death feels like the Civil War - which would be in keeping with the historical period expressed in many of the other songs on Tumbleweed Connection. Of course you must accept that foreign means the other side of the conflict ( I can see how it may be interpreted as a WW1 or WW2 death ). Final though I just love the use of the double meaning of the word report - the sound of a loud gun - and a summary of one's life.
    Nigel Habercomon January 07, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe song it about a soldier being shot in the Civil War. His journey from the battlefield to the afterlife. It's not about WW1 or 2, not about Vietnam. Remember the album it came from and what Bernie was trying to do. At that time the "Band" was writing real American roots music and Bernie wanted to write his version of that time period. Tumbleweed Connection is a great album and this is one of the classic songs from that record. As always, this is my opinion but from what I have researched this is the real meaning.
    Boydmanon August 30, 2017   Link
  • -1
    General CommentI love this song. I am not sure what the meaning is, but who cares.
    kamakiriadon February 15, 2008   Link

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