Ann Wilson wrote these angry lyrics about her record company, Mushroom Records, whom she discovered was trying to spread untrue rumors that she was having an affair with sister and bandmate Nancy Wilson, in...

So this ain't the end, I saw you again, today
I had to turn my heart away
Smiled like the sun, kisses for everyone
And tales, it never fails

You lying so low in the weeds
I bet you gonna ambush me
You'd have me down, down, down on my knees
Now wouldn't you, Barracuda? Oh

Back over time we were all trying for free
You met the porpoise and me
No right, no wrong you're selling a song, a name
Whisper game

If the real thing don't do the trick
You better make up something quick
You gonna burn, burn, burn, burn, burn to the wick
Oooo, Barracuda, oh yeah

"Sell me, sell you" the porpoise said
Dive down deep to save my head
You, I think you got the blues too

All that night and all the next
Swam without looking back
Made for the western pools, silly, silly fools

If the real thing don't do the trick, no
You better make up something quick
You gonna burn, burn, burn, burn, burn it to the wick
Oooo, Barra-Barracuda



Lyrics submitted by Ice

"Barracuda" as written by Ann Wilson, Roger Douglas Fisher, Michael Joseph Derosier, Nancy Lamoureaux Wilson

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Barracuda song meanings
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  • +10
    General Comment:I saw Ann Wilson interviewed and she said it was about this music industry guy, and idiot journalist, who she was pissed off at. Prior to her seeing him at a party, she and her sister Nancy had been talked into posing topless (only from the shoulders up), back to back to each other, for the cover of an album. I have the CD but can't think of the name just now. It has "Crazy on You" and "Dreamboat Annie" on it. Later taboid headlines screamed crap like "Lesbian sisters! blah, blah." Anyway, at this party the jerk asked her how her lover was. She replied that Mike (her boyfriend at the time and also THE "Magic Man") was doing fine, etc. And the jerk said, "No, I mean your sister, your lesbian lover." Of course Ann blew up and she immediately after wrote "Barracuda" as a response to the experience -- probably not just of the jerk's insensitive comments, but the whole way their handlers were trying to package Heart, and the subsequent insaneness of the press's response to the album cover. Unfortunately, their physical attributes were always ever after brought into play instead of just the incredble music! Their handlers tried to exploit their good looks and then when Ann gained weight, that's all people could see even though she still had the same voice and musicianship she had before. I think people can't handle women in power a lot of the time and try to ruin it by putting it all down to looks and physical traits when everyone knows they have so much more inside -- no matter what the outside looks like -- good or bad -- and by whose standards of beauty anyway? Ann and Nancy ran that band and were the driving force creatively. Who can even remember the name or face of any of the GUYS in that band? Oh, except for the one guy that Nancy dumped, the former drummer I think, and we've seen him in interviews whining about it! It's probably not fair to those guys really that they didn't get any publicity while their management was always trying to push the image of the beautiful sisters. When you first heard the band Heart come on the radio, you heard the music, and you had no idea what they looked like did you? It's the same with all music you love, it transcends the physical and takes you to someplace deep inside yourself that it touches.
    zengirl41on September 10, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:I think it's one of those many songs about being a rock star and money and managers and deception and all that fun shit that comes with it.
    darksparkleson May 29, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:I may be totally pulling this outta my %*$, but...

    Think about the imagery that "barracuda" & "porpoise" conjure....

    The words themselves-- the double-r's and the hard k sound are very harsh, whereas "porpoise" has a more lyrical quality, d/t to the vowels & soft "puh" sound. Also, think of words that come to mind when you see the two words (don't think about their meaning or the sea creatures they represent)... to me, at least, the two collections of letters call up very different types of feelings and words.

    Now, think about the animals represented by the words... a barracuda is a nasty fish... it has an ugly prognathous jaw, filled with sharp teeth... looks like it is sticking its jaw out in defiance or anger. And yes, they are incredibly fast (and, dangerously graceful), with their long, narrow, spear-like bodies, but they are also vicious, and are powerful hunters.

    The porpoise, however, is definitely much "cuddlier" (in most ppl's perception, although ppl often confuse dolphin & porpoise). There's that whole intelligence-language thing (clicks, squeals, grunts, etc.), plus their sociability (the pod thing, the caring-for-their-young thing)-- although they aren't as into people as dolphins are--...

    And then, don't forget:
    barracuda=cold-blooded fish (reptilian)
    porpoise=warm-blooded mammal

    So perhaps the porpoise is the muse, the creativity, the spirit... why Ann & Nancy got into music, if you will. The goodness & beauty & freedom of their craft; it will take them to lofty, inspired places where they can swim free (so to speak). They were trying to sell a song, to share their talents with the world, and no, it wasn't right OR wrong, it just was. But when they sold the good porpoise (purpose??) they also risked selling their own souls, as the porpoise warned them could happen before it tried to dive deep to escape the predatory barracuda...

    And they met up (inevitably) with the barracuda, who gave false kisses and platitudes, & smiled so big (like) with the sun glinting off its many shiny sharp teeth... they had to turn off (away) their hearts (which is the representation of their very being... the band name & all...)... risking their identity as well as their integrity... and you might sell your soul, sell your good name, sell your values... but when you sell your identity, do you have ANYTHING left?!?!

    Then, of course, I could go into the whole symbolism of the west, and the masculine and the feminine (illustrated by the phallic, hard, fierce, survivalist barracuda) and the feminine (the porpoise: wise, motherly, softer-silhouetted, more social, and seens as a protector leading the speaker into the mythical western pools which seem almost elysian ...)

    But I won't.

    No matter what, the speaker realized s/he must follow the porpoise (purpose?!) to his/ her true destiny, tucking his/ her head, diving deep, and doing what is necessary and right, no looking back, no regrets, ... leaving the fools to their mundaneness.
    charvanaon April 13, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:We all know that the walrus was Paul, so maybe the porpoise is Nancy.
    Maggie Sausageon December 03, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:In response to "shauncreaney" who wrote me an email questioning where I got my info from here is my response:

    I've seen it in a couple of different interviews with Ann Wilson and also Nancy Wilson on tv. The main one where I got quotes from about the origins of "Barracuda" and also about the way they were marketed, etc. was VH1's "Behind the Music" on Heart. The show on them is fantastic! And what is so great is it is the actual musicians themselves talking so you know it's not just gossip! Keep an eye out for it in reruns, it is a great show especially if you like Heart and their music. Also, if you check out the album "Dreamboat Annie" it has the picture of them where it looks like they have no tops on. Tabloids had this same pictured plastered on the cover with headlines like "Lesbian sisters..." or something to that effect. They showed one of those newspapers on the show. Nancy Wilson talks about how she was told that she had the good body and that Ann had the face and that's how they wanted to market them. I think they even had her painted gold, with big hair, etc. which she hated. It shows that on the show too.

    I'm wondering shauncreaney, where did you get all that info about it being about a prostitute and her pimp, etc.? That's an amazing idea!

    Beth

    Beth
    zengirl41on September 24, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:well I dont care what the meaning is because all of your peoples sounds convincing. But its got a good tune, some good lyrics, and some licks on the guitar. and that line "barracuda" just the way she says it is cool and funny. I could vouch for the pimp and the prostitute and all that cause when I take a look at it, it does, but the press does seem good too. Who knows, we'd probably be way off for all I care.
    Yakuza Warlordon June 29, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:it's about the papparazzi
    hoydenon October 14, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:it also is heavilly influenced by Led Zeppelin's 'Achilles Last Stand"
    Ben2k9on January 19, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:Greeaaat song.... I can't figure out who the posrpoise and barracuda are. The guy I like always listens to this song.
    polka27on March 30, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:ha ha ha love this song, that guitar riff can be stuck in my head for hours,
    Neruon August 02, 2005   Link

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