"Starship Trooper (Suite)" as written by and Chris Squire....
Sister Bluebird flying high above,
Shine your wings forward to the sun.
Hide the myst'ries of life on your way.
Though you've seen them, please don't say a word.
What you don't know, I have never heard.

Starship Trooper, go sailing on by,
Catch my soul, catch the very night.
Hide the moment from my eager eyes.
Though you've seen them, please don't tell a soul.
What you can't see, can't be very whole.

Speak to me of summer, long winters longer than time can remember,
Setting up of other roads, travel on in old accustomed ways.
I still remember the talks by the water, the proud sons and daughters that,
In the knowledge of the land, spoke to me in sweet accustomed ways.

Mother life, hold firmly on to me.
Catch my knowledge higher than the day.
Lose as much as only you can show.
Though you've seen them, please don't say a word.
What I don't know, I have never shared.

Loneliness is a power that we possess to give or take away forever.
All I know can be shown by your acceptance of the fact there shown before you.
Take what I say in a diff'rent way and it's easy to see that this is all confusion.
As I see a new day in me, I can also show if you and you may follow.

Speak to me of summer, long winters longer than time can remember,
Setting up of other roads, travel on in old accustomed ways.
I still remember the talks by the water, the proud sons and daughters that,
In the knowledge of the land, spoke to me in sweet accustomed ways.


Lyrics submitted by RoboLuncheon

"Starship Trooper" as written by Chris Squire

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Starship Trooper (Suite) song meanings
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  • +6
    General CommentThis is the true interpretation of Starship Trooper. One day I was high enough to fully grasp all the concepts. Hope you enjoy.

    Sister Bluebird flying high above,
    Shine your wings forward to the sun.
    Hide the mysteries of life on your way.
    Though you've seen them, please don't say a word.
    What you don't know, I have never heard.

    This first verse describes how people in civilization admire the bluebirds for having the ability to fly and be free. Since nothing is new under the sun, the bluebirds know everything as they fly towards the sun, but they have no means of telling anyone the mysteries of the universe. Then he says, "hey if you're not telling us the mysteries of the universe, you must not know them." Since the bluebirds can't talk, this is a backhanded statement trying to make themselves feel less enfeeble to the fact that the bluebirds know more than they do.

    Starship Trooper, go sailing on by,
    Catch my soul, catch the very light.
    Hide the moment from my eager eye.
    Though you've seen them, please don't tell a soul.
    What you can't see can't be very whole.

    Now a person is admiring a spaceshuttle blasting into space filled with starship troopers. The starship troopers see amazing things in space, but "what we can't see, can't be very whole" means the person on Earth is saying... maybe we're not supposed to see the mysteries of the universe.

    Speak to me of summer, long winters, longer than time can remember,
    The setting up of other roads to travel on in old accustomed ways.
    I still remember the talks by the water, the proud sons and daughters that
    Knew the knowledge of the land, that spoke to me in sweet accustomed ways.

    This describes the great excitement and intrigue of the first spaceship going into space. The proud sons and daughters are in amazement. People remember the growth of civilization but realize the spaceship launching into space so much more important. They then see everything that happens in the world is irrelevant and small compared to the vast mystery and possibilities of traveling into space.

    Mother life, hold firmly on to me.
    Catch my knowledge higher than the day.
    Lose as much as only you can show.
    Though you've seen them, please don't say a word.
    What I don't know I have never heard.

    This is the person of the song asking Mother Nature to show him everything - all the knowledge he can handle, but only show as much mystery as you can, without giving away the mystery of life. Talking directly to mother life as an entity, the person tells mother life not to tell anyone of all the mysteries of the universe. Because though mother life knows all of the mysteries, the person doesn't want there to be no mystery to the universe anymore. If there were no mystery to life, life would be boring.

    Loneliness is a power that we possess to give or take away forever.
    All I know can be shown by your acceptance of the facts, they're shown before you.
    Take what I say in a different way and it's easy to say that this is all confusion.
    As I see a new day in me, I can also show it you and you may follow.

    Loneliness comes from having no faith in the notion that the mysteries of the universe aren't all just science and fact. The more you accept the facts and science of things, the less you believe in the mystic mysteries and limitless possibilities of the universe. When you stop believing that there's something more out there, you become lonely.
    "Take what I say in a different way and it's easy to say that this is all confusion" - This means, the concept of limitless mystery of the universe may be a hard concept to grasp if you don't want to hear it. As the person now understands that there are far-out mysteries and phenomena that can't be explained, he can show you that there are these phenomena if you just believe in the mysteries of the unknown. Then, your outlook on life can be changed just as his has.

    Speak to me of summer, long winters, longer than time can remember,
    The setting up of other roads to travel on in old accustomed ways.
    I still remember the talks by the water, the proud sons and daughters that
    Knew the knowledge of the land, spoke to me in sweet accustomed ways.

    This verse is repeated to jump back to the day of the first space shuttle launching into space. Everyone marvels that it can be done and everything else they've ever seen in their lives means nothing next to this epic event - the first space travel.

    III: Wurm (Instrumental)

    This depicts the launching of the space shuttle. The count down. The anticipation builds up. It feels like forever before the spaceship is launched and the guitar solo begins. When it finally happens, it (the spaceshuttle launch and the guitar solo) is the best thing that has ever happened.

    I love Yes.
    Obelizkon December 03, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI did a little web search to see if I could find any insight from Jon Anderson regarding the meaning of his Starship Trooper lyrics. Lo and Behold, here is what I found from an interview dated in this current year; 2010 ... He states, "We are the caretakers of the Earth. And the idea of the lyric just coming out in a clear definition was basically what I was doing with “Starship Trooper go sailing on by.” For me, “Starship Trooper” was my higher self talking to me. “Sister Bluebird” - my higher self. It was my higher self saying “I know where you are, I’ve seen who you are, but I’m not going to tell you because you’ve got to discover it yourself”: “Though you see me, please don’t tell a soul.” What I haven’t seen, I can’t tell. It’s not very whole until I’ve seen it. So it’s all metaphors. That’s when I went through that very strong period of just sketching and writing whatever I sang as being a state of consciousness."
    milmont77on July 17, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song may be about the limits of speech. In each verse the narrator addresses a wise (or mystical) figure, who is privy to mysteries, knowledge, etc. But in each verse, he tells the 'enlightened' to shut up ("Don't you say a word," "Don't you tell a soul").

    Either this Life Seeker can only preserve his sense of mystery by remaining an ignoramus, OR he knows that words cannot express the ineffable, and that what the Starhip Trooper, or Sister Bluebird, knows, can't be told in speech. (Words are better at conveying that which is familiar to us - "in sweet accustomed ways.")

    The fact that "What *you* don't know I have never heard" becomes "What *I* don't know I have never heard" might be a punchline supporting the 'ignoramus' reading, but "Disillusion" seems to favor the second reading.

    The "Disillusioned" narrator mentions that what he knows is only relevant if you accept what he says as fact, but when he says things, they can be mistaken, and misunderstood, and "this is all confusion." However, when he stops "saying" and starts "showing" you the day in him, it becomes a possibility that "you may follow."

    Direct, inexpressible, human experience, or religious experience, or world experience, is often reduced or betrayed by words. The Life Seeker shares his soul with the Starship Trooper, and lets Mother Life hold him, but doesn't speak to them or let them speak to him.
    paracleteon October 29, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI've always taken a more literal view of this song--I think it refers to wars, and how unfair wars are to the soldiers who have to fight in them. The middle portion of the song (Disillusion) exemplifies this to me. The line, "loneliness is a pow'r that we possess to give or take away forever," speaks to me about life and death and how easy it is to cause some woman half a world away to become a widow when you have no other choice. The movement ends with, "As I see a new day in me, I can also show it you and you may follow," which I think is about how war changes the soldiers in a way they never knew possible, but all they can do is hope to pass on what they have learned to the guy next to them, and hopefully it will keep both of them alive.

    One of the greatest things about good music is that it can mean so many different things to the people who listen to it. This is one of those songs whose meaning is dependant upon the listener, and that's one reason I love Yes--regardless of the musicians' intentions, this song has a deep and emotional impact no matter what your interpretation.
    georgeg2on March 15, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI believe"Wurm" was a stage of the ice age...it`s probably where the word "warm" was derived. Kinda makes sense now if you listen to it and think of ice melting and a sense of warmth and growth ?
    chromatiqueon April 06, 2007   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI totally agree with the "limits of speech" interpretation.
    THOUGH YOU'VE +SEEN+ THEM, PLEASE DON'T +SAY+ A WORD.
    THOUGH YOU'VE +SEEN+ THEM, PLEASE DON'T +TELL+ A SOUL.
    CATCH MY KNOWLEDGE HIGHER THAN THE DAY.
    LOOSE AS MUCH AS ONLY YOU CAN +SHOW+.
    You can fully understand only by experiencing something on your own. Words cause confusion, give way to many different interpretations, thus are inaccurate ways of communication. That's why he asks different knowledgeable entities not to say anything, but only to show.

    THE SETTING UP OF OTHER ROADS TO TRAVEL ON IN OLD ACCUSTOMED WAYS.
    Knew knowledge (OTHER ROADS) can be understood through experience ( OLD ACCUSTOMED WAYS)

    LONELINESS IS A POWER THAT WE POSSESS TO GIVE OR TAKE AWAY FOREVER.
    Loneliness is the lack of communication. You can "give" others loneliness, that is, express something in an unclear way, so that you are "not together on the facts", you see 1 thing differently;
    OR you can take this barrier away by just experiencing something together, looking at the same facts.
    ALL I KNOW CAN BE SHOWN BY YOUR ACCEPTANCE OF THE FACTS, THEY'RE SHOWN BEFORE YOU.
    TAKE WHAT I SAY IN A DIFFERENT WAY AND IT'S EASY TO SAY THAT THIS IS ALL CONFUSION.

    zamiaston April 30, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe fact that the second part is called "Disillusion" really just opened my eyes. I'm not sure who is speaking, but it's the meaning rather than the person. Maybe this will all fit together in several comments, and the real meaning of this song will be revealed bit by bit.

    To me, the lyrics in "Disillusion" can be summed up in this: You can only know how I say, not how I mean. That is, my words can be taken any way, but only if you know how I mean them, can they make sense. That brings it back to the theory that this song is about the inadequacies of speech and how meanings beyond words can not be conveyed.

    Who knows? Maybe it is really about an emissary from another planet trying to tell us the meaning to the universe, but finding difficulty due to our speech process. Maybe it's about us taking to the stars, expanding, and trying to learn the meanings of the universe and then teach them, only to find no success.
    tjrieveson June 14, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWithout a doubt my favorite song ever
    mudfooton May 06, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentCan't beleive no one commented on this


    awsome song

    The beauty and ugliness of life
    kukerdanon July 25, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentokay, it's a strange song (typical of Yes) but i'll try a few key lines.

    "Sister Bluebird" sister implies a familial closeness with something/one of feminine qualities, bluebird is something beautiful, innocent, and natural. i'm thinking "Sister Bluebird" is kind of like saying 'mother nature' except 'sister' implies that the speaker is equal to SB.

    gotta go, i'll try to post more later.
    findsomepeaceon September 06, 2005   Link

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