Seventy-three men sailed up from the San Francisco Bay
Rolled off of their ship, and here's what they had to say
"We're callin' everyone to ride along to another shore
We can laugh our lives away and be free once more"

But no one heard them callin', no one came at all
'Cause they were too busy watchin' those old raindrops fall
As a storm was blowin' out on the peaceful sea
Seventy-three men sailed off to history

Ride, captain ride upon your mystery ship
Be amazed at the friends you have here on your trip
Ride captain ride upon your mystery ship
On your way to a world that others might have missed

Seventy-three men sailed up from the San Francisco Bay
Rolled off of their ship, and here's what they had to say
"We're callin' everyone to ride along to another shore
We can laugh our lives away and be free once more"

But no one heard them callin', no one came at all
'Cause they were too busy watchin' those old raindrops fall
As a storm was blowin' out on the peaceful sea
Seventy-three men sailed off to history

Ride, captain ride upon your mystery ship
Be amazed at the friends you have here on your trip
Ride captain ride upon your mystery ship
On your way to a world that others might have missed

Ride, captain ride upon your mystery ship
Be amazed at the friends you have here on your trip


Lyrics submitted by richie


Ride Captain Ride song meanings
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11 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentThe song was inspired by the number of keys on Pinera's Rhodes piano:
    So I say, "Okay, I need a first word." And what came into my head was 73. I liked the rhythm, and I went, "73 men sailed in, from the San Francisco Bay." ... The song sort of just wrote itself from there.[1]
    —Mike Pinera
    HarleyRideron September 03, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentgreat song.
    sweetbaby17on June 30, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI believe this song is about the USS Pueblo. This was an American Navy ship manned by communications technicians with secret equipment. the ship was stationed very near the coast of North Korea in 1968 and was monitoring communications from the North Korean military. The captain of the ship Lloyd Bucher was not a communications technician and he war odered to a certain location and when the ship was attacked by the North Koreans he and his crew were abandoned by the U S Navy. They were held as POWs for almost a year.
    yarluapon July 10, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI was thinking the song was set in the 1800's in the gold rush or earlier era..... no particular reason for that line of thought.

    However the above explanation is plausible as the song was written about 1968-1969 ie. immediatekly after the event described.
    chrisb1on July 13, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentPS: The US Pueblo had a crew of 83 men (one was killed in the incident). This song references 73 men.

    So I'm none the wiser about this song's meaning. I'ts really bugging me cause it's such a great sounding tune.

    Please Mr Mike Panera could you explain..........
    chrisb1on July 13, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe whole "too busy watchin' those old raindrops fall" part references BJ Thomas' version of Burt Bacharach's song "Rain Drops Keep Fallin' On My Head," another single from 1970.
    ferret111on January 19, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHarleyRider is correct.seventy three keys on the piano.refer to wikipedia.google for the meaning of any song.Twas brilley the slivey cove.
    ohmson February 14, 2009   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningThere were seventy-three keys on Mike Pinera's Rhodes (electric) piano.
    georgewehrwellon March 01, 2011   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningI always thought it was about Jerry Garcia, aka Capt Trips, ergo references to SF, and lyrics in the chorus ("upon your mystery ship, be amazed at the friends you're having on your trip," "on your way to a world that others might have missed"); also line in verse: "we're callin' everyone to ride along/to another shore/we can laugh our lives away/and be free once more" - all of it could certainly be about LSD experience. Not sure how lyrics can apply to Pueblo situation?

    I might be wrong, just my 2 cents
    mrmikeobon July 23, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commentagree with mrmikeob - jerry's birthday was this week and this song is about him. it has one of the most curious lyrics: "As a storm was blowin' out on the peaceful sea" I think it is a reference to Bertha - "dressed myself in green, I went down unto the sea" The Dead (storm blowin') were testing God (peaceful sea) and wanted others to join them on the trip.
    lightningkeyson August 03, 2011   Link

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