I cry, but I can't buy
Your Veteran's Day poppy.
It don't get me high.
It can only make me cry.
It can never grow another
Son, like the one who warmed me my days
After rain, and warmed my breath.
My life's blood
Screamin', empty, she crys.
It don't get me high.
It can only make me cry;
Your Veteran's Day poppy.


Lyrics submitted by blackled222

"Veteran's Day Poppy" as written by Don Van Vliet

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Veteran's Day Poppy song meanings
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5 Comments

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  • +3
    General Comment"High" is a metaphor. Beefheart is saying that he can't get any enjoyment out of the poppy-wearing rememberence details, and he is crying because it is glorifying war.
    fearpanic4on July 27, 2014   Link
  • +2
    General CommentAhhh, another "drug song". I'm pretty sure this song is about a mother who has lost her son in a war (Vietnam) and can't bring herself to buy a Veteran's Day poppy because it can't do anything to mend the hole her son's death left.
    mgetzon February 02, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt is a joke about Veteran's poppy vs opium poppy. Veteran's day poppy seems to be a tradition in California (I'm French, forgive me if I'm wrong about this). Pretty cool song for closing Trout Mask Replica double album.
    GammaZon April 04, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhy is this a drug song? I agree with the rest of mgetz's interpretation, but I think the drug reference is just superficial. The character is just saying, 'this poppy doesn't make me feel any better. I ought to buy a poppy but I can't, because it hurts me to think of the significance of it.'
    grazbosson April 21, 2010   Link
  • -1
    General CommentA none-too-veiled condemnation of the drug-addled '60s? Seems that to me.
    Israffelon January 04, 2010   Link

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