"My Ride's Here" as written by Warren Zevon and Paul B. Muldoon....
I was staying at the Marriott
With Jesus and John Wayne
I was waiting for a chariot
They were waiting for a train

The sky was full of carrion
"I'll take the mazuma"
Said Jesus to Marion
"That's the 3:10 to Yuma
My ride's here..."

The Houston sky was changeless
We galloped through bluebonnets
I was wrestling with an angel
You were working on a sonnet

You said, "I believe the seraphim
Will gather up my pinto
And carry us away, Jim
Across the San Jacinto
My ride's here..."

Shelley and Keats were out in the street
And even Lord Byron was leaving for Greece
While back at the Hilton, last but not least
Milton was holding his sides

Saying, "You bravos had better be ready to fight
Or we'll never get out of East Texas tonight
The trail is long and the river is wide
And my ride's here"

I was staying at the Westin
I was playing to a draw
When in walked Charlton Heston
With the Tablets of the Law

He said, "It's still the Greatest Story"
I said, "Man I'd like to stay
But I'm bound for glory
I'm on my way
My ride's here..."


Lyrics submitted by Major Valor

"My Ride's Here" as written by Paul Muldoon Warren William Zevon

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, DOMINO PUBLISHING COMPANY

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  • +2
    General Comment I don't know if Zevon knew he was going to die when he wrote this, but he was always known for his dry wit and his penchant towards death and the macabre. He may not have gotten his "death sentence" from the doctor (his lung cancer diagnosis), but his body could have been telling him something wasn't right. Or maybe it was Zevon being in his "spit in the eye of the reaper" mentality.
    As for the song, I believe it's about his last ride on this earth to heaven. The religious and romantic allusions are there.
    We'll start there. Of course there's Jesus. The song refers to the movie (possibly book) "3:10 to Yuma" about a hero's journey to help transfer an outlaw to a train to the courthouse. The outlaw kept offering more money than the hero was going to get for the transfer. "I'll take the mazuma" (money) could mean Jesus was going to let him off the death train.
    Charleton Heston (not dead at the time the song was written) was best known for playing Moses in "The Greatest Story Ever Told" ... before he was the NRA spokesman. I think Heston was a symbol for Moses in this song, a man who led his people to the land of milk and honey. In the song, he's slowing Zevon down to hear the "story" but Zevon is already on his way to glory and doesn't have time to listen.
    As for the Romantic poets : Shelley, Keats, and Lord Byron... the romantics were known for living life to the fullest and trying to feel all that is good. And these three all died much younger than normal for that time period. Yes, they were the "class of 27." *Class of 27 refers to the rockers like Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, and Janis Joplin who died early due to their excesses at the age of 27. Shelley, Keats, and Byron all had short, brilliant careers followed with death. Byron, for instance, died of either flu or drowning in Greece. I don't think Zevon's reference towards them was ignorant of this fact. Plus they were known to enjoy their drink and their opium.
    Other religious symbols such as wrestling with an angel (like Job, I believe) and the seraphim (thanks to Kevin Smith's Dogma, I know this means a member of the highest choir of angels) are also prevalent in the song.
    Now I'm not Zevon, who is the only person who truly knows what the song means, but to me it sounds like he has heard his impending doom and is about to ride out to the sunset of heaven.
    PoetLunaticon February 26, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti can't believe there is no comment for this track.

    i can not say enough about the merits of these lyrics. the kinetics involved are as astoundingly beautiful as they are steeped in research and literature. one of John Milton's assertions was that there is no such thing as a perfect state for any duration of time, the process of freedom is one that must involve constant change in order to be successful (hence why monarchy does not work). It seems Zevon subscribed to this credo, as this song is about perpetually moving, finding onesself, and the irritation involved in remaining static for too long, as evidenced by the changeless Houston sky. There is a kind of static electricity inherent in those clouds, lighting a fire under Zevon and Jim's respective asses, making them drive on. Milton's call to arms in this song and the end result of getting the hell out of Texas is a reflection of that, as is the fantasy that angels will carry them away to a new location, keeping the changes coming.

    His reference to the Romantic heroes is not random, as they too must have shared these philosophies, not to mention the fact that Zevon's poetry relies heavily on their influences.

    Charlton Heston, as a representation of religion, is static (the ultimate evil) while even Jesus has that dusty trail mentality. I wonder if WZ was trying to assert that religion has been mutated into something more sinister in the modern age, and this song is less about physically moving than about his own struggle with spirituality, his moving on while retaining Christ. but that's just one overanalyzation.

    ps. check out Springstein's cover of this song. i am not one of Bruce's biggest fans, but man did he have an accurate reading of this tune.
    scumbagstyleon February 04, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentUm, from what I understand this and "My Shit's Fucked Up" were both written after he found out he was dying.

    "My Ride's Here" refers to the last ride, the one that takes us to the other side. There's no warning, no big production, just the fact that it happens to all of us.

    There's a notion of acceptance and a certain submissive attitude that goes along with this tune. Accepting death isn't all that hard when you look at it with the somber romance in this song.
    kinghorseon May 23, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'll try to organize some thoughts here (mis-guided though they may be):

    Mariott is/was Mormon (as was Zevon's mother), a religion that requires a 10% tithe from it's members.
    'Mazuma' is a Yiddish word meaning 'money.'
    I think the implication is that Jesus was there to collect Mariott's tithe, perhaps because Mariott had died, though I'm not sure that Mariott's status is important at all.

    The Battle of San Jacinto was the decisive battle in the Texas Revolution; I think this might refer to Zevon's revolt from Mormonism, and possibly from organized religion, as, in the last verse, he's no longer at the Mariott, he's moved to a more secular hotel, the Weston, and is gambling; and he avoids Heston, whom I agree is a representation of religion here.
    baubleon May 23, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentNo, I think you're wrong, Kinghorse. He didn't know he was going to die yet when he wrote MY SHIT'S FUCKED UP. The song was on his album LIFE'LL KILL YA, which he recorded in 1999 and released in 2000. "MY SHIT'S FUCKED UP" is a mournful lament on aging, and of the inevitable decay that accompanies it. Zevon wasn't diagnosed with mesothelioma (which killed him a year later) until 2002. But MY RIDE'S HERE is a track from his 2002 album of the same name, so it is possible that he knew he had mesothelioma when he wrote MY RIDE'S HERE, but not MY SHIT'S FUCKED UP.
    TheThornBirdson March 19, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Comment I forgot to mention Milton, who was a pretty devout Christian. He wrote "Paradise Lost" about Lucifer getting cast out of heaven. Also Milton is rumored to be a Calvinist, who's doctrine believed in predestination. Predestination means that heaven is similar to a nightclub. The bouncer will let you in if you're on the list. It doesn't matter what you did outside the club (on earth), but if you are predestined to get into the club (heaven) then you'll be let in.
    Milton, like the Romantic poets and artists, tried to bring a new feeling into religion, and to integrate religion in his art.
    Sorry to take up so much room on this forum, but I just wanted my views known.
    PoetLunaticon February 26, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWell, according to what he said on his last Letterman visit, Warren didn't actually know that he was dying when he recorded "My Ride's Here," but that something was telling him that things weren't right. After Dave asked about this, and mentioned the title "My Ride's Here," Warren said "Hello!"

    Also, to me, some of the story just seems to be he's telling it straight, with no intention of hidden meanings implied. Obviously, he's staying at some hotels, and the Marriot is just the Marriot. I Googled "mazuma;" it's money, but also it's one of the two main types of wasabi. I think Warren, Jesus, and John Wayne (who Jesus called by his Christian name, Marion) were in the Marriot bar, and Warren was ordering sushi.
    woodyfromamarilloon April 25, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSo I gotta say that I am not familiar with everything in Warren's song book. I loved his big hits but never really dug deeper into his other songs. Then about six months ago I heard a cover of this song that Bruce Springsteen did after Warren passed on. After hearing this the first time - it has stuck with me for the past six months. I've listened to at least a few times each week since then. I think it's one of the most poetic songs I've really listened to - and about a subject that's nearly impossible to speak eloquently about.

    It just goes to show what a unique talent Warren was. I hope when my time comes I can show half of the class that Warren had and that I can catch my last ride with the dignity he had,.
    cwson November 17, 2016   Link

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