"Red River" as written by and Rocky Votolato....
This is what life feels like on the ground
I had a brother who was stationed up in Northern Hill Country
You know he never really came home
We drove out east to Red River to see the high waters flow
That river was running just searching for an ocean the freedom we’d never known

That feeling you get when the wind is blowing like you’re whole life is starting over
We made our peace there, with the no-man’s land where we come from
I’ve been searching for the waves to carry us home
To the ocean we all came from, where we’ll all be returned
I’ve been searching for the waves to carry us home
To the ocean we all came from, where we’ll all be dissolved into one
Like a crippled animal running on broken legs that night
His voice was splintering, rising, and falling to a fate of “I’ll never get out”
From Spokane all the way across Montana, then out to the Blood Reserve

A black Levis jacket knocking them beers back on the bank of that river
Underneath September skies inside the U.S. border
He made his peace there – just after his boots filled up with water
I’ve been searching for the waves to carry us home
To the ocean we all came from, where we’ll all be returned
I’ve been searching for the waves to carry us home
To the ocean we all came from, where we’ll all be dissolved into one
The waves will wash away the misguided vision
Of glory in a battlefield of a thousand corpses

I’ve been searching for the waves to carry us home
To the ocean we all came from, where we’ll all be dissolved
Out of many we are one


Lyrics submitted by cbrow133

Red River song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentThis song was inspired by the Louise Erdrich short story "The Red Convertible" which is about two Native American brothers who buy a red convertible and drive it all over the country. When they get back from their lengthy road trip one of the brothers (Henry) is drafted and goes off to vietnam. "He was stationed up in the northern hill country." When the brother comes home he is a shattered image of the person he once was. In an attempt to coax his brother out of his post-war funk Lyman beats the hell out of the convertible so that Henry will fix it. Henry does fix it and the brothers "started off, east, toward Pembina and the Red River because Henry said he wanted to see the high water." They get there and Henry admits he'll never be the same or okay again, and after the boys knock back a few beers and wrestle a bit Henry says he has to cool off and walks out into the river. The last words Lyman hears his brother say are "My boots are filling." Then he's gone, and Lyman runs the Red Convertible into the river as well.

    Rocky took a heart breaking story and turned it into a great song, he used so many lines from the short story and really captured it. You can find the short story online, google it. If you love the song it's impossible to read the story and not be covered in goosebumps at the end.
    cbrow133on May 08, 2010   Link

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