"River Euphrates" as written by and Charles Thompson....
Ride, ride, ride, ride
Ride, ride, ride, ride
Ride, ride, ride, ride
Ride, ride, ride, ride, ride, ride
Ride, ride, ride, ride, ride, ride
Ride, ride, ride, ride, ride, ride
Ride, ride, ride, ride, ride, ride

Stuck here out of gas
Out here on the Gaza Strip
From driving in too fast

Let's ride the Tire down river Euphrates
Let's ride the Tire
Let's ride the Tire down river Euphrates
Let's ride the Tire
Let's ride the Tire down river Euphrates
Let's ride the Tire

Ride, ride, ride, ride
Ride, ride, ride, ride, ride, ride
Ride, ride, ride, ride, ride, ride
Ride, ride, ride, ride, ride, ride
Ride, ride, ride, ride, ride, ride

Dead sea make it float
One sip from the salty wine
Dead sea make you choke

Let's ride the Tire down river Euphrates
Let's ride the Tire
Let's ride the Tire down river Euphrates
Let's ride the Tire
Let's ride the Tire down river Euphrates
Let's ride the Tire

Alright
Alright
Let's ride the Tire


Lyrics submitted by riffic, edited by EvanFlew

"River Euphrates" as written by Charles Thompson

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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River Euphrates song meanings
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  • +3
    Lyric CorrectionSeeing as the overall theme from Surfer Rosa seems to be a very sexual one, its hard to believe that "River Euphrates" is not also eluding to a sexual reference.

    First and foremost, the actual lyric to this song is "ride the tiger" not "tire" or "tyre".
    (This lyric correction comes directly from the Pixies' official site, pixiesmusic.com. See for yourself)

    Although there are many geographical references, they aren't meant to be taken in a literal sense. They are rather metaphors and play-on-words. The term "ride the tiger" is slang for having intercourse with an Asian person.

    "Stuck here out of gas" refers to ejaculating too quickly, ending his sexual experience before it hardly even begins.

    "The gaza strip" is then most likely a refernce to his Asian lover's pubic hair.

    From this point on, it is pretty apparent that the "dead sea" and choking on "the salty wine" lyric is a reference to his semen.
    rowidzon March 15, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentIt's ride a Tiger, probably a play on the words Tigris & Euphrates. I don't think it seems to be about anything except the Middle East.
    DanVitaleRockson June 18, 2003   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI'm with you bro, tyre all the way. By the way, anyone noticed there are loads of tyre ads on this page now? Thats fuuunny.
    kiwistrayon March 03, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThe re-recorded version used as a B-side for the "Gigantic" single is even better than the album version. There's a lot more guitar, which is totally insane, and Black Francis' (I refuse to call him Frank Black) screams are even more harrowing. You can get it nowadays on the "Complete B-sides" CD, which is a must-have.
    HyperBullyon March 12, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI could never figure out if it was "tire" or "tiger" either, and actually thought it sounded a little more like "tiger", but in the live version on the b-sides album, its quite obviously "tire".
    Superaboundon June 26, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI can't believe people think he says "Ride the tiger." Just pay attention to the context for even half a second.

    They're stuck with a gasless car in the middle east, and decide they might as well "ride the tire down River Euphrates". Also note "Dead Sea make you float" also supports the inner-tube riding thing. I don't know if it is cultural to any degree, but in California, and warmer waterful climates, folks go "tubing" where they literally take a truck's tire tube and ride it down rivers, or on lakes, behind boats.

    Basically, if it were "tiger," it would be the only thing in the song that made no sense whatsoever. Like if they were on the Ganges or something, then maybe they'd ride a tiger, but still--down a river? I know it sounds overly analytical, but I am of the opinion that most of Charles' lyrics aren't random syllables, or otherwise meaningless.

    I like darkthundah's idea though, and I think it matches Charles' style very well. I kinda secretly hope his interpretation is accurate. The only kind of unexplained thing is the "tire".

    Listen to the version on the Gigantic EP for confirmation of "tire" over "tiger." And being "tire," it is not "tyre" strictly speaking, as we spell it with the "i" in the states.
    edbankyon September 01, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthe pixies are certainly not 'easy listening' but who cant resist... they really grow on you.... you dont have to be pavarotti to sing along.
    topaincayupanquion January 29, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentKattalasso, did you even read past the word California in edbanky's post before you flew off the handle and made a comment that contributed absolutely NOTHING to the actual discussion about this song? He was just using California as an example of "places with warmer waterful climates."

    With that nonsense out of the way, this is definitely one of the best pixies songs. Deal's chanting of "ride" and her background harmony both sound incredible and I think really make the song.
    hobophobeon January 17, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentFor years I thought it was 'tiger' but through live shows and digital recording I have definately found it is predominantly 'tyre' with the odd artistic interspursing of 'tiger' near the end.

    Ooops, I'm from the UK so I spelled tyre in English. Are we going to have a protracted thread arguing over the correct spelling of tyre/tire now?
    black_acid.exeon January 26, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentLike all good art, this song has multiple meanings. Darkthundah's interpretation is dead on, for one of the meanings. At face value the song is exactly what it says, being out of gas in the middle east and riding a tire from the car down the river to get where you need to go. Of course the song is also about premature ejaculation. For those wondering what riding a tire down the River Euphrates could possibly have to do with sex, the river is the fertile crescent, "riding" shouldnt have to be explained, and as for the tire.....what are tires made out of hmmmm? And that substance is also slang for a condom. Other possible metaphors - "Gaza strip" = somewhere outside the vagina, perhaps the gooch? Dead sea = his penis. Salty Wine = semen. Dead Sea, via the salty wine, makes the "tire" (condom) float. Ride it!
    flacrwdogon January 12, 2010   Link

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