I know you
I care too
I see through
All of the pictures that you keep on the wall
All of the people that will come to the ball
But hear me calling, won't you give me
A free ride?
Hear me calling, won't you give me
A free ride?

I know too
What you do
When you're through
Counting the cattle as they go by the door
Keeping the carpet that's so thick on the floor
But hear me calling, won't you give me
A free ride?
Hear me calling, won't you give me
A free ride?

I know you
I care too
I see through
All of the pictures that you keep on the wall
All of the people that will come to the ball
But hear me calling, won't you give me
A free ride?
Hear me calling, won't you give me
A free ride?


Lyrics submitted by Sweet Blue Way

Free Ride song meanings
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14 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentI think it's significant that its about someone he cares about - and the girl he loved was called Sophia "Ryde."

    Now, she was basically the love of his life, but they never had sex, remaining basically, as she would later call it, "best friends". Since Nick Drake wrote songs based on personal experiences, I think it's not too much of a leap to go from 'Ryde' to ride, based on their emotional history yet lack of 'consummation'.

    Also, he used to take his parent's car and drive around for hours until he ran out of petrol. There may be a metaphor in that 'free ride' could also symbolise the lack of direction to their relationship, much like his midnight drives.

    @ Psylogon: would people PLEASE stop interpreting songs based on their 'personal experiences'. The next time I read somebody saying a Beatles song could be about being dumped in chemistry class I'm going to scream.
    sammy_mendelon March 25, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI couldn't even attempt to fathom out this song... but it's so beautiful.

    I know that seems a bit a cop out, and its probably possible to say that about 90% of ND songs but i don't think i could say what it's about....

    The imagery is superb though.
    muchthanmoreon September 29, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI have my own interpretation of this song that is quite different to what other people have said so far.

    I see through
    All of the pictures that you keep on the wall
    All of the people that will come to the ball

    Even though he writes 'you' I am certain he is referring to people who he finds shallow, as in they are too worried about the little things in life and can't see the big picture. This could refer to the letters Nick's Dad wrote to him urging him to stay in University, so he could have a more secure future. Nick responded to his Father by saying that is the one thing he does not want.

    But hear me calling, won't you give me
    A free ride?

    Here Nick says that even though he feels ashamed of these people, he still needs their support. That's why I think it is about his parents. Why he chose to use the words 'A free ride' as a metaphor for his dependance on his parents well that can be traced back to his unusual habit of taking his parents car for a 'ride'.

    I honestly do not know how anyone can get Sophia Ryde from this. In my opinion the whole pink moon album is more of an album about human culture and philosophy, but it doesn't deal with sexuality.
    nat0auson January 17, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentIt's about fucking your friend.
    sultanheiferson April 13, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's probably "I get to see through" not "I care to see through" and it's probably about fucking a friend.
    sultanheiferson April 13, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFrom what I can read into this from my own experience, he loves someone who is still attached to a previous relationship, too insecure to love him back. He's out of control and can't do anything but ask for a free ride. He sees through all the pictures--all the memories--she's so attached to. He wants her to trust him, but she's too far lost in the past for that.
    psilogonon April 02, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMy favourite Nick Drake song. In my opinion, it lifts the mood of "Pink Moon" considerably, mostly because Nick's guitar work is fairly energetic and rolling.
    StrikeThePostmanon February 06, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentpretty much agree with sammy.

    pictures represent a facade, and the people at the ball mere acquaintances, but because he knows them as a true friend, he sees past all this and reasons that he deserves a free ride.
    piedoodon February 03, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti've read that nick was a shy and reserved person, so it would be hard for a person like that to go to any type of social event

    so i would guess that he's telling this woman that i really dont care about about anyone here but you, specially if he's calling them 'cattle'.
    foralltimeon October 13, 2010   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningI've heard Nick came from an upper middle class neighborhood. Nick seemed to be interested in a high society girl who was very popular and had parties where alot of people would come to her house. I'm guessing she wasn't very interested in him and the song meaning for Free Ride would be, give me some of your time, possibly sexual if you will.
    nougoon March 26, 2011   Link

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