I always knew that you would take yourself far from home
as soon as, as far as you could go.
By the 1/4 inch cut of your hair and the Army issue green,
for the past eight weeks I can tell where you've been.
For I knew, I could see, it was all cut and dried to me
there was soldier's blue blood streaming inside your veins.
There is a world outside of this room and when you meet it promise me
you won't meet it with your gun.

So now you are one of the brave few, it's awful sad we need boys like you.
I hope the day never comes for
"Here's your live round son. Stock and barrel, safety, trigger, here's your gun."
Well I knew, I could see, it was all cut and dried to me
there was soldiers blue blood streaming inside your veins.
There is a world outside of this room and when you meet it promise me
you won't meet it with your gun taking aim.
For I don't mean to argue, they've made a decent boy of you
and I don't mean to spoil your home coming,
but baby brother you should expect me to.

"Stock and barrel, safety, trigger, here's your gun."

So now does your heart pitter pat with a patriotic song
when you see the stripes of Old Glory waving?
Well I knew, I could see, it was all cut and dried to me
there was soldier's blue blood streaming inside your veins.
There is a world outside of this room and when you meet it promise me
you won't meet it with your gun taking aim.
I don't mean to argue, they've made a decent boy of you
and I don't mean to spoil your homecoming my baby brother Jude
and I don't mean to hurt you by saying this again,
they're so good at making soldiers but they're not so good at making men.


Lyrics submitted by kornchick

Gun Shy song meanings
Add your thoughts

3 Comments

sort form View by:
  • 0
    General CommentFirst of all, I love this song... but the version on Natalie Merchant's "Live in Concert" CD is better. Second, I live in a military town, and I know a lot of soldiers, and this song is so, so true. Give it a listen.
    TheSneakyWaffleon October 20, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is about the necessary evil that war is. It takes our boys away from their home, makes men out of them, but at an expense. Basically, Natalie Merchant is telling her brother to be proud of himself but to understand that war is still very bad.
    magoosh008on November 05, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI grew up as a Navy brat, so even though now that I am older (and wiser :P )I didn't appreciate what my dad-- who I dissed before in my rebellious, punk youth--felt he needed to do in order to advance in his financial and professional future (a broken neck in his senior yr. of HS killed his dreams of a college scholarship). You can say I was very critical of what my father did for a living as a (and still am!) a "no nukes, no violence" kind of soul, since he retired from 20 yrs. of Navy duty as a maintenence mechanic servicing Trident subs. Then I came around later on with a different view after my close cousin, a Gulf War vet, came home permantely disabled(and making local front-pg. news) from having a tank he was fixing in the Persian desert run over his leg.
    Summary: as Nat sang in this song--in times of crisis, a strong military presence is necessary--and God(ess) bless those who serve in our nation's defense. But please! Be aware and be careful, in case (i.e. "our crisis in Iraq"), our government may not hold the best for you, as other vets from Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, and those able to make it home from Iraq, can well attest.
    pharmageekon May 24, 2006   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain