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Ambulance Blues song meanings
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  • +7
    General CommentWhat an appropriate song to end "On The Beach." I think it deals with the inevitable process of aging and passing of a generation. His references to Toronto and Isabella refer to his earlier days, simple, and chaste, so to speak. The early '70's brought an end to the hippy era, and the Nixon administration was certainly not well-received.
    "An amublance can only go so fast."
    Certain things, like aging and the loss of innocence, can't even be saved by anything--the ambulance symbolizing means for salvation.
    Shakey_Oneon February 09, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think this song is just about Neil reflecting on the end of the hippy era
    Cortez_08on December 21, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentapparently the "I never knew a man/could tell so many lies/He had a different story/for every set of eyes" lines are referring to Nixon. but as for the rest of it i have no clue either.
    Kornoon May 05, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe riverboat was rocking in the rain. This line is a reference to a club he played "back in the old folky days" wich was called the riverboat. Isabella was a street in toronto that was plowed up. T.O is ofcourse Toronto. But its really hard. As he says:
    I guess I'll call it
    sickness gone
    It's hard to say
    the meaning of this song
    powderfingeron March 06, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentand "you're all just pissin in the wind" is definitely said by the old man who's seen it all and knows that no matter how much they preach about pace it's never gonna change anything, at least that is the song in a nutshell for me
    Cortez_08on December 21, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think "An ambulance can only go so fast/It's easier to get buried in the past/When you try to make a good thing last" sums up what this song means. Basically all good things in life come to an end, and sometimes there's nothing you can do to "save" them (i.e. the ambulance). This makes sense, given that Neil has been singing about the "old folky days" that have ended. The "you're all just pissing in the wind" quote, one of the most crudely memorable lines of the song, has a similar meaning in my opinion: that everyone's just wasting their time, and what they're doing doesn't matter because in the end it won't mean anything. I thought it was a pretty depressing message the first time I heard this song, and I still do, but I love the song anyway. Neil, you rock. :)
    UWSGuy2on February 28, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti have no idea what the hell this song is about. however i do greatly enjoy the lines "you're all just pissin in the wind/you don't know it but you are/and there ain't nothing like a friend/who can tell you you're just pissin in the wind" ain't that the truth
    5isa4letterwordon August 20, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis one is hard to figure out..
    melpomeneon May 03, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentapparently at the beginning he's singing about when he was playing clubs in Toronto. "back in the old folky days". and at that time he was staying in an apartment complex that was Isabella suites or something like that, and since he left its been torn down. he even says later on "Well, I'm up in T.O.
    keepin' jive alive".
    Kornoon September 23, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think you nailed it Shakey One
    XxFreebirdxXon December 30, 2006   Link

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