Saigon, it was all gone
The same Coke machines
As the streets I grew on
Down in a mesquite canyon
We come walking along the ridge
Me and the brothers under the bridge

Campsite's an hour's walk from the nearest road to town
Up here there's too much brush and canyon
For the CHP choppers to touch down
Ain't lookin' for nothin', just wanna live
Me and the brothers under the bridge
Come the Santa Ana's, man, that dry brush'll light
Billy Devon got burned up in his own campfire one winter night
We buried his body in the white stone high up along the ridge
Me and the brothers under the bridge

Had enough of town and the street life
Over nothing you end up on the wrong end of someone's knife
Now I don't want no trouble
And I ain't got none to give
Me and the brothers under the bridge

I come home in '72
You were just a beautiul light
In your mama's dark eyes of blue
I stood down on the tarmac, I was just a kid
Me and the brothers under the bridge

Come Veterans' Day I sat in the stands in my dress blues
I held your mother's hand
When they passed with the red, white and blue
One minute you're right there ... and something slips...

Lyrics submitted by oofus

Brothers Under the Bridge song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentI think this song is about a homeless Vietnam veteran living in the California hills. It's not told in chronological order. It starts with Saigon, Vietnam, and the imagery of the coke machines, being the same as in America.

    Him and his brothers (probably other homeless veterans) are living in the wilderness because they found it difficult to rejoin society, but are comfortable living with each other in a survival situation like Vietnam since they have each other ("had enough of town and the street life" - they tried living as homeless in the streets of the city, but grew tired of it, particularly the crime, drugs, gangs, etc)

    One of the homeless veterans falls asleep and gets set on fire by his own campfire because of a draught, but the California Highway Patrol can't get in to evacuate him.

    The end of the song is him returning from Vietnam in his dress blues. After that, he settles down to a good life, but for some reason he can't leave the war behind. Also, something might have happened to his woman in the story (the words are "your mother" implying he's telling this story to his son or daughter, but I tend to think that it's actually what HE WOULD TELL his son or daughter, but he's not actually talking to them.)

    At any rate, the way the song trails off is perfect and beautiful. This is an amazing song.

    VolantSoloon June 26, 2009   Link

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