"Shoot High Aim Low" as written by and Jon/white Anderson....
We hit the blue fields
In the blue sedan we didn't get much further
Just as the sun was rising in the mist
We were all alone we didn't need much more

So fast this expidition
So vast this heavy load
With a touch of luck and a sense of need
Seeing the guns and their faces
We look around the open shore
Waiting for something

Shoot high break low
Aim high shoot low
Break high let go
Shoot high aim low

This was to be our last ride
With the steel guitar and the love you give me
Underneath the skin a feeling, a breakdown
Well we sat for hours on the crimson sand

Exchanges in the currency of humans bought and sold
And the leaders seem to lose control

Shall we lose ourselves for a reason
Shall we burn ourselves for the answer
Have we found the place that we're looking for
Someone shouted "open the door"

Shoot high break low
Aim high shoot low
Feeling of imagination
Break high let go
Shoot high aim low

Shoot high aim low
Nothing you can say
Shoot high let go
Takes me by surprise

Shoot high aim low
Who says's there's got to be a reason
Shoot high let go
Who says there's got to be an answer

We were all alone, we didn't need much more
Shoot high aim low
The sun's so hard on this endless highway
Shoot high let go
Shoot high aim low
I've heard the singers, who sing of love
Shoot high let go
In the blue sedan we never got much further
Shoot high aim low

Lyrics submitted by Arujei

"Shoot High Aim Low" as written by Alan White Trevor Rabin

Lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

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Shoot High Aim Low song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentYoung men die in a war whose point is not apparent to them. The scene is an amphibious invasion, troops landing on the beach. One of the repeated reflections is that life prior to the war (rides in a blue sedan) had not yet amounted to much before many of the men died on the beach.

    The war is not specified; World War II's D-Day nominally fits the bill, although the British forces (none of Yes are American) did not suffer terribly in those landings. There were many other smaller landings, though, throughout that war. The Falklands War was much more recent when the song was written although the British landings there were not terribly bloody, either. The war being described may be fictional.
    rikdadon October 22, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is my favorite Yes song.
    I am shocked that it's only got one comment.
    Anyway, I never thought that it was about war, but I didn't really have a specific idea on what it was about either. War seems to make sense, though.
    xmakesherflyxon May 18, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyeah, this is up their as my favorite song or at least tied for it by Yes.
    thats a prety good theory "rikdad", i cant think of anything better.
    MathiasCronqviston November 18, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentJon Anderson: The blue fields is a part of Nicaragua and as long as you know that, the song makes a lot of sense. I'm the guy in the helicopter going in at ninety miles per hour and I'm going to blow everybody up. A very sick sort of situation. The song is a dedication to live beyond war and at the same time Trevor is singing the dream of love: in the car with a girl having fun.
    FearingImpairedon July 09, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree completely with Rikdad. This is EXACTLY what I had envisioned before I first read Rikdad's comments. In fact, I logged onto this website just to see what others thought the meaning was.

    The song has a more general message, about the waste of human life in wars (such as the millions of young men who died in WW1). But I think it clearly uses the the landings during D-day to describe it. "Someone shouted open the door, lookout!" Everyone who has watched Saving Private Ryan knows this scene of carnage. Also, I think "in the blue sedan, we never got much further" really nails the point, since the Higgins landing craft were painted blue, and many were taken out, fully loaded with men (they never got much further except to wash up on the beach), by the heavy concentration of shell fire from the German batteries.
    ROTARY7on April 16, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti see a post-apocalyptic situation. the blue fields could be Nicaragua, but i see somewhere midwest USA. the blue sedan. a group of people escaping into the countryside.
    "...so fast this expedition..." they split out without much notice, on the run from disaster.
    "...so vast this heavy load..." carrying with themselves a last hope for humanity and for some kind of civilization as chaos consumes all behind and before them.
    "...with a touch of luck and a sense of need..." desperation. it reminds me of the first 100 or so pages of Stephen King's THE STAND, when it is all breaking down and people are running away from disintegrating society.
    "...seeing the guns and their faces..." theyve run in among other desperadoes. there's killing, maybe. tense situations. Octavia Butler's PARABLE OF THE SOWER comes to mind.
    "...exchanges in the currency of humans bought and sold..." the ravages of capitalist civilization have brought mankind to the edge of ruin and have transcended, finally, that edge. "...and the leaders seem to lose control..." economic and environmental collapse ensue.
    "...shall we lose ourselves for a reason..." their system pretends to be based on reason but the reality of a system based on infinite growth in a finite world must inevitable lead to ruin.
    "...shall we burn ourselves for the answer..." of course the paradoxes of this system will lead to war and ruin. nuclear war is hinted at here.
    "...have we found the place we're looking for..." is this where our way of life was bound to lead all along? is this why all is chaos and war?
    "...someone shouted open the door, look out!..." the rapidly changing, exploding situation these refugees find themselves in intrude on the narrator's ruminations.
    "...feeling of imagination..." one of my favorite pieces of the scene. in the chaotic breakdown of systems of control, possibilities open themselves. if one could escape the ensuing, enveloping chaos and find a place of refuge, other kinds of society become possible. the breakdown of the greater system will allow alternative methods of social organization to develop.
    "...the sun so hard on that endless highway..." escaping into emptiness. a hard road.
    "...we were all alone. we didnt need much more..." out in open country. maybe enough supplies and knowhow to make a go of it.
    "...the singers, who sing of love..." carrying this flame forward. this is what was best of humanity and with luck, the coming endtimes war will not wipe it out completely.
    "...in the blue sedan we never got much further..." ambiguous. did the expedition fail. were they killed, wiped out, by other refugees, by military roadblock, by post nuclear storm, by chaotic circumstances. or did they proceed on foot?
    it's doubtful anyone will survive the next world war, the ongoing world war of which stages we are already entered upon. there's a chance, but it's not good.
    diondegaon December 25, 2017   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThere were at least two occasions when American Marines invaded Nicaragua, and one of them, in 1912, started at a port town called "Bluefields." That's the part of the song that Jon Anderson is signing about, and everything else the rikdad said about that part of the song fits in just right.

    But Trevor's lines seem to be about something else entirely. Trevor is singing about sitting on a beach in a car with a girl and trying to get laid, but I think the twist is that the car is parked on the beach at Bluefields, years later after the amphibious assault. "We sat for hours on the crimson sand, he sings. People died there years ago, and now Trevor is basically singing about trying to the most life-affirming thing that a person can do, in that same spot where people died.

    Shoot High, Aim Low indeed.
    MetalHeadSJon July 02, 2018   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'd always imagined this as a drug smuggling song. South American or someplace like that. Steel guitars, blue sedans, "someone shouted open the door. LOOKOUT! An ambush by either the other drug runners or the military trying to take the drugs and the expected profit from them. " So fast the expedition, so vast this heavy load. The loaded trucks moving quickly through the back roads
    The crimson sand, toward the evening when they pick up the "cargo". "Underneath the skin,a feeling , a breakdown..." a premonition of a dangerous trip, a feeling of foreboding on this trip

    I could go on, but I'm probably so far off base I'd hate to insult anyone.
    TRNightdanceron February 01, 2019   Link

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