"Drop the Pilot" as written by and Joan Armatrading....
I'm right on target, my aim is straight
So you're in love, I say what of it?
Things can change, there's always changes
I want to try some rearranging, I say

Drop the pilot, try my balloon
Drop the monkey, smell my perfume
Drop the mahout, I'm the Easy Rider
Don't use your army to fight a losing battle
Animal, mineral, physical, spiritual
I'm the one you need, I'm the one you need

You're kissing cousins, there's no smoke, no flame
If you lose that pilot I can fly your plane
If you want solid ground, come on and try me
Oh I can take you so high that you're never gonna want to come down, I say

I say
Drop the pilot, try my balloon
Drop the monkey, smell my perfume
Drop the mahout, I'm the Easy Rider
Don't use your army to fight a losing battle
Animal, mineral, physical, spiritual
I'm the one you need, I'm the one you need

I said, animal, mineral, physical, spiritual
I'm the one you need, I'm the one you need
I'm the one you need

Drop the pilot, try my balloon
Drop the monkey, smell my perfume
Drop the mahout, I'm an Easy Rider
Don't use your army to fight a losing battle

Drop the pilot, try my balloon
Drop the monkey, smell my perfume
Drop the mahout, I'm the Easy Rider
Don't use your army to fight a losing battle

Animal, mineral, physical, spiritual
I'm the one you need, I'm the one you need

I say drop the pilot (yeah)
Drop the monkey
Drop the mahout
Animal, mineral, physical, spiritual
I'm the one you need, I'm the one you need
I'm the one you need
I'm the one you need


Lyrics submitted by gsleith

"Drop the Pilot" as written by Joan Armatrading

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management

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Drop the Pilot song meanings
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15 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentNo comments?

    Well let me just say this song is obviously about her trying to court a married woman.
    ChaingunCassidyon May 14, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHere's the meaning plain and simple.
    It is a story about her trying to turn a straight woman gay (probably for the first time) hence "I'm right on target My aim is STRAIGHT"
    Her object of desire is "In love", from then on she is trying to persuade the woman to start a gay relationship with her. She then confirms her lesbian contempt of men referring to them as monkeys.
    balloons could be a reference to breasts,
    i had to look for the definition of mahout and wikipedia recognizes it as an elephant rider... in my quick opinion mahout is one and the same with pilot, maybe she was trying to be derogatory once more to males without resorting to name-calling as with "monkey", where 'pilot' doesn't automatically bring up any negative connotations mahout certainly does, and i think the overall implications are that of the male being the master of the woman, riding her, piloting her, controlling her and bending her to his will. the "kissing cousins" line is simple to decipher as it is explained in the following lyrics "theres no smoke no flame" she is advising the woman that she is in a passionless relationship.
    finally i believe that the line " don't use your army to fight a losing battle" is referring to the woman using the excuse that she is heterosexual for not wanting a relationship with joan as irrelevant and if it is a losing battle i think this strongly implies that there is some connection, maybe they shared a moment or had an affair.
    theshabson May 06, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentJoan herself recently answered this: stuff.co.nz/entertainment/music/10514581/…

    '"People read all kinds of things into that song," she says, "but it's just about trying to convince someone to leave the person they're with because you're a better match. The bit about elephant riders and guys on motorbikes and so on confused a lot of people, but the message is very basic: forget him and get with me.'"
    SMvisitoron February 22, 2018   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIm not sure, but with Joan I would imagine this is political.

    idiomdictionary.com/definition/…

    "Don't use your army
    To fight a losing battle"

    Animal, mineral, physical, spiritual (The riches of Africa)



    MMFB2001on October 01, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI should have added that it could be political about the exploitation of Africa's riches and that trying to fight against this is a loosing battle. Perhaps Joan thinks there is someone better to lead the continent or country she is singing about - "Im the one you need".

    It could be a metaphor, or it could be as straight forward as it sounds.
    MMFB2001on October 01, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOh.. and "kissing cousins" - suggests you are in bed with someone you shouldnt be - metaphorically. So, perhaps she is saying that the leaders of the African country in the song are in cahoots with people that they shouldn't be - not in the best interests of the people.

    Im not sure about this, it's just an interpretation and Im looking forward to what others have to say about this truly great song.
    MMFB2001on November 06, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think that the song is being over analyzed.

    It might be about lesbianism however that cannot be confirmed in this small viewpoint window that we see of the song.

    In my opinion i think the song relates to one person trying to convince the other person into starting a relationship with them, however the other person is already in a relationship. So she tries to explain the dead end relationship by comparing it to "kissing cousins, no smoke, no flame". Drop the pilot / monkey / mahout all revers to that same person where she tries to convince them that she would be the better choice. "im the one you need" to put it as simple as possible.

    Basically, asking, pleading or trying to convince that she is the better choice.
    Andreb177on November 27, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMaybe Joan is suggesting to all women the potential for engaging in a rewarding relationship outside hetersexualism? The real irony here is the tone of her lyrics are very masculine and if it would suit a mans seduction of a woman (or a man) by just changing the occupations.
    mindfuloneon March 21, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is a great song. Very catchy and fun lyrics that are a little deeper.
    LambtonQon May 16, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwilfturnbull.co.uk/…
    DerekPhilpotton February 20, 2014   Link

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