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Look out, Mama,
There's a white boat
Comin' up the river
With a big red beacon,
And a flag,
And a man on the rail
I think you'd better call John,
'Cause it don't
Look like they're here
To deliver the mail
And it's less than a mile away
I hope they didn't come to stay
It's got numbers on the side
And a gun
And it's makin' big waves.

Daddy's gone,
My brother's out hunting
In the mountains
Big John's been drinking
Since the river took Emmy-Lou
So the powers that be
Left me here
To do the thinkin'
And I just turned twenty-two
I was wonderin' what to do
And the closer they got,
The more those feelings grew.

Daddy's rifle in my hand
Felt reassurin'
He told me,
Red means run, son,
Numbers add up to nothin'
But when the first shot
Hit the docks I saw it comin'
Raised my rifle to my eye
Never stopped to wonder why.
Then I saw black,
And my face splashed in the sky.

Shelter me from the powder
And the finger
Cover me with the thought
That pulled the trigger
Think of me
As one you'd never figured
Would fade away so young
With so much left undone
Remember me to my love,
I know I'll miss her.



Lyrics taken from http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/n/neil_young/powderfinger.html

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  • U
    UnregisteredJul 5, 2012 at 5:51 pm
    Neil young deplores violence and war in many of his songs. In this one, he shows when violence would be justified. The narrator's home is under unprovoked attack, there is no chance to delay what is happening, and he alone is able to resist the threat. Don't bother trying to tie this song to any specific time or place. Neil made it a "white boat" for a reason.

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