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10,000 Maniacs — Gun Shy
Album: In My Tribe
Avg rating:
6.3

Your rating:
Total ratings: 141









Released: 1987
Length: 4:07
Plays (last 30 days): 0
I always knew that you would take yourself far from home
as soon as, as far as you could go.
By the 1/4 inch cut of your hair and the Army issue green,
for the past eight weeks I can tell where you've been.
For I knew, I could see, it was all cut and dried to me
there was soldier's blue blood streaming inside your veins.
There is a world outside of this room and when you meet it promise me
you won't meet it with your gun.

So now you are one of the brave few, it's awful sad we need boys like you.
I hope the day never comes for
"Here's your live round son. Stock and barrel, safety, trigger, here's your gun."
Well I knew, I could see, it was all cut and dried to me
there was soldiers blue blood streaming inside your veins.
There is a world outside of this room and when you meet it promise me
you won't meet it with your gun taking aim.
For I don't mean to argue, they've made a decent boy of you
and I don't mean to spoil your home coming,
but baby brother you should expect me to.

"Stock and barrel, safety, trigger, here's your gun."

So now does your heart pitter pat with a patriotic song
when you see the stripes of Old Glory waving?
Well I knew, I could see, it was all cut and dried to me
there was soldier's blue blood streaming inside your veins.
There is a world outside of this room and when you meet it promise me
you won't meet it with your gun taking aim.
I don't mean to argue, they've made a decent boy of you
and I don't mean to spoil your homecoming my baby brother Jude
and I don't mean to hurt you by saying this again,
they're so good at making soldiers but they're not so good at making men.
Comments (28)add comment
They broke the mold when this band formed. I can't think of anyone else to compare to them. Obviously from some of the ugly comments here that is just fine with several of you. Surprising. I couldn't have liked them more and this album, to me, was their crowning achievement. It's about as close as it gets to a perfect album and it 'holds up' perfectly, too. Every song is remarkable, including Gun Shy. One of the great things about it is how Merchant manages to express her anti-war views in a sweet way, using her beloved brother as a vehicle. Nothing hateful in the song, she's just calling it like she sees it. And as she sings, "you should expect me to." A powerful, touching song.
Whenever I hear he sing, I think about the poor recording engineer who had to sit through take after take after take just wishing he hadn't quit drinking and heavy drug use or sniffing glue.
Merchant=Haughty, annoying, righteous, and so forth...
now this song takes me back. saw them at radio city in '89, the week i moved out of new york. my stepdad nearly got us killed racing down ninth ave. to get me and my friend to the show. natalie was haughty, but she totally got me. this was one of my favorite songs then, back in my hippie pacifist days. lost touch with them over the years, as my general taste changed a great deal. still a pretty song. 8.
Egrey wrote:
I can see where you are coming from Iguana...It seems the song seeks to rebuke anyone who commits the great sin of deciding to serve in the Armed Forces. Honestly, that kind of attitude is no better than the crud spewed by certain nutbags on the right.
"Gun Shy" is an antiwar song. It's not against the military or people who serve in it. These days we can use all the antiwar songs we can get, even if they have to be recycled from the '80s.
Here's a switch for the RP song comments: Instead of wasting my time complaining:frustrated:about something I don't like I will relate a fond memory with unattached emotion-- Back in the day I saw the Maniacs on this tour. I had seats in the orchestra pit at the Wang Center that I got for $50. (Yes,$50) As I lean on the stage I remember Natalie twirling what seemed like almost uncontrollably. It was intense. (But didn't affect me in any way):yes: Wish I could say more. :taped-shut:
Those first couple of seconds had me thinking a Booker T and the MG's track was coming on. :-)
physicsgenius wrote:
musiclover11 wrote: Natalie...voice is poignant, and very haunting. I couldn't agree more, assuming "poignant" is a misspelling of "strident" and by "haunting" you mean "very, very annoying".
Funny!! I feel the same way!
catbirdman wrote:
Natalie's preachiness just doesn't wear well over time.
I agree, but she has an amazing voice. I've learned over the years to tune out many of the singer's 'messages' and just enjoy the music. To me, 10k Maniacs w/ Natalie is one of the best.
musiclover11 wrote:
Natalie<'s>...voice is poignant, and very haunting.
I couldn't agree more, assuming "poignant" is a misspelling of "strident" and by "haunting" you mean "very, very annoying".
musiclover11 wrote:
Natalie singing with 10k maniacs was very good, but as a solo artist, she is just unbelievable. Her voice is poignant, and very haunting. I know a lot of people say she's preachy and depressing, but that is a part of her style and soul. She writes for the souls who have that sadness, and her songs may be melancholy, but her songs also bring hope and redemption. She is one of the few great singer/songwriters of the 21st century. So rare are our singer/songwriters today, in the music world of teenage bubble gum pop crap. Thank god that god made Natalie. Please, if anyone agrees with me. Reply! and if you don't agree, reply also. I like to hear both sides. :) Also, I would love if Radio Pardise radio would play her solo works, especially from her cd's Ophelia and Motherland. Two wonderful cd's.
... Agree completely musiclover11 and RP does have a representation of both of the above CD's in the library which pop up occasionally, to my delight, yea, I have all her recorded material and just love her to pieces wether with 10 Thousand Maniacs or Solo, so happy you love her too... :cheers: ...
Natalie singing with 10k maniacs was very good, but as a solo artist, she is just unbelievable. Her voice is poignant, and very haunting. I know a lot of people say she's preachy and depressing, but that is a part of her style and soul. She writes for the souls who have that sadness, and her songs may be melancholy, but her songs also bring hope and redemption. She is one of the few great singer/songwriters of the 21st century. So rare are our singer/songwriters today, in the music world of teenage bubble gum pop crap. Thank god that god made Natalie. Please, if anyone agrees with me. Reply! and if you don't agree, reply also. I like to hear both sides. :) Also, I would love if Radio Pardise radio would play her solo works, especially from her cd's Ophelia and Motherland. Two wonderful cd's.
Natalie's preachiness just doesn't wear well over time.
Used to like it, own the CD...unfortuinately Ditto!
Used to like it, own the CD...unfortuinately, they're done, stick a fork in them. Blase 80's shite.
Like many of 10,000's songs, it is good, but not very interesting to me. :stupid: It's good background music. :whistle:
Loved the 10,000 Maniacs. Fresh, original, fun. Can't say the same about Natalie Merchant. She lost alot after going solo. Nuff said. :sorry:
irritating.
kerr wrote:
I read the lyrics quite differently: it's not rebuking the soldier but indicating how sad it is that her brother has chosen to be a soldier and hoping that he isn't turned into a killing machine by the army.
What is "different" about this reading from the one you quote?
Egrey wrote:
I can see where you are coming from Iguana...It seems the song seeks to rebuke anyone who commits the great sin of deciding to serve in the Armed Forces. Honestly, that kind of attitude is no better than the crud spewed by certain nutbags on the right.
I read the lyrics quite differently: it's not rebuking the soldier but indicating how sad it is that her brother has chosen to be a soldier and hoping that he isn't turned into a killing machine by the army.
I have to differ. I haven't heard this song in so long and it made me feel such a poignant mix of sadness (b/c of the lyrics) and comfort (b/c of the memories the song evokes). It makes me think of summer evenings at twilight, with breeze and the smell of honeysuckle coming through my window.
I really loved this album when it came out (87, I think?) but I feel that it hasn't aged well.
I only got to know her from the time she went solo. Actually, the first song I liked of her was Motherland. Ever since I love her voice. But the Motherland and Ophelia albums are by far her best, I think. Strange to me to see how many seem to love her old work, while that attracts me much less.
TheLoneIguana wrote:
Oooh.. I sense a flamewar waiting to happen over this song.
I can see where you are coming from Iguana...It seems the song seeks to rebuke anyone who commits the great sin of deciding to serve in the Armed Forces. Honestly, that kind of attitude is no better than the crud spewed by certain nutbags on the right.
That gave me goosebumps.
Ah, back when they were novel. What a great album. Too bad Natalie couldn't seem to evolve in the many years since... Excellent tune.
my favorite maniacs disc
Oooh.. I sense a flamewar waiting to happen over this song.