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Steppenwolf — The Ostrich
Album: Steppenwolf
Avg rating:
6.4

Your rating:
Total ratings: 492









Released: 1968
Length: 5:37
Plays (last 30 days): 1
We'll call you when you're six years old
And drag you to the factory
To train your brain for eighteen years
With promise of security
But then you're free
And forty years you waste to chase the dollar sign
So you may die in Florida
At the pleasant age of sixty nine

The water's getting hard to drink
We've mangled up the country side
The air will choke you when you breathe
We're all committing suicide
But it's alright
It's progress folks keep pushin' till your body rots
Will strip the earth of all it's green
And then divide her into parking lots

But there's nothing you and I can do
You and I are only two
What's right and wrong is hard to say
Forget about it for today
We'll stick our heads into the sand
Just pretend that all is grand
Then hope that everything turns out ok

You're free to speak your mind my friend
As long as you agree with me
Don't criticize the father land
Or those who shape your destiny
'Cause if you do
You'll lose your job your mind and all the friends you knew
We'll send out all our boys in blue
They'll find a way to silence you

But there's nothing you and I can do
You and I are only two
What's right and wrong is hard to say
Forget about it for today
We'll stick our heads into the sand
Just pretend that all is grand
Then hope that everything turns out ok
Comments (44)add comment
terrifyingly relevant.
You'd think that fifty years on we'd have learned a thing or two. But nope—we're still stuck in same old dance.
You mean they did other songs?
I remember the first time I heard Foggy Mental Breakdown (another of the many great Steppenwolf songs that are neglected) and it was glorious! And sun shown down and the rainbows arched the sky and we rocked.
 Ahnyer_Keester wrote:
Whoa, that's pretty horrible. PSD to the rescue.

Grrrr. Friggin' PSD is borke. Stop for a bit I guess.

 
Yer friggin' keester is borke. 
Whoa, that's pretty horrible. PSD to the rescue.

Grrrr. Friggin' PSD is borke. Stop for a bit I guess.
 idiot_wind wrote:
Wow...these guys were a rockin, R&B, blues band. 
 
Yes, they were, and a little ahead of their time.  They could have been as popular as the Rolling Stones or Led Zeppelin, except they hit the hard rock scene a few years early.

Unmistakable voice with as much power as the drum beat, and that blazing guitar intertwined with the Leslie-speakered organ ..... but the biker gangs latched on to the "Down with the Man" lyrics:

You're free to speak your mind my friend,
As long as you agree with me.
Don't criticize the father land,
Or those who shape your destiny.
'Cause if you do,
You'll lose your job, your mind, and all the friends you knew.
We'll send out all our boys in blue,
They'll find a way to silence you.
Wow...these guys were a rockin, R&B, blues band. 
meh


I was rocking to this at 14 in the basement , loved Born to be Wild but this is wonderful
Now more than ever, what a great, gutsy, spot-on song!
What a great song!  More like this, please.
 hayduke2 wrote:
I'll rate it a 7  : (  scary how so many things have not changed for the better

 
Gonna raise my rating
wicked rock much needed now 
Wow.  If you've never listened to or read the lyrics to this song (which was written in 1968), it's worth the time.  Very prescient. 
 Jelani wrote:
Never heard this before! ?

 
Me either.  Makes you wonder what we missed.
Never heard this before! ?
after Prince's "Purple Rain"  this isn't what I would like to hear but I do understand that it's a work day morning and the cubicle dwellers need to get back to work
"Don't criticize the Father Land"..... gotta love it.
"......and hope everything turns out OK"

ha ha....which it did I guess.....I mean at least weed is legal....at least where I live.

One tends to forget over time just how good a band this was. Or, as the British would put it, they were.
 jmsmy wrote:
They were talking about our parents - but now it sounds like us.

 
Yup.  

Watched The Fog of War the other day.  It is essentially a long interview with former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara.

Still very relevant. 
Oh my, confession time.  A friend & I spent a summer in California.  Ended up one night outside of Steppenwolf.  Where I got my first wide-eyed experience of a redhead and an African-American kissing.

Travel does expand one's outlook. This would not even be notable now in the south.
They were talking about our parents - but now it sounds like us.
I should not like this song, but I do!  Must be the nostalgia factor.
 VV wrote:
Yawn, nothing really distinctive in this song. Sounds like most of their other output.

 
At least it's something besides Magic Carpet Ride..
YEAH the growling organ, the raspy raging guitar, the blasting drums, and Mighty Protest Lyrics still sound great and vital to me today! 
Classic Steppenwolf, my original favorite heavy metal band (a bit of a misnomer, but it still fits).  Totally underrated, influential band.  Jay Kay rocks...and rolls....
Plenty has changed since 1968, whether for better or worse depends on one's point of view.  When was the last time you saw a fully-closing phone booth or changed stations on a television by turning a dial?  Who would have envisioned legalized marijuana, same-sex marriages, or especially an African-American president forty-seven years ago? True, though, many things stay the same - people still eat, work, go to sleep, wake up, etc...and societal obedience/apathy seems to be a constant.
Man, does this bring back memories. And, unfortunately, not much has changed.
Second time I've heard this tune in my life. The first time: vaguely recall on sometime's turntable. Started it at 6. Bounced it to 8. What could be more timely? It hit most of the topical bullseyes from '69 to '15, when nothing has changed, except gotten worse. 
{#Cowboy} Wow, nothing has changed, has it?  C'mon humankind, evolve!
What an indictment that this seems as relevant today as it did then; human condition, I reckon.

Thanks for sharing this, Bill.  
Yawn, nothing really distinctive in this song. Sounds like most of their other output.

According to Wikipedia: "eight gold albums and twelve Billboard Hot 100 singles, of which six were Top 40 hits, including three Top 10 successes"

I liked this band when I was a kid but didn't know they had such a broad success.

kcar wrote:


{#Roflol} {#Clap}

Ex-actly.

 
Two great, lesser-known Steppenwolf songs: "Hey Lawdy Mama" and "Sookie Sookie."

These days, "The Pusher" makes me laugh with its weak distinction between the good-guy dealer and the bad-guy pusher looking to get you hooked.

John Kay had an amazing voice, perfect for the raucous blue-collar hard rock of his time.  
Photo of Steppenwolf band members in 1970
Steppenwolf in 1970 (L-R: Goldy McJohn, Jerry Edmonton, John Kay, Larry Byrom, George Biondo)
Maybe Bill can tell us WTF Goldy McJohn was thinking back then...

 


They still sound good and present after all these years, good memories. Great road music.
AIN'T THAT THE TRUTH
 Imkirok wrote:
Didn't know Steppenwolf had more than two songs!

 
{#Roflol} {#Clap}

Ex-actly.

 
Two great, lesser-known Steppenwolf songs: "Hey Lawdy Mama" and "Sookie Sookie."

These days, "The Pusher" makes me laugh with its weak distinction between the good-guy dealer and the bad-guy pusher looking to get you hooked.

John Kay had an amazing voice, perfect for the raucous blue-collar hard rock of his time.  
Photo of Steppenwolf band members in 1970
Steppenwolf in 1970 (L-R: Goldy McJohn, Jerry Edmonton, John Kay, Larry Byrom, George Biondo)
Maybe Bill can tell us WTF Goldy McJohn was thinking back then...
Definitely Bill has made some big serious scritiny out of the vast territory of music during the last month. I can only say I'm admired of the result.
Dig it, how it bears the trippy sound of the era, like Quicksilver Msgr Svc, Jeff Airplane, Animals — but the message is apropos today!
Didn't know Steppenwolf had more than two songs!
"The world's a can for your fresh garbage."

-- Spirit, "Fresh Garbage" 
Would love to hear "Monster" on RP it's only just over 9 min. Please Bill
I remember back that far .... barely. I was 2.
I'll rate it a 7  : (  scary how so many things have not changed for the better