Drifter

Album: Landing On Water (1986)
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  • "Drifter" has Young painting a self portrait similar to the one he painted in "The Loner." Both songs have a dark edge to them.

    In "Drifter," Young speaking to someone, presumably a love interest, confessing that he's a compulsive rambler who'll bail the moment she tries to tie him down. It's in his nature, not some kind of curse or mental defect, as he makes clear when he sings, "Don't try to rescue me."

    There's an edge of anger in the song, too, as Young asks:

    What about you, did I ever
    take a thing from you?
    What about me, how do I know
    that your love is true?
    What about you,
    how can I count on you
    to count on me?

    That last verse seems to imply that his own desire to move on stems from trust issues.

    Young explains that he needs to keep moving, particularly driving his car, wrapping up the song with the repeated like "I like to feel the wheel."
  • Young's propensity for burning bridges and drifting around has been well documented by many, including himself. He's made no bones about this facet of his personality, and he makes no excuses for all the lovers, friends, and collaborators he's abandoned.

    In an interview with Nick Kent, Young said, "I've been running all my life. Where I'm going... who the f--k knows?"
  • "Drifter" is the final track on Landing on Water. It, along with "Pressure," are Young's favorite songs from that album.
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