Steppenwolf – “Born to Be Wild” Lyrics Meaning

Photo of author
Written By Joanna Landrum

Joanna holds a BSc in English Literature and uses her expertise in literary analysis to uncover the deeper meaning of her favorite songs.

“Born to Be Wild” is a thunderous anthem of freedom, rebellion, and the quest for adventure. At its heart, the song is a celebration of the untamed spirit, urging listeners to break free from societal constraints and embrace life with fervor. It’s about the thrill of the open road, the search for adventure, and the desire to live life on one’s terms. The songwriter taps into a universal longing for freedom and self-discovery, packaging it into a high-octane musical experience.

It’s a mantra for anyone who has ever felt the call of the wild, the urge to break free from constraints and live with unbridled passion. It’s a song that resonates with the adventurer in all of us, reminding us of the power of freedom and the beauty of living life on our own terms.

“Born to Be Wild” Lyrics Meaning

“Get your motor runnin’, Head out on the highway, Looking for adventure, In whatever comes our way.” From the opening lines, “Born to Be Wild” sets the stage for a journey of freedom and exploration. It’s an invitation to break away from the everyday, to find adventure in the vastness of life’s highway. The song embodies the essence of the open road, symbolizing it as a path to self-discovery and liberation.

“Yeah, darlin’, go and make it happen, Take the world in a love embrace, Fire all of your guns at once, And explode into space.” These lines are a powerful call to action. They encourage listeners to seize life with passion, to embrace the world and all its possibilities with love, and to live with intensity. The imagery of firing all guns at once and exploding into space speaks to the ultimate release of energy, a metaphor for living life to its fullest without holding back.

“I like smoke and lightnin’, Heavy metal thunder, Racing with the wind, And the feeling that I’m under.” This verse dives deeper into the sensory experiences of the wild ride. The elements of smoke, lightning, and heavy metal thunder conjure images of a powerful, almost elemental force. Racing with the wind captures the exhilaration of speed and movement, while the “feeling that I’m under” hints at the thrill and slight danger that comes with living on the edge.

“Like a true nature’s child, We were born, born to be wild, We can climb so high, I never wanna die.” Here, the song reaches its thematic climax, declaring that we are all ‘nature’s children,’ born with an inherent desire to be wild. It’s an assertion of our natural state being one of freedom and boundless potential. The desire to “climb so high” and the proclamation “I never wanna die” reflect a yearning for immortality through the act of living fully and fearlessly.

The Story Behind “Born to Be Wild”

Written by Mars Bonfire, the song was a reflection of the cultural shifts occurring in the late 1960s. The era was marked by a collective push against the status quo, with young people everywhere seeking to redefine freedom, identity, and purpose on their terms. In this context, “Born to Be Wild” emerged as an anthem for those looking to break free from societal expectations and carve out their path.

The songwriter, influenced by the burgeoning counterculture movement and the growing popularity of motorcycle riding as a symbol of freedom, sought to capture the essence of this newfound spirit of rebellion. The open road, with all its possibilities and dangers, served as the perfect metaphor for life’s journey. The song’s embrace of adventure, risk-taking, and living intensely resonated deeply with listeners, making it an enduring classic.

Behind the electrifying guitar riffs and robust vocals lies a deeper narrative of the song’s creation. It was born out of a period of personal exploration and reflection for Bonfire, who himself was navigating the complexities of freedom and self-discovery. The song’s message of liberation and the celebration of the individual spirit were not just cultural themes but also deeply personal ones.