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Monday, March 3, 2014

Kris Kristofferson's Harpoon

"Me and Bobby McGee" is one of the unforgettable hits of the Seventies, and one of the songs I almost know by heart. The most famous line of that song is of course "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose, nothing ain't worth nothing but it's free". You can't discuss that. There is, however, a line in that song I never quite understood. I mean "I pulled my Harpoon from my dirty red bandana". What? The two lovers hitchhiked across America carrying a harpoon? I was naive enough to accept it as a songwriter's fantasy. Someone told me "Harpoon" was a slang word for harmonica. Not very probable. By now I'm convinced that the correct interpretation is to consider Kristofferson's "Harpoon" a hypodermic needle, since a bandana was often used to tie off the arm before an addict shot up.

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