Headed down south to the land of the pines
And I'm thumbin' my way into North Caroline
Starin' up the road
Pray to God I see headlights

I made it down the coast in seventeen hours
Pickin' me a bouquet of dogwood flowers
And I'm a-hopin' for Raleigh
I can see my baby tonight

So rock me, mama, like a wagon wheel
Rock me, mama, any way you feel
Hey, mama rock me
Rock me, mama, like the wind and the rain
Rock me, mama, like a south-bound train
Hey, mama rock me

Runnin' from the cold up in New England
I was born to be a fiddler in an old-time string band
My baby plays the guitar
I pick a banjo now

Oh, the North country winters keep a-gettin' me now
Lost my money playin' poker so I had to up and leave
But I ain't a-turnin' back
To livin' that old life no more

So rock me, mama, like a wagon wheel
Rock me, mama, any way you feel
Hey, mama rock me
Rock me, mama, like the wind and the rain
Rock me, mama, like a south-bound train
Hey, mama rock me

Walkin' to the south out of Roanoke
I caught a trucker out of Philly
Had a nice long toke
But he's a-headed west from the Cumberland Gap
To Johnson City, Tennessee

And I got to get a move on before the sun
I hear my baby callin' my name
And I know that she's the only one
And if I die in Raleigh
At least I will die free

So rock me, mama, like a wagon wheel
Rock me, mama, any way you feel
Hey, mama rock me
Rock me, mama, like the wind and the rain
Rock me, mama, like a south-bound train
Hey, mama rock me


Lyrics submitted by ranavi


Wagon Wheel song meanings
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51 Comments

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  • +3
    General Commenti love this song so much.
    i love the instruments, and the beat.
    its so old and young sounding.
    its deep.
    ohshetriessohardshecrieson September 05, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General Comment I was in Panama City this year for college spring break. And as I was entering the bar to meet up with friends I saw a group of 6-8 early 20-somethings with ragged clothes, beat up wear and a look in the eyes that they've seen much. As most college frat/sorority people looked on in disgust I got there story of how some hitchhike, some drive around the country and some just..Go. As they sat there with an old beat up guitar that was out of tune and a harmonica.. They belted out this song.Now reading the lyrics,remembering how strong and in depth the three singing were.. I knew it was coming from the heart. I'll never forget that moment.
    bearfan34on March 21, 2010   Link
  • +3
    General CommentHootie should be drawn and quartered for the heartless, soulless rendition of this song he has perpetrated upon the music world.
    RockStarWannaBon September 02, 2013   Link
  • +2
    General CommentFirst time i heard this song i almost fell down.

    I met my wife in Fayetteville, NC, and then before we were married i got sent over seas. I was coming back when i heard this song...
    kaylasmanon April 10, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI found this song right as my life was turning a corner from a sad, unhappy existence to one full of life and love. I will forever associate it with letting go and embracing laughter, living in the moment, and companionship.
    bobthefrogon June 03, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOCMS: Rock Stars of the Bluegrass Circut. They Fucking Rock My Face Off. Just Tell It To Me!!
    Suspneceon April 09, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentBasically the whole thing is about going home to the woman he loves. I think one reason it's such a good song is because the theme touches all of us on different levels, i.e. it could literally be about a man traveling across the U.S. of A. to get home to his girl, or maybe the woman feels the man isn't ready for her, and he needs to grow up for a while before she will take him in again.
    Mr. Machineon September 04, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentGreat band, I got there two albums, good stuff. Not many bands cover Leadbelly these days and im not sure but I think i heard a bit of Woody Guthrie in one of there songs.
    FackingHellon September 05, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis song takes me back to a few great nights... it makes me feel so comfortable, like i'm home. not unlike 'carolina in my mind'
    margville87on September 06, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentFirst off, bluegrass, simply amazing!!! When I hear the song I think of leaving the girl because you need to clean up your life.

    Runnin' from the cold up in New England (obviously he was running from something and left home to do so)
    I was born to be a fiddler in an old-time stringband (sometimes in harmony with the guitar but mostly off beat)
    My baby plays the guitar
    I pick a banjo now (now he is in harmony with her but still has his own personality)
    And I gotta get a move on before the sun
    I hear my baby callin' my name (she's waiting for him to come back and he can't wait to get to her)
    And I know that she's the only one
    And if I die in Raleigh
    At least I will die free (love was the reason he changed and he feels things will be perfect)
    deadhead05on December 27, 2006   Link

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