"Wagon Wheel (Old Crow Medicine Show cover)" as written by and Bob Dylan Jay Secor....
Headed down south to the land of the pines
And I'm thumbin' my way into North Caroline
Starin' up the road
And 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 anyway 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 anyway 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 gotta get a move on fit for 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 anyway 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 AlkalineArmy

Wagon Wheel (Old Crow Medicine Show cover) song meanings
Add your thoughts

21 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +1
    General CommentOkay, my boyfriend and i got high one night and discovered the meaning to this song.

    Ok, the singer is a hitch hiker catching rides from various people in order to see his baby.
    ( thumbin' my way into North Caroline)
    The chorus (rock me..etc) is about the rocking of the train and the wagon because that's the life he's accustomed to and he's comfortable in those situations (wind and rain).
    The second verse they are all playin instruments he mentioned that he played the fiddle and that his baby plays the guitar so he plays the banjo now.
    We thought that meant like she almost persuaded him to play the banjo because it's more similar to the guitar and he thought of her as a better person than he because she didn't fuck up so he tried to be like her.
    The gambling part as well as the getting high part is part of the story of him fucking up and he doesn't want to get back into that shit and her not wanting to see him because he fucks up so much.
    The next verse took us a bit to figure out
    but essentially he's saying his love is the only one, he can hear her now, he wants to get to her. But if he dies, then at least he'll die doing what he loves, on his way to his love.
    Again, i have no idea. but that's our(mostly my boyfriends) interpretation.
    sakeofdramaon March 25, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI don't know why, but for me this song always relates to The Civil War and a solider trying to get back to his Wife/Girl. Mainly because of these lyrics..."And if I die in Raleigh At least I will die free".
    statonscarleton August 09, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI can't believe no one has commented on this song. It is by far one of the most beautiful cover songs i have ever heard and i can't help but feel at peace when ever i hear it. God i love this song.
    alicelikesmeon April 14, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyeah this is a beautiful song, i hate the original version but i just love the cover.
    specialK37on May 13, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhats wrong with the original?
    KeasbyKnightson July 27, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song's beautiful. Sticking to the roots of writing songs.

    I was so excited when I first heard "Johnson City, Tennessee" in this song. I was born and raised an hour away from there, and that's where the closest mall is and where my friends and I hang out.

    It just makes me feel at home everytime I hear it.

    And my interpretation of it is very personal, and although it has very different meanings, "Rock me, Mama, rock me..." reminds me of my mother rocking me as a child.

    I just love the way this song makes me feel.
    It was the first song I could naturally relate by Against Me!

    Most of their songs are about politics, but sometimes, I just want to get away from those opinions for a moment and be reminded of where I truly come from as a person, before politics even made sense to me.
    lacetonon August 16, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSInce its on the "Protect" Comp Im guessing it has to do with someone, literally, going back to his/her mother. THink about it, the human probably ran away, found out the real world sucked, and came back to his home town, to his mom, and his girl.
    our_deadon October 02, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIts by OCMS, the comp its on when AM covered it has nothing to do with the meaning of the song.
    KeasbyKnightson January 17, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTo me it sounds like hes trying to go home whether its to his mother or his girl, what have you, seems to me its about having to move on, or being forced to deal with change. Got kicked out of school last semester down south listened to this song for three hours on the way up north going home, after leaving four years of good friends and good times, the fact that i got to get home was struggle enough, months in the making, i guess i really relate to the song to that specific situation, leaving, having some hope in coming home, but knowing that uncertainity still lies ahead.
    thatmuchfurtherweston January 22, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTHIS IS A BOB DYLAN COVER!!!!!!! Old Crow Medicine Show Covered It As Well As Many Others!!
    carriestupidheadon April 28, 2007   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain