"Carried Home" as written by and Samuel Ervin Beam....
The kettle burned cause I left it too long
And we were kissing with the radio on
The cat was choking on a rattle snake bone
The town had gathered round the soldier boy carried home

Carried home

The sick kids ate up all the red clay
And every summer there was imminent rain
The late judge teetered in a john boat
The town had gathered round the soldier boy carried home

Carried home

The broken window and the pretty blue sky
And cold water for my swollen black eye
We shook some money from your mother's old clothes
When all had gathered round the soldier boy carried home

Carried home [Repeat: x16]


Lyrics submitted by smallwonderrobot

"Carried Home" as written by Samuel Ervin Beam

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Carried Home song meanings
Add your thoughts

7 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +1
    General Comment"And every summer there was eminent rain" should be in between the "sick kids" line and the "late judge"...
    I get the idea that it's like... describing all of these bad things that happen when the town is gathering around this, i'm assuming dead, soldier being carried home... It's almost like... well... people think of soldiers, usually, to be glorious or brave people, and they're distracted by the death of something good. They don't realize the things that are happening when they're focusing on the death... almost like they're oblivious to it. they're paying too much attention to glory... or death... not sure which yet.
    Lindzer320on October 22, 2009   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretation"The cat was choking on a rattlesnake bone"

    The cat has killed the dangerous rattlesnake and eaten its corpse, but the snake wins in the end due to the cat's greed. Could be a critique of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, considering the soldier imagery throughout.


    I'm baffled by this line, though:
    "The late judge teetered in a jon boat"

    A jon boat is a flat-bottomed boat that's great for fishing due to it's stability. However, it is limited to calmer waters because it rides over the waves rather than cutting through them. (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…)

    I mean, is the judge dead in the boat? Did he die because the boat tipped?


    What I love about Iron & Wine's lyrics is that you somehow intuitively feel the meaning even if you can't pin it down logically.
    krackerdogon September 28, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song.
    prussianvirtueon May 12, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI resonant the I love it. It's a wonderful song... it has so many meanings though. It could mean someone talking to an old friend, an old love or to themselves.
    Reedstaron May 13, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love how at 5:30 into the song it starts to wind down and almost gets me dizzy.
    3wolveshirton April 21, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe ending of the song almost gives a dream-like effect, making me wonder if perhaps the song is delving into their own subconscious, thinking of all of these images are reminding them of something they love and hate at the same time?
    NasalSnackon November 22, 2010   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI think this song takes place in a small town during a war or immediately after war. While the town is visiting the dead soldiers, sick people, pets, teenagers, and maybe even burglars get the opportunity to get hurt. Having Samuel be apart of the this as a teen.

    "The kettle burned because I left it too long, when we were kissing with the radio on" Here he must speaking about himself and his girlfriend sneaking around with each other while the town is visiting the dead soldiers.

    "The cat was choking on a rattlesnake bone" The cat is left alone to get food for itself, because no one is the to feed it. When the cat finds the snake it assumes that it's food and eats it, but the cat doesn't know about the bones in its "food" so it choked.

    "The sick kids ate a bowl of red clay" In some cases when someone has a stomach ache you can take a capsule w/ powder clay or add water to liquefy it and drink it like that. These kids may have had a cold and one of the symptoms was a stomach ache.

    "And every summer there was imminent rain" The war must have lasted over many years. When the deceased soldiers came to the town it was usually during the summer. In cartoons when the character is depressed there is a cloud over there head, so when the whole town is sad it covers the sky making it seem as if it was about to rain.

    "The late judge teetered in a jon boat" I think here the judge has been murdered or hurt on the boat, so the boat teeters as the judge inside is being moved around.

    "The broken window and the pretty blue sky, and cold water for my swollen black eye" Someone must have robbed the house, when they threw a rock in the window hit him in the eye and knocked him out when he woke up and everything was gone.

    "We shook some money from your mother's old clothes" He got money from his friend's mother to replace the stolen items. After this the join the town to mourn the death of the soldiers.

    When the line "Carried home" is repeated in the end, it could represent the many deceased soldiers that came home year after year.
    giggleglasseson June 18, 2014   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