"Chapel Hill" as written by Kim Gordon, Lee M. Ranaldo, Steven Jay Shelley and Thurston Joseph Moore....
A-back in the days when the battles raged
And we thought it was nothing
A bookstore man meets the CIA and we know
Throw me a cord and plug it in
Get the cradle rocking
Ah, out with the redneck pig old men
And it's go

The hair in the hole in my head
Too bad the scene is dead
Memories in the shadow
Back in time again

Ah, I can't forget your terrorized face
When you cried for the shameless
Wasted life Ameri-K-K-Kan
And you smile
So why should we run when we cannot hide
And my flag is burning?
We could be wrong but that's alright
We'll rise again

The hair in the hole in my head
Too bad the scene is dead
Memories in the shadow
It's back in town again

Lookin' away it's another day
And of course we love you
Radical man is the CIA
And we say no
We'll round up the Durham H.C. kids
And the Char-Grill Killers
Jesse H. come into our pit
All-ages show

The hair in the hole in my head
Too bad the scene is dead
Memories in the shadow
It's back in time again


Lyrics submitted by shut

"Chapel Hill" as written by Thurston Moore Kim Gordon

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Chapel Hill song meanings
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  • 0
    General Commenti guess this song is about the political polarity of north carolina. some of sonic youth's first shows(and i think their first shows out of new york city) were in north carolina. "cradle" is the famous chapel hill venue, cat's cradle.

    i'm still not sure why they say that the scene is dead, especially with how sonic youth always seems to make it a point to play two nc shows when they tour.
    Ryan W=BarkleyXCoreon January 07, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentJesse H. is the longtime NC senator Jesse Helms.

    Also, I live in the Triangle (It's the area that contains Durham, Chapel Hill and Raleigh, all 3 big college towns less than 30 miles apart from each other) and I don't really get this song. Though the scene here in Raleigh is pretty lame.
    deathbearon January 09, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentno one comments sonic youth lyrics ? ¬¬

    this is a good lyrics , but i can get it yet =)
    RedSpikedWallson April 23, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Cradle" = Cat's Cradle, famous venue in Chapel Hill
    "Jesse H." - longtime NC senator Jesse Helms
    "Durham H.C." - Durham is another town that's right near Chapel Hill, so is Raleigh
    "Char Grill" - I think that's a restaraunt..???

    Definitely about the political polarity of NC and its conservative nature.
    rimiskaon March 17, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti read this was about a rascist killing of a black bookstore owner.
    iluvyougoldenblueon September 13, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe owner of Internationalist Books in Chapel Hill, Bob Sheldon, was considered by many the cornerstone Chapel Hill's progressive and radical scene. In 1991, someone walked into his bookstore and shot him; the murder remains unsolved. Many suspect that it was executed by the CIA. He was not African-American.

    Although Chapel Hill does have a productive scene, many argue that it is dead by comparison to it's late 80s incarnation. The Cat's Cradle its self has moved since this song's release.
    kirbyfulon October 26, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentbest song by them and youth against facism
    PuNkSxNoTxdEaDon December 07, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSo I grew up in Chapel Hill, and didn't really understand the meaning until years later.

    Yes, the original Intl. Bookstore was right around the corner from the original Cat's Cradle location... Both more near downtown, Chapel Hill on West Franklin. (Cradle now in Carrboro).

    The day this bookstore owner was shot, Sonic Youth was playing their show - right around the corner from there at the cradle.

    Having grown up here, I didn't think of this area being a "good ole' boys" type political scene. Then again, I grew up in Chapel Hill., a more liberal town, than many areas of the state.

    However, as I've grown up some, I've seen a lot more corruption on many levels, and it's vast throughout different avenues of money, politics, business, and government... yes even local government.

    I guess it's not too different than some of the mafia scene in bigger cities in the north. It's just got a more southern twang to it all !

    However, I've not found a place across this beautiful country without corruption, so I guess you gotta take the good with the bad in life !
    ;)
    Mimzyon March 04, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBetter lyrics (from sonicyouth.com:

    Back in the days when the battles raged
    And we thought it was nothing
    A bookstore man meets the CIA
    And we know
    Throw me a cord and plug it in
    Get the Cradle rockin'
    Out with the redneck pig old men
    And it's gold

    Hair in the hole in my head
    Too bad the scene is dead
    Memory's in the shadow
    Back in time again

    I can't forget your terrorized face
    When you cried for the shameless
    Wasted life, AmeriK-K-Kan
    Then you smiled
    Said why should we run when we can not hide?
    And my flag is burnin'
    We could be wrong but that's alright
    We'll rise again

    Hair in the hole in my head
    Too bad the scene is dead
    Memory's in the shadow
    It's back in town again

    Lookin' away it's another day
    And of course we love you
    But radical man meets the CIA
    And we said no
    We'll round up the Durham H.C. kids
    And the Char Grill killers
    Jesse H. coming to our pit
    All ages show

    Hair in the hole in my head
    Too bad the scene is dead
    Memory's in the shadow
    It's back in time again
    skonthebasson May 09, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAlso (I know some of this has already been stated but pulled straight from sonicyouth:

    Written about the town of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. There are a few references to the scene there, including frequent sonic venue Cat's Cradle.

    One of the first songs written for Dirty, premiered on the August '91 Euro-tour (when The Year Punk Broke was filmed).

    Apparently spurred by the unsolved February 1991 murder of North Carolina bookseller Bob Sheldon.
    skonthebasson May 09, 2011   Link

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