"The Wagon" as written by and Joseph Donald Mascis Jr.....
There's a way I feel right now
Wish you'd help me, don't know how
We're all nuts so who helps who
Some help when no one's got a clue

Baby, why don't we?
Baby, why don't we?
There's a place I'd like to go
When you get there then I'll know
There's a place I know you've been
Here's a wagon, get on it

Baby, why don't we? x4
Why don't we?

On't see me, you won't see me
There you are and here I stand
Tryin' to make you feel my hand

You won't see me you won't see me
I ring the doorbell in your mind
But it's locked from the outside
You won't see me you won't see me

You don't live there anyway but I knock on it all day
You won't see me, you won't see me

There's a place I go but
You're not there and I'm supposed to know
How to get to
Where you're gonna be but you don't even know
So I'm flakin' while you're shakin' it
With every stone
You fly without a mind, without a spine
What is it that you wanna find?

There's a place I go but you're not there
And I'm supposed to know
How to get to where you're gonna be
But you don't even know
So I'm flalin' while you're sailin' off without a course in mind
Without a mind, without a dock
What is it that you wanna find

There's a place I'd like to go
When you get there then I'll know
There's a place I know you've been
Here's a wagon, get on
Baby, why don't we? baby, why don't we? why don't we?
You won't see me you won't see me
There you are and here I stand tryin' to make you feel my hand
You won't see me you won't see me
I ring the doorbell in your mind but it's locked from the outside
You won't see me you won't see me
You don't live there anyway but I knock on it all day
You won't see me you won't see me


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"The Wagon" as written by Joseph Donald Mascis Jr

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The Wagon song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentI disagree that the song is about trying to get someone's attention and failing. Mascis seems to have a well established relationship with the person in question already. Instead, I think it's more about the other party being unintentionally distant in a way that's damaging the relationship, but neither knows what to do about it -- precisely because of the distance she has put between herself and Mascis, and the disconnect she has from her own mind.

    Ultimately, the song boils down to the masterful lines:

    "I ring the doorbell in your mind, but it's locked from the outside / you don't live there anyway, but I knock on it all day."

    The literal meaning here is that the woman is not present in her mind -- maybe she has trouble keeping herself rooted in reality or partakes in escapism of whatever form, or perhaps she is just numb to her emotions. In any case, when Mascis rings the doorbell, there is no one there to answer the door -- he tries to get in touch with her emotional, thoughtful, visceral side and it just isn't there. In turn, Mascis can't accept his own reality. He continues to try, knowing that she will never "answer." This type of dedication generally stems from the devastation of someone who used to seem present now being mentally gone.

    Mascis begins the song by referencing mental illness. Whether he is referring to a clinical disorder or the colloquial "nuts" hardly seems relevant; the fact is, these two people are incapable of helping each other. Not only do they not know what type of help to provide for each other, but they are uncertain what sort of help the other person could provide for them. Mascis may sometimes ring the doorbell because he wants to help, but he already knows his shortcomings -- he's too unstable himself to even provide anything of value. In that sense, he's just as out of sync with reality as she is, and maybe so focused on her that he can't focus on his own life. Everything seems to revolve around her. Most notably, the place Mascis wants to "go" is where she is going to be, which he references twice:

    "There's a place I go but you're not there and I'm supposed to know / how to get to where you'regonna be but you don't even know"

    and

    "There's a place I'd like to go / when you get there then I'll know"

    Obviously, he wants to be where she is, or at least where she's going. Unfortunately, not even she knows where that is. How can she, when she doesn't even seem aware of her current reality? Mascis mentions that she is "sailing without a course in mind" -- she is not thinking about where to go in terms of her life or mental state, nor is she planning any "routes." She is simply existing, bouncing from one thing to another. Mascis, on the other hand, already has somewhere he "goes" -- but he's ready to sacrifice it because it's not where she is.

    I think, in the end, Mascis feels simultaneously hopeful and hopeless, and devastatingly confused. He knows that she will get wherever she is going first, because she does not seem capable of communicating effectively with him even when she does have an idea ("tryin to make you feel my hand," "you won't see me"). He invites her to get on a wagon, which seems to be an offer for some direction -- but he's already admitted there's not much he can do, and it seems like he just wants them to head to the same place, regardless of where it is. And he staunchly refuses to give up, and even seems to beg (as well as criticize).

    Basically, to me, this song is written by someone who misses the person he used to know and would do anything to get her back. She is closed off to others because she is mentally vacant, and he needs her to come back because he thinks it will help him (plus he clearly cares about her). So yeah, I think it has a few more layers than trying to get someone's attention.
    chemica1on May 26, 2013   Link
  • +1
    Song Meaningit's a song about having breakfast toast with your she panther and you ask her the simple question, baby, white or wheat?
    marvingayeon October 07, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe second part of both verses sounds like a guy trying to get a girl's attention, but not succeding.
    The rest is kinda... confusing. But still cool.

    and how come no one commented on ths song? It's awesome!
    TheSilverNobleon March 13, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentQuite right!

    This song is the original DEFINITION of awesome!!
    thomsmellson March 15, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think there's also a hint of bitterness in there. Or maybe confusion about the subject's intentions:
    I.E "you don't even know
    So I'm flalin'
    While you're sailin' off
    Without a course in mind
    Without a mind, without a dock
    What is it that you wanna find"
    Mindglowon December 08, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentNot one of the best Dino albums but easily in the top ten songs Mascis has ever written. The lyrics are some of his best. In all honesty, this is one of the least experimental songs they've ever done (minus the metal riffage, this is a pretty normal albeit pretty pretty pop song) but who the fuck cares? gorgeous.
    KeyserSözeon August 14, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti interpret this like you`re in love and you want someone, but she wont, and then you ask yourself, what is it that she wanna find?, like, why are you hesitating im right here yo!

    this song is pretty straight forward to me, but i dont what mascis thought of when he wrote this of course. anyway, this is such a great song with a great tempo, dynamic and riff, makes me wanna rock out all my sad feelings
    djcvarmeon October 11, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentamazing lyrics from J:

    "I ring the doorbell in your mind
    But it's locked from the outside
    [...]
    You don't live there anyway
    But I knock on it all day "
    gamelanon May 31, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMaybe it's just me but the fact that the song in called "the wagon" and J is telling you to get on it, that it may have something to do with some kind of substance abuse.
    ginisfuon February 18, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAmazing song! Easily one of their best... amazing lyrics and the solo kicks ass in its simplicity and feeling
    mdub3172on March 07, 2017   Link

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