"Chickamauga" as written by and Jay Farrar....
You'd never leave on your own
Where you're from and where you're going
I know these things like I know you hate me now
Catch yourself in mid-air thinking

Your dreams can never be bought
I couldn't help you then and I guess I can't help you now
When jousting is for pleasure
Pleasure is way out of hand

The time is right for getting out while we still can
Chickamauga's where I've been
Solitude is where I'm bound
I don't ever want to taste these tears again

I don't ever want to taste these tears again
Appalachian, so patient
The lessons we've traveled
As soon as we're out we're kicking our way back in

Fighting fire with unlit matches
From our respective trenches
No authority can clean up this mess we're in
A miracle might point the way

To solutions we're after
And avert our chronic impending disaster
Chickamauga's where I've been
Solitude is where I'm bound

I don't ever want to taste these tears again

Lyrics submitted by myeyesareopen

"Chickamauga" as written by Jay Farrar

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Chickamauga song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentThis song is about a civil war battle, at chickamauga, thought by some to be the bloodiest of the war. Jay Farrar probably wrote it after reading a story by Ambrose Bierce about the battle, of the same title. In the story, a young child out wandering at night stumbles upon a battlefield littered with grotesquely mangled bodies, some still moving and alive, left behind after the battle. Its a story that everyone should read, and isn't hard to find on the internet.
    freewheelinmikeon March 11, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI thought that the lyric was "when Charleston is for pleasure and pleasure is way out of hand..."
    I know that Jay Farrar has used atleast one other Civil War reference in Son Volt's "Strand" with the line - "Like grapeshot - fine spray"...grapeshot was the ammunition used by soldiers.
    sunbenon July 24, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI dunno...to me, this song sounds more like it's about the (at the time) rapidly deteriorating relationship between Farrar and Jeff Tweedy. This song was off the last studio album for UT, and it was obvious by that point that the band was headed for a breakup.
    thermo4on August 16, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think that the song is about further straining a relationship to try and make things better in the long run. The narrator goes to Chickamauga and it causes someone who'd never leave on their own to hate him. Example: a cheating boyfriend whose current girlfriend just isn't the one or maybe Jay seeking new band members. He's using the irony of the fact that Chickamauga is also the location of one of the bloodiest civil war battles to find a miracle of averting an impending disaster. The reasoning for the actions are because it's been so bad that he doesn't want to taste those tears again.
    zer0sp17on April 10, 2009   Link
  • 0
    Song Meaning"When jousting is for pleasure then pleasure is way out of hand..."-- love that line. Jousting is essentially fighting over nothing real... baubles and trophies. Jay's saying if we're fighting for fun, our definition of fun is totally out of whack.

    According to Jay's website, it's "Appalachian-soaked patience." Which means either NO patience, or alcohol-soaked patience. Appalachians are stereotyped as moonshiners, and as always feuding between clans.

    The song is obviously about Jay and Jeff... trying to put out fires between them by throwing matches at each other from opposing trenches. Being entrenched symbolizes being unwilling or unable to discuss peace terms. They can't come face to face. Jay feels like he's been fighting the bloodiest war ever and is sad to see his own solitude ahead, though he clearly is tired of fighting.
    birdboneon November 19, 2010   Link

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