"Vaccination Scar" as written by Robert Baker, Gordon Downie, Johnny Fay, Joseph Paul Langlois and Robert Gordon Sinclair....
So the chemistry set
And I'm not the saddest cheerleader to forget the American word
For the gang in the head
That dwindles 'til no members won
The mysteries met
The sky looks threatened heading home in the dust
Singing "Life is Forgetting"
Good enough for the frivolous

There's one thing I remember is
This tear on your bare shoulder
This little silver boulder
This slowly falling star
We're rolling, so what?
Never getting older where the moonshocked curtains part
The start of enough
A teardrop, then a vaccination scar

I'll tell ya if I'm involved, that is
I'll tell ya like it is
Random like a bad cartoon, like
The Tacoma Narrows Bridge
Like the Tacoma Narrows Bridge

Swimming on a bit
'Stop, you're treading water' as the sun assimilated the words
For lighthouse fire
Burning down to embers end
The mysteries met
Sky just reddened headin' home under dusk
Is life just forgettin' another word for frivolous?
Little silver boulder, silence from Mars for the heart of enough
Or a teardrop, then a vaccination scar

Wherever you are

Lyrics submitted by OpinionHead

"Vaccination Scar" as written by Johnny Fay Gordon Downie

Lyrics © Peermusic Publishing

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Vaccination Scar song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentPerplexing song. Something good for you in the long-run, yet it hurts now and leaves a permanent mark. Ending a relationship? Maybe. An ever-changing world? Maybe. Rockin' song? Fuck yeah.
    ProudesterMonkeyon April 23, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentobviously, he's singing about something "It went down like a abd card table....like the tacoma narrows bridge" Sounds like a traggity to me. But in the beginning..sounds like he's singing about how Americans don't have there act straight......Americans don't know what they stand for...god damn it I have no clue with the Hip sometimes! rofl!
    labargdw190on February 05, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI had heard a while back that the song is referring to a scar that would sometimes appear after a vaccination that would usually result in the child losing their arm because of it but I can't really confirm that.

    The part about the Tacoma Narrows Bridge is referring to "Galloping Gerdy" which collapsed during a windstorm as the vibrations got worse and worse. (I grew up near Seattle so it's common knowledge of the bridge around there.)
    epsilon343on July 23, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI used to live in Whistler, Shortly before I moved there was a storm that washed out one of the bridges between whistler and Pemberton I guess a group of Kids drove right into this raging river in the Dark, apparently Gord was writing material for
    "Evolution" in whistler when it happened and thats the accident that influences the song. The hip played this pub in whistler under a fake name "the fighting fightersons" thats week as well
    Jamey66on October 08, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIraq war. The gang in the head that dwindles to no members when the mystery's met is Iraq's "chemistry set" of WMDs. He's accusing the American administration of playing Chicken Little. The sky is in danger of falling according to them.
    Letmeinon April 20, 2008   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionMade an account for this site for the sole purpose of emphasizing the following point: you're sort of wasting your time trying to comprehend and / or breakdown lyrics written by Gord Downie & the Tragically Hip... at least if you're trying to break it down for someone other than yourself. The reason being, the lyrics are so fucking obscure, 95 % + of the time. And that's what makes the Hip so great!

    Their songs can mean so many different things to so many different people. And that's what makes the Hip so fucking awesome. Gord was a true poet & artist, not just a musician. Not only were the Hip's tunes fucking catchy and / or rocking; their lyrics meant something to each individual listener... in some way or another.

    Best band ever; gotta love 'em!
    thedirtiesthipon November 12, 2017   Link

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