In my mind I'm gone to Carolina
Can't you see the sunshine?
Can't you just feel the moonshine?
Ain't it just like a friend of mine
To hit me from behind?
Yes, I'm gone to Carolina in my mind

Karin, she's a silver sun
You best walk her way and watch it shine
Watch her watch the morning come
A silver tear appearing now
I'm cryin', ain't I?
Gone to Carolina in my mind

There ain't no doubt in no ones mind
That love's the finest thing around
Whisper something soft and kind
And hey babe, the sky's on fire
I'm dying, ain't I?
Gone to Carolina in my mind

In my mind I'm gone to Carolina
Can't you see the sunshine?
Can't you just feel the moonshine?
Ain't it just like a friend of mine
To hit me from behind?
Yes, I'm gone to Carolina in my mind

Dark and silent, late last night
I think I might have heard the highway call
And geese in flight and dogs that bite
The signs that might be omens say
I'm goin', I'm goin'
I'm gone to Carolina in my mind

With a holy host of others standin' around me
Still I'm on the dark side of the moon
And it seems like it goes on like this forever
You must forgive me, if I'm up and gone to
Carolina in my mind

In my mind I'm goin' to Carolina
Can't you see the sunshine?
Can't you just feel the moonshine?
Ain't is just like a friend of mine
To hit me from behind
Yes, I'm gone to Carolina in my mind
Gone to Carolina in my mind
And I'm goin' to Carolina in my mind
Gone to Carolina in my mind
Gone, I'm gone, I'm gone
Say nice things about me 'cause I'm gone South now
Carry on without me, I'm gone

Lyrics submitted by oofus

Carolina in My Mind Lyrics as written by James Taylor

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Carolina In My Mind song meanings
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  • +5
    Song MeaningJames Taylor wrote this song shortly after being signed to a record deal to Apple Records by the Beatles. He was sitting in an office in London, surrounded by all these new people and exciting things yet he was still feeling homesick. The Beatles are reference in this song as a "holy host". In fact on the original track Paul McCartney played bass and George Harrison sang backup vocals. The song also references his drug abuse problems and how he wishes he could just go back to carolina and the way thing were when he was a kid.
    tsdaman15on August 16, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentJames has said that this is probably his favorite song he's written. In the newly-released "James Taylor Encyclopedia" by Joel Risberg (you can order it at, James is quoted as explaining the song's origins like this: "I was recording that Apple album [his self-titled debut album] and I took a break and went to an island off the coast of Spain called Formentera. And I met a girl there named Karin, and she and I took a boat to the next island, which was Abeetha - a larger island. We were just walking around there and missed the last boat back and didn't have any money for a room and we stayed in the street that night and waited for next morning when the boat would run again... She was asleep... and I was up and... I was thinking about my home in North Carolina and what it meant and stuff and that just sort of came down out of the air."
    MyWordson March 16, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think There is no way that this song could ever be topped. Thanks for the book explanation by the way, it is nice to know the true origins. But, me and James are good friends and I don't think he would mind if I kept some of my own interpretations.
    I tend to spend all my time on school because I have ADD and it takes me forever to get anything done. This song has always been my break song, when I need to allow my mind wander to a different place. Plus my family is from Carolina, and after many a late night I always associate myself with the moon. My favorite part is also:
    "With a holy host of others standing 'round me
    Still I'm on the dark side of the moon"
    Lately I have been making friends with this group of hardcore christians and the sad part is that they have no idea I don't believe in the same things as them (nor would they ever consider asking if I do).

    Quick Tip: For any fans of this song that don't have time to search through the endless J.T. tracks and only listen to the Greatest Hits Album, you will like the songs "Another Grey Morning" and "You Can Close Your Eyes". You'll thank me when you find them.
    HungryHippon May 01, 2005   Link
  • +1
    My OpinionThis song has a special meaning to me cause I was born and raised in North Carolina and I am such a homebody.To me North Carolina is perfect.Beautiful land scapes,mild weather,and where I live some of the freshest air u will ever breathe. We have everything from beaches to mountains.I cant imagine living anywhere else.
    KingOHeartson March 20, 2010   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationThis song has a different meaning to me, since I am not from North or South Carolina. To me this song is juast a nostalgic look at the past. It takes me back to this past year and look at all the friends I got to meet, all the mistakes I made, all the friends that turned out to be assholes. And I would LOVE for this to be my senior song. Wouldn't that be the most kickass senior song ever? I might be crazy, but this is the way I think of this song.
    vnslykrxon May 15, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Commentyou guys are clueless and must have not been through hard enough times. Notice James while performing looks behind him when he say aint it just like a friend of mine to hit me from behind, I've been there he's being literal , It feels like a ghost or spirit punching you in the back and that is why he dosent elaborate when he talks about his recovery.
    sugerbear11on October 17, 2010   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationThis is one of my faves by James Taylor.
    I call Arizona home, but I lived in North Carolina for several years. During my time there, I had some personal experiences which changed my life forever & helped to shape my character. I have a lot of fond memories about it. I still have many relatives & friends there. I've actually made a couple of trips back to NC over the years. Whenever I hear this song, it makes me want to hop on a plane & fly back there again. (I'm goin' to Carolina in my mind.)
    rockinazon May 12, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTo me he's simply writing about how he is home sick. He says "with a holy host of others standing 'round me, still I'm on the dark side of the moon." I believe he's saying even with all these people around him, he still feels so lonely because it's not home. I think it's a stretch to relate it to his addiction.
    PeytDavon August 08, 2011   Link
  • +1
    Lyric CorrectionTO hit me from behind, dark and silent LATE last night.
    PeytDavon August 20, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI grew up in the hills of Pennsylvania, but have had several trips to the Brevard area and felt it would make a great place to retire. The area is so-o-o beautiful, the folks are friendly, and the winters are much more mild than Penna. Now I have two wonderful grandkids living in Charleston; so I do spend a lot of time in Carolina in my mind. James is one of my all time favorite artists, and this is my favorite of his songs.
    PlasticsTekkieon November 13, 2011   Link

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