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Here I Am! Rock Me Like A Wagon Wheel! Wait, What?

Posted by fallenpastor | Posted in metaphor, music, sarcasm, WBFFA, youtube | Posted on 02-05-2013


I’m stepping out of ministry mode for a moment to go on a rant about an awful song I’ve been hearing lately. The popular version of it is sung by Darius Rucker. The song is “Wagon Wheel.” If you’ve heard it, it has the line, “Rock me mama like a wagon wheel” in its chorus.

It is quite possibly the worst simile ever, ever, ever in the history of music.

First, a little history of the song. It was penned by the great Bob Dylan and Ketch Secor. Another version was performed by Old Crow Medicine Show but it has caught more attention recently when Rucker sang it. Others have performed it as well. But on to more important things.

The song speaks of being comforted by a significant other and he wants her to “rock me like a wagon wheel.” Really?

Wagon wheels do not rock. They don’t. They roll. Don’t argue. If I held up a wagon wheel in front of you and asked you, “What does this item do?” You would say, “It goes on a wagon.” And then I would say, “And what motion does it AMISH FORGIVE 1make?” And unless you were either ignorant or just trying to be argumentative, you would say, “It rolls.”

Yes. It rolls. It does not rock. If it is rocking, then it is not fulfilling its intended purpose.

Oh, oh, but a wagon rocks when it’s moving.” But the wagon wheel does not.

But don’t take my word for it. Go talk to some Amish and ask them, “Do you have any wagon wheels? If so, what motion do they make?” They would probably look at you funny then say, “Well, English, they roll.”

Yeah, I can hear you. “Oh, it’s music. It’s a song. It’s being expressive and giving us emotion.” Yeah. That’s right. But that doesn’t mean it’s good. Nor does that mean the figure of speech the author has used is any good. It isn’t.

Case in point, let’s consider, “Rock You Like a Hurricane,” by The Scorpions. If you’ve ever been to an airshow, you’ve heard this song. You know it – “Here I am, rock you like a hurricane!”

Yeah, if you’ve ever been in a hurricane, you probably got rocked. That’s good simile. When The Scorpions were writing that song, they might have had the following conversation:

We need to write a song about being rocked by something. Or like something. What are things that rock people?”

Bulldozers! Trains! Meteors! Lightning! Oh . . .oh . . hurricanes!

ductmbI can guarantee you that never, ever, ever, ever did a “wagon wheel” make it into that conversation. Not once did the line, “Here I am, rock you like a wagon wheel!” get sung.

I’m just saying.

And for all you future songwriters out there, please use responsible similes and metaphors. Please. It’s like duct taping your mailbox.


Hey, wait! There’s an update for this post! I know you’re excited. It’s called, “The Wagon Wheel That Rocked.” Don’t miss it.

Did you like this? Maybe not. But you might like my post about “The Ceiling Can’t Hold Us“, my post about how awful Candy Crush is, my post about “Get Your Shine On”, my poor attempt to start the unity selfie, or the one about “Boys ‘Round Here.”

When I’m not being cynical about pop culture, I do run a ministry to help fallen pastors here at fallenpastor.com. I also wrote a book. It is designed to help people understand forgiveness and the problems within the church. Check it out – it’s on Amazon and everything.

Comments (19)

[…] Let me start with this. I can see how peo­ple reach my site by the search engine terms they use. Typ­i­cally, it’s some­thing like “fallen pas­tor” (go fig­ure), “list of fallen pas­tors”, “my pas­tor com­mit­ted adul­tery” or what­ever. Lately, it’s been, “what does rock me mama like a wagon wheel mean?” […]

[…] I’m doing thing because I had a recent post about a cer­tain “Wagon Wheel,” that has cre­ated a lot of att… […]

[…] I’m doing thing because I had a recent post about a cer­tain “Wagon Wheel,” that has cre­ated a lot of att… […]

you can rock a wagon wheel. when a wheel is stuck say in the mud. you gently rock the wheel back and forth to free it.. just sayin

[…] look­ing for other great exam­ples of songs that have ter­ri­ble gram­mar, check out my Wagon Wheel or Shine On posts. I really do like good music. I promise. Oh, and I’m avail­able for […]

Really? This isnt english class its the music world, theyre just trying to make words in their songs rhyme. They dont sit down and sa lets make this song a simile or a metaphor

I’m sorry, Kelli. It is English class. Let me help. “Isn’t” is a contraction and requires an apostrophe. The shortened form of “it is” that you used also requires an apostrophe, as does “they’re”. And “don’t”. And it’s “say”. Also, the end of a sentence requires puntuation.

But I digress and disagree. Somgwriters should be more responsible about their lyrics. Do they always have to conform to perfect standards? Nope. But you have to admit, that was an awful simile. It was like watching an elephant skydive into a teacup.

Oh, one more thing. I hope I didn’t sound harsh. I think you missed the big picture. Satirical blog post. Check out the wonderful world of satire sometime and you might enjoy the world a little more. Have a lovely day.

[…] really upset when you crit­i­cize their music or TV shows. So don’t do it from the pul­pit. Do it from a blog instead. (Inter­est­ingly, those same peo­ple could really care less when you crit­i­cize the Bible, […]

[…] you like this? Maybe not. But you might like my now infa­mous Wagon Wheel post, my post about “The Ceil­ing Can’t Hold Us”, my post about how awful Candy Crush is, or my […]

[…] groom have a test tube of sand. They take turns pour­ing it into a larger vial of sand while, “Wagon Wheel” or some other song plays. Yay. But now that’s really get­ting old. Why? Because every­thing […]

a wagon wheel can rock, although it rolls, if it is not trued as most wheels were not back then because the spokes were not ajustable, the wheel while rolling would rock back and forth in its motion. wheels became untrue by sitting for period of time without use. and other factors. ) so although they do roll they also did rock side to side. sometimes you need to ask questions and not just assume. sometimes there is an answer,

It’s finally good to have a wagon wheel engineer stop by. Whew. I was getting concerned someone with expertise might not ever see this post.

Actually, bearing hub assemblys for wagon wheels develop a lot of slack overtime. Therefore the wagon wheel will rock a little bit while rolling. A little bit of slack in the wheel hub will produce a lot of rocking motion from side to side when sitting in the seat.

I am going to have to brush up on wagon wheel bearing hub assembly blueprints if I’m going to understand this song then, huh?

[…] we have to get seri­ous. I need to revisit one of this blog’s most pop­u­lar posts, “Here I Am! Rock Me Like a Wagon Wheel!” If you haven’t read it, go there right now. I’ll […]

Alright sir, here’s the deal. It is abundantly obvious to me that you don’t possess the wherewithal to understand true artistic beauty. Just because a wagon wheel rolls (literally) & doesn’t rock (metaphorically,) is beside the point. As a writer & musician myself, we often implement poetic license in order to keep the reader, or listener in this case, entertained. Just because you may not agree, or like the meaning of a song, does not mean you have to make it your mission to push your religious agenda on people. It’s a kick ass song, and Darius Rucker covered it like a professional. Oh wait, he is a professional! Leave the songwriting to us veteran artists, and we’ll put the preaching in your hands. Lastly, if you ever hear one of my songs, and want to write a scathing review because you’re perturbed by the meaning, bring it on brother :)

Hey Will. Thanks for your hearty opinion. I hope your music career is phenomenal. I’m not sure where I pushed any religious agenda on anyone regarding “Wagon Wheel,” and that’s the only place where I disagree with you. The rest of what I wrote is satirical and meant for a laugh. Wish you the best with your talents.

If a wagon can rock, as you acknowledge, would it not be the wheel rocking it?


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