The chorus of “Wagon Wheel” was written by Bob Dylan in 1973. The rest of the song was written by a member of Old Crow Medicine Show 25 years later. Old Crow Medicine Show recorded a version of the song, but Darius’ version is the most popular. Darius recorded his version of the song in 2013 and went #1 on country radio.
So this guy on Instagram broke down the song and told us why the song “Wagon Wheel” makes no sense. It all has to do with the geography of the locations mentioned in the song.
He says, “In verses 1 and 2 we learn that our singer is traveling from New England to Raleigh, North Carolina and all that checks out.” The lyrics of the song in verses 1 and 2 say this, “Headin’ down south to the land of the pines…I’m thumbin’ my way into North Caroline…And I’m a-hopin’ for Raleigh, I can see my baby tonight…Runnin’ from the cold up in New England.”
The man tells us in the video that in the bridge of the song things really start to fall apart. He says, “He’s walking due south out of Roanoke he probably took 81 and it sounds like he’s on 220 heading to North Carolina. He catches a trucker out of Philly and here where things really go off the rails. The trucker’s a-heading west from the Cumberland gap to Johnson City, Tennessee, which is actually east of the Cumberland gap. So you’re not going to get there by traveling west.”
The songs lyrics to that part of the song are, “Walkin’ to the south out of Roanoke I caught a trucker out of Philly, had a nice long toke. But he’s a-headin’ west from the Cumberland Gap to Johnson City, Tennessee.”
He finishes the breakdown of the song by saying this, “I’ve run through 1,000 scenarios in my head and only way I can make this make sense is if he’s referring to a Gap clothing store near Cumberland, Virginia. Because if you’re coming from Philly and heading west from the Cumberland gap to Johnson City, Tennessee you know where you have to pass through…Roanoke.”