What does Carolina in My Mind mean?

Search Login

James Taylor: Carolina in My Mind Meaning


No tags, suggest one.

Song Released: 1969

Carolina in My Mind Lyrics

In my mind I'm goin' 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 goin' to Carolina in my mind

Karen she's a silver sun



    #1 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    Aug 15th 2012 report

    It might be my own personal experience that makes me see it this way, but I think another interpretation (possibly not deliberate on James Taylor's part) is that of the singer's "last words".

    Beginning with the second verse:
    "Dark and silent late last night"
    The singer feels the stillness of death at his doorstep.
    "I think I might have heard the highway call"
    Clever wordplay here if you break up highway into 'high way' - the road to paradise.
    "Geese in flight and dogs that bite,
    Signs that might be omens, say I'm goin"
    Both birds and dogs have associations with omens of death.

    Then the bridge:
    "With a holy host of others standing around me"
    This line could mean either friends and family gathered around the dying, or an assembly of angels and the spirits of his ancestors descending on him.
    "Still I'm on the dark side of the moon"
    He's transported to a place that is mysterious and unfamiliar.
    "And it seems like it goes on like this forever"
    The vastness of eternity.
    "You must forgive me.. if I'm up and gone to Carolina in my mind"
    He asks his loved ones to forgive him for leaving them.

    And then come the final lines:
    "And I'm already gone"
    "Say nice things about me 'cause I'm gone"
    "Carry on without me 'cause I'm gone"

    He asks the people who care about him to remember him fondly, and to try to carry on with their lives in spite of his death.

    In that way, "Carolina in my mind" might mean either the singer's vision of paradise, or his last reminiscence of his beloved home right before his death.

    Finally, there's lots of little stuff like
    "The sky's on fire" - sunset
    and how in both of the first two verses the author seems to be trying to impart a lesson. Perhaps some last words of wisdom?

  2. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jul 5th report

    James Taylor is not dead. He didn't write this song just before his death. The song was written decades ago and he is still alive. Viva JT!

  3. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Dec 15th 2017 report

    In the 1968 Apple Records demo version, the lyric is "With a Holy Host of others standin' all 'round the grave..." This gives credence to the "death" theme.

  4. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Apr 21st 2014 report

    He is driving home. Thinking about his relatives from old growing up. Like when he go's home he thinks of how much he misses everyone. (He did loose his brother) "now the 1st of dec was covers with snow!, so was the so we're the turnpike! (NJ TURNPIKE) from Stockbridge too Boston, though the Berkshire seem dream like on account of that frosting. With 10 miles behind me. And ten thousand more too go!, (just started his long drive home.

  5. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Nov 15th 2013 report

    The word is GONE to Carolina, as in I imagine I am there, it's not GOING to Carolina!

  6. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Sep 24th 2012 report

    A love every one dreams of!

  7. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Aug 29th 2011 report

    I always thought it was about a Vietnam soldier... dark side of the moon, sky on fire... scared, ppssibly shot in the field and wanting home

  8. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jun 28th 2011 report

    Is he simply longing for the home he grew up in while struggling with time pressures and depression?

  9. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    May 28th 2011 report

    motguzzi is completely wrong, James Taylor sings about how he remenisces his home in Carolina. No matter what happens in his life, whether it's friends deserting him, he always can revert to his sweet childhood memories of Carolina in his mind.

  10. motoguzzi13
    click a star to vote
    Jan 19th 2010 report

    I think this song is about somebody dying from a car wreck
    let me explain
    the chorus
    cant you just see the sunshine (a bright light before death)
    cant you just feel the moonshine(talking about liquor,drunk)
    ain't it just like a friend of mine to hit me from behind
    (a wreck maybe a story of somebody folowing him home from the bar and runs into him)
    karin she's a silver sun..(this verse he's thinking of the woman he won't see agin and maybe feels guilt "a silver tear I'm crying"
    back to chorus(hes going to the happy place in his mind blocking out whats happening to him
    the next verse
    is the one that almost just comes out and says it
    hes thinking that love was the only thing important in his life its like james is telling us a story of what goes through somones mind when they are dying
    the sky's on fire could refer to the burning wreck and the "I'm dying aint I" tells it right there he realizes he's dying and his way of dealing with it some call it shock but he going to Carolina in his mind
    he talks about the highway calling and omens reference to driving and omen something was gonna happen
    now this is the clincher the refrain where he talks about the holy host surrounds him(hes talking about the rescue crew and crowd, whats the sign for medical? a cross and he's on the dark side of the moon(this means even tho I'm surrounded with all these people I'm alone this is the most poetic way to say it I've ever heard)

    I've been in a bad crash and when you're lying on the ground and everyone is talking to you trying to comfort you you still are alone and this is the point of the song it's about dying is something we all do alone but the good part is that second before we die our mind sees the most beautiful thing we can think about so he slips away by going to Carolina in his mind

More James Taylor song meanings ยป


Latest Articles


Submit Your Interpretation

[ want a different song? ]

Just Posted

The Moss anonymous
Notebook anonymous
17 Dead anonymous
Demons anonymous
Roman Sky anonymous
Fire Drill anonymous
Devil Town anonymous
Under Your Scars the_shooting_star
Rosemary CarobTree
Happier anonymous
Enemy anonymous
Warriors anonymous
Die Young anonymous
I Can Feel It Nik
I Will Not Bow anonymous

Get a weekly email update

(We won't give out your email)

Latest Releases

Kiss Goodbye All Night
Drake Milligan
Told You I Could Drink
Dah Dah DahDah
Nardo Wick
Romantic Homicide
Easy Tonight
Niko Moon
Church Girl
Free Dem 5's
YoungBoy Never Broke Again
Home Ain't Home
YoungBoy Never Broke Again