Thursday, January 29, 2015

See Rock City

Have you ever been to Rock City? It was the original "tourist trap," albeit a very nice one. If you had the good fortune to be a child the first time, it is forever lit with a magical nostalgia that draws you back. The Bear remembers going there, and, when he was a dad, took his children, too. One cannot help but meditate on how our time here is not long, as we fill the roles our parents filled. Anyway, the Bear wrote this song, called "See Rock City."

Lookout Mountain, here I go.
Not too fast, and not too slow.
Traveling down the highway,
Old US 51,
I look into the mirror and say
See what time has done.

Barns and signs they point the way,
Left over from a better day.
With faded paint they tell you
Rock City's number one,
And each abandoned motel says
See what time has done.

I traveled this way once before,
my Dad a man of thirty-four.
He put me on his shoulders,
said, see what time has done,
His strength was like the mountain,
Now see what time has done.

My wife is sitting at my side,
Behind me kids take in the ride,
We're going to Rock City
on US 51,
I see them in the mirror and smile
See what time has done.


See Rock City,
See Rock City,
See Rock city,
One more time.


  1. I want to go, but I haven't figured out where it is. Some parts are restricted b/c they house govt documents. Is it near Valmeyer? I have googled and have not obtained clear information.

  2. Rock City is in Chattanooga, TN, on the border with GA. Are you thinking of the carved out caves in southwestern IL?

  3. Oh! Yes. Local boy scout troops have taken tours there. I've heard all kinds of stories about the place, that it's neat to see.

    I should know Rock City, TN, as we went to Chattanooga many a time during my childhood. It's been too long!

  4. I didn't know the Bear was a gifted songwriter as well! I've never been to Rock City but fondly remember similar places on our family road trips in Canada. The sentiments in the song are universal. Wow the Bear is soaring to new heights of creativity to enliven the dreary woodlands!

  5. Cool song. But why does it make reference to U.S. 51 as opposed to U.S. 41?

    1. Simple. The Bear begins (but does not end) his trip south on US 51, not US 41, which would be way out of his way :-)

  6. Gotcha. For those of us who have to head north in order to get to Rock City, U.S. 41 can get us there, although I-75 is preferable.


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