Tumbleweed
Bill Miller Lyrics


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Far across the Mississippi and out on the open plains
In an Oklahoma cow town where the sky begins to rain
In a dusty run-down honky tonk sits a drifting tumbleweed
Thumbing through some magazine that he can't even read

Now tumbleweed remembers how the west was won and lost
The homestead act and the dust bowl, everybody paid the cost
And the great white father promised to treat his children all the same
Back when Indian territory was Oklahoma's name

Oh tumbleweed keep rollin', he just roams from town to town
It ain't easy for a half-breed kid to try and settle down
Tumbleweed keep rollin', he can't find no place to rest
Yeah the desert wind blows tumbleweed like some spirit of the west

Well his boot heals tap in time to an old flat top guitar
And he's a guitar local hero and he sings straight from the heart
And his tip jar just a jungle of worn old dollar bills
He makes his rent and grocery in the local bar and grill

When he starts to picking that old guitar you know the people turn and stare
When he starts to sing the songs he wrote wells there's magic in the air
'Cause his song can heal your wounded heart, he can set you spirit free
He can raise you hopes to be the very best that you can be

Oh tumbleweed keep rollin', he just roams from town to town
It ain't easy for a half-breed kid to try and settle down
Tumbleweed keep rollin', he can't find no place to rest
Yeah the desert wind blows tumbleweed like some spirit of the west

So if you cross the Mississippi, you head out on the open plain
And you pass through Oklahoma and the sky begins to rain
And you feeling kind of rootless, you can't find no place to rest
Just remember tumbleweed, he's the spirit of the west





Oh the desert blows old tumbleweed like some spirit of the west

Overall Meaning

In Bill Miller's song "Tumbleweed," the singer is an aimless wanderer who roams from town to town like a tumbleweed, unable to find a place to settle down. He is a half-breed with a guitar and a voice that has the ability to heal wounded hearts and set spirits free. The song is set in an Oklahoma cow town where tumbleweed spends his time in a dusty honky tonk, reading magazines that he can't even understand.


The lyrics highlight the history of the west, referencing the Homestead Act, the Dust Bowl, and the promises made to Native Americans by the government. Tumbleweed remembers the past and understands the struggles that people have faced in the west, which are still present in his own life. The song's poignant message is that despite the difficulties of the west, there is always hope and resilience embodied in the spirit of tumbleweed.


Overall, "Tumbleweed" is a tribute to the west and its people, with its themes of wandering, hardship, perseverance and hope. It also speaks to the longing for a place to call home and the search for identity.


Line by Line Meaning

Far across the Mississippi and out on the open plains
Tumbleweed is somewhere distant from where the Mississippi River flows and on land that is flat and expansive.


In an Oklahoma cow town where the sky begins to rain
Tumbleweed is in Oklahoma where cattle are raised, and where precipitation starts to fall from the sky.


In a dusty run-down honky tonk sits a drifting tumbleweed
Tumbleweed is in a dilapidated honky-tonk bar that is covered in dust, and he is alone, without a permanent place to stay.


Thumbing through some magazine that he can't even read
Tumbleweed is flipping through a magazine, but he is illiterate, and therefore cannot understand any of the words he sees.


Now tumbleweed remembers how the west was won and lost
Tumbleweed reminisces about the triumphs and losses of the American West.


The homestead act and the dust bowl, everybody paid the cost
Tumbleweed recalls the Homestead Act of 1862 and the subsequent Dust Bowl, which caused much hardship and loss for those who lived through them.


And the great white father promised to treat his children all the same
Tumbleweed recalls the U.S. government's promise to treat all of its citizens equally, regardless of race or ethnicity.


Back when Indian territory was Oklahoma's name
Tumbleweed remembers a time when the land that is now Oklahoma was called Indian Territory.


Oh tumbleweed keep rollin', he just roams from town to town
Tumbleweed continues to roll along and move from one town to another without any permanent home or sense of belonging.


It ain't easy for a half-breed kid to try and settle down
Tumbleweed, a mixed-race individual, finds it challenging to plant roots and establish a permanent life in one place.


Tumbleweed keep rollin', he can't find no place to rest
Tumbleweed cannot seem to find a place where he can take a break and feel at peace.


Yeah the desert wind blows tumbleweed like some spirit of the west
Tumbleweed is blown about by desert winds, symbolizing the free and restless spirit of the American West.


Well his boot heals tap in time to an old flat top guitar
Tumbleweed's boots make a rhythmic foot-tapping sound as he plays an old acoustic guitar.


And he's a guitar local hero and he sings straight from the heart
Tumbleweed is locally famous for his guitar-playing and singing, which come from his heart.


And his tip jar just a jungle of worn old dollar bills
Tumbleweed's tip jar contains a chaotic collection of old, worn dollar bills, reflecting his continuous travel and performances.


He makes his rent and grocery in the local bar and grill
Tumbleweed earns enough money from performing in a local bar and grill to pay for his living expenses.


When he starts to picking that old guitar you know the people turn and stare
When Tumbleweed begins to play his guitar, people in the bar stop and watch him, intrigued by his unique style and talent.


When he starts to sing the songs he wrote wells there's magic in the air
When Tumbleweed sings his original songs, there is a sense of enchantment in the atmosphere, inspiring those who listen.


'Cause his song can heal your wounded heart, he can set you spirit free
Tumbleweed's music has the power to mend emotional pain and liberate the soul.


He can raise you hopes to be the very best that you can be
Tumbleweed's songs motivate and inspire, encouraging people to strive for their full potential.


So if you cross the Mississippi, you head out on the open plain
For anyone traveling across the Mississippi River and moving towards the Western prairie region...


And you pass through Oklahoma and the sky begins to rain
...if you go through Oklahoma and notice the rain falling from the sky...


And you feeling kind of rootless, you can't find no place to rest
...and you feel like you have no sense of home and cannot relax...


Just remember tumbleweed, he's the spirit of the west
...take inspiration from Tumbleweed, who embodies the free and adventurous nature of the American West.




Lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Universal Music Publishing Group
Written by: BOB MILLER, JIM ROBERTSON, SHELBY DARNELL

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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