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Draggin The Line Lyrics

Artist: Tommy James & The Shondells


DRAGGIN' THE LINE
Tommy James


Makin' a living the old hard way
Takin' and giving by day by day
I dig snow and rain and bright sunshine
Draggin' the line (draggin' the line)
My dog Sam eats purple flowers
We ain't got much but what we got's ours
We dig snow and rain and bright sunshine
Draggin' the line (draggin' the line)
Draggin' the line (draggin' the line)
I feel fine I'm talkin' bout peace of mind
I'm gonna take my time I'm gettin' the good sign
Draggin' the line (draggin' the line)
Draggin' the line (draggin' the line)
Loving the free and feelin' spirit
Of huggin' a tree when you get near it
Diggin' the snow and rain and bright sunshine
Draggin' the line (draggin' the line)
I feel fine I'm talkin' bout peace of mind
I'm gonna take my time I'm gettin' the good sign
Draggin' the line (draggin' the line)
Draggin' the line (draggin' the line)
Draggin' the line (draggin' the line).....
Comments/Interpretations
by cari on 9/15/2008 6:35pm
love this song.
by Johnny on 9/21/2008 12:45am
Awesome tune
by fook on 10/16/2008 5:17pm
is this song about cocaine??????
by Franklin on 10/17/2008 12:41pm
excellent!!!!!!!!!
by Erdin Schnerdin on 11/9/2008 10:27pm
Actually, this is one of the very first Christian Rock hits. It was included on the "Christian of the World" album.
by ClubQBall on 2/17/2009 3:16pm
@ Erdin Schnerdin - you're an idiot.
by mike on 2/27/2009 2:37pm
this is one of my all time favs
by jeffmilum@hotmail.com on 4/11/2009 9:07am
This has nothing to do with Christianity. And I've never heard of a "Christian of the World" album. It doesn't exist.
This appears to be New Age and may have drug connotations (Draggin' a line of Coke) but defintely isn't Christian.
by Mommaspots93 on 4/14/2009 9:40pm
Actually, Tommy James recently did an interview which I listened to online. This song was Christianity based and there IS an album which he put out called Christian of the World. Google it. Someone here knows their stuff about Tommy James besides me. Why does everything in a song/title have to revert back to drugs and other illegal activities. Do YOU have something to feel guilty about? YOU GO ERDIN!
by this is bullsnips on 4/22/2009 12:55pm
this song is and will be the first christian song EVER MADE so all of u get ur facts right except mommaspot cause she is also righ
by Mel on 4/25/2009 5:44pm
Hmmmmm! This is the kind of song that makes me feel like saying, ''GET A HAIRCUT, HIPPY!'' LOL
by Drew on 4/27/2009 8:34am
I love the tree huggin' line! Go Humboldt State U!
by ... on 4/28/2009 1:49pm
I'm not doubting it's a Christian song. I'm sure you all know what you're talking about. But what exactly makes it CHRISTIAN? It seems to just be a happy song written by a Christian. I bet a Jew could realte to it too.
by dukes on 5/16/2009 6:08pm
id like to say it mayb have something to do with electricians, draggin the line, huggin a tree the only hthough would be wen they climb the power lines,,,,lol
by GreatLander on 5/19/2009 3:48pm
If you guys knew anything you would know that draggin a line is a logging term and the toot-toot in the song is a talkie tooter that choker setters use to communicate with the yarder.
by do-whop on 5/20/2009 12:09am
Let's ask "Sam" if he's draggin' a line of coke or if he's a christian as soon as he finishes eating his purple flowers.
p.s. song makes NO sense. Let's get over it.
by Tom Johnson on 6/1/2009 11:09am
"getting the good sign" is incorrect. Tommy James very clearly says "living the good life"

by Wrong on 9/21/2009 12:12pm
"getting the good sign" is incorrect. Tommy James very clearly says "living the good life"

You are wrong.
by Tom Collins on 10/4/2009 8:28am
I'm no Christian but anybody with half a brain would know that "draggin' the line" would refer to Jesus being a fisher of men...

Doing coke....lmao!!!

by N.D on 11/9/2009 6:08pm
óż
by cool_change on 11/18/2009 9:16pm
buncha damn crack heads, specially
greatlander with his talkie tooter. first of all back in the 70's when this song was popular there were no "tooters" on walkie talkies. i think someone needs to choke set you. and to those of you who had sense enough to know it was a christian song......kudo's to you.
by Snorlax on 12/10/2009 10:31am
This song is about watermen.

Thats what they call commercial fishermen on the Eastern Shore.

It's a rough life, making a living on the water "dragging the line".

This song is famous for being the theme song for The Shag, a dance.
And that's just down the Carolina coast.

This song is definitely about a guy who makes a living out on the water.

The penny loafer college kids doing the Shag to this song, looked down their noses at those watermen. I'd bet the farm on it.
by steve bourg on 12/28/2009 7:09pm
Draggin the line means pulling a plow, on a tractor or a horse. This is perhaps the greatest farming song of all time, IMHO! One of the best SONGS OF ALL TIME!!!! It's a perfect ode to the simple life, the agrarian life, and being in touch with nature. I'd like to retire that way!!!!!! Long live Bob King......in spirit......and Tommy James in body AND spirit!!!!!!!!
by C J on 1/6/2010 5:51pm
Yes steve you are correct about the farming and draggin a plow.
by Andraste on 1/16/2010 2:45pm
to those who think that this song is about christianity...You're wrong!
It's nature religion based... Loving the free& feelin' spirit
Of hugging a tree when You get near it
this shows that Mr.James has a lot of respect for nature,which is something that Christians are lacking of .... and yes, trees ( like everything in nature) has a spirit
by Eldrick on 1/28/2010 5:05pm
Tommy talked about it in an interview with Songfacts. The Christian thing is almost right.
by brian on 2/1/2010 10:43pm
can't we just enjoy the song and not analyze it to death ? No doubt some idiot can find a drug connotation, a message about the JFK Assassination or some communist plot revealed in "Mary Has a Little Lamb".
by dude on 2/7/2010 9:40pm
it's about cocaine
James was a well known drug user
by Dick Pfeifer on 2/16/2010 6:54am
Looking for a DB ( Dead Body ) in a lake is dine by "dragging the line". ALL OF YOU WERE WRONG.
by Dick Pfeifer on 2/16/2010 7:02am
Looking for a DB ( Dead Body ) in a lake is done by "dragging the line". Were a hook is thrown into a lakre and dragged accross hoping to snag the body and therefore recover it , examine and make available for burial. I met TJ when I was a kid. He was not a very nice person and I don't think he was too religious. = maybe a front. I hope he has changed for the better. He was very selfish and rude - took the time to humiliate a 7 year old kid.
ALL OF YOU WERE WRONG.
by Fire Marshal Bill on 2/19/2010 6:18pm
Kudos to Mommaspots93 for coming up with the correct answer! I also heard Tommy himself say this is a Christian song on that interview! So, who is right? Tommy or those here who will pop veins on their foreheads just so they can deny it is a Christian song. My, my...how pathetic! To what lengths will people gainsay just to twist the truth to suit their own views! And, Dick, Tommy may have been a jerk when he was a kid but you should know people don't stay the same all their lives. Tommy's song "I'm Coming Home" in reference to his "Father's mansion" and in "Crystal Blue Persuasion" the line, "Maybe tomorrow when He looks down" should give it away, dopeheads!
by Carl H on 2/20/2010 7:37pm
Let's talk reason here. Plain common sense and logic that even a 5-year old can understand. If the man himself says it is Christian, only a fool would contradict that. The only reference to drugs or other far-fetched, wildly stretched connotations here are from people high on drugs themselves! :)
by VONNE on 3/16/2010 12:23pm
This is single-handedly the most diverse debate about a song ever...I honestly have no idea WHAT EXACTLY the song is about -- but I DO know it's fun to sing & dance around my house like an idiot, and therefore I like it!
by Phil and Sue on 3/21/2010 3:02pm
You gotta love it!
by Sandrina1 on 3/22/2010 7:39am
Wow...having grown up in the "Paul is dead" era...I howled reading these posts. Just love the song already, no matter what "draggin the line" means to anyone!
by Chris on 4/10/2010 6:20pm
This song is about the industrial revolution and it's comparisons with the childrens story " the little puppy "
by OBXGeo on 4/27/2010 10:42am
I'm a fisherman and Draggin the line is what I do when I'm trolling!!!
by giova13 on 4/27/2010 7:50pm
what does the line-"my dog sam eats purple flowers" mean in christianity? i know it meant eating gypsum flowers and what carlos castaneda called it the devils weed. truth.com, and it was about draggin a line, carrying weight like a ball and chain.
by miguelsuave71 on 4/28/2010 3:12pm
If this is a christian song, would it not be called "draggin the crucifix"?
by alphonse on 5/25/2010 11:19pm
I'm pretty sure the original purple flowers verse went this way: My dog Sam eats purple flowers; I sat here for several hours; Trying to think of a rhyme in the bright sunshine; Dragging the line...
by Slim on 8/16/2010 11:31am
Andraste is both right and wrong. Christians are admonished to be good stewards of God's creation. A Christian loves the natural world because they know it is created by God and is beautiful. I first came to God through the beauty of nature. Unfortunately, organized Christianity has not lived up to this and has let the secular environmental movement co-opt this issue. Great songs that honor the beauty of creation!
by Olaf on 9/7/2010 12:25am
So what the hell does the purple flowers mean?
by c on 9/20/2010 9:27pm
it could be purple flowers
have u never seen a dog or cat eat grass or other weeds?. perhaps the flowers were a type that served as a remedy for a sik stomache.
by Fil on 10/21/2010 10:49pm
gosh did it ever occur to anyone that just maybe this song takes its inspiration from LSD-25 and a good ole acid trip?
the guy's a hippie man, the song was written in the late 60's almost everyone was dropping acid back then. the guy was probably hallucinating when he saw his dog Sam eating purple flowers!
by nell on 10/23/2010 3:36pm
In August while getting ready for work at 5am, I let out my 8 Boston Terriers. (Mom, Dad and 6-4month old puppies) One of my pups is named Sam. This song was on t.v. and while I was singing and watching my pup Sam eat a PURPLE PETUNIA.
by Chris. on 11/24/2010 9:42pm
Quite the debate! I grew up between two drainage ditches and would watch the dragline dredge the ditches out. Dragging the line always reminded me of the operator of that equipment, enjoying the outside and the weather and his dog eating the purple flowers that grew by the ditchbank...
by tony on 12/7/2010 9:02pm
i like the logger thinking
by mike on 12/28/2010 11:04am
jeffmilum@hotmail.com should do a little research before proclaiming there's no such thing. Tommy James had one album entitled "Christian of the World".
by everyman on 2/22/2011 12:06am
I think you should all take a step back and enjoy the gift of music
by Gendahli on 3/12/2011 12:55pm
This is nuts! This song is about computers and drag and drop and the purple flower thing is about digital animation. In 1964 I met TJ and he was telling a bunch of roadies about a dream he had about computers. I have never forgotten that and am sure it was a premonition of things to come. TJ d=believed this was a message from God himself and that he had a devine mission to tell the world about computers. Wow, finally I can talk about it!
by aces up on 4/8/2011 6:30am
Get a Life. Just shutup and enjoy good music.
by aces_up_rules on 4/19/2011 4:35pm
True.
by Ghost13 on 5/8/2011 2:10pm
I have been told the song is about doing power line work. Working out doors in the elements and the pride of the work in general.?
by Anthony2816 on 5/25/2011 6:18pm
Would a Christian song contain the lyric, "Of huggin' a tree when you get near it"???

Fundie Christians hate the environment, and all those who want to protect it.
by Mark Leggett on 8/12/2011 8:27am
I saw an interview where Tommy James explained the origin of the song. He was in upstate new york at the time. He and his friends were watching the local power company crew building a new high-line over a mountain top. The were clearing the land, setting poles and dragging the new power lines over the hill. I think it is as simple as that.
by mike v on 9/12/2011 12:27pm
I thought it was about fishing
by notacow on 9/16/2011 1:12am
It's about a lifestyle and attitude...naturalistic and free-spirited. That lifestyle tends to wear down a person as they age.
by Cyndee Davis on 9/26/2011 10:58am
Who CARES what he was referring to: logging, fishing, Christian, not. Make your own interpretation. The world won't stop rotating on its axis if there isn't a defintive answer. Shut up and enjoy the music!
by jomomma on 9/28/2011 1:21pm
He's talking about coke you morons not hard to figure out.
by face ll face on 10/27/2011 1:53pm
This. Song makes. Me feel good and we should not take nature for granted. Great lyrics. Good job Tommie in acknowledging our Lord
by thorne34 on 11/2/2011 9:14am
this song sucks!
by Cork Snorter on 1/1/2012 5:26pm
It is an analogy to our government.

It is raping a small 4 year black child, while at the same time doing a line of coke off her cooch.

"I feel fine".
by Beezup on 1/22/2012 7:04pm
Get rid of Cork Snorter's deeply offensive comment, please.
by Seeker of Peace on 1/23/2012 10:00am
Agreed Beezup! What is wrong with people like Cork Snorter!

This song is most likely about drugs since Tommy James was a well documented user. However, it was never clearly associated with any particular meaning. Some christians believe it's about christianity since it was release on the "Christian of the World" album. But, Tommy James also did a song called "Crystal Blue Persuasion" and in some circles is thought to be about meth. However, according to his manager he was inspired to write this song by reading the bible. So, i guess we will never really know for sure.
by bsfishin on 1/30/2012 3:16pm
This is a song about a salmon fisherman that's what they do to catch fish. They troll pulling a bunch of lines behind the boat. That is what I want to name my salmon boat. DRAGGIN' A LINE
by Omega Three on 2/1/2012 3:36pm
The song is about fishing, the natural, "easy" life. Now you know.
by Soundgrl on 2/25/2012 3:49pm
OMG ~ This debate has gone on for years! I stumble onto it trying to find out who wrote the song, to find the lyrics and see if it did have a particular meaning. LOL!
I remember listening to it when I was a kid in 1971. It played over and over again all summer on the radio. Its a great song that allows us to enjoy it for its symbolism ~ each to our own vision!
My brother and I laughed about it because we were sailors ~ and drag'n a line meant to us (at that moment)that the dock line was left unattended and was dragging in the water (known as a painter).
No need to get offensive or be declarative that one knows truth more than another!
Just "feel fine!"
by Over 60 on 2/25/2012 8:36pm
This is so much like the dissection of "American Pie" or every book we ever read /analysed in Eng Lit; who the hell knows what any of it means except the writer. But I've had a really great time reading all these comments!
by BOZO on 2/27/2012 12:44pm
Hey ppl, I knew him then...and he hated standing in line (supermarkets)...but to make it more hip, he called it draggin' the line instead of Standin' in the line!!!
What a funny bunch of ppl u all r!!!
by rebelmover.morgan@yahoo.com on 3/18/2012 9:44pm
Tommy himself has never posted a reason for the words here so speculation will go on for eternity unless he does. It is a debatable song just just Bobbie Gentry's 'ode to Billy Joe'.... I'm a Christian and can dig the meaning that way. I also see the secular take on drugs, power line work, ditch digger or fisherman. It's a simple enjoyable song to those who grew up hearing it and young people today can identify with and appreciate it later in life as I do. Relax and enjoy the ride but keep your head and hands inside the car at all times......
by clarifier on 3/26/2012 10:37pm
You're all wrong. It's very clearly about the life of an offshore oil-rig worker in the Hibernia gas fields of Canada's east coast. Stoopid people.
by KoloheWiz on 6/28/2012 1:24am
FYI: Roulette Records #3001
"Christian Of The World" - 1971
Tommy James (Solo Recording)
Produced by Tommy James & Bob King, Arranged & Conducted by Jimmy "Wiz" Wisner
by kamorablue on 8/14/2012 1:32am
I would just like to say that whatever the song means I don't really care because everytime I hear it I love it even more. It is just a simple great song and I love the harmony of the two men singing "draggin the line". Please don't bash the song and make it something that it is not and just enjoy it!!
by DaveRave888 on 9/19/2012 9:12am
Anthony 2816 wrote --

Would a Christian song contain the lyric, "Of huggin' a tree when you get near it"???

Fundie Christians hate the environment, and all those who want to protect it.

Not to weigh in on the debate about the lyrics ... but there ARE other Christians besides "fundie Christians". Those other Christians, like me Do love the environment. The song? Simple life outdoors and pleasure in evereyday life is clearly there. Christian? I think so ....
by pickingrinnin on 2/2/2013 1:06pm
Draggin the line could also be in reference to surfing, dragging your surfboard.
by Zack on 7/3/2013 2:33pm
Loved jeffmilum comment ( 8th comment )about Christian of the World not existing since he never heard of it. Maybe I don't exist since jeffmilum has never heard of me? As Bugs Bunny would say "What a macaroon" Took one minute on Amazon to find it and order a copy. Can't wait to listen to it.
by lgt on 1/7/2014 4:03pm
Honestly, some people are never happy. It's a great song and if you really want to know what it's about, you need to ask Tommy James or do what I did and check it out on Wikipedia. Get a life people!
by HowDareThey on 2/4/2014 10:21pm
Even if it is a Christian song, as many are saying (it's certainly not an obvious one, no overt reference to Christian theology) it is most definitely NOT the "first Christian song ever written" as some earlier poster said. Ancient and medieval culture were FULL of Christian songs, far, far older than this one!
by sheosta blade on 4/17/2014 1:22pm
I absolutely LOVE this song!! Just makes you look at the bright side dun it? :)
by pAT on 4/22/2014 12:01pm
WHEN RIVER BOATS USED TO GAT STUCK ON SAND BARS. A TEAM OF 20-30 MEN PULLING ON HEAVY ROPES WOULD DRAG THE BOATS TO DEEP WATER, SO THEY COULD CONTINUE THEIR TRIP UP RIVER. THIS IS CALLED DRAGGING THE LINE. AFTER THE BOATS WOULD GET CLEAR, THE CAPTAINS WOULD BLOW THE HORNS TO THANK THE MEN FOR THE JOB THEY HAD DONE. YOU CAN HEAR THIS IN THE SONG -TOOT-TOOT. dRAGGING THE LINE. IT WAS A VERY HARD LIVING AND VERY LITTLE PAY, DAY AFTER DAY.
by pAT CONT,D on 4/22/2014 12:08pm
HUGGING A TREE WHEN YOU GET NEAR IT IS REFERRING TO WHEN ONE WOULD HUG A TREE TO GET LEVERAGE IN PULLING THE SHIP ALONG THE RIVER NOT A FLOWER CHILD.
by Chuck DDS on 9/14/2014 9:21am
Any interesting theories here. One that I have heard fits well is a dual meaning including the Christian point, but with the ecologist 'militants' at the time fighting to stop rampant logging of the time using lines among the trees to impede vehicles and loggers from moving around in the forests " dragging" the line among the trees at chest or head level.
by Tricia S on 10/9/2014 2:10pm
Jeez...you people have way too much time on your hands.


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