Are these popular Journey lyrics a lesson about life – or a Carnival ride?

Are these popular song lyrics by Journey meant to be a lesson that the world keeps on moving and has no time to dwell on the past, or are they describing the carnival life and a well-known ride called the ‘Sky Wheel?’

Firstly, the song has a few other lyrics as an ode to the carnival life.
“Winter is here again oh Lord, haven’t been home in a year or more.”
If you haven’t yet realized, most carnivals that you go in are in the Summer time. Save winter carnivals, large fairs, and if you live in the South. The small carnivals in your rural town where you can see all of the vendors from one corner are these such traveling summer carnivals. I say the term ‘summer’ loosely because that can mean beginning as early as March, or ending as late as October. For my family, it was both. The common theme here is that these carnivals do not go out during the winter. When this cold season comes around, everyone goes home to spend time with their families, friends, and go to school. This song speaks about one person on the road providing for another who stays at home. It would make sense for them to be on the road since they are going home in the winter time. One could easily spend a year or more with one carnival because there is much work to be done in the winter time. This involves deep cleaning, packaging, storing, painting, re-wiring, re-lighting, and the list goes on.

Now we can move on to the main part: that wheel in the sky that just keeps on turning.

The Sky Wheel is similar to a Ferris Wheel in that it has multiple gondolas to the wheel. The difference being that the Sky Wheel is essentially two smaller Ferris Wheels stacked on top of one another, each of these wheels only containing around 8 gondolas each. Each of these wheels rotates separately, meaning that you can manipulate one or both at the same time. While both of these wheels are rotating, so does the entire ride itself.

Here is where the lyrics play in. When loading the Sky Wheel you must do so one wheel at a time. This means putting them in a vertical position (one wheel on top of the other) and loading each cart. While the bottom wheel was being loaded with passengers, the top wheel was continuously turning – un interrupting the ride for the above passengers.

Here is a youtube video that shows the ride in motion at a fair in North Carolina.


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