Monday, December 10, 2007

Bob Dylan Revisited

Sam is in the process of posting 5 great Dylan songs on his blog. I figure that most of us have a few Bob Dylan song lyrics bobbing about in our memory banks. They harken us back to a time, place or stage in our lives. Most of the lyrics are as relavent today as they were at their inception. Here are a few of my favorites: --
10) Ballad of a Thin Man (Highway 61 Revisited:1965)

Well, you walk into the room
Like a camel and then you frown
You put your eyes in your pocket
And your nose on the ground
There ought to be a law
Against you comin' around
You should be made
To wear earphones
Because something is happening here
But you don't know what it is
Do you, Mister Jones?

9) When I paint my Masterpiece (1971: Bod Dylan's Greatest Hits Vol. 2)

Oh, the hours I've spent inside the Coliseum,
Dodging lions and wastin' time.
Oh, those mighty kings of the jungle,
I could hardly stand to see 'em,
Yes, it sure has been a long, hard climb.
Train wheels runnin' through the back of my memory,
When I ran on the hilltop following a pack of wild geese.
Someday, everything is gonna be smooth like a rhapsody
When I paint my masterpiece.

8) A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall (1963: The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan)

And what did you hear, my blue-eyed son?

And what did you hear, my darling young one?

I heard the sound of a thunder, it roared out a warnin',

Heard the roar of a wave that could drown the whole world,

Heard one hundred drummers whose hands were a-blazin',

Heard ten thousand whisperin' and nobody listenin',

Heard one person starve, I heard many people laughin',

Heard the song of a poet who died in the gutter,

Heard the sound of a clown who cried in the alley,

And it's a hard, and it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard,

And it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

7) Gotta Serve Somebody (1979: Slow Train Coming)

You may be an ambassador to England or France,
You may like to gamble, you might like to dance,
You may be the heavyweight champion of the world,
You may be a socialite with a long string of pearls
But you're gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You're gonna have to serve somebody,
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you're gonna have to serve somebody.

6) Highway 61 Revisited (1965: Highway 61 Revisited)

Well Mack the Finger said to Louie the King
I got forty red white and blue shoe strings
And a thousand telephones that don't ring
Do you know where I can get rid of these things
And Louie the King said let me think for a minute son
And he said yes I think it can be easily done
Just take everything down to Highway 61.

5) It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) (1965: Bringing it All Back Home)
My eyes collide head-on with stuffed graveyards
False gods, I scuff
At pettiness which plays so rough
Walk upside-down inside handcuffs
Kick my legs to crash it off
Say okay, I have had enough
What else can you show me?
And if my thought-dreams could be seen
They'd probably put my head in a guillotine
But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only.

4) Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues (1971: Bod Dylan's Greatest Hits Vol. 2)

When you’re lost in the rain in Juarez

And it’s Eastertime too

And your gravity fails

And negativity don’t pull you through

Don’t put on any airs

When you’re down on Rue Morgue Avenue

They got some hungry women there

And they really make a mess outa you

3) It's All Over Now Baby Blue (1965: Bringing it All Back Home)

You must leave now, take what you need, you think will last.
But whatever you wish to keep, you better grab it fast.
Yonder stands your orphan with his gun,
Crying like a fire in the sun.
Look out the saints are comin' through
And it's all over now, Baby Blue.

2) Down in the Flood ( 1971: Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits - Vol. 2)
**No Video**
Crash on the levee, mama,
Water's gonna overflow,
Swamp's gonna rise,
No boat's gonna row.
Now, you can train on down
To Williams Point,
You can bust your feet,
You can rock this joint.
But oh mama, ain't you gonna miss your best friend now?
You're gonna have to find yourself
Another best friend, somehow.

1) Masters of War (1963: The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan)

You that never done nothin'
But build to destroy
You play with my world
Like it's your little toy
You put a gun in my hand
And you hide from my eyes
And you turn and run farther
When the fast bullets fly


sam of the ten thousand things said...

Especially like 10, 9, 7, & 1. Great list, Nick.

Nick said...

I had a funny feeling you'd like no. 1. By the way they are in no particular order of importance.


That is a great list. I wish I'd had it when I sat down to write my new novel, BLOOD ON THE TRACKS.

Maybe you can listen to those tracks (shameless plug coming...)when you read it.

BLOOD ON THE TRACKS is a murder-mystery. But not just any rock superstar is knocking on heaven's door. The murdered rock legend is none other than Bob Dorian, an enigmatic, obtuse, inscrutable, well, you get the picture...

Suspects? Tons of them. The only problem is they're all characters in Bob's songs.

You can get a copy on or go "behind the tracks" at to learn more about the book.