Roll On John

Lyrics from Dylan album “Tempest” [2012]


Doctor, doctor, tell me the time of day
Another bottle’s empty, another penny spent
He turned around and he slowly walked away
They shot him in the back and down he went.
Shine your light
Movin’ on
You burned so bright
Roll on, John.

From the Liverpool docks to the red-light Hamburg streets
Down in the quarry with the Quarrymen
Playing to the big crowds, playing to the cheap seats
Another day in the life on your way to your journey end.
Shine your light,
Movin’ on
You burned so bright
Roll on, John.

Sailin’ through the trade winds bound for the South
Rags on your back just like any other slave
They tied your hands and they clamped your mouth
Wasn’t no way out of that deep dark cave.
Shine your light
Movin’ on
You burned so bright
Roll on, John.

I hear the news today, oh boy
They hauled your ship up on the shore
Now the city gone dark, there is no more joy
They tore the heart right out and cut him to the core.
Shine your light
Movin’ on
You burned so bright
Roll on, John.

Put on your bags and get ’em packed
Leave right now, you won’t be far from wrong
The sooner you go the quicker you’ll be back
You’ve been cooped on an island far too long.
Shine your light
Movin’ on
You burned so bright
Roll on, John.

Slow down you’re moving way too fast
Come together right now over me
Your bones are weary, you’re about to breathe your last
Lord, you know how hard that it can be.
Shine your light
Movin’ on
You burned so bright
Roll on, John.

Roll on, John, roll through the rain and snow
Take the right-hand road and go where the buffalo roam
They’ll trap you in an ambush before you know
Too late now to sail back home.
Shine your light
Movin’ on
You burned so bright
Roll on, John.

Tyger, tyger burning bright
I pray the Lord my soul to keep
In the forest of the night
Cover him over and let him sleep.

Shine your light
Movin’ on
You burned so bright
Roll on, John.


© 2012 by Special Rider Music

Interesting, that in his live version Dylan suppresses the fifth and seventh stanzas, those which somehow questioned a certain facet of the mythical John, and he softens the fourth verse by moving the second line to the fourth one, replacing it with a new one, and eliminating the fourth original line so that the stanza is definitely left like this:

I heard the news today, oh boy
They put a wreath upon his door
Now the city gone dark, ain’t no more joy
They hauled his ship up on the shore.

The Hypnotist Collector

Murder Most Foul

Bob Dylan’s Last Album “Rough And Rowdy Ways” Lyrics


‘Twas a dark day in Dallas – November ’63
The day that will live on in infamy *[F. D. Roosevelt]
President Kennedy was riding high
A good day to be living and a good day to die
Being led to the slaughter like a sacrificial lamb
Say wait a minute boys, do you know who I am?
Of course we do, we know who you are
Then they blew off his head when he was still in the car
Shot down like a dog in broad daylight
‘Twas a matter of timing and the timing was right
You got unpaid debts and we’ve come to collect
We’re gon’ kill you with hatred and without any respect
We’ll mock you and shock you, and we’ll put it in your face
We’ve already got someone here to take your place *[Lyndon B. Johnson]

The day that they blew out the brains of the king
Thousands were watching, no one saw a thing
It happened so quickly – so quick by surprise
Right there in front of everyone’s eyes
Greatest magic trick ever under the sun
Perfectly executed, skillfully done
Wolfman, oh wolfman, oh wolfman, howl *[Wolfman Jack (well known DJ, cf. American Graffiti), A. Gingsberg?]
Rub a dub dub – it’s murder most foul

Hush li’l children, you’ll soon understand
The Beatles are coming they’re gonna hold your hand *[“I Want To Hold Your Hand”, first Beatles song to reach #1 on the US hit charts]
Slide down the bannister, go get your coat
Ferry ‘cross the Mersey and go for the throat *[Gerry & The Pacemakers]
There’s three bums comin’ all dressed in rags
Pick up the pieces and lower the flags
I’m going to Woodstock, *[August 1969]
It’s the Aquarian Age *[“Aquarius (Let The Sunshine In)” from 5th Dimension album “The Age Of Aquarius”]
Then I’ll go over to Altamont *[December 1969]
And sit near the stage
Put your head out the window, let the good times roll *[Ray Charles/B. B. King, The Cars]
There’s a party going on behind the grassy knoll *[Hill near the site of the assassination]
Stack up the bricks and pour the cement *[Masonry?]
Don’t say Dallas don’t love you, Mr. President *[Reportedly the last words spoken to President Kennedy before shots were fired, delivered by Dallas governor’s wife]
Put your foot in the tank and step on the gas
Try to make it to the triple underpass *[Intersection of streets where Kennedy was killed]
Black face singer – white face clown *[cf. “Love and Theft”]
Better not show your faces after the sun goes down
Up in the red-light district they got cop on the beat
Living in a nightmare on Elm Street *[Double allusion, film and street (near where Abraham Zapruder shot his incredible film, up at the bend from South Houston onto Elm, the last corner that President Kennedy would turn in his life)]
When you’re down on deep Ellum put your money in your shoe *[“Deep Ellum Blues”]
Don’t ask what your country can do for you *[JFK sentence]
Cash on the barrel head, money to burn
Dealey Plaza, make a left hand turn *[place where President JFK was murdered]
I’m going to the crossroads, gonna flag a ride *[“Crossroad Blues”, Robert Johnson]
That’s the place where Faith, Hope and Charity died
Shoot ’em while he runs, boy, shoot ’em while you can *[“Shotgun”, Jr. Walker & the All Stars]
See if you can shoot the Invisible Man *[“The Invisible Man (1933)” film directed by James Whale, based on H.G. Wells novel]
Goodbye, Charlie, goodbye Uncle Sam *[Vincent Minnelli, Hitchcock’s “The Shadow of A Doubt”?]
Frankly, Miss Scarlet, I don’t give a damn *[“Gone With The Wind”]
What is the truth and where did it go
Ask Oswald and Ruby – they oughta know
Shut your mouth, says the wise old owl
Business is business and it’s murder most foul

Tommy can you hear me? I’m the Acid Queen *[The Who]
I’m ridin’ in a long black Lincoln limousine
Ridin’ in the back seat, next to my wife
Heading straight on into the afterlife
I’m leaning to the left, got my head in her lap
Oh Lord, I’ve been led into some kind of a trap
Where we ask no quarter, and no quarter do we give
We’re right down the street from the street where you live *[My Fair Lady?]
They mutilated his body and took out his brain
What more could they do, they piled on the pain
But his soul was not there where it was supposed to be at
For the last fifty years they’ve been searching for that
Freedom, oh freedom, freedom over me *[“Freedom, Oh Freedom”]
Hate to tell you, Mister, but only dead men are free
Send me some loving – tell me no lie *[Little Richard]
Throw the gun in the gutter and walk on by
Wake Up, Little Suzie, let’s go for a drive *[Everly Brothers, Suze Rotolo?]
Cross the Trinity River, let’s keep hope alive
Turn the radio on, don’t touch the dials
Parkland Hospital’s only six more miles
You got me Dizzy Miss Lizzy, you filled me with lead *[Larry Williams/The Beatles]
That magic bullet of yours has gone to my head
I’m just a patsy like Patsy Cline *[“patsy” (scapegoat) is what Oswald said he was]
I never shot anyone from in front or behind
Got blood in my eyes, got blood in my ear *[“Blood In My Eyes” from “World Gone Wrong” album]
I’m never gonna make it to the New Frontier *[Famous JFK concept, 1960]

Zapruder’s film I seen night before *[silent 8mm color motion picture sequence shot by Abraham Zapruder with a Bell & Howell home-movie camera, as President Kennedy’s motorcade passed through Dealey Plaza in Dallas, TX on November 22, 1963. Unexpectedly, it ended up capturing JFK subsequent assassination that occurred during that act]
Seen it thirty three times, maybe more
It’s vile and deceitful – it’s cruel and it’s mean
Ugliest thing that you ever have seen
They killed him once, they killed him twice
Killed him like a human sacrifice
The day that they killed him, someone said to me, “Son,
The age of the anti-Christ has just only begun.”
Air Force One coming in through the gate
Johnson sworn in at two thirty-eight
Let me know when you decide to throw in the towel
It is what it is and it’s murder most foul

What’s New Pussycat – wha’d I say *[Tom Jones/Burt Bacharach, Ray Charles]
I said the soul of a nation been torn away
And It’s beginning to go down into a slow decay
And that it’s thirty-six hours past judgment day *[Robert Johnson]
Wolfman Jack, he’s speaking in tongues
He’s going on and on at the top of his lungs
Play me a song, Mr. Wolfman Jack
Play it for me in my long Cadillac
Play that Only The Good Die Young *[Billy Joel, cf. “Foot Of Pride”]
Take me to the place where Tom Dooley was hung *[trad. folk song (Kingston Trio)]
Play St. James Infirmary in the court of King James *[trad. folk song (L. Armstrong), cf. “Blind Willie McTell”]
If you want to remember, better write down the names
Play Etta James too, play I’d Rather Go Blind
Play it for the man with the telepathic mind
Play John Lee Hooker play Scratch My Back
Play it for that strip club owner named Jack *[Jack Ruby (cf. “The Last Waltz”)]
Guitar Slim – Goin’ Down Slow
Play it for me and for Marilyn Monroe
And please, Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood *[Nina Simone/The Animals]
Play it for the First Lady, she ain’t feeling that good
Play Don Henley – play Glenn Frey *[The Eagles]
Take it to the Limit and let it go by
And play it for Carl Wilson, too
Lookin’ far, far away down Gower Avenue *[“Desperados Under The Eaves” by W. Zevon, C. Wilson does backing vocals]
Play Tragedy, play Twilight Time *[Bee Gees, The Platters]
Take Me Back to Tulsa to the scene of the crime *[Bob Wills]
Play another one and Another One Bites the Dust *[Queen]
Play the Old Rugged Cross and in God We Trust *[Gospel anthem, Dead Kennedys album]
Ride the Pink Horse down that Long, Lonesome Road *[“Ride The Pink Horse (1947)” movie by Robert Montgomery with Ben Hecht’s screenplay, based on the noir novel of the same title written by Dorothy B. Hughes (the film is mainly about the longing for a better life that is unattainable and has given rise to an American saying referring to such circumstance); Long, Lonesome Road alludes to Bill Monroe’s “Lonesome Road Blues”]
Stand there and wait for his head to explode
Play Mystery Train for Mr. Mystery *[Elvis/Sun Ra]
The man who fell down dead, like a rootless tree
Play it for the Reverend, play it for the Pastor *[Reverend Gary Davis? “Baby, Let Me Follow You Down”; “for the Pastor” Little Richard? …After being born again in 1957, Penniman enrolled at Oakwood College in Huntsville, Alabama, a mostly colored people Seventh-Day Adventist college, to study theology. Penniman returned to secular music in the early 1960s. He was eventually ordained a minister in 1970 and resumed evangelical activities in 1977]
Play it for the dog that’s got no master *[His Master’s Voice?]
Play Oscar Peterson and play Stan Getz
Play Blue Sky, play Dickie Betts *[Allman Brothers Band]
Play Art Pepper, play Thelonious Monk
Charlie Parker and all that junk
All that junk and All That Jazz *[“Chicago” Musical, cf. “All That Jazz” movie by Bob Fosse]
Play something for The Birdman of Alcatraz *[movie by John Frankenheimer w/Burt Lancaster]
Play Buster Keaton play Harold Lloyd
Play Bugsy Siegel play Pretty Boy Floyd
Play all the numbers, play all the odds *[Floyd died on November 22]
Play Cry Me A River for the Lord of the Gods *[Julie London]
Play number nine, play number six *[The Beatles/Jimi Hendrix “If 6 Was 9”]
Play it for Lindsey and Stevie Nicks *[Fleetwood Mac]
Play Nat King Cole, play Nature Boy
Play Down in the Boondocks for Terry Malloy *[Joe South, Brando in “On The Waterfront”]
Play It Happened One Night and One Night of Sin *[Capra, Elvis]
There’s twelve million souls that are listening in
Play the Merchant of Venice, play the merchants of death *[“Merchants of Death” was an epithet used in the U.S. in the 1930s to attack industries and banks that supplied and funded World War I (then called the Great War)]
Play Stella by Starlight for Lady Macbeth *[Shakespeare]
Don’t worry Mr. President, help’s on the way
Your brothers are comin’, there’ll be hell to pay
Brothers? What brothers? What’s this about hell?
Tell ’em we’re waitin’- keep coming – we’ll get ’em as well
Love Field is where his plane touched down *[Dallas airport]
But it never did get back up off of the ground
Was a hard act to follow, second to none
They killed him on the altar of the Rising Sun
Play Misty for me and that Old Devil Moon *[Johnny Mathis, Petula Clark, cf. “Misty” by Clint Eastwood]
Play Anything Goes and Memphis in June *[Cole Porter, Nina Simone, cf. “Tight Connection To My Heart”]
Play Lonely at the Top and Lonely Are the Brave *[Randy Newman, Kirk Douglas’ movie]
Play it for Houdini spinning around in his grave
Play Jelly Roll Morton, play Lucille *[Little Richard]
Play Deep in a Dream and play Drivin’ Wheel *[Chet Baker, blues standard]
Play Moonlight Sonata in F sharp *[Beethoven]
And Key to the Highway by the king of the harp *[Little Walter]
Play Marchin’ Through Georgia and Dumbarton’s drum* [Traditional songs, the 2nd one of Scottish origin]
Play Darkness and death will come when it comes *[Eminem? Leonard Cohen?]
Play Love Me or Leave Me by the great Bud Powell
Play the Blood Stained Banner – play Murder Most Foul


© 2020 by Special Rider Music

Key West (Philosopher Pirate)

Key West

Bob Dylan’s Last Album “Rough And Rowdy Ways” Lyrics


McKinley hollered – McKinley squalled
Doctor said McKinley – death is on the wall
Say it to me if you got something to confess
I heard all about it – he was going down slow
Heard it on the wireless radio
From down in the boondocks – way down in Key West

I’m searchin’ for love and inspiration
On that pirate radio station
It’s comin’ out of Luxembourg and Budapest
Radio signal clear as can be
I’m so deep in love I can hardly see
Down in the flatlands – way down in Key West

Key West is the place to be
If you’re lookin’ for immortality
Stay on the road – follow the highway sign
Key West is fine and fair
If you lost your mind, you’ll find it there
Key West is on the horizon line

I was born on the wrong side of the railroad track
Like Ginsberg, Corso and Kerouac
Like Louie and Jimmy and Buddy and all of the rest
It might not be the thing to do
But I’m stickin’ with you through and through
Down in the flatlands – way down in Key West

I got both my feet planted square on the ground
Got my right hand high with the thumb down
Such is life – such is happiness
Hibiscus flowers grow everywhere here
If you wear one put it behind your ear
Down on the bottom – way down in Key West

Key West is the place to go
Down by the Gulf of Mexico
Beyond the sea – beyond the shifting sand
Key West is the gateway key
To innocence and purity
Key West – Key West is the enchanted land

I’ve never lived in the land of Oz
Or wasted my time with an unworthy cause
It’s hot down here and you can’t be overdressed
The tiny blossoms of a toxic plant
They can make you dizzy – I’d like to help ya but I can’t
Down in the flatlands – way down in Key West

The fishtail palms (1) and the orchid trees
They can give you the bleedin’ heart disease
People tell me – I oughta try a little tenderness
Amelia Street – Bay View Park
Walkin’ in the shadows after dark
Down under – way down in Key West

I play the gumbo limbo spirituals (2)
I know all the Hindu rituals
People tell me that I’m truly blessed
Bougainvillea bloomin’ in the summer and spring
Winter here is an unknown thing
Down the flatlands – way down in Key West

Key West is under the sun
Under the radar – under the gun
You stay to the left and then you lean to the right
Feel the sunlight on your skin
And the healing virtues of the wind
Key West – Key West is the land of light

Wherever I travel – wherever I roam
I’m not that far from the convent home
I do what I think is right – what I think is best
Mystery Street off Mallory Square
Truman had his White House there
Eastbound – westbound
Way down in Key West

Twelve years old and they put me in a suit
Forced me to marry a prostitute
There were gold fringes on her wedding dress
That’s my story but not where it ends
She’s still cute and we’re still friends
Down in the bottom – way down in Key West

I play both sides against the middle
Pickin’ up that pirate radio signal
I heard the news – I heard your last request
“Fly Around my Pretty Little Miss” (3)
I don’t love nobody – gimme a kiss
Down at the bottom – way down in Key West

Key West is the place to be
If you’re lookin’ for immortality
Key West is paradise divine
Key West is fine and fair
If you lost your mind you’ll find it there
Key West is on the horizon line


© 2020 by Special Rider Music

(1) Caryota [also known as Fishtail Palm] is a genus of tropical plants with thirteen different species, belonging to the palm family (Arecaceae). It is the only genus in the family that has true bipinnate leaves. It is a toxic plant. The whole plant contains calcium oxalate crystals in the form of needles that if chewed or eaten can cause a burning sensation in the mouth. Contact with the skin can cause burning, itching and severe dermatitis.

(2) Gumbo limbo spirituals = Spiritual chants from South Florida islands natives. Gumbo limbo refers to the tree from which the rubber or the turpentine essence are extracted, and it is the popular name that the natives gave to the tree species “Bursera simaruba”, also known as Chaca. It’s a kind of species typical of the tropical regions of the Americas, from southern Florida to Mexico and the Caribbean to Brazil and Venezuela.

(3) “Fly Around my Pretty Little Miss” = Traditional folk song already recorded back in the 1920s. Among the first recordings of this song is a version of the “Frank Blevins And His Tar Hell Rattlers String Band” from Ashe County, North Carolina. The name of the band was improvised during the Columbia recording session in the city of Atlanta in 1927, in which the 16-year-old violinist Frank Blevins, his older brother and guitarist Ed Blevins and the instrumentalist Fred Miller on the banjo were the performers. The band’s playing was apparently inspired by shots of corn liquor taken from a convenient jug. Recently, this year, it was recorded by Gillian Welch (with David Rawlings collaboration) and included in an album titled “All The Good Times (2020)”, in which they also cover “Oh Babe It Ain’t No Lie”, “Senor” and “Abandoned love.”

Drawing captured from Bob Dylan’s Key West video on Youtube

Some interesting comments from users (right or wrong) found about this song on Songfacts website:

Barry Mccollom from Plano, Tx:

Just a few insights I have picked up while reading about “Key West(Philosopher Pirate)”. The first verse is pulling lines from a 1926 era song “White House Blues” recorded by Charlie Poole and the North Carolina Ramblers. It is referring to the McKinley Assassination and the subsequent Theodore Roosevelt Administration. Dylan’s latter day work is full of references to various source materials from old songs. For me researching these little gems has been a source of pleasure and an education as well. Dylan has an encyclopedic knowledge that he imparts obliquely, allusively and elusively. The verse about being wed to a prostitute has been explained as referring to the Prophet Hosea and his wife Gomer who was an unfaithful woman. The age of 12 is close to bar mitzvah. Is Dylan referring to his family of origin religion? Perhaps. The other line that I didn’t quite get was “Key West is on the horizon line.” An explanation that I like is that this island refuge and paradise is always out in front of the wanderer forever receding in front like a wavering mirage in the distance. The lazy accordion and the length of the song lend to the hypnotic effect of the imagery of the heat and potent flowers. Another “Shelter From the Storm”…”if you’ve lost your mind you will find it there.”

Jm from Szeged, Hungary:

About ‘married a prostitute at 12’, wasn’t this about his bar mitzvah, being made part of the Jewish religion? Note ‘forced to marry’ and ‘we’re still friends’. Ain’t it cute…?.. — And McKinley was Muddy Waters’ name – although I see no further Muddy connections here.

Pj from Sf:

The verse about McKinley is a slight re-write of lines from “White House Blues” a folk song by Charlie Poole and others about McKinley’s assassination in 1901, another song like Murder Most Foul about an American President assassinated. “Jimmy” also could refer to Jimmy Rogers who wrote the song from which Dylan’s album is titled, “My Rough and Rowdy Ways”.

John W from Scotland:

The song starts with the doctor asking McKinley if he has anything to confess. McKinley was US president who was assassinated and it seems to me to reference Murder most Foul. McKinley portrayed himself as the people’s president like Kennedy. However he was also responsible for the Spanish American war and conquered and colonised Cuba, Puerto Rico, Hawaii and the Phillippines for the US and he later became closely associated with big business interests.
Key West is the nearest point in the US to Cuba and it had a significant Cuban population. It has a naval base and was important during the Spanish American War. It was also important during Kennedy’s Cuban missile crisis. Following the assassination the FBI and later the CIA were set up to protect the president, which offers another link to Murder most foul. So McKinley is a ‘man of contradictions’.

I think this song is about a poisoned paradise where the rich and famous have gone to wear hibiscus flowers in their hair and over-dress in the heat. And “nobody has to think too much about Desolation Row.”

Pigeon Key Highway Bridge

Apparently, being forced at age 12 to marry a prostitute also may refer to a common custom during the 17th and 18th centuries in some European countries that consisted of forcing convicted juvenile delinquents to marry prostitutes, offering them freedom in exchange, with the sole condition that they accept said imposition.

As an interesting reference, you can follow the following link:

Pigeon Key Old Bridge

The Hypnotist Collector


Crossing The Rubicon

Caesar Crossing The Rubicon

Bob Dylan’s Last Album “Rough And Rowdy Ways” Lyrics


I crossed the Rubicon on the 14th day of the most dangerous month of the year
At the worst time at the worst place – that’s all I seem to hear
I got up early so I could greet the Goddess of the Dawn
I painted my wagon – I abandoned all hope and I crossed the Rubicon

The Rubicon is the Red River, going gently as she flows
Redder then your ruby lips and the blood that flows from the rose
Three miles north of purgatory – one step from the great beyond
I prayed to the cross and I kissed the girls and I crossed the Rubicon

What are these dark days I see in this world so badly bent
How can I redeem the time – the time so idly spent
How much longer can it last – how long can this go on
I embraced my love put down my head and I crossed the Rubicon

I feel the bones beneath my skin and they’re tremblin’ with rage
I’ll make your wife a widow – you’ll never see old age
Show me one good man in sight that the sun shines down upon
I pawned my watch and I paid my debts and I crossed the Rubicon

Put my heart upon the hill where some happiness I’ll find
If I survive then let me love – let the hour be mine
Take the high road – take the low, take the one you’re on
I poured the cup and I passed it along and I crossed the Rubicon

You defiled the most lovely flower in all of womanhood
Others can be tolerant – others can be good
I’ll cut you up with a crooked knife and I’ll miss you when you’re gone
I stood between heaven and earth and I crossed the Rubicon

You won’t find any happiness here – no happiness or joy
Go back to the gutter and try your luck – find you some nice young pretty boy
Tell me how many men I need and who I can count upon
I strapped my belt and buttoned my coat and I crossed the Rubicon

I feel the Holy Spirit inside and see the light that freedom gives
I believe it’s within the reach of every man who lives
Keep as far away as possible – it’s darkest ‘fore the dawn
I turned the key and I broke it off and I crossed the Rubicon

Mona Baby, are you still in my mind – I truly believe that you are
Couldn’t be anybody else but you who’s come with me this far
The killing frost is on the ground and the autumn leaves are gone
I lit the torch and I looked to the east and I crossed the Rubicon


© 2020 by Special Rider Music

Mother Of Muses

Mnemosyne (Mother of Muses and Goddess of Memory) by Rossetti

Bob Dylan’s Last Album “Rough And Rowdy Ways” Lyrics


Mother of Muses sing for me
Sing of the mountains and the deep dark sea
Sing of the lakes and the nymphs in the forest
Sing your hearts out – all you women of the chorus
Sing of honor and fame and of glory be
Mother of Muses, sing for me

Mother of Muses sing for my heart
Sing for a love too soon to depart
Sing of the Heroes who stood alone
Whose names are engraved on tablets of stone
Who struggled with pain so the world could go free
Mother of Muses, sing for me

Sing of Sherman – Montgomery and Scott
Sing of Zhukov and Patton and the battles they fought
Who cleared the path for Presley to sing
Who carved out the path for Martin Luther King
Who did what they did and then went on their way
Man, I could tell their stories all day

I’m falling in love with Calliope
She doesn’t belong to anybody – why not give her to me
She’s speaking to me, speaking with her eyes
I’ve grown so tired of chasing lies
Mother of Muses wherever you are
I’ve already outlived my life by far

Mother of Muses unleash your wrath
Things I can’t see – they’re blocking my path
Show me your wisdom – tell me my fate
Put me upright – make me walk straight
Forge my identity from the inside out
You know what I’m talking about

Take me to the river and release your charms
Let me lay down in your sweet lovin’ arms
Wake me – shake me – free me from sin
Make me invisible like the wind
Got a mind to ramble – got a mind to roam
I’m travelin’ light and I’m slow coming home


© 2020 by Special Rider Music

Bob Dylan’s swedish academy medal

Goodbye Jimmy Reed

Bob Dylan’s Last Album “Rough And Rowdy Ways” Lyrics


I live on a street named after a saint
Women in the churches wear powder and paint
Where the Jews and the Catholics and the Muslims all pray
I can tell they party from a mile away
Goodbye Jimmy Reed, Jimmy Reed indeed
Give me that old-time religion, it’s just what I need

For thine is the kingdom, the power and the Glory
Go tell it on the mountain, go tell the real story
Tell it in that straightforward puritanical tone
In the mystic hours, when a person’s alone
Goodbye Jimmy Reed, God speed
Thump on the bible, proclaim a creed

You won’t amount to much, the people all said
‘Cos I didn’t play guitar behind my head
Never pandered, never acted proud
Never took off my shoes, threw ‘em into the crowd
Goodbye Jimmy Reed, goodbye and good night
Put a jewel in your crown and I’ll put out the light

They threw everything at me, everything in the book
I had nothing to fight with but a butcher’s hook
They had no pity, they never lent a hand
I can’t sing a song that I don’t understand
Goodbye Jimmy Reed, goodbye and good luck
I can’t play the record ‘cos my needle got stuck

Transparent woman in a transparent dress
Suits you well I must confess
I break open your grapes, I suck out the juice
I need you like my head needs a noose
Goodbye Jimmy Reed, goodbye and so long
I thought I could resist her, but I was so wrong

God be with you, brother dear
If you don’t mind me asking, what brings you here?
Ah nothing much, I’m just looking for the man
Came to see where he’s lying in this lost land
Goodbye Jimmy Reed, and everything within you
Can’t you hear me calling from down in Virginia


© 2020 by Special Rider Music

Jimmy Reed

Black Rider

Bob Dylan’s Last Album “Rough And Rowdy Ways” Lyrics


Black Rider Black Rider you been livin’ too hard
You been up all night havin’ to stay on your guard
The path that you’re walkin’ – is too narrow to walk
Every step of the way another stumblin’ block
The road that you’re on – same road that you know
But it’s not the same as – it was a minute ago

Black Rider Black Rider you’ve seen it all
You’ve seen the great world and you’ve seen the small
You fell into the fire and you’re eating the flame
Better seal up your lips if you want to stay in the game
Be reasonable Mister – be honest be fair
Let all of your earthly thoughts be a prayer

Black Rider Black Rider all dressed in black
I’m walking away and you try to make me look back
My heart is at rest I’d like to keep it that way
I don’t want to fight – at least not today
Go home to your wife stop visiting mine
One of these days I’ll forget to be kind

Black Rider Black Rider tell me when – tell me how
If there ever was a time then let it be now
Let me go through – open the door
My soul is distressed my mind is at war
Don’t hug me – don’t flatter me – don’t turn on the charm
I’ll take out a sword and have to hack off your arm

Black Rider Black Rider hold it right there
The size of your cock will get you nowhere
I’ll suffer in silence I’ll not make a sound
Maybe I’ll take the – high moral ground
Some enchanted evening I’ll sing you a song
Black Rider Black Rider you’ve been on the job too long


© 2020 by Special Rider Music

I’ve Made Up My Mind To Give Myself To You

Bob Dylan’s Last Album “Rough And Rowdy Ways” Lyrics


I’m sitting on my terrace,
Lost in the stars
Listening to the sounds of
The sad guitars.
Been thinking it all over,
And I thought it all through
I’ve made up my mind
To give myself to you.

I saw the first
Fall of snow
I saw the flowers
Come and go.
I don’t think
That anyone
Ever… else,
Ever knew…
I’ve made up my mind
To give myself to you.

I’m giving myself
To you, I am
From Salt Lake City
To Birmingham,
From east L.A.
To San Antone.
I don’t think
I could bare
To live my life alone.

My eye’s like
A shooting star
It looks at nothing
Here or there,
Looks at nothing
Near or far.
No one ever told me
It’s just something I knew
I’ve made up my mind to
Give myself to you.

If I had the wings
Of a snow white dove
I’d preach the gospel
The gospel of love
A love so real
A love so true.
I’ve made up my mind
To give myself to you.

Take me out travelin’,
You’re a travelin’ man,
Show me something
That I’ll understand.
I’m not what I was
Things aren’t what they were
I’ll go far away from home
With her.

I’ve traveled the long road
Of despair
I’ve met a no other
Traveler there.
A lot of people gone,
A lot of people I knew,
I’ve made up my mind
To give myself to you.

Well, my heart’s like a river,
A river that sings
Just takes me a while
To realize things.
I’ll see you at sunrise
I’ll see you at dawn
I’ll lay down beside you
When everyone’s gone

I’ll travel from the mountains
To the sea
I Hope that the Gods
Go easy with me.
I knew you’d say yes
I’m saying it too
I’ve made up my mind
To give myself to you.


© 2020 by Special Rider Music

My Own Version Of You

Bob Dylan’s Last Album “Rough And Rowdy Ways” Lyrics


All through the summers and into January
I’ve been visiting morgues and monasteries
Looking for the necessary body parts
Limbs and livers and brains and hearts

I want to bring someone to life – is what I want to do
I want to create my own version of you

Well, It must be the winter of my discontent
I wish you’d taken me with you wherever you went
They talk all night – they talk all day
Not for a second do I believe what they say

I want to bring someone to life – someone I’ve never seen
You know what I mean – you know exactly what I mean

I’ll take Scarface Pacino and the Godfather Brando
Mix ‘em up in a tank and get a robot commando
If I do it upright and put the head on straight
I’ll be saved by the creature that I create
I get blood from a cactus – make gunpowder from ice
I don’t gamble with cards and I don’t shoot no dice
Can you look in my face with your sightless eye
Can you cross your heart and hope to die

I’ll bring someone to life – someone for real
Someone who feels the way that I feel

I study Sanskrit and Arabic to improve my mind
I want to do things for the benefit of all mankind
I say to the willow tree – don’t weep for me
I’m saying the hell with all things that used to be
I get into trouble and I hit the wall
No place to turn – no place at all
I pick a number between one and two
And I ask myself what would Julius Caesar do

I’ll bring someone to life – in more ways than one
Don’t matter how long it takes – it’ll be done when it’s done

I’m gonna make you play the piano like Leon Russell
Like Liberace – like St. John the Apostle
I’ll play every number that I can play
I’ll see you baby on Judgement Day
After midnight if you still want to meet
I’ll be at the Black Horse Tavern on Armageddon Street
Two doors down not that far to walk
I’ll hear your footsteps – you won’t have to knock

I’ll bring someone to life – balance the scales
I’m not gonna get involved in any insignificant details

You can bring it to St. Peter – you can bring it to Jerome
You can move it on over – bring it all the way home
Bring it to the corner where the children play
You can bring it to me on a silver tray

I’ll bring someone to life – spare no expense
Do it with decency and common sense

Can you tell me what it means to be or not to be
You won’t get away with fooling me
Can you help me walk that moonlight mile
Can you give me the blessings of your smile

I want to bring someone to life – use all my powers
Do it in the dark in the wee small hours

I can see the history of the whole human race
It’s all right there – its carved into your face
Should I break it all down – should I fall on my knees
Is there light at the end of the tunnel – can you tell me please
Stand over there by the Cypress tree
Where the Trojan women and children were sold into slavery
Long before the First Crusade
Way back before England or America were made
Step right into the burning hell
Where some of the best known enemies of mankind dwell
Mister Freud with his dreams and Mister Marx with his axe
See the raw hide lash rip the skin off their backs
Got the right spirit – you can feel it you can hear it
You got what they call the immortal spirit
You can feel it all night you can feel it in the morn
Creeps into your body the day you are born
One strike of lightning is all that I need
And a blast of ‘lectricity that runs at top speed
Show me your ribs – I’ll stick in the knife
I’m gonna jump start my creation to life
I want to bring someone to life – turn back the years
Do it with laughter – do it with tears


© 2020 by Special Rider Music

False Prophet

Bob Dylan’s Last Album “Rough And Rowdy Ways” Lyrics


Another day that don’t end,
Another ship going out
Another day of anger, bitterness and doubt
I know how it happened,
I saw it begin
I opened my heart to the world,
And the world came in

Hello Mary Lou, hello Miss Pearl
My fleet footed guides
From the underworld
No stars in the sky
Shine brighter than you
You girls mean business,
And I do too

Well I’m the enemy of treason
A enemy of strife
I’m the enemy of the unlived,
Meaningless life
I ain’t no false prophet,
I just know what I know
I go where only the lonely can go

I’m first among equals,
Second to none
The last of the best,
You can bury the rest
Bury ’em naked
With their silver and gold
Put ’em six feet under
And then pray for their souls

What are you lookin’ at?
There’s nothin’ to see
Just a cool breeze
That’s encircling me
Let’s go for a walk
In the garden,
So far and so wide
We can sit in the shade
By the fountain side

I’ve searched the world over
For the Holy Grail
I sing songs of love,
I sing songs of betrayal
Don’t care what I drink,
I don’t care what I eat
I climbed a mountain of swords
On my bare feet

You don’t know me darling,
You never would guess
I’m not like my ghostly
Appearance would suggest
I ain’t no false prophet,
I just said what I said
I’m just here to bring vengeance
On somebody’s head

Put out your hand,
There’s nothin’ to hold
Open your mouth,
I’ll stuff it with gold
Aw, you poor devil,
Look up if you will
The City of God is up there
On the hill

Hello stranger,
Hello and goodbye
You rule the land,
But so do I
You lusty old mule,
You got a poisoned brain
I’ll marry you
To a ball and chain.

You know darlin’,
The kinda life that I live
When your smile meets my smile,
Somethin’ has got to give
I ain’t no false prophet, nah,
I’m nobody’s bride
Can’t remember when I was born,
And I forgot when I died

Copyright © 2020 by Special Rider Music