Bob Dylan

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If your time to you is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.
a poem is a naked person . . . some people say that i am a poet
I think of a hero as someone who understands the degree of responsibility that comes with his freedom.
People today are still living off the table scraps of the sixties. They are still being passed around — the music and the ideas.
We may not be able to defeat these swine, but we don't have to join them.
Morality has nothing in common with politics.
I don't call myself a poet, because I don't like the word.
Don't ask me nothin' about nothin'. I just might tell you the truth.

Bob Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman on May 24, 1941) is an American folk and rock singer-songwriter, born in Duluth, Minnesota.



  • There's no black and white, left and right to me anymore; there's only up and down and down is very close to the ground. And I'm trying to go up without thinking about anything trivial such as politics. They has got nothing to do with it. I'm thinking about the general people and when they get hurt.
  • Reporter: How many people who labor in the same musical vineyard in which you toil - how many are protest singers? That is, people who use their music, and use the songs to protest the, uh, social state in which we live today: the matter of war, the matter of crime, or whatever it might be.
    Bob Dylan: many?
    Reporter: Yes. How many?
    Bob Dylan: Uh, I think there's about, uh...136.
    Reporter: You say about 136, or you mean exactly 136?
    Bob Dylan: Uh, it's either 136 or 142.
    • Press conference in Los Angeles, California (17 December 1965), as seen and heard in No Direction Home.
  • God, I'm glad I'm not me.
    • Said when reading a newspaper article about himself in Dont Look Back (1967)
  • Chaos is a friend of mine.
    • Newsweek (9 December 1985)
  • I think of a hero as someone who understands the degree of responsibility that comes with his freedom.
    • Interview published with the Biograph album set (1985)
  • The first two lines, which rhymed 'kiddin' you' and 'didn't you,' just about knocked me out, and later on, when I got to the jugglers and the chrome horse and the princess on the steeple, it all just about got to be too much.
  • People today are still living off the table scraps of the sixties. They are still being passed around — the music and the ideas.
    • The Guardian (13 February 1992)
  • That ear - I mean, Jesus, he's got to will that to the Smithsonian.
  • Sometimes you say things in songs even if there's a small chance of them being true. And sometimes you say things that have nothing to do with the truth of what you want to say and sometimes you say things that everyone knows to be true. Then again, at the same time, you're thinking that the only truth on earth is that there is no truth on it. Whatever you are saying, you're saying in a ricky-tick way. There's never time to reflect. You stitched and pressed and packed and drove, is what you did.
  • The road out would be treacherous, and I didn’t know where it would lead but I followed it anyway. It was a strange world ahead that would unfold, a thunderhead of a world with jagged lightning edges. Many got it wrong and never did get it right. I went straight into it. It was wide open. One thing for sure, not only was it not run by God, but it wasn’t run by the devil either.
  • I put one on the turntable and when the needle dropped, I was stunned — didn't know whether I was stoned or straight.
  • I had ambitions to set out and find, like an odyssey or going home somewhere… set out to find… this home that I’d left a while back and couldn’t remember exactly where it was, but I was on my way there. And encountering what I encountered on the way was how I envisioned it all. I didn’t really have any ambition at all. I was born very far from where I’m supposed to be, and so, I’m on my way home, you know?
  • He's a pinboy. He also wears suspenders. He's a real person. You know him, but not by that name... I saw him come into the room one night and he looked like a camel. He proceeded to put his eyes in his pocket. I asked this guy who he was and he said, "That's Mr. Jones." Then I asked this cat, "Doesn't he do anything but put his eyes in his pocket?" And he told me, "He puts his nose on the ground." It's all there, it's a true story.
    • When asked about the meaning of the song "Ballad of a Thin Man" during a 1965 interview.
  • I don't believe you! You're a liar! … Play it fucking loud!
  • I read On the Road in maybe 1959. It changed my life like it changed everyone else's.
    • On the influence of Jack Kerouac on him, as quoted Grasping for the Wind : The Search for Meaning in the 20th Century (2001) by John W. Whitehead
  • Someone handed me Mexico City Blues in St. Paul [Minnesota] in 1959 and it blew my mind. It was the first poetry that spoke my own language.
    • On the influence of Jack Kerouac, as quoted in Jack Kerouac (2007) by Alison Behnke, p. 100
  • It’s not a character like in a book or a movie. He’s not a bus driver. He doesn’t drive a forklift. He’s not a serial killer. It’s me who’s singing that, plain and simple. We shouldn’t confuse singers and performers with actors. Actors will say, “My character this, and my character that.” Like beating a dead horse. Who cares about the character? Just get up and act. You don’t have to explain it to me.
  • It's peculiar and unnerving in a way to see so many young people walking around with cellphones and iPods in their ears and so wrapped up in media and video games. It robs them of their self-identity. It's a shame to see them so tuned out to real life. Of course they are free to do that, as if that's got anything to do with freedom. The cost of liberty is high, and young people should understand that before they start spending their life with all those gadgets.
    • Rolling Stone #1078 (14 May 2009), p. 45

Song lyrics[edit]

Bob Dylan (1962)[edit]

Talking New York[edit]

  • You sound like a hillbilly; We want folk singers here.
  • A lot of people don't have much food on their table
    But they got a lot of forks and knives
    And they gotta cut something

'Song to Woody[edit]

  • Hey, hey, Woody Guthrie, I wrote you a song, 'bout a funny ol' world that's a-comin' along
  • Seems sick an' it's hungry, it's tired an' it's torn, it looks like it's a-dyin' an' it's hardly been born.
  • here's to the hearts an' the hands of the men, that come with the dust and are gone with the wind.

The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan (1963)[edit]

Blowin' in the Wind[edit]

How many roads must a man walk down before you call him a man?
How many seas must a white dove sail before she sleeps in the sand?
  • How many roads must a man walk down before you call him a man?
    How many seas must a white dove sail before she sleeps in the sand?
  • Yes, and how many years can a mountain exist before it is washed to the sea?
  • How many times must a man look up before he can see the sky?
  • Yes, and how many deaths will it take till he knows that too many people have died?
  • The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind.

Girl from the North Country[edit]

  • So if you're travelin' in the north country fair,
    Where the winds hit heavy on the borderline,
    Remember me to one who lives there.
    She once was a true love of mine.

Masters of War[edit]

  • All the money you made will never buy back your soul.
  • You ain't worth the blood that runs in your veins.
  • There is one thing I know though I'm younger than you
    Even Jesus would not forgive what you do
  • And I hope that you die
    And your death'll come soon
    I will follow your casket
    In the pale afternoon
    And I'll watch while you're lowered
    Down to your deathbed
    And I'll stand o'er your grave
    'Til I'm sure that you're dead

A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall[edit]

  • I saw a newborn baby with wild wolves all around it.
  • I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken.
  • I heard the roar of a wave that could drown the whole world.
  • I met a white man who walked a black dog.
  • But I’ll know my song well before I start singin’.
  • It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.

Don't Think Twice, It's All Right[edit]

  • I once loved a woman, a child I am told
    I gave her my heart but she wanted my soul.
  • I ain't saying you treated me unkind
    You could have done better but I don't mind

    You just kinda wasted my precious time
    But don't think twice, it's all right.
  • Goodbye is too good a word, girl
    So I'll just say fare thee well.

Talkin' World War III Blues[edit]

  • I got into the driver's seat and drove down 42nd Street in my Cadillac.
    Good car to drive after a war.
  • Half of the people can be part right all of the time,
    Some of the people can be all right part of the time,
    But all the people can't be all right all the time.
    I think Abraham Lincoln said that.
    I'll let you be in my dreams if I can be in yours.
    I said that.

The Times They Are A-Changin' (1964)[edit]

The Times They Are A-Changin'[edit]

Full lyrics online
  • Come gather ’round people
    Wherever you roam
    And admit that the waters
    Around you have grown.

    And accept it that soon
    You’ll be drenched to the bone.
    If your time to you is worth savin’
    Then you better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone
    For the times they are a-changin’.
  • Come writers and critics
    Who prophesize with your pen
    And keep your eyes wide
    The chance won’t come again
    And don’t speak too soon
    For the wheel’s still in spin
    And there’s no tellin’ who that it’s naming.’
    For the loser now will be later to win
  • Come mothers and fathers
    Throughout the land
    And don’t criticize
    What you can’t understand
    Your sons and your daughters
    Are beyond your command
    Your old road is rapidly agin'.
  • Come Congressmen, Senators, please heed the call
    Don't stand in the doorway, don't block up the hall
    For he who gets hurt will be he who has stalled
    There’s a battle outside and it's ragin’.

Ballad of Hollis Brown[edit]

  • You prayed to the Lord above
    Oh please send you a friend
    Your empty pockets tell yuh
    That you ain’t a-got no friend
  • There’s seven people dead
    On a South Dakota farm
    Somewhere in the distance
    There's seven new people born
  • If there's anyone who knows, is there anyone who cares?

With God On Our Side[edit]

  • You never ask questions When God's on your side
  • You don't count the dead When God's on your side
  • But I can’t think for you
    You’ll have to decide
    Whether Judas Iscariot
    Had God on his side
  • The words fill my head, and fall to the floor, that if God's on our side, he'll stop the next war.

Restless Farewell[edit]

  • But if the arrow is straight, And the point is slick, It can pierce through dust no matter how thick.

Boots of Spanish Leather[edit]

  • Oh, but if I had the stars from the darkest night
    And the diamonds from the deepest ocean
    I'd forsake them all for your sweet kiss
    For that's all I'm wishin' to be ownin'.
  • Well, if you, my love, must think that-a-way,
    I'm sure your mind is roamin'.
    I'm sure your heart is not with me,
    But with the country to where you're goin'.

Another Side of Bob Dylan (1964)[edit]

All I Really Want To Do[edit]

  • All I really want to do is, baby, be friends with you.
  • I ain't looking for you to feel like me, see like me, or be like me.

Chimes of Freedom[edit]

  • Far between sundown’s finish an’ midnight’s broken toll,
    We ducked inside the doorway, thunder crashing.
    As majestic bells of bolts struck shadows in the sounds,
    Seeming to be the chimes of freedom flashing.
    Flashing for the warriors whose strength is not to fight,
    Flashing for the refugees on the unarmed road of flight,
    An’ for each an’ ev’ry underdog soldier in the night,
    An’ we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing.
  • Through the mad mystic hammering of the wild ripping hail,
    The sky cracked its poems in naked wonder,
    That the clinging of the church bells blew far into the breeze
    Leaving only bells of lightning and its thunder
    Striking for the gentle, striking for the kind,
    Striking for the guardians and protectors of the mind,
    An’ the poet and the painter far behind his rightful time
    An’ we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing.

My Back Pages[edit]

  • Ah, but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now.
  • In a soldier's stance, I aimed my hand at the mongrel dogs who teach
    Fearing not that I'd become my enemy in the instance that I preached
    My existence led by confusion boats, mutiny from stern to bow.

Motorpsycho Nightmare[edit]

  • I had to say something to strike him very weird so I yelled out "I like Fidel Castro and his beard."

Ballad In Plain D[edit]

  • All is gone, all is gone, admit it, take flight.
    I gagged twice, doubled, tears blinding my sight.
    My mind it was mangled, I ran into the night
    Leaving all of love's ashes behind me.

    The wind knocks my window, the room it is wet.
    The words to say I'm sorry, I haven't found yet.
    I think of her often and hope whoever she's met
    Will be fully aware of how precious she is.

    Ah, my friends from the prison, they ask unto me,
    "How good, how good does it feel to be free?"
    And I answer them most mysteriously,
    "Are birds free from the chains of the skyway?"

It Ain't Me Babe[edit]

  • Go away from my window,
    Leave at your own chosen speed,
    I'm not the one you want, babe,
    I'm not the one you need.
    You say you're looking for someone,
    Who's never weak but always strong,
    To protect you and defend you,
    Whether you are right or wrong,
    Someone to open each and every door,
    But it ain't me, babe,
    No, no, no, it ain't me, babe,
    It ain't me you're looking for, babe.

Bringing It All Back Home (1965)[edit]

Subterranean Homesick Blues[edit]

Complete lyrics here
  • Johnny's in the basement
    Mixing up the medicine
    I'm on the pavement
    Thinking about the government
    The man in the trenchcoat
    Badge out, laid off
    Says he's got a bad cough
    Wants to get it paid off
    Look out kid
    It's somethin' you did
    God knows when
    But you're doin' it again
  • You don't need a weather man
    To know which way the wind blows
  • Get jailed, jump bail
    Join the army, if you fail
  • Don't follow leaders
    Watch the parkin' meters
  • Twenty years of schoolin'
    And they put you on the day shift
  • The pump don't work
    'Cause the vandals took the handles

She Belongs to Me[edit]

  • She's got everything she needs, she's an artist, she don't look back.
  • She could take the dark out the nighttime and paint the daytime black.
  • You will start out standing, proud to steal her anything she sees, but you will wind up peeking through her keyhole down upon your knees.

Maggie's Farm[edit]

  • Well, I try my best
    To be just like I am
    But everybody wants you
    To be just like them
  • I ain't gonna work on Maggie's farm no more.

Love Minus Zero/No Limit[edit]

  • There's no success like failure, and failure's no success at all.
  • She knows too much to argue or to judge.
  • In the dime stores and bus stations,
    People talk of situations,
    Read books repeat quotations,
    Draw conclusions on the wall.

Outlaw Blues[edit]

  • Don't ask me nothin' about nothin'. I just might tell you the truth.

Mr. Tambourine Man[edit]

  • The ancient empty street's too dead for dreaming.
  • Oh, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free.
  • It's not aimed at anyone, it's just escapin' on the run
  • And if you hear vague traces of skipping reels of rhyme...
  • Take me disappearing, through the smoke rings of my mind, down the foggy ruins of time...
  • With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves, let me forget about today until tomorrow.
  • Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me.
    I'm not sleepy and there is no place I'm going to.
    Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me.
    In the jingle-jangle morning, I'll come following you.
  • Let me forget about today until tomorrow.

Gates of Eden[edit]

  • All and all can only fall with a crushing but meaningless blow.
  • And there are no truths outside the Gates of Eden.
  • Of war and peace the truth just twist, its curfew gull it glides.

It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)[edit]

  • Money doesn't talk, it swears.
    Obscenity, who really cares? Propaganda all is phony.
  • Pointed threats, they bluff with scorn
    Suicide remarks are torn
    From the fool’s gold mouthpiece the hollow horn
    Plays wasted words, proves to warn
    That he not busy being born is busy dying.
  • An' though the rules of the road have been lodged
    It's only people's games that you got to dodge
  • Even the president of the United States sometimes must have to stand naked.
  • It is not he or she or them or it that you belong to.
  • Disillusioned words like bullets bark
    As human gods aim for their marks.
    Make everything from toy guns that spark
    To flesh-colored Christs that glow in the dark.
    It's easy to see without looking too far that not much is really sacred.
  • While others say don't hate nothing at all except hatred
  • Advertising signs that con you into thinking you are the one
    That can do what's never been done,
    That can win what's never been won
    Meanwhile, life outside goes on all around you
  • 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.
  • Although the masters make the rules for the wise men and the fools, I got nothing, Ma, to live up to.
  • You lose yourself, you reappear
    You suddenly find you got nothin' to fear
    Alone you stand with nobody near
    When a trembling distant voice unclear
    Startles your sleeping ear to hear
    That somebody thinks they really found you.
  • Darkness at the break of noon
    Shadows even the silver spoon
    The hand made blade, the child's balloon,
    Eclipses both the sun and moon
    To understand you know too soon
    There is no sense in trying.
  • While one who sings with his tongue on fire
    Gargles in the rat race choir
    Bent out of shape from society’s pliers
    Cares not to come up any higher
    But rather get you down in the hole
    That he’s in
  • But I mean no harm nor put fault
    On anyone that lives in a vault
    But it’s alright, Ma, if I can’t please him
  • It's life and life only.

It's All Over Now, Baby Blue[edit]

  • Yonder stands your orphan with his gun, crying like a fire in the sun.
  • Your lover who just walked out the door, has taken all his blankets from your floor.
  • Leave your stepping stones behind, something calls for you.
    Forget the dead you've left, they will not follow you.
  • The vagabond who's rapping at your door,
    Is standing in the clothes that you once wore.

Highway 61 Revisited (1965)[edit]

Positively 4th Street[edit]

  • You got a lotta nerve to say you are my friend. When I was down, you just stood there grinning.
  • Do you take me for such a fool to think I'd make contact with one that tries to hide what he don't know to begin with.
  • I wish that for just one time you could stand inside my shoes. You'd know what a drag it is to see you.

Like a Rolling Stone[edit]

When you ain't got nothing, you got nothing to lose. You're invisible now. You've got no secrets to conceal.
  • How does it feel? To be on your own, with no direction home, like a complete unknown, like a rolling stone?
  • Once upon a time you dressed so fine, threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn't you.
    People call, say beware doll, you're bound to fall, you thought they were all, kiddin you.
  • You used to laugh about
    Everybody that was hangin’ out
    Now you don’t talk so loud
    Now you don’t seem so proud
    About having to be scrounging for your next meal
  • You never turned around to see the frowns, on the jugglers and the clowns when they all did, tricks for you.
  • Princess on the steeple and all the pretty people, they're drinkin', thinkin' that they got it made
  • Go to him now, he calls you, you can't refuse.
    When you ain't got nothing, you got nothing to lose.
    You're invisible now. You've got no secrets to conceal.

Tombstone Blues[edit]

  • The sun's not yellow, it's chicken.
  • Stop all this weeping, swallow your pride
    You will not die, it’s not poison
  • The geometry of innocence flesh on the bone
    Causes Galileo’s math book to get thrown
    At Delilah who sits worthlessly alone
    But the tears on her cheeks are from laughter
  • And the National Bank at a profit sells road maps for the soul
    To the old folks home and the college

It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry[edit]

  • And if I don't make it, you know my baby will.
  • Well, I wanna be your lover, baby, I don't wanna be your boss.

Ballad of a Thin Man[edit]

  • And you say, Oh my God, am I here all alone?
  • You've been with the professors and they've all liked your looks. With great lawyers you've discussed lepers and crooks.
  • You go watch the geek, who immediately walks up to you when he hears you speak, and says, how does it feel to be such a freak?, and you say, impossible as he hands you a bone.
  • And something is happening here, but you don't know what it is, do you Mr. Jones?
  • Here's your throat back, thanks for the loan.
  • You put your eyes in your pockets and your nose on the ground.
  • They already expect you to just give a check to tax-deductible charity organization.

Highway 61 Revisited[edit]

  • Oh God said to Abraham, Kill me a son.
    Abe says, Man, you must be puttin' me on.
    God say, No. Abe say, What?
    God say, You can do what you want Abe, but
    the next time you see me comin' you better run.
    Well Abe says, Where do you want this killin' done?
    God says, Out on Highway 61.

Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues[edit]

  • Up on Housing Project Hill, it's either fortune or fame. You must pick one or the other, though neither of them are to be what they claim.

Desolation Row[edit]

  • Yes, I received your letter yesterday
    (About the time the door knob broke)
    When you asked how I was doing
    Was that some kind of joke?
    All these people that you mention
    Yes, I know them, they're quite lame
    I had to rearrange their faces
    And give them all another name
    Right now I can't read too good
    Don't send me no more letters no
    Not unless you mail them
    From Desolation Row
  • Now at midnight all the agents, and the superhuman crew, come out and round up everyone, that knows more then they do.
  • And Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot fighting in the captain's tower while calypso singers laugh at them and fishermen hold flowers...

Blonde on Blonde (1966)[edit]

Rainy Day Women #12 & 35[edit]

  • But I would not feel so all alone, everybody must get stoned!
  • They’ll stone ya and then they’ll say, “good luck”

Pledging My Time[edit]

  • Somebody got lucky, but it was an accident.

Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again[edit]

Your debutante knows what you need, but I know what you want.
  • Oh Mama, can this really be the end? To be stuck inside of Mobile with the Memphis blues again?
  • And here I sit so patiently waiting to find out what price you have to pay to get out of going through all these things twice.
  • The one was Texas medicine. the other was just railroad gin. And, like a fool, I mixed them and it strangled up my mind and now people just get uglier and I have no sense of time.
  • Your debutante knows what you need, but I know what you want.
  • You see, you're just like me. I hope you're satisfied.

Visions of Johanna[edit]

  • Ain't it just like the night to play tricks when you're trying to be so quiet.
  • We sit here stranded, though we're all doin' our best to deny it.
  • And Louise holds a handful of rain, tempting you to defy it.
  • He’s sure got a lotta gall to be so useless and all
  • Inside the museums, infinity goes up on trial.
    Voices echo this is what salvation must be like after a while
    But, Mona Lisa must have had the highway blues
    you can tell by the way she smiles
  • The ghost of 'lectricity howls in the bones of her face.
  • Name me someone that's not a parasite and I'll go out and say a prayer for him.
  • Louise she's all right she's just near'
    She's delicate and seems like veneer'
    But she just makes it all too concise and too clear'
    That Johanna's not here
  • But these visions of Johanna, they make it all seem so cruel.

One Of Us Must Know (Sooner Or Later)[edit]

  • I couldn’t see what you could show me
    Your scarf had kept your mouth well hid
  • I couldn’t see when it started snowin’
    Your voice was all that I heard

I Want You[edit]

  • She is good to me
    There's nothing she doesn't see
    She knows where I’d like to be
    But it doesn’t matter...
    I want you

Just Like A Woman[edit]

  • Nobody feels any pain
    Tonight as I stand inside the rain
  • She takes just like a woman, yes she does
    She makes love just like a woman, yes she does
    And she aches just like a woman
    But she breaks just like a little girl.

Absolutely Sweet Marie[edit]

  • But to live outside the law, you must be honest.

Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands[edit]

  • Sad-eyed lady of the lowlands,
    Where the sad-eyed prophet says that no man comes,
    My warehouse eyes, my Arabian drums,
    Should I leave them by your gate,
    Or, sad-eyed lady, should I wait?
  • With your sheets like metal and your belt like lace,
    And your deck of cards missing the jack and the ace,
    And your basement clothes and your hollow face,
    Who among them can think he could outguess you?

Nashville Skyline (1969)[edit]

I Threw It All Away[edit]

  • I once held her in my arms,
    She said she would always stay,
    But I was cruel, I treated her like a fool,
    I threw it all away.
    I threw it all away.

Lay Lady Lay[edit]

  • Lay, lady, lay. Lay across my big, brass bed.
  • Whatever colors you have in your mind. I'll show them to you and you'll see them shine.
  • His clothes are dirty, but his hands are clean, and you're the best thing that he's ever seen.
  • You can have your cake and eat it, too.
  • Stay, lady, stay. Stay while the night is still ahead.

Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You[edit]

  • Throw my ticket out the window,
    Throw my suitcase out there too,
    Throw my troubles out the door, I don't need them anymore,
    'Cause tonight I'll be staying here with you.

Self Portrait (1970)[edit]

Quinn The Eskimo (The Mighty Quinn)[edit]

  • Ev'rybody's in despair,
    Ev'ry girl and boy
    But when Quinn the Eskimo gets here,
    Ev'rybody's gonna jump for joy.
  • Come all without, come all within,
    You'll not see nothing like the mighty Quinn.
  • I like to do just like the rest,
    I like my sugar sweet, but guarding fumes and making haste,
    it ain't my cup of meat.
  • A cat's meow and a cow's moo,
    I can recite 'em all,
    just tell me where it hurts you, honey,

and I'll tell you who to call.

Planet Waves (1974)[edit]

Forever Young[edit]

May you build a ladder to the stars and climb on every rung. May your song always be sung, May you stay forever young.
  • May you build a ladder to the stars and climb on every rung. May your song always be sung, May you stay forever young.
  • May your hands always be busy. May your feet always be swift. May you have a strong foundation when the winds of changes shift. May your heart always be joyful. May your song always be sung. May you stay forever young.


  • I paid the price of solitude but at least I'm out of debt.
  • I hate myself for loving you.

Blood on the Tracks (1975)[edit]

Tangled Up In Blue[edit]

  • Early one mornin' the sun was shinin',
    I was layin' in bed
    Wond'rin'if she'd changed at all
    If her hair was still red.
  • Tangled up in blue...
  • Lord knows I've paid some dues gettin' through...
  • I helped her out of a jam, I guess, but I used a little too much force...
  • And every one of them words rang true and glowed like burnin' coal. Pourin' off of every page, like it was written in my soul from me to you...
  • The only thing I knew how to do was to keep on keepin' on like a bird that flew...
  • All the people we used to know, they're an illusion to me now...
  • Don't know how it all got started, I don't know what they do with their lives...
  • We always did feel the same, we just saw it from a different point of view...
  • But all the while I was alone
    The past was close behind,
    I seen a lot of women
    But she never escaped my mind,
  • I lived with them on Montague Street
    In a basement down the stairs
    There was music in the cafes at night
    And revolution in the air.

Idiot Wind[edit]

  • You're an idiot, babe. It's a wonder that you still know how to breathe.
  • I can't help it if I'm lucky.
  • Visions of your chestnut mare shoot through my head and are makin' me see stars.
  • I waited for you on the running boards, near the cypress trees, while the springtime turned slowly into autumn.
  • Idiot wind, blowing through the buttons of our coats, blowing through the letters that we wrote.
    Idiot wind, blowing through the dust upon our shelves,
    We're idiots, babe. It's a wonder we can even feed ourselves.
  • It was gravity which pulled us in and destiny which broke us apart
  • You tamed the lion in my cage but it just wasn't enough to change my heart
  • Down the highway, down the tracks, down the road to ecstacy,
    I followed you beneath the stars, hounded by your memory and all your ragin' glory
  • You'll never know the hurt I suffer, nor the pain I rise above, and I'll never know the same about you...
  • I kiss good-bye the howling beast on the borderline which separated you from me.

You're a Big Girl Now[edit]

Time is a jetplane — it moves too fast. Oh but what a shame that all we've shared can't last...
  • I’m going out of my mind, oh, oh; with a pain that stops and starts; like a corkscrew to my heart; Ever since we’ve been apart
  • A change in the weather is known to be extreme; but what's the sense in changing horses in mid-stream?
  • Time is a jetplane — it moves too fast. Oh but what a shame that all we've shared can't last...
  • Love is so simple, to quote a phrase; you've known it all the time, I'm learnin' it these days.
  • I know where I can find you — in somebody's room. It's the price I have to pay, you're a big girl all the way.

Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts[edit]

  • Backstage the girls were playin' five-card stud by the stairs,
    Lily had two queens, she was hopin' for a third to match her pair.
    Outside the streets were fillin' up, the window was open wide,
    A gentle breeze was blowin', you could feel it from inside.
    Lily called another bet and drew up the Jack of Hearts.

Shelter from the Storm[edit]

  • Beauty walks a razor's edge, someday I'll make it mine.
  • Try imagining a place where it's always safe and warm...
  • "Come in", she said, "I'll give you shelter from the storm."

If You See Her, Say Hello[edit]

  • I always have respected her for doin' what she did and gettin' free
  • Say for me that I'm all right though things get kind of slow
    She might think that I've forgotten her don't tell her it isn't so.
  • Sundown yellow moon I replay the past
    I know every scene by heart they all went by so fast
  • If she's passing back this way I'm not that hard to find
    Tell her she can look me up if she's got the time.

The Basement Tapes (1975)[edit]

This Wheel's on Fire (recorded in 1967)[edit]

  • If your mem'ry serves you well, we were gonna meet again and wait, so I think I'll just unpack my bags and sit before it gets too late.
    No man alive will come to you with another tale to tell, but you know that we shall meet again, if your mem'ry serves you well.
  • If your memory serves you well, I was gonna confiscate your lace and wrap it up in a sailor's knot and hide it in your case.
    And if I knew for sure that it was yours, it was oh so hard to tell, and you know that we shall meet again, if your memory serves you well.
  • If your memory serves you well, I remember you're the one who called out me to call out them to get your business done.
    And after every plan has failed, and there was nothing left to tell, well you knew that we shall meet again if your memory serves you well.
  • Wheels on fire, rolling down the road, best notify my next of kin, this wheel shall explode!

Open the Door, Homer (recorded 1967)[edit]

  • Take care of all your memories. said my friend Mick, For you cannot relive them.

Desire (1976)[edit]


  • Here comes the story of The Hurricane, the man the authorities came to blame for something that he never done.
    Put in a prison cell, but one time he coulda been the champion of the world.
  • Couldn't help but make me feel ashamed to live in a land, where justice is a game.


  • There's lots of pretty girls in Mozambique.

Slow Train Coming (1979)[edit]

Gotta Serve Somebody[edit]

  • It may be the Devil or it may be the Lord, but you're gonna have to serve somebody.
  • You may call me Bobby; you may call me Zimmy...

Precious Angel[edit]

  • Now there's spiritual warfare, flesh and blood breaking down. You either got faith or you got unbelief, and there ain't no neutral ground.
  • The enemy is subtle. How be it we're deceived? When the truth's in our hearts and we still don't believe.
  • My so-called friends have fallen under a spell: they look me squarely in the eye and say, "Well; all is well."
  • We are covered in blood, girl. You know both our forefathers were slaves. Let us hope they've found mercy in their bone-filled graves.

I Believe in You[edit]

  • They'd like to drive me from this town; they don't want me around, 'cause I believe in you.
  • I believe in you even on the morning after.

Slow Train[edit]

  • Have they counted the cost it'll take to bring down all the earthly principles they're gonna have to abandon?
  • All that foreign oil controlling American soil. Look around you, it's just bound to make you embarrassed: sheiks walking around like kings, wearing fancy jewels and nose rings, deciding America's future from Amsterdam and to Paris.
  • Man's ego's inflated, his laws are outdated. They don't apply no more. You can't rely no more to be standing around waiting.
  • Fools glorify themselves, trying to manipulate Satan.
  • The enemy I see wears a cloak of decency.
  • People starving and thirsting; grain elevators are bursting. You know, it costs more to store the food than it do to give it.
  • They talk about a life of brotherly love? Show me someone who knows how to live it.
  • It sure do bother me to see my loved ones turning into puppets.

Gonna Change My Way of Thinking[edit]

  • (Alternate version.) A brave man will kill you with a sword, a coward with a kiss.

Do Right to Me Baby[edit]

  • Don't wanna judge nobody — don't wanna be judged.

When You Gonna Wake Up[edit]

  • You got some big dreams, baby, but in order to dream you gotta still be asleep.
  • Counterfeit philosophies have polluted all of your thoughts; Karl Marx has got you by the throat, and Henry Kissinger's got you tied up into knots.
  • You got innocent men in jail, your insane asylums are filled.
  • Do you ever wonder just what God requires? You think he's just an errand boy to satisfy your wandering desires.
  • They tell you "Time is money," as if your life was worth its weight in gold.
  • When you gonna wake up and strengthen the things that remain?

When He Returns[edit]

  • Truth is an arrow, and the gate is narrow that it passes through.

Shot of Love (1981)[edit]

Every Grain Of Sand[edit]

  • I am hanging in the balance of the reality of man. Like every sparrow falling, like every grain of sand.

Infidels (1983)[edit]


  • Freedom just around the corner for you, but with truth so far off, what good will it do?
  • Fools rush in where angels fear to tread, both of their futures so full of dread.
  • Shedding off one more layer of skin, keeping one step ahead of the persecutor within.
  • You go to Sodom and Gomorrah, but what do you care? Ain't nobody there would want to marry your sister.
  • You look into the fiery furnace, see the rich man without any name.
  • The book of Leviticus and Deuteronomy, the law of the jungle and the sea are your only teachers.
  • The rifleman's stalking the sick and the lame; preacherman seeks the same. Who'll get there first is uncertain.
  • A woman just gave birth to a prince today and dressed him in scarlet. He'll put the priest in his pocket, put the blade to the heat, take the motherless children off the street and place them at the feet of a harlot.

Sweetheart Like You[edit]

  • A woman like you should be at home. That's where you belong, taking care of somebody nice who don't know how to do you wrong.
  • Just how much abuse will you be able to take? Well, there's no way to tell by the first kiss.
  • They say in your father's house there's many mansions; each one of 'em got a fireproof floor.
  • They say that patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings.
  • Steal a little and they throw you in jail; steal a lot and they make you king.
  • There's only one step down from here, baby. It's called the Land of Permanent Bliss.

Man of Peace[edit]

  • Sometimes Satan comes as a man of peace.
  • Nobody sees through him — no, not even the chief of police.
  • He could be standing next to you, the person that you notice least.
  • He's following a star, the same one that the three men followed east.

I and I[edit]

  • Some one else is speaking with my mouth, but I'm listening only to my heart.
  • Took a stranger to teach me to look into justice's beautiful face, and to see an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.

Union Sundown[edit]

  • A lot of people complaining that there is no work. I say, "Why you say that for?" When nothin' you got is US-made — they don't make nothin' here no more.
  • Capitalism is above the law; it's said it don't count 'less it sells.
  • It's sundown on the union that was made in the USA. Sure was a good idea till greed got in the way.
  • Democracy don't rule the world; you'd better get that in your head. This world is ruled by violence.

Don't Fall Apart on Me Tonight[edit]

  • Yesterday's just a memory; tomorrow's never what it's supposed to be.

License to Kill[edit]

  • Man thinks 'cause he rules the earth, he can do with it as he please. And if things don't change soon, he will.
  • For man has invented his doom; first step was touching the moon.
  • Man is opposed to fair play: he wants it all, and he wants it his way.

Empire Burlesque (1985)[edit]

Tight Connection to My Heart (Has Anybody Seen My Love)[edit]

  • What looks large from a distance, close up ain't never that big.

Dark Eyes[edit]

  • I live in another world, where life and death are memorized.
  • I can hear another drum beating for the dead that rise, whom Nature's beast fears as they come.
  • Time is short and the days are sweet and passion rules the arrow that flies.
  • All I see are dark eyes.

Trust Yourself[edit]

  • If you want somebody you can trust, trust yourself.

Biograph (1985)[edit]

Abandoned Love (recorded 1975)[edit]

  • I've been deceived by the clown inside of me. I thought that he was righteous but he's vain.
  • My patron saint is a-fighting with a ghost. He's always off somewhere when I need him most.
  • Let me feel your love one more time before I abandon it.

Up to Me (recorded 1974)[edit]

  • I was just too stubborn to ever be governed by enforced insanity.
  • If I thought about it, I never would have done it, I guess I would have let it slide.
  • The old Rounder in the iron mask slipped me the master key, somebody had to unlock your heart, he said it was up to me.
  • It frightens me the awful truth of how sweet life can be.
  • When you bite off more than you can chew, you pay the penalty, somebody's got to tell the tale, I guess it must be up to me.
  • Somebody's got to cry some tears, I guess it must be up to me.

Knocked Out Loaded (1986)[edit]

Maybe Someday[edit]

  • Forgive me, baby, for what I didn't do.

Brownsville Girl (with Sam Shepard)[edit]

  • [Recounting a scene in The Gunfighter] Turn him loose, let him go, let him say he outdrew me fair and square — I want him to feel what it's like to every moment face his death.
  • I can't believe we've lived so long and are still so far apart.
  • I know she ain't you, but she's here, and she's got that dark rhythm in her soul.
  • She said, "Welcome to the land of the living dead," but you could tell she was so brokenhearted — she said, "Even the swap meets around here are getting pretty corrupt."
  • We're going all the way, till the wheels fall off and burn, till the sun peels the paint and the seat covers fade and the water moccasins die.
  • I didn't know whether to duck or to run, so I ran.
  • When I saw you break down in front of the judge and cry real tears, it was the best damn thing I saw anybody do.
  • I've always been the kind of person who doesn't like to trespass, but sometimes you just find yourself over the line.
  • I feel pretty good, but that ain't saying much — I could feel a whole lot better, if you were just here by my side to show me how.
  • The only thing we knew for sure about Henry Porter was that his name wasn't Henry Porter.
  • Strange how people who suffer together have stronger connections than those who are most content.
  • You always said people don't do what they believe in; they just do what's most convenient, then they repent.

Down in the Groove (1988)[edit]

Death is Not the End[edit]

  • Oh, the tree of life is growing where the spirit never dies
    And the bright light of salvation shines in dark and empty skies.

Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1 (1988)[edit]

Tweeter and the Monkey Man[edit]

  • Tweeter and the Monkey Man were hard up for cash
    They stayed up all night selling cocaine and hash
    To an undercover cop who had a sister named Jan
    Who for reasons unexplained she loved the Monkey Man
  • Jan had told him many times "it was you to me who taught:
    in Jersey anything's legal as long as you don't get caught"

Oh Mercy (1989)[edit]

Political World[edit]

  • We live in a political world
    Where mercy walks the plank,
    Life is in mirrors, death disappears
    Up the steps into the nearest bank.

Under the Red Sky (1990)[edit]

Hard Times In New York Town (recorded 1961)[edit]

  • They'll kick you when you're up and knock you when you're down.

T.V. Talking Song[edit]

  • Your mind is your temple, keep it beautiful and free. Don't let an egg get laid in it by something you can't see.

The Bootleg Series Volumes 1-3 (Rare & Unreleased) 1961-1991 (1991)[edit]

Let Me Die In My Footsteps (recorded 1962)[edit]

  • Let me die in my footsteps before I go under the ground.
  • I'd throw all the guns and the tanks in the sea, for they are mistakes of a past history.

Moonshiner (recorded 1963)[edit]

  • The whole world's a bottle, And life's but a dram, When the bottle gets empty, It sure ain't worth a damn.

Angelina (recorded 1981)[edit]

  • When you cease to exist, then who will you blame?

Blind Willie McTell (recorded 1983)[edit]

  • Well, God is in His heaven
    And we all want what's his
    But power and greed and corruptible seed
    Seem to be all that there is
    I'm gazing out the window
    Of the St. James Hotel
    And I know no one can sing the blues
    Like Blind Willie McTell

Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits Volume 3 (1994)[edit]


  • Drinkin' man listens to the voice he hears,
    In a crowded room full of covered up mirrors,
    Lookin' into the lost forgotten years
    For dignity

Time Out of Mind (1997)[edit]

Love Sick[edit]

  • I'm sick of love but I'm in the thick of it.

Not Dark Yet[edit]

  • It's not dark yet, but it's getting there...
  • Behind every beautiful thing there's been some kind of pain
  • I know it looks like I'm moving, but I'm standing still
    Every nerve in my body is so vacant and numb
    I can't even remember what it was I came here to get away from
  • Feel as though my soul has turned into steel. I've still got the scars that the sun didn't heal.

Standing In The Doorway[edit]

  • Last night I danced with a stranger, but she just reminded me you were the one.
  • I'll eat when I'm hungry, drink when I'm dry

The Essential Bob Dylan (2000)[edit]

Things Have Changed (recorded 1999)[edit]

  • Feel like falling in love with the first woman I meet... Putting her in a wheel barrow and wheeling her down the street.
  • People are crazy and times are strange
    I'm locked in tight, I'm out of range,
    I used to care, but things have changed.
  • I've been trying to get as far away from myself as I can
  • I hurt easy, I just don't show it, you can hurt someone and not even know it
  • All the truth in the world adds up to one big lie
  • You can't win with a losing hand
  • If the Bible is right the world will explode

Maggie's Farm[edit]

  • Well I tried my best to be just like I am, but everybody wants you to be just like them

Love and Theft (2001)[edit]

Bye and Bye[edit]

  • I'm sittin' on my watch so I can be on time.
  • The future to me is already a thing of the past.


  • My clothes are wet, tight on my skin/but not as tight as the corner I painted myself in.
  • You can always come back, but you can't come back all the way.
  • I was walking through the leaves Falling from the trees.
    Feelin' like a stranger nobody sees.
  • So many things that we never will undo
    I know you're sorry, I'm sorry too.
  • Drownin' in the poison, got not future got no past.
  • But my heart is not weary; it's light and it's free
    I've got nothing but affection for those who've sailed with me.

Summer Days[edit]

  • Politician's got on his jogging shoes, he must be running for office, got no time to lose

Cry A While[edit]

  • I might need a good lawyer, could be your funeral, my trial
    Well, I cried for you, now it's your turn, you can cry awhile

Modern Times (2006)[edit]

Thunder on the Mountain[edit]

  • Gonna forget about myself for a while, gonna go out and see what others need.
  • Gonna get me an army, some tough sons o' bitches
    I recruit my army from the orphanages.
  • I sucked the milk out of a thousand cows.

Ain't Talkin'[edit]

  • If I catch my opponents ever sleepin', I'll just slaughter 'em where they lie.

Someday Baby[edit]

  • Take your clothes, put 'em in a sack. You goin' down the road, baby, and you cant come back. Someday baby, you ain't gonna worry po' me any more.

Together Through Life (2009)[edit]

I Feel A Change Coming On[edit]

I'm listening to Billy Joe Shaver
And I'm reading James Joyce
Some people they tell me
I've got the blood of the land in my voice.

Quotes about Dylan[edit]

  • Dylan is free now to work on his own terms. It would be foolish to predict what he will do next. But hopefully he will remain a mediator, using the language of pop to transcend it. If the gap between past and present continues to widen, such mediation may be crucial. In a communications crisis, the true prophets are the translators.
    • Ellen Willis, in "Dylan" in Representative Men : Cult Heroes of Our Time (1970) edited by Theodore L. Gross
  • The minute you try to grab hold of Dylan, he's no longer where he was. He's like a flame: If you try to hold him in your hand you'll surely get burned. Dylan's life of change and constant disappearances and constant transformations makes you yearn to hold him, and to nail him down. And that's why his fan base is so obsessive, so desirous of finding the truth and the absolutes and the answers to him — things that Dylan will never provide and will only frustrate. … Dylan is difficult and mysterious and evasive and frustrating, and it only makes you identify with him all the more as he skirts identity.
  • "The stage is the only place where I'm happy." But this has its own sadnesses, like so much love. He is the one person who has to be at a Dylan concert and the one person who can't go to a Dylan concert.

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