Tag Archives: mysterious lyrics

Audio: Ten of Bob Dylan’s Most Mysterious Lyrics; Do You Know What They Mean?

Since I first heard Bob Dylan in 1965 — “Like A ROlling Stone” was on the radio — I’ve loved his voice, his music and his lyrics.

But I think I keep coming back to his songs again and again because I still don’t understand everything he’s saying.

There are layers of meaning in some of the songs.

Here are ten lyrics that I still don’t completely understand. Do you?

If you can help explain what even one of these means, let me know.

1 “She knows there’s no success like failure

And that failure’s no success at all” — from “Love Minus Zero, No Limit”

2 “You will search, babe
At any cost
But how long, babe
Can you search for what’s not lost?
Everybody will help you
Some people are very kind
But if I can save you any time
Come on, give it to me
I’ll keep it with mine ” from “I’ll Keep It With Mine”

I'll Keep It With Mine by Bob Dylan on Grooveshark

3 “Now when Ill teach that lady I was born to love her
But she knows that the kingdom waits so high above her
And I run but I race but it’s not too fast or slow
But I dont perceive her, I’m not there, I’m gone

Well, it’s all about confusion and I cry for her
Well, I dont need anybody now beside me to tell
And its all affirmation I receive but its not
Shes adorned by the beauty but she don’t like the spot and she won’t” from “I’m Not There” (I’m not sure of those lyrics are accurate.)

I'm Not There by Bob Dylan & The Band on Grooveshark

4 “Too much of nothing
Can make a man abuse a king
He can walk the streets and boast like most
But he wouldn’t know a thing
Now, it’s all been done before
It’s all been written in the book
But when there’s too much of nothing
Nobody should look” — from “Too Much Of Nothing”

Too Much of Nothing by Bob Dylan on Grooveshark

5 “Buy me a flute
And a gun that shoots
Tailgates and substitutes
Strap yourself
To the tree with roots
You ain’t goin’ nowhere
Whoo-ee! Ride me high
Tomorrow’s the day
My bride’s gonna come
Oh, oh, are we gonna fly
Down in the easy chair!” — from “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere”

04 You Ain't Going Nowhere by Bob Dylan on Grooveshark

6 “Mona tried to tell me
To stay away from the train line
She said that all the railroad men
Just drink up your blood like wine
An’ I said, “Oh, I didn’t know that
But then again, there’s only one I’ve met
An’ he just smoked my eyelids
An’ punched my cigarette”
Oh, Mama, can this really be the end
To be stuck inside of Mobile
With the Memphis blues again” – from “Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again”

Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again by Bob Dylan on Grooveshark

7 “She wears an Egyptian ring
That sparkles before she speaks
She wears an Egyptian ring
That sparkles before she speaks
She’s a hypnotist collector
You are a walking antique” – “She Belongs To Me”

Also, why did Dylan change “Egyptian red ring” to Egyptian ring” and was a red ring significant?

8 “Louise, she’s all right, she’s just near
She’s delicate and seems like the mirror
But she just makes it all too concise and too clear
That Johanna’s not here
The ghost of ’lectricity howls in the bones of her face
Where these visions of Johanna have now taken my place” from “Visions of Johanna”

Visions of Johanna by Bob Dylan on Grooveshark

9 “Dear Landlord
Please don’t put a price on my soul
My burden is heavy
My dreams are beyond control
When that steamboat whistle blows
I’m gonna give you all I got to give
And I do hope you receive it well
Dependin’ on the way you feel that you live

Dear landlord
Please heed these words that I speak
I know you’ve suffered much
But in this you are not so unique
All of us, at times, we might work too hard
To have it too fast and too much
And anyone can fill his life up
With things he can see but he just cannot touch” – From “Dear Landlord”

Dear Landlord by Bob Dylan on Grooveshark

10 “Einstein, disguised as Robin Hood
With his memories in a trunk
Passed this way an hour ago
With his friend, a jealous monk
He looked so immaculately frightful
As he bummed a cigarette
Then he went off sniffing drainpipes
And reciting the alphabet
Now you would not think to look at him
But he was famous long ago
For playing the electric violin
On Desolation Row” – from “Desolation Row”

Desolation Row by Bob Dylan on Grooveshark

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