Monday, October 19, 2009


Floater (Too Much to Ask)
by Bob Dylan
from "Love and Theft" (2001)

Down over the window come the dazzling sunlit rays.
Through the back-alleys, through the blinds — another one o' them endless days.
Honeybees are buzzin' — leaves begin to stir —
I'm in love with my second cousin — I tell myself I could be happy forever with her.

I keep listenin' for footsteps, but I ain't ever hearin' any.
From the boat I fish for bullheads — I catch a lot; sometimes, too many.
A summer breeze is blowin'; a squall is settin' in.
Sometimes it's just plain stupid to get into any kind of wind.

The old men around here, sometimes they get on bad terms with the younger men.
Old, young, age don't carry weight — it doesn't matter in the end.
One of the boss's hangers-on sometimes comes to call at times you least expect.
Try to bully you, strong-arm you, inspire you with fear — it has the opposite effect.

There's a new grove of trees on the outskirts of town — the old one is long gone.
Timber two-foot-six across burns with the bark still on.
They say times are hard; if you don't believe it you can follow your nose.
It doesn't bother me, times are hard everywhere — we'll just have to see how it goes.

My old man, he's like some feudal lord — got more lives than a cat.
I've never seen him quarrel with my mother even once; things come alive, or they fall flat.
You can smell the pine wood burnin'; you can hear the schoolbell ring.
Gotta up near the teacher if you can if you wanna learn anything.

Romeo he said to Juliet: "You got a poor complexion — it doesn't give your appearance a very youthful touch."
Juliet she said back to Romeo: "Why don't you just shove off if it bothers you so much?"
They all got outta here any way they could; cold rain can give you the shivers.
They went down the Ohio, the Cumberland, the Tennessee — all the rest of them rebel rivers.

If you ever try to interfere with me or cross my path again you do so at the peril of your life.
I'm not quite as cool or forgivin' as I sound — I've seen enough heartache and strife.
My grandfather was a duck-trapper; he could do it with just dragnets and ropes.
My grandmother could sew new dresses out of old cloth — I don't know if they had any dreams or hopes.

I had 'em once though, I suppose — to go along with all the ring-dancin' Christmas carols on all the Christmas Eves.
I left all my dreams and hopes buried under tobacco leaves.
Not always easy kickin' someone out; you gotta wait awhile, it can be an unpleasant task.
Sometimes somebody wants you to give somethin' up and, tears or not, it's too much to ask.


by Bob Dylan
from "Love and Theft" (2001)

The seasons they are turnin'
And my sad heart is yearnin'
To hear again the songbird's sweet melodious tone.
Won't you meet me out in the moonlight alone?

The dusky light, the day is losin' —
Orchids, poppies, black-eyed Susan —
The earth and sky that melts with flesh and bone —
Won't you meet me out in the moonlight alone?

The air is thick and heavy
All along the levee
Where the geese into the countryside have flown.
Won't you meet me out in the moonlight alone?

Well I'm preachin' peace and harmony,
The blessings of tranquility,
Yet I know when the time is right to strike.
I take you 'cross the river, dear —
You've no need to linger here —
I know the kinds of things you like.

The clouds are turnin' crimson,
The leaves fall from the limbs and
The branches cast their shadows over stone.
Won't you meet me out in the moonlight alone?

The boulevards of cypress trees,
The masquerades of birds and bees,
The petals pink and white the wind has blown.
Won't you meet me out in the moonlight alone?

The trailing moss and mystic glow,
The purple blossoms soft as snow —
My tears keep flowin' to the sea.
Doctor, lawyer, Indian chief,
It takes a thief to catch a thief.
Well whom does the bell toll for, love? — It tolls for you and me.

A pulse is runnin' through my palm —
The sharp hills are risin' from
Yellow fields with twisted oaks that groan.
Won't you meet me out in the moonlight alone?


Po' Boy
by Bob Dylan
from "Love and Theft" (2001)

Man comes to the door, I say, "For whom are you lookin'?"
He says, "Your wife." — I say, "She's busy in the kitchen cookin'."
Poor boy — where you been?
I already told you, won't tell you again.

I say, "How much you want for that?" — I go into the store.
Man says, "Three dollars" — "Alright," I say, "will you take four?"
Poor boy — never say die.
Things'll be alright bye and bye.

Workin' like in the mainline, workin' like a devil —
The game is the same, it's just up on another level.
Poor boy — dressed in black.
Police at your back.

Poor boy in a red-hot town,
Out beyond the twinklin' stars,
Ridin' a first-class train, makin' the round,
Tryin' to keep from fallin' between the cars...

Othello told Desdemona: "I'm cold — cover me with a blanket.
— By the way, what happened to that poison wine?" She said, "I gave it to you, you drank it."
Poor boy — layin' 'em straight,
Pickin' up the cherries fallin' off the plate.

Time and love has branded me with its claws.
Had to go to Florida, dodgin' them Georgians' laws.
Poor boy, in the hotel called the Palace of Gloom,
Called down to room service, says, "Send up the room."

My mother was a daughter of a wealthy farmer;
My father was a travelin' salesman — I never met him.
When my mother died, my uncle took me in; he ran a funeral parlor —
He did a lot of nice things for me — and I won't forget him.

All I know is that I'm thrilled by your kiss —
I don't know any more than this.
Poor boy — pickin' up sticks —
Build you a house outta mortar and bricks.

Knockin' on the door, I say, "Who's it? Where're ya from?"
Man say, "Freddy," I say, "Freddy who?", he say, "Freddy or not here I come."
Poor boy, 'neath the stars that shine,
Washin' them dishes, feedin' them swine.


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