June 14, 2007

Bob Dylan's Last Thoughts On Woody Guthrie

Last Thoughts on Woody Guthrie

When yer head gets twisted and yer mind grows numb/ When you think you’re too old, too young, too smart or too dumb/ When yer laggin’ behind an’ losin’ yer pace/ In a slow-motion crawl of life’s busy race/ No matter what yer doing if you start givin’ up/ If the wine don’t come to the top of yer cup/ If the wind’s got you sideways with with one hand holdin’ on/ And the other starts slipping and the feeling is gone/ And yer train engine fire needs a new spark to catch it/ And the wood’s easy findin’ but yer lazy to fetch it/ And yer sidewalk starts curlin’ and the street gets too long/ And you start walkin’ backwards though you know it’s wrong/ And lonesome comes up as down goes the day/ And tomorrow’s mornin’ seems so far away/ And you feel the reins from yer pony are slippin’/ And yer rope is a-slidin’ ’cause yer hands are a-drippin’/ And yer sun-decked desert and evergreen valleys/ Turn to broken down slums and trash-can alleys/ And yer sky cries water and yer drain pipe’s a-pourin’/ And the lightnin’s a-flashing and the thunder’s a-crashin’/ And the windows are rattlin’ and breakin’ and the roof tops a-shakin’/ And yer whole world’s a-slammin’ and bangin’/ And yer minutes of sun turn to hours of storm/ And to yourself you sometimes say/ I never knew it was gonna be this way/ Why didn’t they tell me the day I was born/ And you start gettin’ chills and yer jumping from sweat/ And you’re lookin’ for somethin’ you ain’t quite found yet/ And yer knee-deep in the dark water with yer hands in the air/ And the whole world’s a-watchin’ with a window peek stare/ And yer good gal leaves and she’s long gone a-flying/ And yer heart feels sick like fish when they’re fryin’/ And yer jackhammer falls from yer hand to yer feet/ And you need it badly but it lays on the street/ And yer bell’s bangin’ loudly but you can’t hear it’s beat/ And you think yer ears might a been hurt/ Or yer eyes’ve turned filthy from the sight-blindin’ dirt/ And you figured you failed in yesterdays rush/ When you were faked out an’ fooled white facing a four flush/ And all the time you were holdin’ three queens/ And it’s makin you mad, it’s makin’ you mean/ Like in the middle of life magazine/ Bouncin’ around a pinball machine/ And there’s something on yer mind you wanna be saying/ That somebody someplace oughta be hearin’/ But it’s trapped on yer tongue and sealed in yer head/ And it bothers you badly when your layin’ in bed/ And no matter how you try you just can’t say it/ And yer scared to yer soul you just might forget it/ And yer eyes get swimmy from the tears in yer head/ And yer pillows of feathers turn to blankets of lead/ And the lion’s mouth opens and yer staring at his teeth/ And his jaws start closin with you underneath/ And yer flat on your belly with yer hands tied behind/ And you wish you’d never taken that last detour sign/ And you say to yourself just what am I doin’/ On this road I’m walkin’, on this trail I’m turnin’/ On this curve I’m hanging/ On this pathway I’m strolling, in the space I’m taking/ In this air I’m inhaling/ Am I mixed up too much, am I mixed up too hard/ Why am I walking, where am I running/ What am I saying, what am I knowing/ On this guitar I’m playing, on this banjo I’m frailin’/ On this mandolin I’m strummin’, in the song I’m singin’/ In the tune I’m hummin’, In the words that I’m thinkin’/ In the words I’m writin’/ In this ocean of hours I’m all the time drinkin’/ Who am I helping, what am I breaking/ What am I giving, what am I taking/ But you try with your whole soul best/ Never to think these thoughts and never to let/ Them kind of thoughts gain ground/ Or make yer heart pound/ But then again you know why they’re around/ Just waiting for a chance to slip and drop down/ Cause sometimes you hear’em when the night times comes creeping/ And you fear that they might catch you a-sleeping/ And you jump from yer bed, from yer last chapter of dreamin’/ And you can’t remember for the best of yer thinking/ If that was you in the dream that was screaming/ And you know that it’s something special you’re needin’/ And you know that there’s no drug that’ll do for the healin’/ And no liquor in the land to stop yer brain from bleeding/ And you need something special/ Yeah, you need something special all right/ You need a fast flyin’ train on a tornado track/ To shoot you someplace and shoot you back/ You need a cyclone wind on a stream engine howler/ That’s been banging and booming and blowing forever/ That knows yer troubles a hundred times over/ You need a greyhound bus that don’t bar no race/ That won’t laugh at yer looks/ Your voice or your face/ And by any number of bets in the book/ Will be rollin’ long after the bubblegum craze/ You need something to open up a new door/ To show you something you seen before/ But overlooked a hundred times or more/ You need something to open your eyes/ You need something to make it known/ That it’s you and no one else that owns/ That spot that yer standing, that space that you’re sitting/ That the world ain’t got you beat/ That it ain’t got you licked/ It can’t get you crazy no matter how many/ Times you might get kicked/ You need something special all right/ You need something special to give you hope/ But hope’s just a word/ That maybe you said or maybe you heard/ On some windy corner ’round a wide-angled curve/ But that’s what you need man, and you need it bad/ And yer trouble is you know it too good/ Cause you look an’ you start getting the chills/ Cause you can’t find it on a dollar bill/ And it ain’t on macy’s window sill/ And it ain’t on no rich kid’s road map/ And it ain’t in no fat kid’s fraternity house/ And it ain’t made in no hollywood wheat germ/ And it ain’t on that dimlit stage/ With that half-wit comedian on it/ Ranting and raving and taking yer money/ And you thinks it’s funny/ No you can’t find it in no night club or no yacht club/ And it ain’t in the seats of a supper club/ And sure as hell you’re bound to tell/ That no matter how hard you rub/ You just ain’t a-gonna find it on yer ticket stub/ No, and it ain’t in the rumors people’re tellin’ you/ And it ain’t in the pimple-lotion people are sellin’ you/ And it ain’t in no cardboard-box house/ Or down any movie star’s blouse/ And you can’t find it on the golf course/ And uncle remus can’t tell you and neither can santa claus/ And it ain’t in the cream puff hair-do or cotton candy clothes/ And it ain’t in the dime store dummies or bubblegum goons/ And it ain’t in the marshmallow noises of the chocolate cake voices/ That come knockin’ and tappin’ in christmas wrappin’/ Sayin’ ain’t I pretty and ain’t I cute and look at my skin/ Look at my skin shine, look at my skin glow/ Look at my skin laugh, look at my skin cry/ When you can’t even sense if they got any insides/ These people so pretty in their ribbons and bows/ No you’ll not now or no other day/ Find it on the doorsteps made out-a paper mache? / and inside it the people made of molasses/ That every other day buy a new pair of sunglasses/ And it ain’t in the fifty-star generals and flipped-out phonies/ Who’d turn yuh in for a tenth of a penny/ Who breathe and burp and bend and crack/ And before you can count from one to ten/ Do it all over again but this time behind yer back/ My friendThe ones that wheel and deal and whirl and twirl/ And play games with each other in their sand-box world/ And you can’t find it either in the no-talent fools/ That run around gallant/ And make all rules for the ones that got talent/ And it ain’t in the ones that ain’t got any talent but think they do/ And think they’re foolin’ you/ The ones who jump on the wagon/ Just for a while ’cause they know it’s in style/ To get their kicks, get out of it quick/ And make all kinds of rnoney and chicks/ And you yell to yourself and you throw down yer hat/ Sayin’, christ do I gotta be like that/ Ain’t there no one here that knows where I’m at/ Ain’t there no one here that knows how I feel/ Good God almighty/ That stuff ain’t real/ No but that ain’t yer game, it ain’t even yer race/ You can’t hear yer name, you can’t see yer face/ You gotta look some other place/ And where do you look for this hope that yer seekin’/ Where do you look for this lamp that’s a-burnin’/ Where do you look for this oil well gushin’/ Where do you look for this candle that’s glowin’/ Where do you look for this hope that you know is there/ And out there somewhere/ And your feet can only walk down two kinds of roads/ Your eyes can only look through two kinds of windows/ Your nose can only smell two kinds of hallways/ You can touch and twist/ And turn two kinds of doorknobs/ You can either go to the church of your choice/ Or you can go to brooklyn state hospital/ You’ll find God in the church of your choice/ You’ll find woody guthrie in brooklyn state hospital/ And though it’s only my opinion/ I may be right or wrong/ You’ll find them bothIn the grand canyon/ At sundown.

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