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crookedfingers
a lament 
19th-Dec-2017 06:42 am


Tombstone Blues
WRITTEN BY: BOB DYLAN

The sweet pretty things are in bed now of course

The city fathers they’re trying to endorse

The reincarnation of Paul Revere’s horse

But the town has no need to be nervous



The ghost of Belle Starr she hands down her wits

To Jezebel the nun she violently knits

A bald wig for Jack the Ripper who sits

At the head of the chamber of commerce



Mama’s in the fact’ry

She ain’t got no shoes

Daddy’s in the alley

He’s lookin’ for the fuse

I’m in the streets

With the tombstone blues



The hysterical bride in the penny arcade

Screaming she moans, “I’ve just been made”

Then sends out for the doctor who pulls down the shade

Says, “My advice is to not let the boys in”



Now the medicine man comes and he shuffles inside

He walks with a swagger and he says to the bride

“Stop all this weeping, swallow your pride

You will not die, it’s not poison”



Mama’s in the fact’ry

She ain’t got no shoes

Daddy’s in the alley

He’s lookin’ for the fuse

I’m in the streets

With the tombstone blues



Well, John the Baptist after torturing a thief

Looks up at his hero the Commander-in-Chief

Saying, “Tell me great hero, but please make it brief

Is there a hole for me to get sick in?”



The Commander-in-Chief answers him while chasing a fly

Saying, “Death to all those who would whimper and cry”

And dropping a barbell he points to the sky

Saying, “The sun’s not yellow it’s chicken”



Mama’s in the fact’ry

She ain’t got no shoes

Daddy’s in the alley

He’s lookin’ for the fuse

I’m in the streets

With the tombstone blues



The king of the Philistines his soldiers to save

Puts jawbones on their tombstones and flatters their graves

Puts the pied pipers in prison and fattens the slaves

Then sends them out to the jungle



Gypsy Davey with a blowtorch he burns out their camps

With his faithful slave Pedro behind him he tramps

With a fantastic collection of stamps

To win friends and influence his uncle



Mama’s in the fact’ry

She ain’t got no shoes

Daddy’s in the alley

He’s lookin’ for the fuse

I’m in the streets

With the tombstone blues



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



Now I wish I could give Brother Bill his great thrill

I would set him in chains at the top of the hill

Then send out for some pillars and Cecil B. DeMille

He could die happily ever after



Mama’s in the fact’ry

She ain’t got no shoes

Daddy’s in the alley

He’s lookin’ for the fuse

I’m in the streets

With the tombstone blues



Where Ma Rainey and Beethoven once unwrapped their bedroll

Tuba players now rehearse around the flagpole

And the National Bank at a profit sells road maps for the soul

To the old folks home and the college



Now I wish I could write you a melody so plain

That could hold you dear lady from going insane

That could ease you and cool you and cease the pain

Of your useless and pointless knowledge



Mama’s in the fact’ry

She ain’t got no shoes

Daddy’s in the alley

He’s lookin’ for the fuse

I’m in the streets

With the tombstone blues

Copyright © 1965 by Warner Bros. Inc.; renewed 1993 by Special Rider Music
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