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Bob Dylan "Desolation Row" Music Video

Song Lyrics

They`re selling postcards of the hanging

They`re painting the passports brown

The beauty parlor is filled with sailors

The circus is in town

Here comes the blind commissioner

They`ve got him in a trance

One hand is tied to the tight-rope walker

The other is in his pants

And the riot squad they`re restless

They need somewhere to go

As Lady and I look out tonight

From Desolation Row

Cinderella, she seems so easy

"It takes one to know one," she smiles

And puts her hands in her back pockets

Bette Davis style

And in comes Romeo, he`s moaning

"You Belong to Me I Believe"

And someone says," You`re in the wrong place, my friend

You better leave"

And the only sound that`s left

After the ambulances go

Is Cinderella sweeping up

On Desolation Row

Now the moon is almost hidden

The stars are beginning to hide

The fortunetelling lady

Has even taken all her things inside

All except for Cain and Abel

And the hunchback of Notre Dame

Everybody is making love

Or else expecting rain

And the Good Samaritan, he`s dressing

He`s getting ready for the show

He`s going to the carnival tonight

On Desolation Row

Now Ophelia, she`s `neath the window

For her I feel so afraid

On her twenty-second birthday

She already is an old maid

To her, death is quite romantic

She wears an iron vest

Her profession`s her religion

Her sin is her lifelessness

And though her eyes are fixed upon

Noah`s great rainbow

She spends her time peeking

Into Desolation Row

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

Dr. Filth, he keeps his world

Inside of a leather cup

But all his sexless patients

They`re trying to blow it up

Now his nurse, some local loser

She`s in charge of the cyanide hole

And she also keeps the cards that read

"Have Mercy on His Soul"

They all play on penny whistles

You can hear them blow

If you lean your head out far enough

From Desolation Row

Across the street they`ve nailed the curtains

They`re getting ready for the feast

The Phantom of the Opera

A perfect image of a priest

They`re spoonfeeding Casanova

To get him to feel more assured

Then they`ll kill him with self-confidence

After poisoning him with words

And the Phantom`s shouting to skinny girls

"Get Outa Here If You Don`t Know

Casanova is just being punished for going

To Desolation Row"

Now at midnight all the agents

And the superhuman crew

Come out and round up everyone

That knows more than they do

Then they bring them to the factory

Where the heart-attack machine

Is strapped across their shoulders

And then the kerosene

Is brought down from the castles

By insurance men who go

Check to see that nobody is escaping

To Desolation Row

Praise be to Nero`s Neptune

The Titanic sails at dawn

And everybody`s shouting

"Which Side Are You On?"

And Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot

Fighting in the captain`s tower

While calypso singers laugh at them

And fishermen hold flowers

Between the windows of the sea

Where lovely mermaids flow

And nobody has to think too much

About Desolation Row

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

Film and TV Credits

The song "Desolation Row" appears on the soundtrack of the following movies and TV shows:

Remixes

A list of remixes of this Bob Dylan song:

Release History

The Bob Dylan song "Desolation Row" appears on the following albums:

1965 Revisited

  1. Ballad of Hollis Brown (5:02)
  2. Desolation Row (take 1) (mono mix)
  3. I'll Keep It With Mine (take 1) (mono mix with intro)
  4. Interview (17:56)
  5. [interview for "Playboy" magazine, Part 2]
  6. Introduction (0:55)
  7. Maggie's Farm (5:24)
  8. [San Francisco press conference]
  9. Sitting on a Barbed Wire Fence (mono mix with intro)
  10. The Times They Are A-Changin' (3:00)
  11. [interview for "Playboy" magazine, Part 1]
  12. It's All Over Now Baby Blue (take 1) (mono mix)
  13. Long-Distance Operator (3:38)
  14. Queen Jane Approximately (mono mix)
  15. Sitting on a Barbed Wire Fence (take 1) (stereo mix)
  16. To Ramona (4:32)
  17. Ballad of a Thin Man (7:00)
  18. Gates of Eden (5:40)
  19. Highway 61 Revisited (mono mix)
  20. Over the Cliffs (a.k.a. Sitting on a Barbed Wire Fence) (take 2) (stereo acetate)
  21. Subterranean Homesick Blues (take 1) (mono mix)
  22. Baby, Let Me Follow You Down (3:27)
  23. Ballad of a Thin Man (mono mix)
  24. Farewell Angelina (mono mix)
  25. If You Gotta Go, Go Now (2:56)
  26. It Takes a Lot to Laugh It Takes a Train to Cry (take 1) (mono mix with intro)
  27. Like a Rolling Stone (6:08)
  28. Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window (take 3) (mono mix)
  29. It's All Right Ma, I'm Only Bleeding
  30. It's All Right Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) (incomplete)
  31. It's All Right Ma (It's Life And Life Only)
  32. Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues (mono mix)
  33. Phantom Engineer (a.k.a. It Takes a Lot to Laugh It Takes a Train to Cry) (take 2) (stereo mix #1)
  34. Positively 4th Street (3:52)
  35. You Don't Have to Do That (mono mix)
  36. Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window (take 4) (mono mix)
  37. Desolation Row (1:31)
  38. It Takes a Lot to Laugh It Takes a Train to Cry (take 1) (stereo mix #2)
  39. Love Minus Zero / No Limit (3:45)
  40. Love Minus Zero/No Limit (incomplete)
  41. She Belongs to Me (take 1) (mono mix)
  42. Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window (take 4) (stereo acetate No. 87184)
  43. Like a Rolling Stone (warm up)
  44. [London Airport, arrival area interview]
  45. [Los Angeles press conference]
  46. Love Minus Zero/No Limits (take 1) (mono mix)
  47. Mr. Tambourine Man (5:26)
  48. [conference room, press interview]
  49. I Wanna Be Your Lover (take 1) (mono mix)
  50. If You Gotta Go, Go Now (take 1) (original mono mix)
  51. Like a Rolling Stone (mono mix)
  52. One Too Many Mornings (2:37)
  53. Talking World War III Blues
  54. With God on Our Side (incomplete)
  55. [backstage after concert]
  56. Boots of Spanish Leather (5:45)
  57. Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window (take 1) (mono mix)
  58. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right (3:39)
  59. I Wanna Be Your Lover (take 2) (mono mix)
  60. If You Gotta Go, Go Now (take 1) (mono acetate mix)
  61. [intermission comments]
  62. It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry (3:23)
  63. Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window (take 2) (mono mix)
  64. If You Gotta Go, Go Now (take 2) (mono mix with intro)
  65. [interview for "Time" magazine]
  66. It Ain't Me Babe (incomplete)
  67. Jet Pilot (stereo mix)
  68. Tombstone Blues (5:56)
  69. With God on Our Side (7:04)
  70. I Don't Believe You (3:14)
  71. If You Gotta Go, Go Now (take 2) (stereo mix)
  72. Medicine Sunday (mono mix)
  73. Positively 4th Street (mono mix)
  74. She Belongs to Me (2:48)
  75. The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll (incomplete)
  76. From a Buick 6 (3:06)
  77. I'll Keep It With Mine (take 2) (stereo acetate mix)
  78. It Ain't Me, Babe (3:34)
  79. It Takes a Lot to Laugh It Takes a Train to Cry (mono mix)
  80. Number One Instrumental (mono mix)
  81. Freeze Out (stereo acetate No. 87184)
  82. Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues (5:38)
  83. The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll (5:45)
  84. Tombstone Blues (mono mix)
  85. All I Really Want to Do (4:01)
  86. From a Buick 6 (take 1) (mono mix)
  87. Lost Highway
  88. From a Buick 6 (take 2) (mono acetate mix)
  89. I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry
  90. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue (4:13)
  91. It's Alright, Ma (7:57)
  92. From a Buick 6 (take 2) (stereo mix)
  93. Little Things
  94. [piano/harmonica tune]
  95. Medley: The Times They Are A-Changin' / Talking World War III Blues / It's All Right Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) / Gates of Eden / Love Minus Zero/No Limit / All I Really Want To Do
  96. [Miami sales convention speech] (0:53)

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Bob Dylan (ˈdɪlən; born Robert Allen Zimmerman, May 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter, artist, and writer. He has been influential in popular music and culture for more than five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s when his songs chronicled social unrest, although Dylan repudiated suggestions from journalists that he was a spokesman for his generation. Nevertheless, early songs such as "Blowin' in the Wind" and "The Times They Are a-Changin'" became anthems for the American civil rights and anti-war movements. Leaving his initial base in the American folk music revival, Dylan's six-minute single "Like a Rolling Stone" altered the range of popular music in 1965. His mid-1960s recordings, backed by rock musicians, reached the top end of the United States music charts while also attracting denunciation and criticism from others in the folk movement.

Snapshot

Release Date
30 August 1965
Year(s) Recorded
August 4, 1965
Recording Location
Columbia Studios, New York, Studio "A"
Genre
Folk rock
Song Duration
1:31
Labels
Columbia
Song Writer(s)
Producer(s)

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