19 April 2014

Workingman's Blues #2 (17 April 2014)

In Nagoya, Japan, Dylan shares a radically re-written Workingman's Blues #2. Lyrics to this song have developed over the years but nowhere near to this extent.
Well, I'm sailin' on back, gettin' ready for the long haul
I'm leaving everythin' behind
If I stay here I could lose it all, the bandits'll rob me blind

I'm tryin' to feed my soul with thought
I'm gonna sleep off the rest of the day
Sometime nobody want what you got
Sometime you can't give it away

I woke up this morning
And I sprung to my feet
And I went into town on a whim
I saw my father in the street
At least I think it was him
In the dark I hear a song bird call
You know the hills are rugged and steep
But I'll sleep in the kitchen with my feet in the hall
If I told you my whole story you'd weep


Well, they burned my barn, they stole my horse
I can't save a dime
It's a long way down, I don't want to be forced
Into a life of continual crime
I can see for myself that the sun is sinkin'
Over the deep blue sea
Tell me now, am I wrong in thinkin'
That you have forgotten me?

Now, they worry and they hurry, they fuss and they fret
They waste your nights and days
Them I will forget
But you I'll remember always
It's a cold black night, and it's midsummer's eve
And the stars are spinnin' around
I'm still finding it so hard to believe
Someone would kick me when I'm down


I'll be back home in a month or two
When the frost is on the vine
I’m gonna punch my spear right straight through
Half-ways down his spine
Then I’ll lift my arms to the star-lit skies
And I’ll pray the fugitive prayer
I’m guessin' tomorrow the sun will rise
I hope the final judgment's fair

Now the battle is over, up in the hills
And the mist is settlin' in
Look at me with all my spoils
What did I ever win?

I got a brand new suit and a brand new wife
I can live on rice and beans
Some people never work a day in their life
They don't know what work even means

17 April 2014, Nagoya, Japan



  1. rugged and "steep" down "your" spine

    1. Thanks for the "steep" correction, we've updated the post. We still hear "his" spine, though.

  2. These ears hear: "Gonna" sleep in the kitchen. - Into a life of "continually cryin' " - lift my arms to the "starry" skies. - half-ways down "your" spine (i hear that as well)

    Anyway, thanks for taking the time doing this. It's awesome

  3. never mind on the "your" spine. ..... i hear the "his" now

  4. In the fourth verse, I'm hearing "when the frost is on the rind," not "vine." He's apparently thinking of James Whitcomb Riley, of all people: "When the frost is on the punkin, and the corn is in the shock."

  5. you'd weap --> you'd weep

  6. It's a cold black night, and it's midsummer's eve

  7. And I'll pray the Fugitives' Prayer

  8. Thank you to several of you here for updates and corrections to this post.

  9. It should be "I hope the final judgment is fair" not..."final end's been spared"

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