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Bob Dylan Positively 4th Street Lyrics

Last updated: 09/25/2014 08:22:04 PM

You got a lotta nerve
To say you are my friend
When I was down
You just stood there grinning

You got a lotta nerve
To say you gota helping hand to lend
You just want to be on
The side that's winning

You say I let you down
You know it's not like that
If you're so hurt
Why then don't you show it

You say you lost your faith
But that's not where it's at
You had no faith to lose
And you know it

I know the reason
That you talk behind my back
I used to be among the crowd
You're in with

Do you take me for such a fool
To think I'd make contact
With the one who tries to hide
What he don't know to begin with

You see me on the street
You always act surprised
You say, "How are you?" "Good luck"
But you don't mean it

When you know as well as me
You'd rather see me paralyzed
Why don't you just come out once
And scream it

No, I do not feel that good
When I see the heartbreaks you embrace
If I was a master thief
Perhaps I'd rob them

And now I know you're dissatisfied
With your position and your place
Don't you understand
It's not my problem

I wish that for just one time
You could stand inside my shoes
And just for that one moment
I could be you

Yes, I wish that for just one time
You could stand inside my shoes
You'd know what a drag it is
To see you

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awesome scorpion sting!! | Reviewer: Peter | 9/26/14

I once saw a movie (doco?) about Bob and a chick he was dating. She ended up hanging out more with Andy Warhol's 'gang'. She turned on Bob and trashed him. I thought it applied to her and the Warhols of the world. "What a drag it is to see you..." - what a superb and accurate answer to the cliques and their smart talking social butterflies who spread gossip and lies and think they have security in numbers. This song goes really well with Lucinda Williams' "People Talkin".
Stereophonics do a great version of this song too.

The meaning | Reviewer: Bill | 3/29/12

I believe most people live vicariously in the deeds of others. The street bums from 4th street thought they owned Dylans mind and music. Much like the snobs from newpot Folk festival. When his lyrics were not anti-establishment for them they turned on him. When he took "The Band" on stage with him the Folk lemmings freaked out. Ask Levon Helm or the rest of thr Band how it felt to be booed off the stage before you started playing by this gang! Dylan is a lyrical genius period.

Monsters under the bed | Reviewer: Keith Mohrhoff | 11/2/11

What some people consider "being civil" i.e., "How are you' good luck" etc., others consider fake. Most of us can handle open criticism but having people behave one way in front of you and another behind you back is more threatening. The best way to deal with monsters in the dark is to drag them into the light! Some of us prefer our conflicts out in the open.

songs meaning | Reviewer: Anonymous | 9/4/11

The rumor is that this song was written about his relationship with Phil Ochs. Ochs' public criticisms agains Dylan were far from Dylan just being paranoid. Ochs constantly publicly bashed Dylan in the news for not using his music for a political purpose.

Yes, Positively! | Reviewer: mica brigitte | 5/24/11

Yes, was only 14 when first heard this song, and i remember got goose-pimples all over my body, and i laughed, and played it over and over, for about a year. Had already bought Mr. Dylans previous albums, and thought they were OK. Just OK. But was waiting for something else. Then this song came and started a life long never ending love, and laughter. This great Mr. Dylan has made me laugh more than anyone in the world, and never lets me down, and am always playing the records. And have bought them all, some vinyls twice, hahaha, they wore out, like Blond on Blond. And now have them all on CD. Even the X-mas one! Happy Birthday, Mr. Dylan, and may you stay forever young.

Paranoia Anthem? | Reviewer: geoff_s | 5/17/11

Seems to me a scary anthem of paranoia. Sounds like Bob's boat is drifting away from the shore where his old friends live their lives, rather than his friends turning evil.

"You say good luck, but you'd rather see me paralyzed, Why don't you just come out once and scream it".

Perhaps it shows that huge fame + drugs will screw up your relationships. Guess it might be ironic, but sounds like Bob's just venting insular anger late one night.

Wonder if was bob or a fellow musician that suggested sugaring the disturbing lyrics with some hap hap happy flower-power organ & beat?

What a genious | Reviewer: Rick | 4/12/11

I group Bob Dylan, Vincent Van Gogh, and Hank Williams Sr together. Van Gogh expressed himself through his art that most people during his day could not appreciate (Read the Lyrics to Vincent, better know as Starry Starry Night). His paintings portrayed a deeply depressed man who was crying for help. Hank Sr did the same with his song writing. He also was deeply depressed and his music so brilliantly expressed it. There are many sides do Bob Dylan. Whatever was going on in his head came out loud and clear through!

The Truth And The Reality | Reviewer: Anthony Mandich | 1/13/11

I can't say that I was even alive in 1965. This is the year 2011. So we are roughly talking about 45 years ago as far as when these brilliant thoughts connected somehow in Mr. Dylan's mind and found their way into the history of this planet.

I only heard this song for the first time in 2010. I will just say this. This song is probably the best description of a fair weathered friend that I have ever had the fascinated pleasure of hearing. Its right on the money in every way and describes the evolution of the relationship between these treacherous cowards and the perceptive realists who are smart enough to recognize them for who they are.

I would be less then honest if I were to pretend that I have been on the negative side of this equation on more then one occasion in my life. So in a way these lyrics shame me.

Regardless...they are timeless and will always be relevant.

Much respect ...... anthony mandich

Trues | Reviewer: Charlie | 12/12/10

This music is so brilliant and modern that I can dedicate it to a lot of people. My ex-girlfriend, my boss, the government and dozens of "friends" I have.
"When you know as well as me
You'd rather see me paralyzed
Why don't you just come out once
And scream it"

Brilliant indeed | Reviewer: Anonymous | 12/3/10

I rather understood that it was an open letter written to all the people who screamed "foul!" when he "went electric".

There's a rather neat recording of a live show he did in (I think) NY when he sings this and the crowd reaction is so loud the show is stopped. A producer comes out and asks "Do you want Bob Dylan to continue singing?" and you can't tell whether the deafening scream of the crowd in response is "Yes!" or "No!"

Now *that's* a voice of the times.

BEST SONG EVER!!! | Reviewer: Anonymous | 11/4/10

The best F-you song of all time! I sing this song loud and over and over again with the one person in mind that deserves to hear me say F-you. This is a brilliant song that will make you feel good inside every time you hear it. Roll the windows down and scream the lyrics!

hilarious | Reviewer: 9billionnames | 1/25/10

ha haa It's far more disdainful and derisive than that: it is from the someone else's pov speaking about Bob, not Bob talking to them.

given the title refers to places where he lived/hung out and

I wish that for just one time
You could stand inside my shoes
And just for that one moment
I could be you

drips with delicious irony

all the more telling that so many people at the time thought it was about them. Guess there were plenty of deserving targets.

love it

Positivly 4th street | Reviewer: Anonymous | 8/23/09

The song Positivly 4th street is so true to life Bob Dylan can only say it best. Time after time I have seen this in my own life with people who said they were your friends then turn around behind you back and (screw you over)
I never had any friends in school and if I did I got stabbed in the back time after time. I was a big fan of the time in 1965 I had the 45 rpm and played it over and over again.

Mr. Dylans music keeps growing on me. | Reviewer: dale | 11/20/08

Bobs' music did'nt impress me much back in the day it was released but as the years go by I like his music more. This is one of my favorites. I notice how many thousands look up Bobs lyrics and the numbers impress me with the fact that this world is a miserable and wretched place. God blessed us with a man that could set our collective misery to music. Thank You God.

brilliant. | Reviewer: Anonymous | 5/8/08

this song is about a friend or friends that he had that he once hung out with then realized that they were superficial and were constantly trying to fit in and hide who they really were. the kind of people that take pleasure in other peoples misery and will act like they love you to your face but you know the second they turn around they would deny they even knew you. i think we can all relate with bob on this one as it seem our society just seems to keep on multiplying these types of people.