Tombstone Blues Lyrics - Bob Dylan

Review The Song (7)



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 Star 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 food.
I'm in the kitchen
With the tombstone blues.

The hysterical bride in the penny arcade
Screaming she moans, "I've just been made"
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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 be 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 food.
I'm in the kitchen
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 bar bell 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 food.
I'm in the kitchen
With the tombstone blues.

The king of the Philistines his soldiers to save
Put 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 food.
I'm in trouble
With the tombstone blues.

The geometry of innocent flesh on the bone
Causes Galileo's math book to get thrown
At Delilah who's sitting 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 food
I'm in the kitchen
With the tombstone blues.

Where Ma Raney and Beethoven once unwrapped their bed roll
Tuba players now rehearse around the flagpole
And the National Bank at a profit sells road maps or 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 food
I'm in the kitchen
With the tombstone blues.



Click here to submit the Corrections of Tombstone Blues Lyrics
iTS NOT THE WORDS THAT MATTER,ITS THE DELIVERY. | Reviewer: SAUL CAIN | 2/12/14

tHE WORDS WERE ER.. PARAPHRASED FROM VARIOUS WRITINGS, LIKE OLD POETS, THE BIBLE,THE bEAT POETS,ETC.. aND COUPLED WITH BOBS OWN STONED ,SPEEDING,GENIUS FOR MAKING NO FACKING SENSE WHATSOEVER, TO EVEN HIMSELF, BUT WHAT DOES IT MATTER,IF IT HAS TO MAKE SENSE OR HAVE MEANING TO ANYONE THEN THEY WILL NEVER APPRECIATE MOST OF DYLANS BEST SONGS,WHICH ONLY MAKE SENSE WHEN YOU LOOK AT THEM FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF AN OWL. wHICH MAKES PERFECT NONSENSE TO ME,BUT I UNDERSTAND THE NEED FOR SENSE TO SOME. bUTS NOT TO BE FOUND IN SONGS LIKE THIS,ITS THE NO SENSE THAT MAKES IT WORK SO FACKING WELL.

dylan centre stage front | Reviewer: cliff hanger | 6/3/13

To look to this song for meaning is to miss the point; this is musical theatre. Do we expect to find meaning when Charles Chaplan crosses the highwire with angry monkeys biting him? Nevertheless, we understand the predicament in terms of our own experience. (dare I say this next!) Like Shakespeare, Dylan makes a story that will entertain, sound good and look good.

Blown away. | Reviewer: Arthur McLarty | 2/2/12

Unbelievable even after dozens of listens. What an hurricane of images swirling and and raging! Philosophy, theology, history; taunting, mocking, proclaiming; mixed metaphors, juxtapositioning of things and images unrelated in time or space or superficial meaning. And yet I am left with the feeling that I have just heard something so profound there are no words to express it! What a paradox. Perhaps it is just the roiling chaos, contradictions and tragedy of human existence that Dylan has somehow captured.

Jesus! | Reviewer: Anonymous | 12/27/11

But look at the lines above those. The "Commander-in-Chief" he refers to is John the Baptist's hero. Who would that be? Jesus, of course! Then "the sun's not yellow, it's chicken" seems to be making fun of Jesus' teachings/parables. With the mention of torture I always thought Dylan was making fun of/attacking organized religion for it's frequent use of torture/violence throughout history. But I do believe art is wide open to an infinite number of interpretations, it means something different to each person, and there's no "correct" meaning.

Prophetic Dylan | Reviewer: mesndblues | 4/3/10

The Commander-in-Chief answers him while chasing a fly
Saying, "Death to all those who would whimper and cry"
And dropping a bar bell he points to the sky
Saying, "The sun's not yellow it's chicken.

That is wild, Obama chased a fly and thinks he is bigger and more powerful than God...wow..too wierd...

Why I love this song | Reviewer: Kevin | 4/28/09

Lyrics like these is what makes Bob Dylan my favorite singer and songwriter. Such as:"The Commander-in-Chief answers him while chasing a fly
Saying, 'Death to all those who would whimper and cry'
And dropping a bar bell he points to the sky
Saying, 'The sun's not yellow it's chicken'" Which Bob tells about the lies that corrupt politicians say that makes lies the truth because they have the power.
Peace.

Incredible. | Reviewer: Allison | 12/29/07

Tell me where you ever hear a song like this? The words, at first, make no sense at all, but that's why you love this song, because it's just like bob dylan. So, confused and different.



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------ Performed by Bob Dylan

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------ 10/24/2014

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