All Along the Watchtower


Bob Dylan


"There must be some way out of here," said the joker

 to the thief,

 "There's too much confusion, I can't get no relief.

 Businessmen, they drink my wine, plowmen dig my


 None of them along the line know what any of it is



 "No reason to get excited," the thief, he kindly


 "There are many here among us who feel that life is

 but a joke.

 But you and I, we've been through that, and this is

 not our fate,

 So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting



 All along the watchtower, princes kept the view

 While all the women came and went, barefoot

 servants, too.


 Outside in the distance a wildcat did growl,

 Two riders were approaching, the wind began to howl.





With God on Our Side


 Oh my name it is nothin'

 My age it means less

 The country I come from

 Is called the Midwest

 I's taught and brought up there

 The laws to abide

 And that land that I live in

 Has God on its side.


 Oh the history books tell it

 They tell it so well

 The cavalries charged

 The Indians fell

 The cavalries charged

 The Indians died

 Oh the country was young

 With God on its side.


 Oh the Spanish-American

 War had its day

 And the Civil War too

 Was soon laid away

 And the names of the heroes

 I's made to memorize

 With guns in their hands

 And God on their side.


 Oh the First World War, boys

 It closed out its fate

 The reason for fighting

 I never got straight

 But I learned to accept it

 Accept it with pride

 For you don't count the dead

 When God's on your side.


 When the Second World War

 Came to an end

 We forgave the Germans

 And we were friends

 Though they murdered six million

 In the ovens they fried

 The Germans now too

 Have God on their side.


 I've learned to hate Russians

 All through my whole life

 If another war starts

 It's them we must fight

 To hate them and fear them

 To run and to hide

 And accept it all bravely

 With God on my side.


 But now we got weapons

 Of the chemical dust

 If fire them we're forced to

 Then fire them we must

 One push of the button

 And a shot the world wide

 And you never ask questions

 When God's on your side.


 In a many dark hour

 I've been thinkin' about this

 That Jesus Christ

 Was betrayed by a kiss

 But I can't think for you

 You'll have to decide

 Whether Judas Iscariot

 Had God on his side.


 So now as I'm leavin'

 I'm weary as Hell

 The confusion I'm feelin'

 Ain't no tongue can tell

 The words fill my head

 And fall to the floor

 If God's on our side

 He'll stop the next war.



Desolation Row



 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