Highway 61 Revisited

Title: Desolation Row
Artist: Bob Dylan
Album: Highway 61 Revisited (Track #9)
Duration: 11:20
Label: Sony Music Entertainment

They're sellin' postcards of the hangin', they're paintin' the passports brown The beauty parlor's 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 An the riot squad they're restless, they need somewhere to go As lady an' i look out tonite from desolation row. Cinderella, she seems so easy, "It takes one to know one," she smiles An' puts her hands in her back pockets, Betty Davies' style Then in comes Romeo he's moanin', "You belong to me i believe'' An' someone says, "You're in the wrong place my friend, you'd better leave'' An' the only sound that's left after the ambulances go Is Cinderella sweepin' up on desolation row. Now the moon is almost hidden, the stars are beginnin' to hide The fortune teller lady has even taken all her things inside All except for cain an' abel an' the hunchback of Notre Dame Everybody is makin' love or else expectin' rain An the good samaritan he's dressin', he's gettin' ready for the show He's goin' to the carnival tonite on desolation row. 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 An' though her eyes are fixed upon Noah's great rainbow She spends her time peekin' 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 Now he looked so immaculately frightful as he bummed a cigarette Then he went off sniffin' drain pipes an' recitin' the alphabet You would not think to look at him but he was famous long ago For playin' electric violin on desolation row. Doctor Filth he keeps his world inside of a leather cup But all his sexless patients they're tryin' to blow it up Now his nurse some local loser, she's in charge of the cyanide hole An' she also keeps the cards that read, "Have mercy on his soul'' They all play on the penny whistle 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 gettin' ready for the feast The phantom of the opera in a perfect image of a priest They' are spoonfeeeding Casanova to get him to feel more assured Then they'kill him with self confidence after poisoning him with words An the pantom shoutin' to skinny girls, "Get outta here if you don't know Casanova is just bein' punished for goin' to desolation row''. At midnite all the agents an' the super human crew Come out an' 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 an' then the kerosene Is brought down from the castles by insurance men who go Check to see that nobody is escapin' to desolation row. Praise be to nero's neptune, the titanic sails at dawn Everybody's shoutin', "Which side are you on'' An' Ezra Pound an' T.S. Eliott fightin' in the captain's tower While calypso singers laugh at them an' fishermen hold flowers Between the windows of the sea where lovely mermaids flow An' 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 me, "How i was doin'', was that some kind of joke All these people that you mentionned, yes i know them they're quite lame I had to rearrange their faces an' 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.