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Bob Dylan — Subterranean Homesick Blues
Album: Bringing It All Back Home
Avg rating:
7.7

Your rating:
Total ratings: 2193









Released: 1965
Length: 2:16
Plays (last 30 days): 1
Johnny's in the basement mixin' up the medicine
I'm on the pavement thinkin' about the government
The man in the trench coat, bad job, laid off
Says he's got a bad cough, wants to get it paid off

Look out, kid, it's somethin' you did
God knows when, but you're doin' it again
You better duck down the alleyway, lookin' for a new friend
The man in the coonskin cap in the big pen
Wants eleven dollar bills, but you only got ten

Maggie comes fleet foot, face full of black soot
Talkin' that the heat put plants in the bed but
The phone's tapped anyway, Maggie says that many say
They must bust in early May, orders from the D.A.

Look out, kid, don't matter what you did
Walk on your tiptoes, don't try No Doz
Better stay away from those that carry 'round a fire hose
Keep a clean nose, watch the plainclothes
You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows

Ah, get sick, get well, hang around the inkwell
Ring bell, hard to tell if anything is gonna sell
Try hard, get barred, get back, write braille
Get jailed, jump bail, join the army if you fail

Look out, kid, you're gonna get hit
By losers, cheaters, six-time users
Hangin' 'round the theaters
Girl by the whirlpool's lookin' for a new fool
Don't follow leaders, watch the parkin' meters

Oh, get born, keep warm, short pants, romance
Learn to dance, get dressed, get blessed, try to be a success
Please her, please him, buy gifts, don't steal, don't lift
Twenty years of schoolin' and they put you on the day shift

Look out, kid, they keep it all hid
Better jump down a manhole, light yourself a candle
Don't wear sandals, try to avoid the scandals
Don't want to be a bum, you better chew gum
The pump don't work 'cause the vandals took the handles
Comments (293)add comment
 idiot_wind wrote:
Bob,

Remember the booing in England  in 1966? 
 

Probably still keeping him awake at night
 Tomasni wrote:
I rate this only 7
 

I rated it a 10. 
Sing on Brother Bob. 

Bob is touring.  Gonna see him twice on the road. Get lost on Highway 61, for real.  
Dylan's voice is interesting. Not pretty, that's for sure. But I've been surprised that I can't sing along with some of his songs because I can't match his range.  More important is his clear diction -- not what you'd expect, but think about his songs. You can actually hear the words!  
And I have always loved this song. It makes me feel clever to sing along to it.  ;-)
I rate this only 7
Bob,

Come back to US and tour!  Those snobbish Europeans don't appreciate you!

Remember the booing in England  in 1966? 
There are those who don't care for this. I do not associate with those people.
Got to be in Bob’s top 5 best songs ever...
 lemmoth wrote:
"the pump don't work 'cause the vandals took the handles"

Applies to the financial crisis today - Wall Street banks being the vandals
 
Eight years later.  Nothing has changed.
 rpdevotee wrote:
Musical Genius the likes of which we have not seen since.  This gets a 10
 
100% agreement!  Heck, I'd go 10^10 if I could!  Long Live RP!!
 kcar wrote:

You really want more choices? Here ya go: Trump. The Kardashians. Carrot Top. 

Binary don't look so bad now, do it?

 
I guess if you only decide to choose cultural icons from a collection of sub-humans, then it could get kind of frightening.  
Musical Genius the likes of which we have not seen since.  This gets a 10
 GetBakedTonight wrote:
The worlds first rap song?

 
Wouldn't that honor go to Gilbert & Sullivan?
It could be that he is a little flat.{#Cheesygrin}


She is a distant relative of De Jesus Pidal Y Chico.
 idiot_wind wrote:
 You got to check out his Christmas music video (Must be Santa Claus). 

It's polka .

It's bizarre.

It will put you the Christmas spirit.

You can expect nothing less, from a Nobel Prize winner. 

 
I watch that thing dozens of times every year. Who laughs this way ho ho ho?
and the Tom Petty wig. GENIUS (and I think it's klezmer)
Keep em coming all day Bill!  Thoughts and condolences are with all American's today!
 poetdancer wrote:
You'd think he could go in person and pick up his Nobel prize... but no. Patti Smith is going in his stead, and will sing one of his songs.

 
You'd think a person could choose to go or not go to Stockholm without being subjected to petty judgment on a message board... but no.
 You got to check out his Christmas music video (Must be Santa Claus). 

It's polka .

It's bizarre.

It will put you the Christmas spirit.

You can expect nothing less, from a Nobel Prize winner. 
You'd think he could go in person and pick up his Nobel prize... but no. Patti Smith is going in his stead, and will sing one of his songs.
 Proclivities wrote:

So there are only two options for "cultural lodestar": Zimmerman or Miley?  I don't think I'd like to live in such a tiny universe.  Binary options are best kept in mathematics and programming, certainly not in cultural matters.  Anyhow, great tune.

 
You really want more choices? Here ya go: Trump. The Kardashians. Carrot Top. 

Close-up of comedian Carrot Top after bad plastic surgery

Binary don't look so bad now, do it?

Nice...knew this one was coming. 

 GetBakedTonight wrote:
The worlds first rap song?

 
A lot of the Talking Blues songs are probably contenders.
 
 old_shep wrote:

... this song contains actual audible lyrics and does not repeat ad nauseam.

 
I beg to differ
 GetBakedTonight wrote:
The worlds first rap song?

 
Sadly not since this song contains actual audible lyrics and does not repeat ad nauseam.
The worlds first rap song?
a Most Premium Music Video goes with this
Mimic Subterranean Homesick Blues.
 izycrzy wrote:
I heard this song was used at Guantanamo Bay

 
Or they could play Miley Cyrus...  P. Didley?  Kanye? Tom Waits?  Joe Cocker?
 I once had a neighbor who played "Wild Thing"  24/7.  For maybe 2 weeks. Solid. I still can't listen to "I think I LUUUUUV you".
Something right in the world when Muddy Waters and Bob Dylan are sitting side by side. Thanks Bill. 
You don't need a weather man to know which way the wind blows?

        

 


Sing on Brother Bob.

Need to keep reminding the youngsters out there the art of song writing. 
Yes, definitely 'ground zero for rap'.....
Rock on Zimmy!
{#Biggrin}  {#Biggrin} 
 idiot_wind wrote:
As Bob would probably say...I don't care if you don't like this song. Go listen to something else.   

 
And that's when he's in a good mood.

Rock on, Zimmy!
 treatment_bound wrote:
Is the ground zero for rap?
 
And a low point for music!
Is the ground zero for rap?
 moodfood wrote:
the pump don't work 'cause the vandals took the handle..{#Mrgreen}

 
"The man in the coonskin cap
In the big pen
Wants eleven dollar bills
But you only got ten".

I love Dylan.
 kcar wrote:
 
...And would you really rather have this as your cultural lodestar?

Miley Cyrus in Christmas outfit showing nipples 

 
So there are only two options for "cultural lodestar": Zimmerman or Miley?  I don't think I'd like to live in such a tiny universe.  Binary options are best kept in mathematics and programming, certainly not in cultural matters.  Anyhow, great tune.
Too much Dylan. Well, actually, ANY Dylan is too much. I just don't get it.
the pump don't work 'cause the vandals took the handle..{#Mrgreen}
As Bob would probably say...I don't care if you don't like this song. Go listen to something else.   
Everybody in my mushrooming multitude of homeless camps be dancing buck ass naked all over the world...  love this song...  love sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll...
 Chumbawamba-1984 wrote:
Where is the PSD button when you need it the most?

 
Same here.
Gave a good 3 here.
Wow. I've got a headache and it's making this song particularly annoying.
Where is the PSD button when you need it the most?
Love Radio Paradise but for the life of me cannot understand the attraction of this song.  Nothing makes me switch over to Pandora faster than when this one comes on.  
 
 izycrzy wrote:
I heard this song was used at Guantanamo Bay

 
{#Roflol}
{#Jump}
I heard this song was used at Guantanamo Bay
{#Yell} "This is a GODLIKE song from a GODLIKE album" {#Notworthy}

No, I surely wouldn't -- your point is well taken and I will concede that the schtick must be part of the charm so appreciated by those for whom he can do no wrong.  But when it comes to lodestars that culturally represent the ol' USofA, there are soooo many others that I think would make much better ambassadors -- even a few whose music gives me little or no joy in and of itself... it just doesn't hurt as much...

...and yes, I am ever-thankful that there aren't Dylan clones everywhere.  Thanks for the considered perspective!


 
kcar wrote:
 

I think at one point in his life, Bob could sing fairly well when he tried. Now? Time and cigarettes have eroded that talent. Part of his singing style is schtick (honest, unvarnished, abrasive in confronting injustice) and a bigger part is that he wasn't great to begin with. 

For the most part, I like his voice (love this song and the way he sings it). You cannot deny the extent and duration of his impact on American music. For those who don't like him...just be thankful that they're aren't Bob Dylan clones all over place. 

And would you really rather have this as your cultural lodestar?

Miley Cyrus in Christmas outfit showing nipples 

 


Strange not subterranean long pro-car Dylan Superbowl commercial that was somewhat contradictory to 50 years of fuck mainstream iconoclasm that somehow someone did not precisely sync a few seconds of his lip movement with the vocal track.  
 Art_Carnage wrote:

He only needed one note. That's why he's Bob Dylan.


 
Right you are.
PSD on the first whine...
 kcar wrote:



{#Roflol} times infinity, to the power of infinity. Most house cats have a greater chance of singing like an opera star than Dylan does. 




 
thank god for that, rap/crap is bad enough, opera would be to f%ing to much.....
 richlister wrote:


Nor mine, but then again, they are ALL shit.

  you ever listen to what the man is saying? or are you so far into the s@it passing for music  now you wouldn't know a great poet if he bit you on the ass? pull your head outta there and listen



 The_Enemy wrote:

"Excuse me Mr. Mayor of Toronto, do you have time to talk to reporters about these crack smoking allegations?" 

Mayor Ford of Toronto

 
LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL...

Just too, too fuckin' perfect. I could watch this clip while listening to this song play all night.

The soundtrack to the Parade of the Establishment Clown.

If I were Rob Ford I'd resign, find Jesus and sign a big contract for a Fox talk show. If you're going to be a blowhard buffoon, go large or go home. 
 

 crogers wrote:


Yeah, I guess I was just hopeful for a plausible explanation for all the aural torture over the years.  I really WANT to like him and to be frank, there have been more than a few of his lyrics that made me think to myself, "hmmm... well, that's cool."   But for the noise...

  

I think at one point in his life, Bob could sing fairly well when he tried. Now? Time and cigarettes have eroded that talent. Part of his singing style is schtick (honest, unvarnished, abrasive in confronting injustice) and a bigger part is that he wasn't great to begin with. 

For the most part, I like his voice (love this song and the way he sings it). You cannot deny the extent and duration of his impact on American music. For those who don't like him...just be thankful that they're aren't Bob Dylan clones all over place. 

And would you really rather have this as your cultural lodestar?

Miley Cyrus in Christmas outfit showing nipples 
Bob out-raps the rappers.
Good God, that was horrible.
 crogers wrote:


  keep a clean nose, watch for plain cloths, change the litter.....



Everybody in my mushrooming multitude of churches be dancing buck ass naked all over the world...  love this song...  love sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll...

 jameshay wrote:


30 years?  I think Bob's been around for 50+ years.  In all that time, I never noticed he just had one tune. Makes me feel real stupid buying the same song over and over... maybe should have opted for music lessons during my 20 years of schoolin..

 

a lifetime of great music, even some of his christen stuff was good.....he changed the music scene from bubblegum rock to reality rock....forever #1
 Ramenoodler wrote:
I am not a fan of Bob Dylan. 

He only plays like one basic song, and he's spent 30 years filling numerous albums with variations of that same half-chant melody.
When A Bob Dylan some comes on, I hit 'stop' on my player, and come back after a few minutes.

I really do think his music is that terrible.  

 

30 years?  I think Bob's been around for 50+ years.  In all that time, I never noticed he just had one tune. Makes me feel real stupid buying the same song over and over... maybe should have opted for music lessons during my 20 years of schoolin..
 oldfart48 wrote:
indeed! try to avoid the scandal............{#Yell}{#Guitarist}

 
"Excuse me Mr. Mayor of Toronto, do you have time to talk to reporters about these crack smoking allegations?" 

Mayor Ford of Toronto
indeed! try to avoid the scandal............{#Yell}{#Guitarist}

The juxtaposition of absurd images in this song implies an existential theme—  of course, this was in the old days for Bob Dylan...

back in the 1970's, folks in academics got incredibly excited by this song, and they would often discuss it in university literature classes...  I know, because I became a university professor when I was eight years old...

 
 kcar wrote:



{#Roflol} times infinity, to the power of infinity. Most house cats have a greater chance of singing like an opera star than Dylan does. 




 

Yeah, I guess I was just hopeful for a plausible explanation for all the aural torture over the years.  I really WANT to like him and to be frank, there have been more than a few of his lyrics that made me think to myself, "hmmm... well, that's cool."   But for the noise...

marvelous...
 
 crogers wrote:
I just read a curious comment about Bob on Squidoo.  According to the (unsigned) post, Dylan can actually sing like an opera star, but has decided instead to sound "like a harpooned pigeon in the last throes of death" intentionally, in an attempt to appeal to a specific audience.  

Could it be so?  Is he really crazy like a fox?
 

 


{#Roflol} times infinity, to the power of infinity. Most house cats have a greater chance of singing like an opera star than Dylan does. 



I just read a curious comment about Bob on Squidoo.  According to the (unsigned) post, Dylan can actually sing like an opera star, but has decided instead to sound "like a harpooned pigeon in the last throes of death" intentionally, in an attempt to appeal to a specific audience.  Exactly whom, I can't imagine.

Could it be so?  Is he really crazy like a fox?
 
Genre-breaking at the time.... hard to separate the rating for 'musical history' from that for 'musicality'
 
I am not a fan of Bob Dylan. 

He only plays like one basic song, and he's spent 30 years filling numerous albums with variations of that same half-chant melody.
When A Bob Dylan some comes on, I hit 'stop' on my player, and come back after a few minutes.

I really do think his music is that terrible.  

Everybody in my church be dancing...  love this song...
 
20 years or schooling and they put you on the day shift . . .
 Cynaera wrote:
I'm starting to appreciate Mr. Dylan's music more and more as world events unfold.  I suspect that what once was old will become new again, music-wise, as things come unwrapped around us. Perhaps the true visionaries have already provided their wisdom, and it's up to us to sift through the crap of "modernism" and find the gems of truth in the music of the past.
 

Well said...  miss you...


 
 crogers wrote:
Hey, maybe I can be a poet too!

Rat-nasty noises
Like knitting needles
Dipped in drain cleaner
Thrust deeply into
My ear drums.

Why must you
Torment me so
The original vagabond
The impacted sinus
The lyrical asininity

Perhaps once
You spoke for some
Who couldn't find the words
Why they thought you could
I don't know.

I am leaving you now
To be enjoyed by
Those who can
I cannot and shall not
Suffer you any longer.

Hmmm, maybe not...
  certainly not!


Hey, maybe I can be a poet too!

Rat-nasty noises
Like knitting needles
Dipped in drain cleaner
Thrust deeply into
My ear drums.

Why must you
Torment me so
The original vagabond
The impacted sinus
The lyrical asininity

Perhaps once
You spoke for some
Who couldn't find the words
Why they thought you could
I don't know.

I am leaving you now
To be enjoyed by
Those who can
I cannot and shall not
Suffer you any longer.

Hmmm, maybe not...
The melody of the vocals is nearly one straight line...stay safe.
 On_The_Beach wrote:

Whatever turns you on.
 
Ha.
 richlister wrote:


Nor mine, but then again, they are ALL shit.
 
HAHAHAHA!
 TuneAgeWhereWoof wrote:
not my favoriate Dylan tune...
 

Nor mine, but then again, they are ALL shit.
 Geecheeboy wrote:
Did he just say Facebook?
edit:  it was "face full." I looked it up. But I sure heard Facebook.
 
He doesn't mention Facebook, but he makes references to Justin Bieber and the iPhone 5 in the third stanza.
 ziakut wrote:
Good song for sittin' on the porcelain, while sniffin' toe jam. 
 
Whatever turns you on.
not my favoriate Dylan tune...
 ziakut wrote:
Good song for sittin' on the porcelain, while sniffin' toe jam. 
 
O-o . . .   . is that one of the lyrics?
I watched this on Youtube one night. Nothing interesting about that except...I read the comments. Some young person was absolutely Gobsmacked that this was a video...they were certain, dead certain, that the first video was "video killed the radio star"...many folks tried to counsel them that there was a difference between the first video aired on MTV and the first video ever....pointing to some lovely film from a lot of amazing artists much older than Dylan.
"The pump don't work 'cause the vandals took the handle..."

Ah, my youth.{#Zip-lip} 
Good song for sittin' on the porcelain, while sniffin' toe jam. 
From the album right before Highway 61 Revisited.  Great stuff.  His most creative period was up until John Wesley Harding.  He then lost it until Blood on the Tracks and Desire.  I don't have any of his albums after Desire.  But the ones I do have are just terrific.
danke  danke
It never gets old, until it gets old. Which happened about 2 minutes 45 seconds minutes ago.
Did he just say Facebook?
edit:  it was "face full." I looked it up. But I sure heard Facebook.


 TJS wrote:
As annoying as any of his other songs.  Actually, I think it's a bit moreso.
 
I could't agree more!!!
The man can't sing and all of his so called melodies sound just the same... {#Headache} (Sorry, Bill!)
The first rap song?  {#Bananapiano}
As annoying as any of his other songs.  Actually, I think it's a bit moreso.
 anglicana wrote:
Frankly, this deserves a 10+ rating.
 


I agree...  love it...

 
Frankly, this deserves a 10+ rating.

Bob Dylan, Santana, Joan Baez 3105840118 by Heinrich Klaffs
https://www.flickr.com/photos/heiner1947/

Einmalige Union von Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Santana, Mai 1984, Hamburg

Mehr:

www.hklaffs.de


Copyright All rights reserved


 ziakut wrote:
Hey! Bobby's got good pitch!!! Oh wait...he's only singing one note thru the whole song...scratch that. The most catchy part of this tune is the ending. It leads to another song.
 
He only needed one note. That's why he's Bob Dylan.

"20 years of schoolin' and they put you on the day shift".....if you're lucky
I'm home but now I'm sick, and I'm feelin blue, guess why?
Never.......gets..........old.{#Dancingbanana_2}
we be bopping'

Johnny's in the basement
Mixing up the medicine
I'm on the pavement
Thinking about the government
The man in the trench coat
Badge out, laid off
Says he's got a bad cough
Wants to get it paid off
Look out kid
It's somethin' you did
God knows when
But you're doin' it again
You better duck down the alley way
Lookin' for a new friend
The man in the coon-skin cap
By the big pen
Wants eleven dollar bills
You only got ten

Maggie comes fleet foot
Face full of black soot
Talkin' that the heat put
Plants in the bed but
The phone's tapped anyway
Maggie says that many say
They must bust in early May
Orders from the D.A.
Look out kid
Don't matter what you did
Walk on your tiptoes
Don't try "No-Doz"
Better stay away from those
That carry around a fire hose
Keep a clean nose
Watch the plain clothes
You don't need a weatherman
To know which way the wind blows

Get sick, get well
Hang around a ink well
Ring bell, hard to tell
If anything is goin' to sell
Try hard, get barred
Get back, write braille
Get jailed, jump bail
Join the army, if you fail
Look out kid
You're gonna get hit
But users, cheaters
Six-time losers
Hang around the theaters
Girl by the whirlpool
Lookin' for a new fool
Don't follow leaders
Watch the parkin' meters

Ah get born, keep warm
Short pants, romance, learn to dance
Get dressed, get blessed
Try to be a success
Please her, please him, buy gifts
Don't steal, don't lift
Twenty years of schoolin'
And they put you on the day shift
Look out kid
They keep it all hid
Better jump down a manhole
Light yourself a candle
Don't wear sandals
Try to avoid the scandals
Don't wanna be a bum
You better chew gum
The pump don't work
'Cause the vandals took the handles


Always good to be subterranean.

Nice Cy!

I'm starting to appreciate Mr. Dylan's music more and more as world events unfold.  I suspect that what once was old will become new again, music-wise, as things come unwrapped around us. Perhaps the true visionaries have already provided their wisdom, and it's up to us to sift through the crap of "modernism" and find the gems of truth in the music of the past.
Oh gawd, not again...
Now we're talkin!
What a fantastic segue from "The Zookeepers - Beautiful World"!!  Subterranean Homesick Blues has almost exactly the same tempo and started in time with the end of The Zookeepers. Amazing!

"Don't follow leaders, watch yer parking meters..." {#Dancingbanana_2}{#Cowboy}{#Motor}

The only version of this song I knew was from the RHCP... both of them very cool



 dmax wrote:
Not the first rap song. Look to the various "talking blues" for other cool ones.
 

good point....how bout first rap song in the rock and roll era.
Hey! Bobby's got good pitch!!! Oh wait...he's only singing one note thru the whole song...scratch that. The most catchy part of this tune is the ending. It leads to another song.
 lemmoth wrote:
"the pump don't work 'cause the vandals took the handles"

Applies to the financial crisis today - Wall Street banks being the vandals
 

Right on.
This has never been more true.