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Bob Dylan — Tangled Up In Blue
Album: Blood on the Tracks
Avg rating:
8.1

Your rating:
Total ratings: 5362









Released: 1975
Length: 5:39
Plays (last 30 days): 3
Early one morning, the sun was shining
I was laying in bed
Wondering if she'd changed it all
If her hair was still red
Her folks, they said our lives together
Sure was gonna be rough
They never did like mama's homemade dress
Papa's bankbook wasn't big enough
And I was standing on the side of the road
Rain falling on my shoes
Heading out for the east coast
Lord knows I've paid some dues getting through
Tangled up in blue

She was married when we first met
Soon to be divorced
I helped her out of a jam, I guess
But I used a little too much force
We drove that car as far as we could
Abandoned it out west
Split up on a dark, sad night
Both agreeing it was best
She turned around to look at me
As I was walking away
I heard her say over my shoulder
"We'll meet again someday on the avenue"
Tangled up in blue

I had a job in the great north woods
Working as a cook for a spell
But I never did like it all that much
And one day the axe just fell
So I drifted down to New Orleans
Where I's lucky for to be employed
Working for a while on a fishing boat
Right outside of Delacroix
But all the while I was alone
The past was close behind
I seen a lot of women
But she never escaped my mind and I just grew
Tangled up in blue

She was working in a topless place
And I stopped in for a beer
I just kept looking at the sight of her face
In the spotlight so clear
And later on when the crowd thinned out
I's just about to do the same
She was standing there in back of my chair
Said, "Tell me, don't I know your name?"
I muttered something underneath my breath
She studied the lines on my face
I must admit I felt a little uneasy
When she bent down to tie the laces of my shoe
Tangled up in blue

She lit a burner on the stove and offered me a pipe
"I thought you'd never say hello," she said
"You look like the silent type"
Then she opened up a book of poems
And handed it to me
Written by an Italian poet
From the thirteenth century
And every one of them words rang true
And glowed like burning coal
Pouring off of every page
Like it was written in my soul from me to you
Tangled up in blue

I lived with them on Montague Street
In a basement down the stairs
There was music in the cafés at night
And revolution in the air
Then he started into dealing with slaves
And something inside of him died
She had to sell everything she owned
And froze up inside
And when finally the bottom fell out
I became withdrawn
The only thing I knew how to do
Was to keep on keeping on like a bird that flew
Tangled up in blue

So now I'm going back again
I got to get her somehow
All the people we used to know
They're an illusion to me now
Some are mathematicians
Some are carpenter's wives
Don't know how it all got started
I don't what they do with their lives
But me, I'm still on the road
Heading for another joint
We always did feel the same
We just saw it from a different point of view
Tangled up in blue
Comments (804)add comment
 njeanneb wrote:

The Indigo Girls cover of this song is SO MUCH BETTER. 


You do you, I'll pick Bob.
The Indigo Girls cover of this song is SO MUCH BETTER. 
 On_The_Beach wrote:
It's kinda sad to see what the comments board is becoming.
"(artist name) sucks", "YOU suck", "No, YOU suck" . . . and so on. {#Rolleyes}
Pissing contests for cretins.
Then someone fills an entire page by repeating a single emoticon ad nauseam, thus bumping all the actual song comments off the board; very intelligent.
Or we get the geniuses who post the same moronic negative comment on EVERY single U2 or Beck song.
I don't have a problem with negative comments per se. Obviously everyone has their own tastes.
It's just the trolls and morons who are wearing me down.
Seems to me it's worse than it's ever been.
And yes, occasionally I take the bait and insult someone, but I try to avoid the temptation.
I'm slowly and reluctantly losing interest in reading posts.
Thankfully most members still write intelligent comments, positive and negative.

And of course the music is still worth listening to . . . especially Bob.  ; )
OK, rant over.



Posted 10 years ago, and nothing has changed!
Interesting reading back through 22 years of comments on this amazing song. Long live Radio Paradise. 
 Relayer wrote:

Love the song, but was always confused a bit by it.  Is it the same woman through all the verses?  He married her, they ran away out West, broke up, then years later find each other again in Louisiana? 



My interpretation, and those shared by professors of literature I've read, it's a montage of different scenarios of life and relationships.  Interpreting them as just one long story of a single person doesn't make sense from the lyrics, at least to me.
 Relayer wrote:

Love the song, but was always confused a bit by it.  Is it the same woman through all the verses?  He married her, they ran away out West, broke up, then years later find each other again in Louisiana? 




I assume so. there's another man involved in part of it though "I lived with them on Montague St.."

some songs strike a chord so loud it resonates in our very bones all of the rest of our lives.
this is one.  11^infinity

 idiot_wind wrote:

"So now I'm going back again
I got to get her somehow
All the people we used to know
They're an illusion to me now
Some are mathematicians
Some are carpenter's wives
Don't know how it all got started
I don't what they do with their lives
But me, I'm still on the road
Heading for another joint
We always did feel the same
We just saw it from a different point of view
Tangled up in blue"


Yeah...that's why they give Nobel Prizes. 



Yup.  Nobel Prize for Literature includes poetry.  But this has nothing on 'Desolation Row'  IMHO.
The currents of a life so nicely lyrically expressed.  The reason it works, as I've discovered over the course of my own life, is that it reveals how much we are all the same.  Some become mathematicians.  Some, carpenters wives, indeed.  Husbands, vagabonds, whoever and whatever we are in this moment even so we're children all just following a path leading we know not where.  But if you can try to smile as you go and throw laughter to the wind, you just might find that it will help you light your way.  

Just some thoughts.   
 059rfb wrote:

I've been listening to Bob for some 45 years or so and have heard every complaint about him  that there is and have yet to find one that is justified. If you don't like his voice, his music or him as a person, then just move past the song and find something you do like. Those of us that have grown up listening to him completely understand what a special gift we've been given. My brother always said he was a fan and in turns out he was a fan of a particular album, which was fine but myself, I would hate to think that I would be have such limited access to the genius that is Bob Dylan. There will never be another one like Bob and  I treasure the gift of his music and always will. Thank you Brother Bob. (He'd probably say "Don't think twice, it's Alright") Peace.



I swear you have made me cry, you are so right.
I've been listening to Bob for some 45 years or so and have heard every complaint about him  that there is and have yet to find one that is justified. If you don't like his voice, his music or him as a person, then just move past the song and find something you do like. Those of us that have grown up listening to him completely understand what a special gift we've been given. My brother always said he was a fan and in turns out he was a fan of a particular album, which was fine but myself, I would hate to think that I would be have such limited access to the genius that is Bob Dylan. There will never be another one like Bob and  I treasure the gift of his music and always will. Thank you Brother Bob. (He'd probably say "Don't think twice, it's Alright") Peace.
Love the song, but was always confused a bit by it.  Is it the same woman through all the verses?  He married her, they ran away out West, broke up, then years later find each other again in Louisiana? 
 philbertr wrote:

Can’t believe the average rating is just 8. If this isn’t God-like then what could possibly be?



This guy must be a genius. But I ain't biased. 
Can’t believe the average rating is just 8. If this isn’t God-like then what could possibly be?
oh yeah

going on the road to see dear bob in KC, STL, and maybe CHI in Oct 2023

great venues: theatres and opera houses that makes a person want to sing

Well....it's about time you played this one. 
I'm chillin' like Bob Zimmerman.  To the next song.

PSD!
 daddybat wrote:

My Father In Law (Bill Berg) is the drummer on this album! UFB talented and humble artist!

I always loved this song. Had no idea why. I just always did. He never told me about any of it until I had known him for several tears! Go figure…



that's pretty cool!
My Father In Law (Bill Berg) is the drummer on this album! UFB talented and humble artist!

I always loved this song. Had no idea why. I just always did. He never told me about any of it until I had known him for several years! Go figure…
"

I had a job in the great north woods
Working as a cook for a spell
But I never did like it all that much
And one day the axe just fell

"
Sometimes Bob likes to mess with our heads.
Every once in a while humanity is graced by a true genius, this is exemplary of that.
 Clyde_Bedow wrote:

Even after all these years, I still hear moments that make me think "Ah! I see what you did there!"

Quite a piece of work.



Pretty sure I've always listened to this song all the way to end every time Probably always will. 
Soft spot for this one. “She tied up the laces of my shoes…”
 gregskrtic wrote:

probably my favorite Dylan song, and maybe my favorite OVERALL song.  I never tire of listening to this.  

What is wrong with me?




I feel the same way about this song as you do, and I reckon there's nothing at all wrong with you.
So...if you view the album cover,  is it static or dynamic? 

That is, is it a profile mugshot (static)?

Or is he headed somewhere (dynamic)? 

Oh my...these questions to ponder.  Like Mona Lisa...smiling or not?

   



Awesome ❤️

Sounds as good now as it did back then    
And...if you choose, you can dance a little jig to the end of this song; the harmonica ending.  

Uh oh.  I think the neighbors saw me. They may call the police. It goes back to a  "fireworks" incident.   Some people never learn.

Except for  Brother Bob. 
 
Ohhhhh.

This is  song to celebrate  the new year in  early Jan 2023.

I get it now. 

Nachdem ich mir den Text mal angesehen habe (meine Englisch-Kenntnisse sind überschaubar): von 9 auf 10!

After looking at lyrics (not familiar with english): it's a 10 for me.
Yeah, I knew a ginger. Fool, I let her go. Then I found another. Lucked out.
ahhhh

its the Thanksgiving holiday

we should all be thankful that  we can listen to brother bob on radio paradise

paradise is not lost
 blighjohnn wrote:

Shame he has repeatedly disappointed in concerts over the last 20 yrs, stick to the studio Bob and don't waste hard earned money just to say we've seen you



ohhhhh quit being silly


 idiot_wind wrote:

How many a year has passed and gone?
Many a gamble has been lost and won.
And many a road taken by many a first friend.
And each one I've never seen again.

I wish, I wish, I wish in vain.
That we could sit simply in that room again.
Ten thousand dollars at the drop of a hat,
I'd give it all gladly if our lives could be like that.


Yeah....that's why they give Nobel prizes. 



I get tears in my eyes every time I hear this song. The older you get the more it means. Genius.
Love, love, love this song. ✌️
 gregskrtic wrote:

probably my favorite Dylan song, and maybe my favorite OVERALL song.  I never tire of listening to this.  

What is wrong with me?




I must admit, I felt a little uneasy when she bent down to tie the laces of my shoes.  - I'm not a huge Dylan fan, but that is one of my favorite lines of any song.
probably my favorite Dylan song, and maybe my favorite OVERALL song.  I never tire of listening to this.  

What is wrong with me?
 FamilyMan wrote:

Through
Avenue
Grew
Shoes
You
Flew
View



and Blue...
Shame he has repeatedly disappointed in concerts over the last 20 yrs, stick to the studio Bob and don't waste hard earned money just to say we've seen you
Now this is how you end the song, the story, the scene:




So now I'm going back again
I got to get her somehow
All the people we used to know
They're an illusion to me now
Some are mathematicians
Some are carpenter's wives
Don't know how it all got started
I don't what they do with their lives
But me, I'm still on the road
Heading for another joint
We always did feel the same
We just saw it from a different point of view
Tangled up in blue
Uncanny genius in that.  Not quite to my Allman Bros or Pink Floyd preference, Dylan is something of an inquired taste, but the word play, story telling, rhyme and allusion in this song is off the charts.  
This is an 11, let alone a 10.
 Triquel67 wrote:

If this isn't a 10, what is? This is an iconic song.


Not a 10 for me but only because it's not my favorite Dylan song.
 idiot_wind wrote:

Ooooh.

A song for the Easter holiday!

We should spend some time thinking about forgiveness and resurrection. 


Please post video of resurrection

Through
Avenue
Grew
Shoes
You
Flew
View
Just the best song ever written. Can't say why. Just speaks and gets my emotions .
Helluva story Mr. Zimmerman...
Bob Dylan cannot play the piano, guitar or harmonica. He cannot even sing.. (yet he does all these things)
But every sentence he writes speaks volumes. Even in interviews every answer he gives leaves you with more insight and followup questions. 
An absolutely brilliant man. It was an honor to have seen him live.
A brilliant song, but I was disappointed when I learned that the line was not:

"Timmy, don't I know your name?"
I like BD but his songs are often ... yes, too long.
I think it was the Indigo Girls who said something along the lines of - I have no idea what he is saying, but I know just what he means.
Noting that its the Christmas season,  don't forget the bestest Christmas video ever:



Bob Dylan - Must Be Santa (Official Video)




That's why they give Nobel prizes. 
Ho Ho Ho!!!! 

brother bob is touring again

noting the thanksgiving  holiday

we should all be thankful for road trips
this is a thanksgiving song

we all have things to be grateful for
I regret that it took me so long to appreciate this man. What a gift he is.
 Pilsenaaa wrote:

it immediately takes me to an old smoked filled donut shop in the heat of summer with buzzing flies around and diesel smell creeping up my nostrils


Good god...what sort of dystopian donut shop was this?  Diesel, old smoke and flies...I'll betcha business wasn't very brisk...
What a brilliant storyteller.  It's one of my favorite pieces from him.  

Not bad for someone that was quoted once saying...  " All I really wanted to do was write a song."

 Iggis wrote:

please stop playing Dylan, it’s painful, my ears can’t take any more. He can’t sing.



Listen to some more Britney.
A great poet in anyone's time.
Sounds freakin good to me!
 Sofa_King wrote:


I heard he's pretty terrible live, and who wouldn't be after touring almost half their life.
But that aside, Covid is FAR from over, and the only way Bob could pull that off would be to allow only vaccinated people to attend any concerts, otherwise it would be dangerous and irresponsible.


oh pooo
please stop playing Dylan, it’s painful, my ears can’t take any more. He can’t sing.
 idiot_wind wrote:

Hey brother Bob.

Covid is over.

Time to tour this Summer. 

Outdoor venues. Like southern baptist tent revivals. Spritualism. Music, Hot and sweaty.   

Sing on Brother Bob.  



I heard he's pretty terrible live, and who wouldn't be after touring almost half their life.
But that aside, Covid is FAR from over, and the only way Bob could pull that off would be to allow only vaccinated people to attend any concerts, otherwise it would be dangerous and irresponsible.
Hey brother Bob.

Covid is over.

Time to tour this Summer. 

Outdoor venues. Like southern baptist tent revivals. Spritualism. Music, Hot and sweaty.   

Sing on Brother Bob.  
Bob is 80 can’t believe it
well.....its about time

its his birthday!
If you really have to think very long about whether you like this song or not, I'll go out on a limb and predict not.
I've rated 3046 songs and 36 of them are 10's. 

This is one of them.

Ooooh.

A song for the Easter holiday!

We should spend some time thinking about forgiveness and resurrection. 
A poet, who sings.  Thank god his poetry is a tad better than his voice.  And I mean no offense in this.  But his ain't exactly the stuff of a Pavarotti legend is it?  

Then again,  I cannot envision this song being sung by anyone but Dylan.  Can you? 

So if song is meant to have an impact on the listener his has done the job.  Tangled up in Blue indeed.  

Highlow
American Net'Zen
 willjay wrote:
Not bad for Dylan. But it's about three verses too long. 
 
He's telling a story, so those verses are necessary, you know, to finish the story. And what do you mean "for Dylan"? I can't think of another singer who could write this. Can you?
 willjay wrote:
Not bad for Dylan. But it's about three verses too long. 
 

A characteristic not unique to this example of Dylan's music. Heh.
Not bad for Dylan. But it's about three verses too long. 
Cool song, awful singing (as always with Bob, unfortunately)
Still my favorite Dylan song from my favorite Dylan album.
He could have done with an editor on this one.
One of the truly nice features of this song...is it's ability to make me immensely enjoy the following tune...whatever it is!
good old Bob
it immediately takes me to an old smoked filled donut shop in the heat of summer with buzzing flies around and diesel smell creeping up my nostrils
 haresfur wrote:
I walk around with my shoe-lace untied.

Still waiting.
 
That makes me uneasy.
. . . It's fun to play in Rock Band?

It's an amazing song, but someone with a decent voice would just catapult it into Best-Ever status. Like KT Tunstall (seriously click the YouTube link it is SO WORTH IT).
This is a truly great record and endlessly mysterious and fascinating. Is the chronology of events in the lyrics mixed up? Is there more than one "I"/narrator? Can anybody help shine a light on it for me a little better?
 Delawhere wrote:


They let you play a song this long?
 
It's Gabriola Island - anything goes.
 On_The_Beach wrote:
It's kinda sad to see what the comments board is becoming.
"(artist name) sucks", "YOU suck", "No, YOU suck" . . . and so on. {#Rolleyes}
Pissing contests for cretins.
Then someone fills an entire page by repeating a single emoticon ad nauseam, thus bumping all the actual song comments off the board; very intelligent.
Or we get the geniuses who post the same moronic negative comment on EVERY single U2 or Beck song.
I don't have a problem with negative comments per se. Obviously everyone has their own tastes.
It's just the trolls and morons who are wearing me down.
Seems to me it's worse than it's ever been.
And yes, occasionally I take the bait and insult someone, but I try to avoid the temptation.
I'm slowly and reluctantly losing interest in reading posts.
Thankfully most members still write intelligent comments, positive and negative.

And of course the music is still worth listening to . . . especially Bob.  ; )
OK, rant over.
 
Here's hoping you're not, On_the_beach today
can really relate to this song and Simple Twist of Fate...hummm....both God like....11 outta 10
Not a Dylan fan but this I like --> 7
this song neeeeeeeeeeeeever gets old, like a priceless archaeological artefact
In the words of Jackson Browne "Eleven on a scale of 10"
 
Triquel67 wrote:

If this isn't a 10, what is? This is an iconic song.
 

I love this film 🎥
Happy 20th Anniversary, RP! 
Thank you for all that you do and do it so well!
You have introduced to me to music I had no idea even existed thus opening a whole new world!
 
"So now I'm going back again
I got to get her somehow
All the people we used to know
They're an illusion to me now
Some are mathematicians
Some are carpenter's wives
Don't know how it all got started
I don't what they do with their lives
But me, I'm still on the road
Heading for another joint
We always did feel the same
We just saw it from a different point of view
Tangled up in blue"


Yeah...that's why they give Nobel Prizes. 
Crank it up baby, on new PC and speakers...its Friday!
A low point in the history of the harmonica
 jp33442 wrote:
This song deserves a 9
 
If this isn't a 10, what is? This is an iconic song.
This song deserves a 9
Bob's second best album, after Desire.
The genius of Dylan is illustrated by this piece. I don't know anything about writing a song, but there is very little about this one that seems to fit within the standard approach. Yet, he created an absolute masterpiece. Somehow, he weaves a meaningful tale from disparate fragments of lives and generates art that will outlive us all (I presume). This piece never gets old for me, although I do (or so it seems).
Great album.  Period!
possibly best ever Dylan tune imho
I just watched the Scorsese documentary about Dylan (Rolling Thunder Revue). The film received some negative commentary, but I found it mesmerizing. Even if you aren't a true Dylan fan, you have to admit, the man is a genius, and the film is worth a watch. 
Yahhhhhhhhhhhhhh, baby!

Live shows are coming up!


Gonna take a mathematician, her daughter, and Frenchman to  a show.  Oooh yeah.
Always liked this song Keep on keeping on
I walk around with my shoe-lace untied.

Still waiting.
 fraserji wrote:
Weird. I just played this song at the Gabriola Golf Course open-mic tonight. Came home, poured myself a glass of Talisker, turned on RP and here it is. Weird. 
 

They let you play a song this long?
Always meaningful Even to this day Keep on Carry on
Weird. I just played this song at the Gabriola Golf Course open-mic tonight. Came home, poured myself a glass of Talisker, turned on RP and here it is. Weird. 
perfect friday beer music
 mgtom wrote:
Not quite sure why, but just went up from One to Two. Didn't hit PSD. 
 
I hit it.  
Not quite sure why, but just went up from One to Two. Didn't hit PSD. 
And every one of them words rang true
And glowed like burning coal
How many a year has passed and gone?
Many a gamble has been lost and won.
And many a road taken by many a first friend.
And each one I've never seen again.

I wish, I wish, I wish in vain.
That we could sit simply in that room again.
Ten thousand dollars at the drop of a hat,
I'd give it all gladly if our lives could be like that.


Yeah....that's why they give Nobel prizes. 
 On_The_Beach wrote:

https://s3.amazonaws.com/img.rush.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/band_geddy_861-300x225.jpg
I wasn't aware Geddy was singing on this.
 

Your goof on Geddy does not diminish the fact that Bob's voice is annoying, as is Geddy's.  However both fit their music.  I love Geddy.  Bob took awhile for me to get used to.
 crogers wrote:

I see.  So, you liked the segue.  Or, you want to have Dylan's babies.  Or both.
 
The segue was fine.  Two quality artists, selected by Bill, lined up in harmony.  Try stepping out of that restaurant again.  Maybe that brick will do the job this time.


I lower my rating from 8 to  7    Next time I leave      Rating down to 3  + skip
 kcar wrote:

Dylan is a polarizing figure these days. I don't remember people saying that they actively hated him back during the 70s. I think he was sort of deified in the 60s 'til the mid 70s; music started changing dramatically and it became OK to openly diss him as dated, out-of-fashion. 

Dylan did an interview with Bill Bradley of "60 Minutes" back in 2004, during which he admitted that he deliberately created and released bad albums because he was so sick of his fans' hero-worship. From what I remember he found it unnerving and wanted a way to bring people's expectations of him back down to earth. It shocked me that he'd put out music he didn't like, music that would dog him for the rest of his life, because he couldn't deal with public adoration. That probably contributed to some listeners giving him the thumbs down. 

But this is one of the best damned songs I've ever heard, even with that harmonica huffing and puffing at the end. 

 
 
As you could tell from that Bradley interview, Dylan was somewhat obsessed with getting rid of his image as some kind of prophet or something, which he didn't feel he deserved. He just wanted to destroy that image and tried several ways to do it including issuing some substandard music,  finding religion and fostering the idea that he was just a simple Jewish boy that wrote interesting songs.
 Alastair wrote:
As ever with Dylan.  Genius lyrics destroyed by the worst voice in contemporary music.  
 
I wish people would give up on hating Dyan's voice. Original lyrics sung by the composer have a certain passion that you never get in a covered version, even if their voice is not the best.
I bought all of his first 10 (vinyl) albums when each was released and prize them more than any other in my collection, even though many others have better voices.
This album was my introduction to Dylan when I was 12 yrs old. I had heard other songs by him, but he wasn't fully on my radar until this, which I fell head over heels in love with. Still love it.

I only recently learned that Dylan wrote this song after a weekend of listening to Joni Mitchell's album, Blue.  
Not much of a fan but this is one of his good ones.
Boy I spent some time with this album once upon a time long ago and far away. Nice to hear it pop up sometimes.
Absolutely amazing song!
Dylan is Dylan and his voice is as much a part of his music as his lyrics..... I happen to love his voice and a "good" voice (whatever that is) would change everything about his music.... and for the record Rolling Stone lists Dylan as 7th best voice out of 100 best singers in rock..... so guess a few more people like his voice.....