Home PageThe times they are a-changin’ (1964)

The Times They Are A-Changin’ (1964)

  1. The Times They Are A-Changin’
  2. Ballad Of Hollis Brown
  3. With God On Our Side
  4. One Too Many Mornings
  5. North Country Blues
  6. Only A Pawn In There Game
  7. Boots Of Spanish Leather
  8. When The Ship Comes In
  9. Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll, The
  10. Restless Farewell

Recorded August 6 – October 31, 1963.
Released January 13, 1964
Playing Time 36:50
Produced by Tom Wilson
Engineered by Knuerr, Dauria Levine and Tonkel

Bob Dylan – Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica


Liner Notes 11 Outlined Epitaphs By Bob Dylan I end up then in the early evenin’ blindly punchin’ at the blind breathin’ heavy stutterin’ an’ blowin’ up where t’ go? what is it that’s exactly wrong? who t’ picket? who t’ fight? behind what windows will I at least hear someone from the supper table get up t’ ask “did I hear someone outside just now?” yesterday an hour ago it came t’ me in a second’s flash an’ was all so clear it still is now yes it is it’s maybe hidin’ it must be hidin’ the shot has shook me up . . . for I’ve never heard that sound before bringing wild thoughts at first ragged wild numb wild now though they’ve leveled out an’ been wrung out leavin’ nothin’ but the strangeness the roots within a washed-out cloth drippin’ from the clothesline pole strange thoughts doubtin’ thoughts useless an’ unnecessary the blast it’s true startled me back but for a spell content with all pictures, posters an’ the like that’re painted for me ah but I turned an’ the nex’ time I looked the gloves of garbage had clobbered the canvas leavin’ truckloads of trash clutterin’ the colors with a blindin’ sting forcin’ me t’ once again slam the shutters of my eyes but also me to wonderin’ when they’ll open much much stronger than anyone whose own eyes’re aimed over here at mine “when will he open up his eyes?” “who him? doncha know? he’s a crazy man he never opens up his eyes” “but he’ll surely miss the world go by” “nah! he lives in his own world” “my my then he really must be a crazy man” “yeah he’s a crazy man” an’ so on spangled streets an’ country roads I hear sleigh bells jingle jangle virgin girls far into the field sing an’ laugh with flickerin’ voices softly fadin’ I stop an’ smile an’ rest awhile watchin’ the candles of sundown dim unnoticed unnoticed for my eyes’re closed __________ The town I was born in holds no memories but for the honkin’ foghorns the rainy mist the rocky cliffs I have carried no feelings up past the Lake Superior hills the town I grew up in is the one that has left me with my legacy visions it was not a rich town my parents were not rich it was not a poor town an’ my parents were not poor it was a dyin’ town (it was a dyin’ town) a train line cuts the ground showin’ where the fathers an’ mothers of me an’ my friends had picked up an’ moved from north Hibbing t’ south Hibbing. old north Hibbing . . . deserted already dead with its old stone courthouse decayin’ in the wind long abandoned windows crashed out the breath of its broken walls being smothered in clingin’ moss the old school where my mother went to rottin’ shiverin’ but still livin’ standin’ cold an’ lonesome arms cut off with even the moon bypassin’ its jagged body pretendin’ not t’ see an’ givin’ it its final dignity dogs howled over the graveyard where even the markin’ stones were dead an’ there was no sound except for the wind blowin’ through the high grass an’ the bricks that fell back t’ the dirt from a slight stab of the breeze . . . it was as though the rains of wartime had left the land bombed-out an’ shattered south Hibbing is where everybody came t’ start their town again. but the winds of the north came followin’ an’ grew fiercer an’ the years went by but I was young an’ so I ran an’ kept runnin’ . . . I am still runnin’ I guess but my road has seen many changes for I’ve served my time as a refugee in mental terms an’ in physical terms an’ many a fear has vanished an’ many an attitude has fallen an’ many a dream has faded an’ I know I shall meet the snowy North again-but with changed eyes nex’ time ’round t’ walk lazily down its streets an’ linger by the edge of town find old friends if they’re still around talk t’ the old people an’ the young people runnin’ yes . . . but stoppin’ for a while embracin’ what I left an’ lovin’ it-for I learned by now never t’ expect what it cannot give me __________ In times behind, I too wished I’d lived in the hungry thirties an’ blew in Woody t’ New York City an’ sang for dimes on subway trains satisfied at a nickel fare an’ passin’ the hat an’ hittin’ the bars on eighth avenue an’ makin’ the rounds t’ the union halls but when I came in the fares were higher up t’ fifteen cents an’ climbin’ an’ those bars that Woody’s guitar rattled . . . they’ve changed they’ve been remodeled an’ those union halls like the cio an’ the nmu come now! can you see’em needin’ me for a song or two ah where are those forces of yesteryear? why didn’t they meet me here an’ greet me here? the underground’s gone deeper says the old chimney sweeper the underground’s outa work sing the bells of New York the underground’s more dangerous ring the bells of Los Angeles the underground’s gone cry the bells of San Juan but where has it gone to ring the bells of Toronto strength now shines through my window regainin’ me an’ rousin’ me day by day from the weariness of walkin’ with ghosts that rose an’ had risen from the ruins an’ remains of the model T past even though I clutched t’ its sheet I was still refused an’ left confused for there was nobody there t’ let me in a wasteland wind whistled from behind the billboard “there’s nobody home all has moved out” flatly denied I turned indeed flinched at first but said “ok I get the message” feelin’ unwanted? no unloved? no I felt nothin’ for there was nobody there I didn’t see no one t’ want or unwant to love or unlove maybe they’re there but won’t let me in not takin’ chances on the ones the grittin’ of my teeth for only a second would mean my mind has just been swallowed whole an’ so I step back t’ the street an’ then turn further down the road poundin’ on doors lost? not really just out lookin’ a stranger? no not a stranger but rather someone who just doesn’t live here never pretendin’ t’ be knowin’ what’s worth seekin’ but at least without ghosts by my side t’ betray my childishness t’ leadeth me down false trails an’ maketh me drink from muddy waters yes it is I who is poundin’ at your door if it is inside who hears the noise _______________ Jim Jim where is our party? where all member’s held equal an’ vow t’ infiltrate that thought among the people it hopes t’ serve an’ sets a respected road for all of those like me who cry “I am ragin’ly against absolutely everything that wants t’ force nature t’ be unnatural (be it human or otherwise) an’ I am violently for absolutely everything that will fight those forces (be them human or otherwise)” oh what is the name of this gallant group? lead me t’ the ballot box what man do we run? how many votes will it take for a new set of teeth in the congress mouths? how many hands have t’ be raised before hair will grow back on the white house head? a Boston tea party don’t mean the same thing . . . as it did in the newborn years before. even the meanin’ of the word has changed. ha ha . . . t’ say the least yes that party is truly gone but where is the party t’ dump the feelings of the fiery cross burners an’ flamin’ match carriers? if there was such a party they would’ve been dumped long before this . . . who is supposed t’ dump ’em now? when all can see their threads hang weak but still hold strong loyal but dyin’ fightin’ for breath who then will kill its misery? what sea shall we pollute? when told t’ learn what others know in order for a soothin’ life an’ t’ conquer many a brainwashed dream I was set forth the forces on records an’ books from the forces that were sold t’ me an’ could be found in hung-up style wanderin’ through crowded valleys searchin’ for what others knew with the eagles’ shadows silent hungry watchin’ waitin’ from high mountains an’ me just walkin’ butterflies in my head an’ bitter by now (here! take this kid an’ learn it well but why sir? my arms’re so heavy I said take it. it’ll do yuh good but I ain’t learned last night’s lesson yet. am I gonna have t’ get mad with you? no no gimme gimme just stick it on top a the rest a the stuff here! if yuh learn it well yuh’ll get an A . . . an’ don’t do anything I wouldn’t do) and with each new brightnin’ phrase more messy till I found myself almost swallowed deep in burden spinnin’ walkin’ slower heavier heavier glassy-eyed but at last I heard the eagle drool as I zombie strolled up past the foothills thunderstruck an’ I stopped cold an’ bellowed “I don’t wanna learn no more I had enough” an’ I took a deep breath turned around an’ ran for my life shoutin’ shoutin’ back t’ the highway away from the mountain not carin’ no more what people knew about things but rather how they felt about things runnin’ down another road through time an’ dignity an’ I have never taken off my boots no matter how the miles have burnt my feet . . . an’ I’m still on that road, Jim I’m still sleepin’ at night by its side an’ eatin’ where it’ll lead me t’ food where state lines don’t stand an’ knowledge don’t count when feelings are hurt an’ I am on the side a them hurt feelings plunged on by unsensitive hammers an’ made t’ bleed by rusty nails an’ I look t’ you, Jim where is the party for those kind of feelings? how’re the gamblers that wheel an’ deal an’ shuffle ’em around gonna be got outa the game? from here in beyond this an’ from now on __________ Al’s wife claimed I can’t be happy as the New Jersey night ran backwards an’ vanished behind our rollin’ ear “I dig the colors outside, an’ I’m happy” “but you sing such depressin’ songs” “but you say so on your terms” “but my terms aren’t so unreal” “yes but they’re still your terms” “but what about others that think in those terms” “Lenny Bruce says there’re no dirty words . . . just dirty minds an’ I say there’re no depressed words just depressed minds” “but how’re you happy an’ when ‘re you happy” “I’m happy enough now” “why?” “cause I’m calmly lookin’ outside an’ watchin’ the night unwind” “what’d yuh mean unwind?” “I mean somethin’ like there’s no end t’ it an’ it’s so big that every time I see it it’s like seein’ for the first time” “so what?” “so anything that ain’t got no end’s just gotta be poetry in one way or another” “yeah, but . . . ” “an’ poetry makes me feel good” “but . . .” “an’ poetry makes me feel happy” “ok but . . . ” “for the lack of a better word” “but what about the songs you sing on stage?” “they’re nothin’ but the unwindin’ of my happiness” __________ Woody Guthrie was my last idol he was the last idol because he was the first idol I’d ever met face t’ face that men are men shatterin’ even himself as an idol an’ that men have reasons for what they do an’ what they say an’ every action can be questioned leavin’ no command untouched an’ took for granted obeyed an’ bowed down to forgettin’ your own natural instincts (for there’re a million reasons in the world an’ a million instincts runnin’ wild an’ it’s none too many times the two shall meet) the unseen idols create the fear an’ trample hope when busted Woody never made me fear and he didn’t trample any hopes for he just carried a book of Man an’ gave it t’ me t’ read awhile an’ from it I learned my greatest lesson you ask “how does it feel t’ be an idol?” it’d be silly of me t’ answer, wouldn’t it . . .? __________ A Russian has three an’ a half red eyes five flamin’ antennas drags a beet-colored ball an’ chain an’ wants t’ slip germs into my Coke machine “burn the tree stumps at the border” about the sex-hungry lunatics out warmongerin’ in the early mornin’ “poison the sky so the planes won’t come” yell the birch colored knights with patriotic shields “an’ murder all the un-Americans” say the card-carryin’ American book burners (yes we burned five books last week) as my friend, Bobby Lee, walks back an’ forth free now from his native Harlem where his ma still sleeps at night hearin’ rats inside the sink an’ underneath her hardwood bed an’ walls of holes where the cold comes in scared wrapped in blankets an’ she, God knows, is kind an’ gentle ain’t there no closer villains that the baby-eaten’ Russians rats eat babies too I talked with one of the sons of Germany while walkin’ once on foreign ground an’ I learned that he regards Adolf Hitler as we here in the states regard Robert E. Lee fasten up your holster mr. gunslinger an’ buy new bolts for your neck there is only up wing an’ down wing last night I dreamt that while healin’ ceiling up in Harlem I saw Canada ablaze an’ nobody knowin’ nothin’ about it except of course who held the match __________ Yes, I am a thief of thoughts not, I pray, a stealer of souls I have built an’ rebuilt upon what is waitin’ for the sand on the beaches carves many castles on what has been opened before my time a word, a tune, a story, a line keys in the wind t’ unlock my mind an’ t’ grant my closet thoughts backyard air it is not of me t’ sit an’ ponder wonderin’ an’ wastin’ time thinkin’ of thoughts that haven’t been thunk thinkin’ of dreams that haven’t been dreamt an’ new ideas that haven’t been wrote an’ new words t’ fit into rhyme (if it rhymes, it rhymes if it don’t, it don’t if it comes, it comes if it won’t, it won’t) no I must react an’ spit fast with weapons of words wrapped in tunes that’ve rolled through the simple years teasin’ me t’ treat them right t’ reshape them an’ restring them t’ protect my own world from the mouths of all those who’d eat it an’ hold it back from eatin’ its own food (influences? hundreds thousands perhaps millions for all songs lead back t’ the sea an’ at one time, there was no singin’ tongue t’ imitate it) t’ make new sounds out of old sounds an’ new words out of old words an’ not t’ worry about the new rules for they ain’t been made yet an’ t’ shout my singin’ mind knowin’ that it is me an’ my kind that will make those rules . . . if the people of tomorrow really need the rules of today rally ’round all you prosecutin’ attorneys the world is but a courtroom yes but I now the defendants better ‘n you and while you’re busy prosecutin’ we’re busy whistlin’ cleanin’ up the courthouse sweepin’ sweepin’ listenin’ listenin’ winkin’ t’ one another careful careful your spot is comin’ up soon __________ Oh where were these magazines when I was bummin’ up an’ down up an’ down the street? is it that they too just sleep in their high thrones . . . openin’ their eyes when people pass expectin’ each t’ bow as they go by an’ say “thank you Mr. Magazine. did I answer all my questions right?” ah but mine is of another story for I do not care t’ be made an oddball bouncin’ past reporters’ pens cooperatin’ with questions aimed at eyes that want t’ see “there’s nothin’ here go back t’ sleep or look at the ads on page 33” I don’t like t’ be stuck in print starin’ out at cavity minds who gobble chocolate candy bars quite content an’ satisfied their day complete at seein’ what I eat for breakfast the kinds of clothes I like t’ wear an’ the hobbies that I like t do I never eat I run naked when I can my hobby’s collectin’ airplane glue “come come now Mr. Dylan our readers want t’ know the truth” “that is the bare hungry sniffin’ truth” “Mr. Dylan, you’re very funny, but really now” “that’s all I have t’ say today” “but you’d better answer” “that sounds like some kind a threat” “it just could be ha ha ha ha” “what will my punishment” “a rumor tale on you ha ha” “a what kind of tale ha ha ha ha” “yes well you’ll see, Mr. Dylan, you’ll see” an’ I seen or rather I have saw your questions’re ridiculous an’ most of your magazines’re also ridiculous caterin’ t’ people who want t’ see the boy nex’ door no I shall not corporate with reporters’ whims there’re other kinds of boys nex’ door. even though they’ve slanted me they cannot take what I do away from me they can disguise it make it out t’ be a joke an’ make me seem the ridiculous one in the eyes of their readers they can build me up accordin’ t’ their own terms so that they are able t’ bust me down an’ “expose” me in their own terms givin’ blind advice t’ unknown eyes who have no way of knowin’ that I “expose” myself every time I step out on the stage __________ The night passes fast for me now an’ after dancin’ out its dance undresses leavin’ nothin’ but its naked dawn proudly standin’ smilin’ smilin’ turnin’ turnin’ gently gently I have seen it sneak up countless times . . . leavin’ me conscious with a thousand sleepy thoughts untamed an’ tryin’ t’ run I think at these times of many things an’ many people I think of Sue most times beautiful Sue with the lines of a swan frightened easy as a fawn in the forest by this time deep in dreams with her long hair spread out the color of the sun soakin’ the dark an’ scatterin’ light t’ the dungeons of my constant night I think love poems as a poor lonesome invalid knowin’ of my power t’ destroy the good souls of the road that know no sickness except that of kindness (you ask of love? there is no love except in silence an’ silence doesn’t say a word) ah but Sue she knows me well perhaps too well an’ is above all the true fortuneteller of my soul I think perhaps the only one (you ask of truth? there is no truth what fool can claim t’ carry the truth for it is but a drunken matter romantic? yes tragic? no I think not) the door still knocks an’ the wind still blows bringin’ me my memories of friends an’ sounds an’ colors that can’t escape trapped in keyholes Eric . . . bearded Eric far in Boston buried beneath my window yes I feel t’ dig the ground up but I’m so tired an’ know not where t’ look for tools rap tap tap the rattlin’ wind blows Geno in tellin’ me of philistines that he’d run into durin’ the night he stomps across my floor I laugh an’ drink cold coffee an’ old wine light of feelin’ as I listen t’ one of my own tongues take the reins guide the path an’ drop me off . . . headin’ back again t’ take care of his end of the night slam an’ Geno then too is gone outside a siren whines leadin’ me down another line I jump but get sidetracked by clunkin’ footsteps down the street (it is as though my mind ain’t mine t’ make up any more) I wonder if the cockroaches still crawl in Dave an’ Terri’s fifteenth street kitchen I wonder if they’re the same cockroaches ah yes the times’ve changed Dave still scorns me for not readin’ books an’ Terri still laughs at my rakish ways but fifteenth street has been abandoned we have moved . . . the cats across the roof mad in love scream into the drain pipes bringing’ in the sounds of music the only music an’ it is I who is ready ready t’ listen restin’ restin’ a silver peace reigns an’ becomes the nerves of mornin’ an’ I stand up an’ yawn hot with jumpin’ pulse never tired never sad never guilty for I am runnin’ in a fair race with no racetrack but the night an’ no competition but the dawn __________ So at last at least the sky for me is a pleasant gray meanin’ rain or meanin’ snow constantly meanin’ change but a change forewarned either t’ the clearin’ of the clouds or t’ the pourin’ of the storms an’ after it’s desire returnin’ returnin’ with me underneath returnin’ with it never fearful finally faithful it will guide me well across all bridges inside all tunnels never failin’ . . . with the sounds of Francois Villon echoin’ through my mad streets as I stumble on lost cigars of Bertolt Brecht an’ empty bottles of Brendan Behan the hypnotic words of A. L.. Lloyd each one bendin’ like its own song an’ the woven’ spell of Paul Clayton entrancin’ me like China’s plague unescapeable drownin’ in the lungs of Edith Piaf an’ in the mystery of Marlene Dietrich the dead poems of Eddie Freeman love songs of Allen Ginsberg an’ jail songs of Ray Bremser the narrow tunes of Modigliani an’ the singin’ plains of Harry Jackson the cries of Charles Aznavour with melodies of Yevtushenko through the quiet fire of Miles Davis above the bells of William Blake an’ beat visions of Johnny Cash an’ the saintliness of Pete Seeger strokin’ my senses down down drownin’ drownin’ when I need t’ drown for my road is blessed with many flowers an’ the sounds of flowers liftin’ lost voices of the ground’s people up up higher higher all people no matter what creed no matter what color skin no matter what language an’ no matter what land for all people laugh in the same tongue an’ cry in the same tongue endless endless it’s all endless an’ it’s all songs it’s just one big world of songs an’ they’re all on loan if they’re only turned loose t’ sing lonely? ah yes but it is the flowers an’ the mirrors of flowers that now meet my loneliness an’ mine shall be a strong loneliness dissolvin’ deep t’ the depths of my freedom an’ that, then, shall remain my song there’s a movie called Shoot the Piano Player the last line proclaimin’ “music, man, that’s where it’s at” it is a religious line outside, the chimes rung an’ they are still ringin’