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Desolation Row by Bob Dylan (Chords & Lyrics)

    Desolation Row by Bob Dylan

    They’re selling postcards of the hanging.
    They’re painting the passports brown.
    The beauty parlour’s filled with sailors.
    The circus is in town.
    Here comes the blind commissoner.
    They’ve got him in a trance.
    One hand’s tied to the tightrope walker.
    The other is in his pants.
    And the riot squad they’re restless
    They need some where to go.
    As lady and I look out tonight
    On Desolation Row.

    Cinderella she seem so easy.
    It takes on to know one she smiles.
    Then puts her hand in her back pocket,
    Betty davis style.
    Then in comes Romeo he’s moaning.
    You Belong to me I believe.
    And someone says your 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 fortune telling lady
    Has already taken all her things inside.
    All except for Cane and Able
    And the Hunch Back of Notre Dame
    Everyone is making love
    Or else expecting rain
    And the good samaritan he’s dressing
    He’s gettin ready for the show.
    He’s going to the carinval
    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 frightful
    As he bummed a cigarette
    Then went off sniffing drain pipes
    And reciting the alphabet.
    No you would not think to look at him
    That he was famous long ago
    For playing electric violin
    On Desolation Row.
    Doctor filth he keeps his word
    Inside a leather cup
    But all his sexless patients
    Are trying to blow it up.
    Now his nurse a local looser
    She’s in charge of the cyanaide 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 gettin ready for the feast
    The phantom of the opera
    A perfect image of a priest
    They’re spoon feedin Casonova
    To get him to feel more assured
    Then they’ll killed him with self confidence
    After poisoning him with words
    And the phantom shouting to skinning girls
    Get outta her don’t you know
    Casanova is just being punished
    For going to Desolation Row.

    Now at midnight all the agents
    And the superhuman crews
    Round up everyone
    That knows more than they do.
    Then they bring them to the factory
    Where the heart attack machines
    Is strapped across their shoulders
    And then the kerosene
    Is brought down from the castles
    By insurance men that go
    Check to see that nobody is escaping
    To Desolation Row

    Praise be to Nero’s Neptune
    The Titanic sails at dawn
    And everybody shouting
    Which side are you on
    And Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot
    Fighting in the captains tower
    While calypso signers 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 me how I was
    Was that some kind of joke.
    All those 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.