Idiot Wind

Album: Blood On The Tracks (1975)
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  • Someone's got it in for me
    They're planting stories in the press
    Whoever it is I wish they'd cut it out quick
    But when they will I can only guess
    They say I shot a man named Gray
    And took his wife to Italy
    She inherited a million bucks
    And when she died it came to me
    I can't help it if I'm lucky

    People see me all the time
    And they just can't remember how to act
    Their minds are filled with big ideas
    Images and distorted facts
    Even you, yesterday
    You had to ask me where it was at
    I couldn't believe after all these years
    You didn't know me better than that
    Sweet lady

    Idiot wind
    Blowing every time you move your mouth
    Blowing down the back roads headin' south
    Idiot wind
    Blowing every time you move your teeth
    You're an idiot, babe
    It's a wonder that you still know how to breathe

    I ran into the fortune-teller
    Who said, "beware of lightning that might strike"
    I haven't known peace and quiet
    For so long I can't remember what it's like
    There's a lone soldier on the cross
    Smoke pourin' out of a boxcar door
    You didn't know it, you didn't think it could be done
    In the final end he won the wars
    After losin' every battle

    I woke up on the roadside
    Daydreamin' 'bout the way things sometimes are
    Visions of your chestnut mare
    Shoot through my head and are makin' me see stars
    You hurt the ones that I love best
    And cover up the truth with lies
    One day you'll be in the ditch
    Flies buzzin' around your eyes
    Blood on your saddle

    Idiot wind
    Blowing through the flowers on your tomb
    Blowing through the curtains in your room
    Idiot wind
    Blowing every time you move your teeth
    You're an idiot, babe
    It's a wonder that you still know how to breathe

    It was gravity which pulled us down
    And destiny which broke us apart
    You tamed the lion in my cage
    But it just wasn't enough to change my heart
    Now everything's a little upside down
    As a matter of fact the wheels have stopped
    What's good is bad, what's bad is good
    You'll find out when you reach the top
    You're on the bottom

    I noticed at the ceremony
    Your corrupt ways had finally made you blind
    I can't remember your face anymore
    Your mouth has changed
    Your eyes don't look into mine
    The priest wore black on the seventh day
    And sat stone-faced while the building burned
    I waited for you on the running boards
    Near the cypress trees, while the springtime turned
    Slowly into autumn

    Idiot wind
    Blowing like a circle around my skull
    From the Grand Coulee Dam to the Capitol
    Idiot wind
    Blowing every time you move your teeth
    You're an idiot, babe
    It's a wonder that you still know how to breathe

    I can't feel you anymore
    I can't even touch the books you've read
    Every time I crawl past your door
    I been wishin' I was somebody else instead
    Down the highway, down the tracks
    Down the road to ecstasy
    I followed you beneath the stars
    Hounded by your memory
    And all your ragin' glory

    I been double-crossed now
    For the very last time and now I'm finally free
    I kissed goodbye the howling beast
    On the borderline which separated you from me
    You'll never know the hurt I suffered
    Nor the pain I rise above
    And I'll never know the same about you
    Your holiness or your kind of love
    And it makes me feel so sorry

    Idiot wind
    Blowing through the buttons of our coats
    Blowing through the letters that we wrote
    Idiot wind
    Blowing through the dust upon our shelves
    We're idiots, babe
    It's a wonder we can even feed ourselves Writer/s: Bob Dylan
    Publisher: Universal Music Publishing Group
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 27

  • Po from NashvilleThere are a lot of Tarot cards hidden in this song if you know where to listen.
  • Bill from SyracuseOn "Idiot Wind", Dylan in a moment of disparagement mentions "Chestnut Mare", a song on the Byrds "Untitled" album. And in another unrelated Dylan tune "You ain't goin' nowhere", a verse seems to condemn Byrds band leader Roger McGuinn. And so I wonder if Dylan's apparent angst and considerable disgust on "Idiot Wind" is directed at McGuinn.
  • Rob from BostonSaw this live "75" or maybe 76. No doubt he is really pissed at his wife. But watching him snarl at me (it felt personal) I began to think its also an answer to the 9 questions he posed in "Blowing in the Wind." By 75, Dylan was an adult superstar. In 62 he was just an idealistic Kid.
    In the intervening 12 years not only did Dylan age an mature, but a whole lot of bad stuff went down. 74 was Watergate, and I believe the "ceremony" referred to in IDIOT is the Nixon resignation or maybe the 2nd inauguration. Another hint is that in the NYC bootleg, the line is "Grand Coulee Dam to the Mardi Gras" but in album its "Grand Coulee Dam to the CAPITOL . I think Dylan pissed off at his wife, but also the loss of the idealism of the early sixties, and he was tired of being treated as God. He was also being humble; if we really believed he was God , we were all idiots. Another clue; more simple. The juxtiposition of the two words "Wind Blowing" canat be a coincidence. Dylan is just too aware of his word choice.
    AM I NUtS?
  • Erik from Bloomfield Hills, MiDylan sings this with such intense passion and emotions; Hootie sang it like it was a jingle for orange juice.
  • Christine from Underhill, VtGun to my head, I would pick the Bootleg Series version of this song as my favorite Dylan song. Distilled to one verse, the verse not on the album: "We pushed each other a little too far, and one day it just turned into a ranging storm..." Distilled into one moment: "Oh, I figured I'd lost you anyway, why go on, what's the use?" The squeak in "What's the use?"

    BTW the version on The Bootleg Series Vol 1-3 is different than the New York version a friend gave to me, and I don't know where he got that version. There isn't that same kind of squeak in "What's the use" so it falls short of perfection.
  • Lee from Birmingham, Ali think this is one of bob dylans best songs, ive heard it a million times, blood on the tracks might be dylans best record..i first heard it on my dads record player.then i bought it on CD, its a long song but it doesnt seem that long when u listen to it..
  • Brad from A City, KyI prefer the New York Sessions version, but the album version is angrier and fits the lyrics better.
  • Tom from Sacramento, Ca***** intelligent, provocative brilliance. Blood on the Tracks defines Dylan as a poetic master. idiot wind is truly a gem but all the songs on the LP are strong . The album is his best by far .The music is beautifully arranged with vivid lyrics that evoke the listeners own emotions and experiences
  • Johua from Sydney, Australiathis song is another stroke of genius on behalf of dylan cant say im surprised
  • Christy from Morristown, TnThere is so much rage in this one song and that is what makes it brilliant!
  • Samuel from Singapore, SingaporeA line in this song, "You'll find out when you reach the top that you're on the bottom," inspired the title for U2's 1987 song, "Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For." During the late 80s, Dylan was a major influence and close associate of U2 as they explored American roots genres.
  • Pedro from Santiago, ChileI think that this song talks about all the kind of different stories that were printed on the press about Dylan, which later transformed into rumours or gossip about him, spreading like the wind. This wind spreads faster than Dylan himself, allowing people to "know him" just by what this wind tells them. That s why people "see him all the time and cant remember how to act"..."their minds filled with distorted facts"
    it gets to the point where even Dylan s wife doubts him beacuse of this idiot wind: "Even you, yesterday you had to ask me where it was at,
    I couldn't believe after all these years, you didn't know me better than that
    Sweet lady."
  • Mark B. Stoned from Desperate Hot Springs, CaCan anyone tell me what other songs are referenced in that Hootie song?
  • Peter from Portsmouth, United KingdomMy 21 year old daughter played this to me thinking I would never have heard it before; she was wrong there but we had a great few hours playing it over and over. To me this is Dylan's best song but I heard it first when i was a teenager and had feelings bigger than my spots; now i'm old and cynical but it still gets me, forces me to think and helps remove the need to beat the boss to death
  • Henry from Baltimore, MdIf you're ever mad at someone, listen to this song.
  • Victoria from BÃ?rum, Norwaya 100% right from the heart song. Truly genius.
  • Richard from St. Clair Shores, MiThis has got to be the all time best breaking up song. I should know as I have been breaking up with the same woman for the past year. I love the last line: "WE ARE IDIOTS BABE ITS A WONDER WE CAN EVEN FEED OURSELVES". I listen to this song on the way to work every morning (about 8 minute trip)at full vol. What a wake-up. I really wouldn't to piss Bob Dylan off.
    Years ago there was always a lot of speculation as to what he (Dylan) meant in his songs, listen to the words and you don't have to speculate, I think its pretty clear................rc
  • John from Worcester, MaTo me this song has SO many catchphrases that ring true and can be trotted out to help during tough times in a relationship, or if your trying to get over a breakup - "I haven't known peace and quiet for so long I can't remember what it's like" or "It was gravity which pulled us down and destiny which broke us apart" or "I can't feel you anymore, I can't even touch the books you've read Every time I crawl past your door, I been wishing I was somebody else instead". But the best line in the whole song, another great by the master Dylan, is "You'll never know the hurt I suffered not the pain I raise above "
  • Happy from In The Boonies, InThis is my ultimate favorite song to listen to when I'm mad and need to vent.
  • David from Decatur, GaThe band to which you refer was Dillon Fence, from Chapel Hill, NC. On the way to Myrtle Beach from I-95 in South Carolina there is a town called Dillon with a big fence festooned with all sorts of pop/salvage detritus. This band named themselves after that fence.
  • Tom from Lawrence, KsActually, the "put on a little Dylan, sitting on a fence" line is an homage to Dylan Fence, another South Carolina bar band that did the circuit with Hootie.

    Always thought it was a bit odd for Dylan to sue the Blowfish. Considering all the uproar about his Blood and Theft lyrics being lifted from a Japanese novel, the direct lift of Proust and Twain in Chronicles, et al.

    The line twixt plagiarism and inspiration really depends on whether your the inspired or the inspiration, doesn't it?

    That said, Bob's still a genius. And Idiot Wind may be the greatest pissed-off song of all time. The sneer in his voice when he says "boxcar" alone is enough to let you know how ticked he was.

  • Stainer from Nyc, Nyanger and disgust are very similar. my top angry Dylan tune.
  • Rodney from Charleston, WvI can't believe there aren't more comments on this song. This is a song that means different things to different people, to some it displays anger, to others it may it may be about disgust. I just play it loud.
  • Rodney from Dunbar, WvThe live version rocks on the "Hard Rain" album.
  • Ralph from Middletown, NyDylan was incredible at being able to take a personal emotion/idea/concept and make it universal. I think all art is about that. "Positively 4th Street" is another song that is a good example of this.

    The New York version of this song is slower and longer. In fact, the New York sessions seemed to have a more dour mood over it, I guess for some obvious reasons. When he went to Minnesota later, after listening to the album, he decided to re-record it, to "pep" it up a bit, it seems to me.

    Years ago, after I heard both versions of this album (constructing a copy of it myself to represent the NY sessions), I decided-- no, I felt compelled-- to write an essay about my thoughts on the differences between the NY and Minnesota sessions for "Blood On the Tracks". That is how much of an effect this album had on me.

    There are only five other albums that have been just as thought-provoking: Lou Reed's "Berlin", "Magic and Loss", and "Songs For Drella", Todd Rundgren's "A Wizard, A True Star", and Joni Mitchell's "Hejira".
  • Dan from Lee, NhThis is what Dylan's all about pure bitterness and pure from the heart poeticness. There's nothing like it.
  • Matthew from New York, NyDylan sued Hootie and the Blowfish for extensively quoting this song in their hit "I Only Want to Be With You." The prefaced the quote by singing "Put on a little Dylan, sitting on a fense..." and ended it with "Ain't Bobby so cool," just to make sure you knew they were quoting Dylan. Unfortunately, they never received Dylan's permission first. The suit settled out of court.
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