Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again

Album: Blonde on Blonde (1966)
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  • Oh, the ragman draws circles
    Up and down the block
    I'd ask him what the matter was
    But I know that he don't talk
    And the ladies treat me kindly
    And they furnish me with tape
    But deep inside my heart
    I know I can't escape
    Oh, Mama, can this really be the end
    To be stuck inside of Mobile with the
    Memphis blues again

    Well, Shakespeare, he's in the alley
    With his pointed shoes and his bells
    Speaking to some French girl
    Who says she knows me well
    And I would send a message
    To find out if she's talked
    But the post office has been stolen
    And the mailbox is locked
    Oh, Mama, can this really be the end
    To be stuck inside of Mobile
    With the Memphis blues again

    Mona tried to tell me
    To stay away from the train line
    She said that all the railroad men
    Just drink up your blood like wine
    An' I said, "Oh, I didn't know that
    But then again, there's only one I've met
    An' he just smoked my eyelids
    An' punched my cigarette"
    Oh, Mama, can this really be the end
    To be stuck inside of Mobile
    With the Memphis blues again

    Grandpa died last week
    And now he's buried in the rocks
    But everybody still talks about how
    Badly they were shocked
    But me, I expected it to happen
    I knew he'd lost control
    When I speed built a fire on Main Street
    And shot it full of holes
    Oh, Mama, can this really be the end
    To be stuck inside of Mobile
    With the Memphis blues again

    Now the senator came down here
    Showing ev'ryone his gun
    Handing out free tickets
    To the wedding of his son
    An' me, I nearly got busted
    An' wouldn't it be my luck
    To get caught without a ticket
    And be discovered beneath a truck
    Oh, Mama, is this really be the end
    To be stuck inside of Mobile
    With the Memphis blues again

    Now the tea preacher looked so baffled
    When I asked him why he dressed
    With twenty pounds of headlines
    Stapled to his chest
    But he cursed me when I proved it to him
    Then I whispered and said, "Not even you can hide
    You see, you're just like me
    I hope you're satisfied"
    Oh, Mama, can this really be the end
    To be stuck inside of Mobile
    With the Memphis blues again

    Now the rainman gave me two cures
    Then he said, "Jump right in"
    The one was Texas medicine
    The other was just railroad gin
    An' like a fool I mixed them
    An' it strangled up my mind
    An' now people just get uglier
    An' I have no sense of time
    Oh, Mama, can this really be the end
    To be stuck inside of Mobile
    With the Memphis blues again

    And when Ruthie says come see her
    In her honky-tonk lagoon
    Where I can watch her waltz for free
    'neath her Panamanian moon
    An' I say, "Aw come on now
    You know you knew about my debutante"
    An' she says, "Your debutante just knows what you need
    But I know what you want"
    Oh, Mama, can this really be the end
    To be stuck inside of Mobile
    With the Memphis blues again

    Now the bricks lay on Grand Street
    Where the neon madmen climb
    They all fall there so perfectly
    It all seems so well timed
    An' here I sit so patiently
    Waiting to find out what price
    You have to pay to get out of
    Going through all these things twice
    Oh, Mama, can this really be the end
    To be stuck inside of Mobile
    With the Memphis blues again Writer/s: Bob Dylan
    Publisher: Universal Music Publishing Group
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 4

  • Rodrigo from MadridThere is a flamenco-rock version of this song called "Memphis Blues" by Kiko Veneno, with its lyrics being a Spanish adaptation of the original song's
    https://youtu.be/N7jxEKs_VV8
  • Jim from Long Beach, CaThis sog is genius!! This is Bob Dylan at his finest moment..
  • Rhyan from Geelong, Australiaanother backwards line would be, "he just smoked my eyelid, and punched my cigarette".
  • Marissa from Akron, OhThis song was referenced in Hunter S. Thompson's book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (how appropriate, a masterpiece referenced in a masterpiece.) It also appears in the film, but it's just a few seconds of it playing on the radio while Johnny Depp is driving in the Great Red Shark. Apparently Thompson (or his "character"... the book is VERY loosely based on truth so who knows what's fact, what's fiction and what's LSD/mescaline induced) was sort of tortured by the song because it brought back unspecified bad memories. On the other hand, I absolutely adore this song, not just because it was in one of my all time favorite books but because it's totally awesome in general. I love the line "The post office has been stolen and the mailbox is locked" because it takes you a minute to realize that's totally backwards... mailboxes can be stolen and post offices can be locked, but not the other way around! Tricky, Mr. Dylan, very tricky.
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