Random Bob Dylan #2

Continuing my lenten conditioning program, I ran with the wife’s iPod once again set to dip randomly into the 300-song reservoir of Dylan songs this afternoon and scored the following playlist:

  1. Sally Gal [Outtake] (No Direction Home)
  2. To Ramona (Another Side of Bob Dylan)
  3. Jack-A-Roe (World Gone Wrong)
  4. Lone Pilgrim (World Gone Wrong)
  5. Tangled Up in Blue (Greatest Hits Vol. 3)
  6. Something’s Burning, Baby (Empire Burlesque)
  7. Gotta Serve Somebody (Slow Train Coming)
  8. When You Gonna Wake Up (Slow Train Coming)
  9. What Good Am I (Oh Mercy)
  10. All Along the Watchtower (Biograph)

The highlight was the track from Empire Burlesque — a fine and oft-overlooked album from the mid-eighties. Here are the lyrics:

Something is burning, baby, are you aware?
Something is the matter, baby, there’s smoke in your hair
Are you still my friend, baby, show me a sign
Is the love in your heart for me turning blind?

You’ve been avoiding the main streets for a long, long while
The truth that I’m seeking is in your missing file
What’s your position, baby, what’s going on?
Why is the light in your eyes nearly gone?

I know everything about this place, or so it seems
Am I know longer a part of your plans or your dreams?
Well, it is so obvious that something has changed
What’s happening baby to make you act so strange?

Something is burning, baby, here’s what I say
Even the bloodhounds of london couldn’t find you today
I see the shadow of a man, baby, makin’ you blue
Who is he, baby, and what’s he to you?

We’ve reached the edge of the road, baby, where the pasture begins
Where charity is supposed to cover up a multitude of sins
But where do you live, baby, and where is the light?
Why are your eyes just staring off in the night?

I can feel it in the night, in the night, in the night, when I think of you
I can feel it in the light, in the light, in the light, and it’s got to be true
You can’t live by bread alone, you won’t be satisfied
You can’t roll away the stone if your hands are tied

Got to start someplace baby, can you explain?
Please don’t fade away on me baby, like the midnight train
Answer me baby, a casual look will do
Just what in the world has come over you?

I can feel it in the wind, in the wind, in the wind, and it’s upside down
I can feel it in the dust as I get of the bus on the outskirts of town
I’ve had the mexico city blues since the last hairpin curve
I don’t wanna see you bleed, I know what you need and it ain’t what you deserve.

Something is burning, baby, something’s in flames
There’s a man going round calling names
Ring down when your ready, baby, I’m waiting for you
I believe in the impossible, you know that I do.


  1. Quin Finnegan says

    The really, really great song on that list is Lone Pilgrim. It’s the closer for the album World Gone Wrong (you know that though, don’t you?), possibly the most underrated album of all of his.

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