Song of the Day #4,678: ‘Highway 61 Revisited’ – Bob Dylan

Three Dylan songs in four days. The Random iTunes Fairy is really giving old Bobby a workout this month.

Here’s another of Dylan’s early classics, the title cut from his 1965 album Highway 61 Revisited. This was Dylan’s first “rock” album, with only closer ‘Desolation Row’ recorded on acoustic instruments.

In the song, Dylan sings about a series of bizarre encounters on the fabled Highway 61, which originates in Duluth, Minnesota (Dylan’s childhood hometown). In place of his usual harmonica, Dylan blew a siren whistle throughout the track.

[Verse 1]
Oh God said to Abraham, “Kill me a son”
Abe said, “Man, you must be puttin’ me on”
God say, “No.”
Abe say, “What?”
God say, “You can do what you want, Abe, but
The next time you see me comin’ you better run”
Well Abe said, “Where you want this killin’ done?”
God said, “Out on Highway 61”

[Verse 2]
Well Georgia Sam, he had a bloody nose
Welfare Department, they wouldn’t give him no clothes
He asked poor Howard, “Where can I go?”
Howard said, “There’s only one place I know”
Sam said, “Tell me quick man, I got to run”
Oh Howard just pointed with his gun
And said, “That way, down Highway 61”

[Verse 3]
Well Mack the Finger said to Louie the King
“I got forty red, white and blue shoestrings
And a thousand telephones that don’t ring
Do you know where I can get rid of these things?”
And Louie the King said “Let me think for a minute son”
And he said “Yes, I think it can be easily done
Just take everything down to Highway 61”

[Verse 4]
Now the fifth daughter on the twelfth night
Told the first father that things weren’t right
“My complexion” she says “is much too white”
He said “Come here and step into the light”
He says “Hmm you’re right
Let me tell the second mother this has been done”
But the second mother was with the seventh son
And they were both out on Highway 61

[Verse 5]
Now the rovin’ gambler he was very bored
Tryin’ to create a next world war
He found a promoter who nearly fell off the floor
He said “I never engaged in this kind of thing before
But yes I think it can be very easily done
We’ll just put some bleachers out in the sun
And have it on Highway 61”

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,678: ‘Highway 61 Revisited’ – Bob Dylan

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    Classic Dylan. Probably my third favorite of his albums.

  2. andrea katz says:

    I like the lyrics but this and that “Everybody must get stoned” are not my favorites. Actually, my favorites are mostly ballads.

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