Desolation Row --- Bob Dylan


They’re selling [D]postcards of the hanging; they’re [G]painting the passports [D]brown.
The [A7]beauty parlor’s filled with sailors; the [G]circus is in [D]town.
Here comes the blind commissioner; they’ve [G]got him in a [D]trance.
One [A7]hand is tied to the tightrope walker; the [G]other is in his [D]pants.
And the [G]riot squad, they’re restless; they [D]need somewhere to [G]go.
As [D]Lady and I look [A7]out tonight from [G]Desolation [D]Row.

Cinder-[D]ella, she seems so easy. “It [G]takes one to know one” she [D]smiles.
And [A7]puts her hands in her back pockets --- [G]Bette Davis [D]style.
And in comes Romeo he’s moaning, “You be-[G]long to me, I be-[D]lieve.”
And [A7]someone says, “You’re in the wrong place my friend. [G]You’d better [D]leave.”
And the [G]only sound that’s left [D]after the ambulances [G]go
Is [D]Cinderella [A7]sweeping up on [G]Desolation [D]Row.

Now the [D]moon is almost hidden; the [G]stars are beginning to [D]hide.
The [A7]fortune-telling lady has [G]taken all her things in-[D]side.
All except for Cain and Abel, and the [G]Hunchback of Notre [D]Dame
[A7]Everybody is making love or [G]else expecting [D]rain.
And the [G]Good Samaritan, he’s dressing, He’s getting [D]ready for the [G]show.
He’s [D]going to the [A7]Carnival tonight on [G]Desolation [D]Row.

Now O-[D]phelia, she’s ‘neath the window. For [G]her I feel so a-[D]fraid.
On her [A7]twenty-second birthday she al-[G]ready is an old [D]maid.
To her, Death is quite romantic. She [G]wears an iron [D]vest.
Her pro-[A7]fession’s her religion. Her [G]sin is her lifeless-[D]ness.
And [G]though her eyes are fixed upon [D]Noah’s great rain-[G]bow,
She [D]spends her time [A7]peeking into [G]Desolation [D]Row.

Ein-[D]stein disguised as Robin Hood, with his [G]mem’ries in a [D]trunk
[A7]Passed this way an hour ago with his [G]friend, a jealous [D]monk.
He looked so immaculately frightful, as he [G]bummed a cigar-[D]ette.
Then he [A7]went off sniffing drainpipes and re-[G]citing the alpha-[D]bet.
You [G]would not think to look at him but he was [D]famous long [G]ago
For [D]playing the electric [A7]violin on [G]Desolation [D]Row.

Doctor [D]Filth, he keeps his world in-[G]side of a leather [D]cup.
But [A7]all his sexless patients, they are [G]trying to blow it [D]up.
Now his nurse, some local loser, she’s in [G]charge of the cyanide [D]hole.
And she [A7]also keeps the cards that read: “Have [G]mercy on his [D]soul.”
[G]They all play on the pennywhistle. [D]You can hear them [G]blow
If you [D]lean your head out [A7]far enough from [G]Desolation [D]Row.

Across the [D]street, they’ve nailed the curtains. They’re getting [G]ready for the [D]feast.
The [A7]Phantom of the Opera in a perfect [G]image of a [D]priest.
They’re spoon-feeding Casanova to [G]get him to feel more as-[D]sured.
Then they’ll [A7]kill him with self-confidence after [G]poisoning him with [D]words.
And the [G]Phantom shouts to skinny girls, “Get [D]outta here if you don’t [G]know
Casa-[D]nova is just being [A7]punished for going to [G]Desolation [D]Row.”

At [D]Midnight all the agents and the [G]superhuman [D]crew
Come [A7]out and round up everyone who [G]knows more than they [D]do.
Then they bring them to the factory, where the [G]heart-attack ma-[D]chine
Is [A7]strapped across their shoulders, and [G]then the kero-[D]sene
Is [G]brought down from the castles by in-[D]surance men who [G]go
Check to [D]see that nobody is es-[A7]caping to [G]Desolation [D]Row.

Praise [D]be to Nero’s Neptune, the Ti-[G]tanic sails at [D]dawn
And [A7]everybody’s shouting, [G]“Which side are you [D]on?”
And Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot are [G]fighting in the captain’s [D]tower
While ca-[A7]lypso singers laugh at them and [G]fishermen hold [D]flowers
Be-[G]tween the windows of the sea where [D]lovely mermaids [G]go.
And [D]nobody has to [A7]think too much about [G]Desolation [D]Row.

Yes, I re-[D]ceived your letter yesterday, about the [G]time the doorknob [D]broke
When you [A7]asked how I was doing, was [G]that some kind of [D]joke?
All these people that you mention, yes I [G]know them, they’re quite [D]lame.
I had to [A7]rearrange theiir faces and give them [G]all another [D]name.
[G]Right now I can’t read too good, Don’t send me [D]no more letters. [G]No,
[D]Not unless you [A7]mail them from [G]Desolation [D]Row.


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