Subterranean Homesick Blues

Words & Music:

Bob Dylan



Johnny's in the basement mixing up the medicine.

I'm on the pavement thinking about the government.

The man in the trench coat, badge out, laid off.

Says he's got a bad cough, wants to get it paid off.


D7                                      A7

Look out kid, it's something you did.  God knows when, but you're doing it again.


You better duck down the alleyway, looking for a new friend.


The man in the coonskin cap in the pig-pen.


Wants eleven dollar bills, but you only got ten.


Maggie comes fleet foot, face full of black soot,

Talking that the heat put plants in the bed but

The phone's tapped anyway, Maggie says that many say

They must bust in early May, orders from the D.A.


Look out kid, don't matter what you did, walk on your tip-toes, don't tie no bows

Better stay away from those that carry around a fire hose

Keep a clean nose, watch the plain clothes

You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows


Ah, get sick, get well, hang around the Ink Well

Hang a bell? Hard to tell, if anything he's going to sell

Try hard, get barred, get back, write Braille

Get jailed, jump bail, join the army, if you fail


Look out kid, you're gonna get hit, but losers, cheaters, six-time users,

Hanging 'round the theaters

Girl by the whirlpool's looking for a new fool.

Don't follow leaders, and watch your parking meters.


Ah, get born, keep warm, short pants, romance, learn to dance.

Get dressed, get blessed, try to be a success.

Please her, please him, buy gifts, don't steal, don't lift.

Twenty years of schooling and they put you on the day shift.


Look out kid, they keep it all hid.

Better jump down a manhole, light yourself a candle,

Don't wear sandals, try to avoid the scandals.

Don't wanna be a bum, you better chew gum.

The pump don't work 'cause the vandals took the handle.


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