Bob Dylan – High Water (for Charley Patton)

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Posted in // Modern Times

High water risin’—risin’ night and day

All the gold and silver are bein’ stolen away

Big Joe Turner lookin’ east and west

From the dark room of his mind

He made it to Kansas City

Twelfth Street and Vine

Nothin’ standing there

High water everywhere


High water risin’, the shacks are slidin’ down

Folks lose their possessions—folks are leaving town

Bertha Mason shook it—broke it

Then she hung it on a wall

Says, “You’re dancin’ with whom they tell you to

Or you don’t dance at all”

It’s tough out there

High water everywhere


I got a cravin’ love for blazing speed

Got a hopped-up Mustang Ford

Jump into the wagon, love, throw your panties on the board

I can write you poems, make a strong man lose his mind

I’m no pig without a wig

I hope you treat me kind

Things are breakin’ up out there

High water everywhere


High water risin’, six inches ’bove my head

Coffins droppin’ in the street

Like balloons made out of lead

Water pourin’ into Vicksburg, don’t know what I’m goin’ to do

“Don’t reach out for me,” she said

“Can’t you see I’m drownin’ too?”

It’s rough out there

High water everywhere


Well, George Lewis told the Englishman, the Italian and the Jew

“You can’t open your mind, boys

To every conceivable point of view”

They got Charles Darwin trapped out there on Highway Five

Judge says to the High Sheriff,

“I want him dead or alive

Either one, I don’t care”

High water everywhere


The Cuckoo is a pretty bird, she warbles as she flies

I’m preachin’ the Word of God

I’m puttin’ out your eyes

I asked Fat Nancy for somethin’ to eat, she said, “Take it off the shelf—

As great as you are a man

You’ll never be greater than yourself”

I told her I didn’t really care

High water everywhere


I’m gettin’ up in the morning—I believe I’ll dust my broom

Keeping away from the women

I’m givin’ ’em lots of room

Thunder rolling over Clarkesdale, everything is looking blue

I just can’t be happy, love

Unless you’re happy too

It’s bad out there

High water everywhere


Copyright © 2001 by Special Rider Music

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