Bob Dylan: Subterranean Homesick Blues

Johnny’s in the basement mixing up the medicine,
I’m on the pavement rhinking 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.

Look out kid: it’s somethin’ you did.

God knows when, but you’re doin’ it again.
You better duck down the alley way, lookin’ for a new friend.
The man in the coon-skin cap in the big pen
wants eleven dollar bills — you only got ten.

Maggie comes, fleet foot, face full of black soot,
Talkin’ 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 try “No Doz.”
Better stay away from those that carry around a fire hose,
Keep a clean nose, watch the plain clothes.
You don’t need a weather man to know which way the wind blows

Get sick, get well, hang around a ink well.
Ring bell, hard to tell if anything is goin’ 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 users, cheaters, six-time losers
hang around the theaters.
Girl by the whirlpool lookin’ for a new fool.
Don’t follow leaders; watch the parkin’ meters.


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 schoolin’ 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 handles.