Last Thoughts on Woody

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        ishin

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        Woody Guthrie was one of Bob Dylan's biggest influence.  After Woody died, Dylan wrote this poem.

        I interpret it as a poem of Hope.

        Last Thoughts on Woody Guthrie

        When yer head gets twisted and yer mind grows numb
        And you think you're too old, too young, too smart or too dumb
        When yer laggin' behind an' losin' yer pace
        In a slow-motion crawl of life's busy race
        No matter what yer doing if you start givin' up
        If the wine don't come to the top of yer cup
        If the wind's got you sideways with one hand holdin' on
        And the other starts slipping and the feeling is gone
        And yer train engine fire needs a new spark to catch it
        And the d's easy findin' but yer lazy to fetch it
        And yer sidewalk starts curlin' and the street gets too long
        And you start walkin' backwards though you know its wrong
        And lonesome comes up as down goes the day
        And tomorrow's mornin' seems so far away
        And you feel the reins from yer pony are slippin'
        And yer rope is a-slidin' 'cause yer hands are a-drippin'
        And yer sun-decked desert and evergreen valleys
        Turn to broken down slums and trash-can alleys
        And yer sky cries water and yer drain pipe's a-pourin'
        And the lightnin's a-flashing and the thunder's a-crashin'
        And the windows are rattlin' and breakin' and the roof tops a-shakin'
        And yer whole world's a-slammin' and bangin'
        And yer minutes of sun turn to hours of storm
        And to yourself you sometimes say
        "I never knew it was gonna be this way
        Why didn't they tell me the day I was born"

        And you start gettin' chills and yer jumping from sweat
        And you're lookin' for somethin' you ain't quite found yet
        And yer knee-deep in the dark water with yer hands in the air
        And the whole world's a-watchin' with a window peek stare
        And yer good gal leaves and she's long gone a-flying
        And yer heart feels sick like fish when they're fryin'
        And yer jackhammer falls from yer hands to yer feet
        And you need it badly but it lays on the street
        And yer bell's bangin' loudly but you can't hear its beat
        And you think yer ears might a been hurt
        Or yer eyes've turned filthy from the sight-blindin' dirt
        And you figured you failed in yesterdays rush
        When you were faked out an' fooled white facing a four flush
        And all the time you were holdin' three queens
        And it's makin you mad, it's makin' you mean
        Like in the middle of Life magazine
        Bouncin' around a pinball machine
        And there's something on yer mind you wanna be saying
        That somebody someplace oughta be hearin'
        But it's trapped on yer tongue and sealed in yer head
        And it bothers you badly when your layin' in bed
        And no matter how you try you just can't say it
        And yer scared to yer soul you just might forget it
        And yer eyes get swimmy from the tears in yer head
        And yer pillows of feathers turn to blankets of lead
        And the lion's mouth opens and yer staring at his teeth
        And his jaws start closin with you underneath
        And yer flat on your belly with yer hands tied behind
        And you wish you'd never taken that last detour sign
        And you say to yourself, just what am I doin'
        On this road I'm walkin', on this trail I'm turnin'
        On this curve I'm hanging
        On this pathway I'm strolling, in the space I'm taking
        In this air I'm inhaling
        Am I mixed up too much, am I mixed up too hard
        Why am I walking, where am I running
        What am I saying, what am I knowing
        On this guitar I'm playing, on this banjo I'm frailin'
        On this mandolin I'm strummin', in the song I'm singin'
        In the tune I'm hummin', in the words I'm writin'
        In the words that I'm thinkin'
        In this ocean of hours I'm all the time drinkin'
        Who am I helping, what am I breaking
        What am I giving, and what am I taking?

        But you try with your whole soul best
        Never to think these thoughts and never to let
        Them kind of thoughts gain ground
        Or make yer heart pound
        But then again you know why they're around
        Just waiting for a chance to slip and drop down
        "Cause sometimes you hear'em when the night times comes creeping
        And you fear that they might catch you a-sleeping
        And you jump from yer bed, from yer last chapter of dreamin'
        And you can't remember for the best of yer thinking
        If that was you in the dream that was screaming
        And you know that it's something special you're needin'
        And you know that there's no drug that'll do for the healin'
        And no liquor in the land to stop yer brain from bleeding.

        And you need something special
        You need something special all right
        You need a fast flyin' train on a tornado track
        To shoot you someplace and shoot you back
        You need a cyclone wind on a stream engine howler
        That's been banging and booming and blowing forever
        That knows yer troubles a hundred times over
        You need a Greyhound bus that don't bar no race
        That won't laugh at yer looks
        Your voice or your face
        And by any number of bets in the book
        Will be rollin' long after the bubblegum craze.

        You need something to open up a new door
        To show you something you seen before
        But overlooked a hundred times or more
        You need something to open your eyes
        You need something to make it known
        That it's you and no one else that owns
        That spot that yer standing, that space that you're sitting
        That the world ain't got you beat
        That it ain't got you licked
        It can't get you crazy no matter how many
        Times you might get kicked.

        You need something special all right
        You need something special to give you hope.

        But hope's just a word
        That maybe you said or maybe you heard
        On some windy corner 'round a wide-angled curve
        But that's what you need man, and you need it bad
        And yer trouble is you know it too good
        "Cause you look an' you start getting the chills
        "Cause you can't find it on a dollar bill
        And it ain't on Macy's window sill
        And it ain't on no rich kid's road map
        And it ain't in no fat kid's fraternity house
        And it ain't made in no Hollywood wheat germ
        And it ain't on that dimlit stage
        With that half-wit comedian on it
        Ranting and raving and taking yer money
        And you thinks it's funny
        No you can't find it in no night club or no yacht club
        And it ain't in the seats of a supper club
        And sure as hell you're bound to tell
        That no matter how hard you rub
        You just ain't a-gonna find it on yer ticket stub
        No, and it ain't in the rumors people're tellin' you
        And it ain't in the pimple-lotion people are sellin' you
        And it ain't in no cardboard-box house
        Or down any movie star's blouse
        And you can't find it on the golf course
        And Uncle Remus can't tell you and neither can Santa Claus
        And it ain't in the cream puff hair-do or cotton candy clothes
        And it ain't in the dime store dummies or bubblegum goons
        And it ain't in the marshmallow noises of the chocolate cake voices
        That come knockin' and tappin' in Christmas wrappin'
        Sayin' ain't I pretty and ain't I cute...look at my skin
        Look at my skin shine, look at my skin glow
        Look at my skin laugh, look at my skin cry
        When you can't even sense if they got any insides
        These people so pretty in their ribbons and bows
        No you'll not now or no other day
        Find it on the doorsteps made out-a paper mache
        And inside it the people made of molasses
        That every other day buy a new pair of sunglasses
        And it ain't in the fifty-star generals and flipped-out phonies
        Who'd turn you in for a tenth of a penny
        Who breathe and burp and bend and crack
        And before you can count from one to ten
        Do it all over again but this time behind yer back my friend
        The ones that wheel and deal and whirl and twirl
        And play games with each other in their sand-box world
        And you can't find it either in the no-talent fools
        That run around gallant
        and make all rules for the ones that got talent
        And it ain't in the ones that ain't got any talent but think they do
        And think they're foolin' you..
        The ones who jump on the wagon
        Just for a while 'cause they know it's in style
        To get their kicks, get out of it quick
        And make all kinds of money and chicks
        And you yell to yourself and you throw down yer hat
        Sayin', "Christ do I gotta be like that?
        Ain't there no one here that knows where I'm at?
        Ain't there no one here that knows how I feel?
        Good God Almighty
        THAT STUFF AIN'T REAL"

        No but that ain't yer game, it ain't even yer race
        You can't hear yer name, you can't see yer face
        You gotta look some other place
        And where do you look for this hope that yer seekin'
        Where do you look for this lamp that's a-burnin'
        Where do you look for this oil-well gushin'
        Where do you look for this candle that's glowin'
        Where do you look for this hope that you know is there
        And out there somewhere
        And your feet can only walk down two kinds of roads
        Your eyes can only look through two kinds of windows
        Your nose can only smell two kinds of hallways
        You can touch and twist
        And turn two kinds of doorknobs
        You can either go to the church of your choice
        Or you can go to Brooklyn State Hospital
        You'll find God in the church of your choice
        You'll find Woody Guthrie in Brooklyn State Hospital

        And though it's only my opinion
        I may be right or wrong
        You'll find them both
        In the Grand Canyon
        At sundown
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        Dylan laid it all on the line in this poem. He poured out every emotion down on lonely street there is. Would of been nice had he made a song out of it. Dylan always had a dark out look. The painful side of life. But there is beauty in that. Because at some point or another we all feel it. He put's it in perspective and let's us know its alright to feel even when it don't feel so good. 

        I am sure they let Woody in when he was knock knock knockin on Heaven's door.

        Thanks for sharing

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        yeah, no one says it like Dylan does!  lol
        His lyrics and imagery in all is songs are truly special...such control of the English language.

        Jack Johnson put music to some verses of this poem.  imo, its not that good, he kinda butchered it.  but hey, who am the hell am i to say.  lmao

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        Imagin.ation

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        I read this about 5 times.. he spoke life in every way possible, i'm wordless because he said it all, speechless but with highest compliments to Dylan..

        It seems he is saying that life has its choice.. and choice is given to you in your life, but still we have a hard time accepting it.
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        Seriously! this poem says it all.  Dylan left nothing out.
        This poem really impacted my life from the moment I first heard Dylan recite it.

        Hear Dylan recite it..its way better than just reading it.  Theres this rhythm and flow to it that can be better appreciated when Dylan spits it.

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        Imagin.ation

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        On the brink of insanity, how sanity fights back.. it's like this duel he's having in the collision of the two.. parallels can't angle, theres no clashing only to run side by side making sense of life choices..this/that

        a quote from one of my poems..

        "Words transparent in the aftermath, escape through the doors of sanity"

        Thank you ishin this was amazing to listen to

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