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Jokerman Lyrics

from The Essential Bob Dylan

Music Video
"Jokerman" is track #7 on the album The Essential Bob Dylan. It was written by Bob Dylan.
"Jokerman" is track #7 on the album The Essential Bob Dylan. It was written by Bob Dylan.

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Standing on the waters casting your bread
While the eyes of the idol with the iron head are glowing
Distant ships sailing into the mist,
You were born with a snake in both of your fists while a hurricane was blowing
Freedom just around the corner for you
But with the truth so far off, what good will it do?

Jokerman dance to the nightingale tune,
Bird fly high by the light of the moon,
Oh, oh, oh, Jokerman

So swiftly the sun sets in the sky,
You rise up and say goodbye to no one
Fools rush in where angels fear to tread,
Both of their futures, so full of dread, you don't show why
Shedding off one more layer of skin,
Keeping one step ahead of the persecutor within

Jokerman dance to the nightingale tune,
Bird fly high by the light of the moon,
Oh, oh, oh, Jokerman

You're a man of the mountains, you can walk on the clouds,
Manipulator of crowds, you're a dream twister
You're going to Sodom and Gomorrah
But what do you care? Ain't nobody there would want to marry your sister
Friend to the martyr, a friend to the woman of shame,
You look into the fiery furnace, see the rich man without any name

Jokerman dance to the nightingale tune,
Bird fly high by the light of the moon,
Oh, oh, oh, Jokerman

Well, the Book of Leviticus and Deuteronomy,
The law of the jungle and the sea are your only teachers
In the smoke of the twilight on a milk-white steed,
Michelangelo indeed could've carved out your features
Resting in the fields, far from the turbulent space,
Half asleep near the stars with a small dog licking your face

Jokerman dance to the nightingale tune,
Bird fly high by the light of the moon,
Oh, oh, oh, Jokerman

Well, the rifleman's stalking the sick and the lame,
Preacherman seeks the same, who'll get there first is uncertain
Nightsticks and water cannons, tear gas, padlocks,
Molotov cocktails and rocks behind every curtain,
False-hearted judges dying in the webs that they spin,
Only a matter of time 'til night comes steppin' in

Jokerman dance to the nightingale tune,
Bird fly high by the light of the moon,
Oh, oh, oh, Jokerman

It's a shadowy world, skies are slippery gray,
A woman just gave birth to a prince today and dressed him in scarlet
He'll put the priest in his pocket, put the blade to the heat,
Take the motherless children off the street
And place them at the feet of a harlot
Oh, Jokerman, you know what he wants,
Oh, Jokerman, you don't show any response

Jokerman dance to the nightingale tune,
Bird fly high by the light of the moon,
Oh, oh, oh, Jokerman

Songwriters
Bob Dylan

Published by
Lyrics © SPECIAL RIDER MUSIC

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