Mr Tambourine Man

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Mr. Tambourine Man  (Bob Dylan – 1965)

Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I’m not sleepy and there ain’t no place I’m going to
Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come following you

Though I know that evenings empire has returned into sand
Vanished from my hand
Left me blindly here to stand but still not sleeping
My weariness amazes me, I’m branded on my feet
I have no one to meet
And the ancient empty street’s too dead for dreaming

Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I’m not sleepy and there ain’t no place I’m going to
Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come following you

Take me on a trip upon your magic swirling ship
My senses have been stripped, my hands can’t feel the grip
My toes too numb to step.ait only for my boot heels to be wandering
I’m ready to go anywhere, I’m ready for to fade
Into my own parade
Cast your dancing spell my way, I promise to go under it

Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I’m not sleepy and there ain’t no place I’m going to
Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come following you

Though you might hear laughing, spinning, swinging madly through the sun
It’s not aimed at anyone, it’s just escaping on the run
And but for the sky there are no fences facing
And if you hear vague traces of skipping reels of rhyme
To your tambourine in time, it’s just a ragged clown behind
I wouldn’t pay it any mind
It’s just a shadow you’re seeing that he’s chasing

Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I’m not sleepy and there ain’t no place I’m going to
Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come following you

Take me disappearing through the smoke rings of my mind
Down the foggy ruins of time, far past the frozen leaves
The haunted frightened trees, out to the windy beach
Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow
Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free
Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands
With all memory and fate, driven deep beneath the waves
Let me forget about today until tomorrow

Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I’m not sleepy and there ain’t no place I’m going to
Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come following you

Dylan began composing this song in February 1964, after attending Mardi Gras in New Orleans. The Tambourine Man represents his loneliness at dawn after the roaring crowds of the previous night
There is contrast between the sweet simple melody, hypnotic in its pace, and its fanciful and surrealistic imagery. Its sad thought-provoking lyrics portray the effort to find comfort and meaning in fantasy and imagination, hampered by daily weariness and dissatisfaction

The Byrds’ arrangement of the song was shortened during the band’s rehearsals, in order to accommodate commercial radio stations, which were reluctant to play songs that were over two-and-a-half minutes long (while Dylan’s version is five-and-a-half minutes long)
The song has been translated and recorded in a number of languages and referenced in books and film, including Stephen King’s book “Carrie”, and the film “Dangerous Minds”

 

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