What does Jokerman mean?

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Bob Dylan: Jokerman Meaning

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Song Released: 1984


Jokerman Lyrics

Standing on the water, 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...

  1. anonymous
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    May 21st 2020 report

    It's about alien forces making deals with the president, joker man and
    Nightingales, dancing to their tune, grand deception, shedding one more layer of SKIN?
    Freedom just around the corner?

  2. anonymous
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    Mar 29th 2018 report

    About con artistry.

  3. anonymous
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    Jan 24th 2018 report

    Hurricane carter say no more

  4. anonymous
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    Mar 1st 2014 report

    Real Messiahs, False Messiahs.
    False Gods, Real Knowledge Of G-d.
    Delusions, Illusions, and Illumination.

  5. anonymous
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    Feb 21st 2014 report

    It's all about Asmodeus.

  6. anonymous
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    Jun 24th 2013 report

    the song is about the choices we have in con trolling our lives. dylan, with his ability to create outstanding lyrics the compel all his hard fans to find out, what is he trying to say here, yes ok, but does it mean the same if it is sung like this? this song is basically telling me, about the fight between good and evil to obtain the soul of every human that has or will exist.

  7. anonymous
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    Jun 20th 2013 report

    IMHO - The opening line refers to the widespread, personal & cultural claim of religious commitment. Contrasted against the content of the personal lives of people making those claims, that reflect not only an irreligious reality of character but the blatancy of open idol worship.

    The second line seems to refer to the things that once provided cohesion & buoyancy that are fast fading into the mists of the past.

    The third line informs the inhabitant's of the world about its architecture & power structures - the violence that dominates the shape of its landscapes - The pits and the traps set to snare the unaware.

    The next line says you are being motivated by the lie that ambition shall set you free from the poverty you see nearly everywhere.
    The poverty of social ineptitude, the poverty of genetic's, the poverty of illness, the poverty of depression, the poverty of inertia & its lack of vitality.
    You are spending all your energy in an unwholesome avoidance strategy.
    The kicker is; even if you succeed in escaping into wealth's freedoms your poverty arrives through what you have neglected in selfish, myopic pursuits.
    Your kids hate you, your wife divorced you, your friends are Machiavellian colleagues not so secretly hoping to see you trip so they can overtake you in what became a game of competing ego's after a certain threshold of wealth was reached.

    The rest of the song outlines the consequences this set of behavior pattern will have on the world as it follows the spirit of beastly survival of the fittest laws while ignoring the knowledge of the higher world we were made to inhabit.

    So who is Jokerman? Joker MAN being lead by the spirit of a nightingale that flourishes in darkness; at risk of being consumed when the sun rises high in the sky to void all of his "acquired in the night" skills.

  8. anonymous
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    Jan 4th 2013 report

    I wonder if Dylan was being prophetic and did not even know, about the anti-christ.

  9. anonymous
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    Apr 10th 2012 report

    I think it's about a false messiah/false prophet. Here's an excellent post that seems to cover all perspectives.....

    http://damianbalassone.wordpress.com/2012/04/04/dylans-jokerman/

  10. anonymous
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    Oct 10th 2011 report

    The great thing about his music is the many interpretations that are possible. Having heard that he wrote the song after leaving born again Christianity, I assumed it was an angry song i.e. how people can manipulate and be manipulated by religion. Shedding off one more layer of skin referring to easily moving on to another belief system when the one before doesn't fit - as per confessing sins and doing it all over again till the next confession. Showing no response meaning that god doesn't exist but its what people want to believe.

  11. anonymous
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    Jul 13th 2011 report

    standing on the water casting your bread...
    ok only jesus was said to be able to walk on water so pretty safe bet dylan is
    as usual, talking about jesus.

    what about this line
    "distant ships sailing in through mist...
    you were born with a snake in both of your fists with a hurricane blowing"

    SOMETHING LIKE REFERING TO JESUS AS
    A DISTANT SHIP SAILING IN THROUGH THE MIST
    ...SOMETHING LIKE THE BEATLES SAYING
    "GOT TO BE GOOD LOOKING CAUSE HE'S SO HARD TO SEE"
    OR LATER DYLAN (LOVE AND THEFT)
    "I CAME ASHORE IN THE DEAD OF THE NIGHT"
    CANT HELP BUT THINK THESE ARE ALL REFERENCES TO JESUS' 2ND COMING

  12. anonymous
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    May 16th 2011 report

    I KNOW WHAT THE SONG IS about! its about a man who is acused of peedafilia! listen to the song from begining to end + u will see.

  13. anonymous
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    Apr 9th 2011 report

    It's about enlightenment and or jesus for me. Shedding off one more layer of skin for me is about a last incarnation which you similtaniosly burn karma and enlighten others. Freedom just around the corner for you but with truth so far off etc is about only an individual can awaken whilst the masses still go through the dark night of the soul or ignorance. Some lyrics are about a christ can wait forever for you to enlighten it's no skin off their nose. They interfere with others karma dream twisters, and the A morality of them or it. forgives a harlot and makes them pure love and so on. . Master munipulaters they are in a good way even a sages curse is a blessing. They avail themselves of love but don't need it reciprocated so they seem sort of arrogant . Fools walk in etc , theyre just sure of their eternity and you cant kill their bliss but you can kill their bodies. blah blah

  14. anonymous
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    Jan 7th 2011 report

    Dylan looking at himself and Jesus in each following line.

  15. bothepug
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    Nov 21st 2010 report

    It is about the Jewish nation, the good, the bad, those that fight over her and those who fight within her.

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