Bob Dylan: You Ain't Going Nowhere Meaning
No tags, suggest one.
Get "You Ain't Going Nowhere" on MP3:Get MP3 from Amazon
You Ain't Going Nowhere Lyrics
Gonna see a movie called "Gunga Din"
Pack up your money, pull up your tent McGuinn
You ain't goin' nowhere.
Whoo-ee, ride me high
Tomorrow's the day
That my bride's a-gonna come
Whoo-ee, are we gonna...
anonymous Aug 29th, 8:34pm report
Broken leg at woodstock.
Sergiosavioli Aug 18th, 2016 8:36am report
YOU AIN'T GOIN' NOWHERE (1971)
Dylan has a way with words that's for sure. Just as Patti Smith will sound poetic even when she says good morning, or Michael Stipe will sound existential and profound whatever he's singing so Dylan when he writes his songs somehow makes the words emblematic and fills them with meaning.
The title, "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere", starts off sharp as an arrow with its defeatist, downbeat, deflating double negative. It immediately hints at hopelessness, nihilism and world weariness. The first words quickly express how effimeral and transient things are with symbolic references to the speed of time passing "clouds so swift" and then he confirms his dismal view with the gloomy "the rain fallin' in". Anyone in such a state would need some diversion, some entertainment, so he goes and sees a movie. Being intelligent and humorous he throws in a little barbed comment directed at Roger McGuinn lead singer of the Byrds who fully milked Dylan's talents to achieve success. It doesn't matter because he too "ain't goin' nowhere".
The next verse seems to be a change of tone. "Ride me high" is a phrase invented by Dylan to mean perhaps 'make me feel successful, lucky, a winner' because his bride is going to come the next day and then they are really going to be ecstatic, "we gonna fly". But then he continues with "down into the easy chair" to let us know what he suspects marital bliss is all about i.e. a succumbing to torpor.
The last verse is full of amusing paradoxes. A "gun that sings" and "a flute that toots" could be the idea of making the best of living with someone and putting on a happy face. A "sky that cries" and "a bird that flies" might refer to foreseeable moments of unhappiness or abandonment. A "dog that talks and a fish that walks" could be the absurd things that he thinks you have to put up with when inevitably you make the compromises of cohabitation.
Of course it could all be about imagining what it's like to get married and sung with a very liberal dose of irony and humour. More than having actual meaning the song is conjecturing an attitude. He is weighing up his life and playing with the idea of marriage. I think the words become universal. Are any of us really going anywhere?
yoopertrout Mar 17th, 2012 3:31pm report
This song always reminds me of the feeling when a northern winter sets in. The feeling of being trapped, things not working etc.
There might be a whole lot more to it than that, but it's a song that, like "Flyin Shoes" by Townes Van Zandt, sure fits with winter setting in in the north.
anonymous Feb 9th, 2012 2:16pm report
i'm not there by bob dylan
well it's alright and then she's all the the time
in my neighbourhood she cried both day and night
i know it cause it was there
its a milestone but she down on her luck
and she day makes her lonely but to me hard to buck
he thinks that it was alright that he'd see her 'round in the neighborhood both day and night. she cried after she met him because she loved him. he knows "it" because "it" was the love. a person knows when they are in love with someone. it was there. it was a big milestone that they fell in love with each other. these things happen and no one can control it. it was difficult though because they both were married to other people. so she's down on her luck means she had no idea what to do about that "issue". it's hard for her to make a buck so she starts stripping or it's hard for him to act like a buck and be buckminsterish and simply whisk her away from the entire situation. but he believes in their love and that they can achieve great things because of this gift. i believe.
i believe where she stopping where she wants time to care
i believe that she'd look upon deciding to care
and i go by the lord in ways she's on my way
but i don't belong there
when she has time to stop and think about life she writes to him. he wants her to create more time in her life in order "to care". he believes that she will always care for him because he knows this. it's partly her "decision" to care for him, but love is complicated because she can't help but care for him in this way. "i go by the lord in ways she's on my way" could mean he thinks the lord is a she because his girlfriend is very lordly to him and he "doesn't belong there" means he feels he is not worthy of her love. but they both know that he belongs there with her and that he is just trying to test her because they are the same person.
no i don't belong to her
i don't belong to anybody
shes my prize foresaken angel but she don't hear me cry
she's a long hearted mistress
and she cant carry on
when i'm there she's alright but when she's not when i am gone
He is trying to say that he doesn't belong to her or to anybody but he is acting quite babyish here because in fact he DOES belong to her. she's his prize forsaken angel but she don't hear him cry means that she sometimes tunes him out because his whimpering is simpish. she's got an extremely elongated heart. she started out their relationship as his mistress which was quite ridiculous really because the entire town knew about them so she couldn't "carry on" in that manner anymore. when she is there with her he is alright but when he's not there she's not. so when he comes back she is fine so she really needs to come back there and he be there to stay.
heaven knows that theres an answer
she's not calling no one
shes away sailing beautiful
shes mine for the one
and i lost her hesitation
by temptation less it runs
but she dont holler me
but im not there i am gone
there is an answer but heaven is not calling them because of this entire neighbourhood mistress business he mentioned previously. heaven is a lady and she's not calling no one because everyone makes sinful mistakes. his love is sailing away because she is a drunkard but she is beautiful to him even though she has some faults. he's mine for the one means they are one as a he and a she and he thought she hesitated which she never did she just took many months in an institution to deal with her temptation of him which will never "run" as in go away. no treatment center can cure her or chase away her love for him. she doesn't holler at him because he is her, they are one, but he still has problems realizing this sometimes as he is mentally impaired ever-so-slightly. she calls it a beautiful mind.
now i've cried tonight
like i cried the night before
and i feast on her eyes
but i dream about the door
so long jesus savior
blind faith where the tale?
it dont hang proclamation
shes my own fair thee well
now i went out 'neath the levee
i was born to love her
but she knows that the kingdom
weighs so far above her
and i run but i race
but its not to fast a slim?
but i'll not decieve her
im not there i am gone
he is crying tonight and he cried last night because he ate her eyes and he feels so terrible about it that he now dreams about entering the threshold of togetherness with her. he is saying so long to jesus because he knows his love is a filthy sinner. he is hiding the story of her blind faith in him as a type of bounty and booty. he keeps it inside of himself and she wants him to proclaim his love for her but he don't hang proclamation. she has fair skin and a lisp and she also sounds like she has a cold. he thinks she spent the night in the bowels of a well. so he went underneath the levee to try to figure this out. he knows that because of all of the actions he has taken that he was born to love her. she knows that the "kingdom" is a myth and that her kingdom is in his arms. the other one weighs too much and is so far up there and no one can get in there anyway unless they've led a puritan lifestyle and bob and she have not. he runs a race with himself but he is not very fast it seems as if he mumbles a bit in this part and no one is exactly sure why he insists upon doing this unless you are a hermeneutic type of chap. he won't deceive her any more because he is not there he's gone and these are fine examples of his lying ways.
well its all about confusion as i cry for her veil
i dont need anybody now be side me to tell
and its all information i can see but its not
shes a lone hearted beauty but shes gone like the spot
and she wants
yes she gone like the rainbow that shining yesterday
but now shes a home beside me and i'd like to here her stay
shes a cold forsaken beauty and it dont trust anyone
and i wish i was beside her but i am not there i am gone
he's very confused as he cries for the veil of murk she has dealt with and the fact that she can't make any sense of what is going on around her. he don't need nobody beside him to tell because all the information he needs he can see with his eyes. and besides that she is beside him all along. "but it's not" means don't always trust everything you see or don't always see everything you trust or trust not the seeing people and see not the trusting people. maybe he also means he believes in things even when he can't see them. she's spot on and gone, she's a loner with a heart that is beautiful and like that rainbow he saw in someone's beard that one time but definitely not HERS. she is home when she is beside him and he'd like her to stay there but she still sounds like she has a cold and she has been forsaken by the seeing people he was mentioning before & he was skeptical if he should trust them. so he decides he can't trust those people so he decides to plan a vendetta against them which takes him away from her so he is not there he is gone. but he really isn't he is just saying that. he is with her AND all of the folks with the vendetta against her.
well its too hard to stake in
and i dont bother me
its all bad for abusing
but shes hard too hard to leave
its alone its a crime
the way she wont be around
but she told for to hate me
but this long forsaken clown
yes i believe that its rightful
oh i believe it in my mind
i been told like i said when i before carry on the crying
and shes all good to told her
like i said carry on
i wish i was there to help
but im not there im gone
it was too hard for him to have a "stake in", so he had a stake out & it don't bother him none that he abused her. but it's also hard too hard to leave her. he thinks it's an actual crime to leave her alone and not tell her why he planned this stake out and why he abused her. he thinks when he tells her that she won't want to hang around him and that she will tell him that she hates him and that he is a Long Forsaken Clown. he thinks it is rightful for her to think that about him. he believes it in his mind. he shed a few tears over her abuse but then he told her "it's all good... carry on". he wishes he was there to help her but he is not, he is gone. he will be with her for eternity but in order to protect himself from fright he just pretends he is not there, he is gone. she just smiles at him when he gets this way because she knows he's trapped and He Ain't Goin Nowhere. oooowieeeeeeeeeee
Ghengis Khan and his brother Don is a reference to the Everly Bros contentious relationship that led to their not performing let aone talking to each other for 10 yrs. Dylan was in a motorcycle accident that laid him off, he was worried about not performing After he had the accident he was not going nowhere.
Prior to Dylan's accident he was on the fast track now he was going to have time for movies (Gunga Din), shopping perhaps buy some rings, a gun that sings, a flute that tutes, & a bee that stings a sky tht cries & a bird tht flies, a fish that walks & a dog that talks. Life changed for him as quickly as clouds so swift bring rain He was forced to rest on an easy chair. Also a good time to detox from unhealthy habits. Everly Bros are Phil and Don also referenced in Paul McCartney's Let Em In.
After the accident he was visited by friends The Band, Roger McGuin others they joked with him when they saw his condition & remared "You ain't going nowhere". Herefore the remark put up your Tent McGuin.
More Bob Dylan song meanings »
Submit Your Interpretation
Related Blog Posts
|When We Pray||anonymous|
|Love Reign O'er Me||anonymous|
|Roll In Peace||anonymous|
|Fields of Gold||anonymous|
|A Warrior's Call||anonymous|
|A Better Believer||anonymous|