What does You Ain't Going Nowhere mean?

Bob Dylan: You Ain't Going Nowhere Meaning

Tagged:   No tags, suggest one.
Album cover for You Ain't Going Nowhere album cover

You Ain't Going Nowhere Lyrics

Clouds so swift an' rain fallin' in
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...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    Mar 13th 2009 !⃝

    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.

  2. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jul 5th 2020 !⃝

    I wrote " not a clue.". I got back that's too short and to use 100 words something people will want to read.

    That's a tall order. Do I get paid?

    It's all over the place. You ain't goin nowhere can be compelling or depressing depending on the hour.

  3. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jun 4th 2020 !⃝

    Prior person took it to seriously. The lyrics are written by a man on a LSD trip or MJ and is not coherent. This fellow is given way to much credit. for his contribution. He happen to come along in a time of hippie movement and rebellions and listened to by people who were burned out on drugs.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  4. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Aug 29th 2017 !⃝

    Broken leg at woodstock.

  5. Sergiosavioli
    click a star to vote
    Aug 18th 2016 !⃝


    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?

  6. yoopertrout
    click a star to vote
    Mar 17th 2012 !⃝

    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.

  7. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Feb 9th 2012 !⃝

    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
    i believe

    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

More Bob Dylan songs »


Latest Articles


Submit Your Interpretation

[ want a different song? ]

Just Posted

Demon Of The Fall anonymous
Rebel Yell anonymous
Softcore anonymous
The Chains Are On anonymous
Bounce anonymous
Lake of Fire anonymous
Evil Woman anonymous
Hello Kitty anonymous
The Mighty Quinn anonymous
Hermit the Frog Hjkxx100
Hole in the Bottom of my Brain anonymous
Pretender (Acoustic) anonymous
Disintegration anonymous
Love Love Love anonymous
My Darling anonymous

(We won't give out your email)