domingo, mayo 12, 2013

Desolation row

They’re selling postcards of the hanging  
They’re painting the passports brown 
The beauty parlor is filled with sailors 
The circus is in town
Here comes the blind commissioner 

They’ve got him in a trance 
One hand is tied to the tight-rope walker  
The other is in his pants

And the riot squad they’re restless 
They need somewhere to go  
As lady and I look out tonight 
From desolation row

Cinderella, she seems so easy 
It takes one to know one, she smiles 
And puts her hands into her back pockets 
Bette Davis style

And in comes Romeo, he’s moaning 
"You belong to me I believe" 
And someone turns and says to him 
"My friend you'd better leave"

And the only sound that’s left 
After the ambulances go 
Is Cinderella sweeping up 
On desolation row

Now the moon is almost hidden 
The stars they're just pretending to hide 
The fortunetelling lady  
Has even taken all her things inside

All except for Cain and Abel 
And the hunchback of Notre Dame 
Everyone is makin' love
 Or else expecting rain

And the good Samaritan, he’s dressing 
He’s getting ready for the show 
He’s going to the carnival tonight 
On desolation row 

Ophelia, she’s ’neath the window  

For her I feel so afraid 
On her twenty-second birthday 
She already is an old maid

Now to her, death is quite romantic 
She wears an iron vest 
Her profession is her religion 
Her sin is her lifelessness

And though her eyes are fixed upon  
Noah’s great rainbow 
She spends her time peeking  
Into desolation row

Einstein, disguised as Robin Hood 
With his memories in a trunk 
Passed this way an hour ago  
With his friend, some jealous monk

Now he looked so immaculately frightful  
As he bummed his cigarette 
Then he went off sniffing drainpipes  
And reciting the alphabet

You would not think to look at him 
But he was famous long ago 
For playing the electric violin 
On desolation row

Dr. Filth, he keeps his world 
Locked inside of his leather cup 
But all his sexless patients  
They’re trying to blow it up
Now his nurse, some local loser 

She’s in charge of the cyanide hole 
She also keeps the cards that read 
"Have mercy on his soul"

They all play on the penny whistle  
You can hear them blow  
If you lean your head out far enough 
From desolation row

Across the street they’ve nailed the curtains 
They’re getting ready for the feast 
The phantom of the opera  
In a perfect image of a priest

They’re spoon feeding Casanova 
To get him to feel more assured 
Then they’ll kill him with self-confidence  
After poisoning him with words

And the phantom shouts to skinny girls 
"Get outta here if you don’t know  
Casanova he's just being punished for going  
To desolation row"

Now at midnight all the agents  
And the superhuman crew 
Come out and round up everyone 
That knows more than they do

Then they bring them to the factory 
Where the heart attack machine  
Is strapped across their shoulders 
And then the kerosene

Is brought down from the castles 
By insurance men who go  
Check to see that no one is escaping 
To desolation row

Praise be to Nero’s Neptune 
The Titanic sails at dawn 
And everybody’s shouting  
"Which side are you on?"

And Ezra Pound and T.S. Elliott 
Fighting in the captain’s tower  
While Calypso's singers laugh at them  
And fishermen hold flowers

Between the windows of the sea 
Where lovely mermaids flow  
And nobody has to think too much  
About desolation row

Yes, I received your letter yesterday  
About the time the door knob broke  
When you asked me how I was doing  
Was that some kind of joke?

All these people that you mention 
Yes, I know them, they’re quite lame  
I had to rearrange their faces 
And give them all another name

Right now I cannot read too well 
Don’t send me no more letters, no 
Not unless you mail them 
From desolation row

Bob Dylan