Bob Dylan – Where Are You Tonight – Live – 1978

Bob Dylan - Where Are You Tonight

 

 

LYRICS

There’s a long-distance train rolling through the rain
Tears on the letter I write
There’s a woman I long to touch and I miss her so much
But she’s drifting like a satellite

There’s a neon light ablaze in this green smoky haze
Laughter down on Elizabeth Street
And a lonesome bell tone in that valley of stone
Where she bathed in a stream of pure heat

Her father would emphasize you got to be more than streetwise
But he practiced what he preached from the heart
A full-blooded Cherokee, he predicted to me
The time and the place that the trouble would start

There’s a babe in the arms of a woman in a rage
And a longtime golden-haired stripper onstage
And she winds back the clock and she turns back the page
Of a book that no one can write
Oh, where are you tonight?

The truth was obscure, too profound and too pure
To live it you have to explode
In that last hour of need, we entirely agreed
Sacrifice was the code of the road

I left town at dawn, with Marcel and St. John
Strong men belittled by doubt
I couldn’t tell her what my private thoughts were
But she had some way of finding them out

He took dead-center aim but he missed just the same
She was waiting, putting flowers on the shelf
She could feel my despair as I climbed up her hair
And discovered her invisible self

There’s a lion in the road, there’s a demon escaped
There’s a million dreams gone, there’s a landscape being raped
As her beauty fades and I watch her undrape
I won’t but then again, maybe I might
Oh, if I could just find you tonight

I fought with my twin, that enemy within
’Til both of us fell by the way
Horseplay and disease is killing me by degrees
While the law looks the other way

Your partners in crime hit me up for nickels and dimes
The guy you were lovin’ couldn’t stay clean
It felt outa place, my foot in his face
But he should-a stayed where his money was green

I bit into the root of forbidden fruit
With the juice running down my leg
Then I dealt with your boss, who’d never known about loss
And who always was too proud to beg

There’s a white diamond gloom on the dark side of this room
And a pathway that leads up to the stars
If you don’t believe there’s a price for this sweet paradise
Remind me to show you the scars

There’s a new day at dawn and I’ve finally arrived
If I’m there in the morning, baby, you’ll know I’ve survived
I can’t believe it, I can’t believe I’m alive
But without you it just doesn’t seem right
Oh, where are you tonight?

 

 

Review

There’s a long-distance train rolling through the rain, tears on the letter I write.

There is a set of Dylan songs where each line is a song – you can take the line and it has an image so powerful that it doesn’t matter what the rest of the song is about.

Yes, you can read the history of “Where are you tonight?”, and think, ah yes, he is singing about Sara and her attempt to take the children away from Dylan – Hawaii was the place she chose at that moment. The court battles, the hatred, the horror of losing one’s children; everything that a woman who wants the kids and doesn’t want the man, can throw into the ring.

 

Read more here

https://bob-dylan.org.uk/archives/26

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