Tangled Up In Blue

Transcript of the performance by Bob Dylan on his album "Blood On The Tracks", recorded 30 December 1974 at Sound 80 Studios, Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A. (CO 118935)
Lyric and music written by Bob Dylan

Early one mornin' the sun was shinin',
I was layin' in bed,
wond'rin' if she'd changed at all,
if her hair was still red.
Her folks, they said our lives together
sure was gonna be rough.
They never did like Mama's homemade dress,
Papa's bankbook wasn't big enough.
And I was standin' on the side of the road,
rain fallin' on my shoes,
heading out for the East Coast,
Lord knows I've paid some dues
gettin' through,
tangled up in blue.

She was married when we first met,
soon to be divorced.
I helped her out of a jam, I guess,
but I used a little too much force.
We drove that car as far as we could,
abandoned it out West,
split up on a dark sad night,
both agreeing it was best.
She turned around to look at me
as I was walkin' away.
I heard her say over my shoulder,
"We'll meet again someday
on the avenue",
tangled up in blue.

I had a job in the great north woods
working as a cook for a spell.
But I never did like it all that much
and one day the ax just fell.
So I drifted down to New Orleans,
where I lucky were to be employed, [1]
workin' for a while on a fishin' boat
right outside of Delacroix.
But all the while I was alone,
the past was close behind.
I seen a lot of women,
but she never escaped my mind.
And I just grew
tangled up in blue.

She was workin' in a topless place
and I stopped in for a beer.
I just kept lookin' at the side of her face
in the spotlight so clear.
And later on when the crowd thinned out,
I's just about to do the same.
She was standing there in back of my chair,
said to me, "Don't I know your name?"
I muttered somethin' underneath my breath,
she studied the lines on my face.
I must admit I felt a little uneasy
when she bent down to tie the laces of my shoe,
tangled up in blue.

She lit a burner on the stove
and offered me a pipe.
"I thought you'd never say hello", she said,
"you look like the silent type."
Then she opened up a book of poems
and handed it to me.
Written by an Italian poet
from the thirteenth century.
And every one of them words rang true
and glowed like burnin' coal,
pourin' off of every page
like it was written in my soul
from me to you,
tangled up in blue.

I lived with them on Montague Street
in a basement down the stairs.
There was music in the cafes at night
and revolution in the air.
Then he started into dealing with slaves
and something inside of him died.
She had to sell everything she owned
and froze up inside.
And when it... finally the bottom fell out,
I became withdrawn.
The only thing I knew how to do
was to keep on keepin' on
ike a bird that flew,
tangled up in blue.

So now I'm goin' back again,
I got to get to her somehow.
All the people we used to know,
they're an illusion to me now.
Some are mathematicians,
Some are carpenter's wives.
Don't know how it all got started,
I don't know what they're doin' with their lives.
But me, I'm still on the road,
headin' for another joint.
We always did feel the same,
we just saw it from a different point
of view,
tangled up in blue.

[1] Other suggested transcripts for this line are:
where my luck it was to be employed
where I lucky was to be employed
where I w' lucky to be employed
where I lucky just to be employed
where I was lucky just to be employed
where I was lucky enough to be employed
where I was lucky not to be destroyed
where I was looking to be destroyed