High Water (For Charley Patton) | The Official Bob Dylan Site
 
 
 

High Water (For Charley Patton) by Bob Dylan

Lyrics

High water risin’—risin’ night and day
All the gold and silver are bein' stolen away
Big Joe Turner lookin’ east and west
From the dark room of his mind
He made it to Kansas City
Twelfth Street and Vine
Nothin' standing there
High water everywhere

High water risin’, the shacks are slidin’ down
Folks lose their possessions—folks are leaving town
Bertha Mason shook it—broke it
Then she hung it on a wall
Says, “You’re dancin’ with whom they tell you to
Or you don’t dance at all”
It’s tough out there
High water everywhere

I got a cravin’ love for blazing speed
Got a hopped-up Mustang Ford
Jump into the wagon, love, throw your panties on the board
I can write you poems, make a strong man lose his mind
I’m no pig without a wig
I hope you treat me kind
Things are breakin’ up out there
High water everywhere

High water risin’, six inches ’bove my head
Coffins droppin’ in the street
Like balloons made out of lead
Water pourin’ into Vicksburg, don’t know what I’m goin' to do
“Don’t reach out for me,” she said
“Can’t you see I’m drownin’ too?”
It’s rough out there
High water everywhere

Well, George Lewis told the Englishman, the Italian and the Jew
“You can’t open your mind, boys
To every conceivable point of view”
They got Charles Darwin trapped out there on Highway Five
Judge says to the High Sheriff,
“I want him dead or alive
Either one, I don’t care”
High water everywhere

The Cuckoo is a pretty bird, she warbles as she flies
I’m preachin’ the Word of God
I’m puttin’ out your eyes
I asked Fat Nancy for somethin' to eat, she said, “Take it off the shelf—
As great as you are a man
You’ll never be greater than yourself”
I told her I didn’t really care
High water everywhere

I’m gettin’ up in the morning—I believe I’ll dust my broom
Keeping away from the women
I’m givin’ ’em lots of room
Thunder rolling over Clarkesdale, everything is looking blue
I just can’t be happy, love
Unless you’re happy too
It’s bad out there
High water everywhere

Original Release

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First Played

Oct 19
2001

Last Played

Nov 22
2014

Played 555 times