Bob Dylan's 115th Dream

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About Bob Dylan's 115th Dream

"Bob Dylan's 115th Dream" is a song by Bob Dylan, released on his fifth album, Bringing It All Back Home. In 2005, Mojo magazine rated the song as the 68th greatest Bob Dylan song. The title is an allusion to a Dylan number from two years prior: "Bob Dylan's Dream". The track commences with an early take of Dylan beginning to play the song alone before producer Tom Wilson is heard bursting into laughter and signalling for a start-over. The track is then transitioned into a later take played by the full band. The song is a satirical and highly surrealistic story that gleefully jumbles together historical and literary and narrative reference points from the voyages of Columbus to Moby Dick to the present day. A protagonist, "Captain Arab" (making reference to Captain Ahab from Moby-Dick) is in the narrator's mind for much of the tale. Numerous bizarre encounters and happenings take place in a highly sardonic, non-linear dreamscape parallel cataloguing of the discovery, creation and merits of the United States. 


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I was riding on the mayflower when I thought I spied some land
I was riding on the mayflower when I thought I spied some land
I yelled down to captain arab, I'll have ya understand,
Who came running to the deck and said boys forget the whale
We're goin' over yonder. cut the engines. change the sails.
Haul on that bowline we sang that melody,
Like all tough sailors do when they're far away at sea.

I think I'll call it america. I said as we hit land.
I took a deep breath. I fell down, I could not stand.
Captain arab he starting writing out some deeds
He said let's build us a fort and start buying the place with beads.
Just then a cop come down the street crazy as a loon
They throws us all in jail for carryin' harpoons.

Aw, me, I busted out don't even ask me how,
I went lookin' for some help, I walked past a guernsey cow
Who directed me down to the bowery slums
Where people carried signs around sayin' ban the bums.
I jumped right in line, sayin' I hope that I'm not late
When I realized I hadn't eaten for five days straight.

I went into a restaurant lookin' for the cook
I told him I was the editor of a famous etiquette book.
The waitress he was handsome and he wore a powder blue cape.
I ordered up some suzette, I said could you please make that crepe
Just then the whole kitchen exploded from boiling fat
Food was flyin' everywhere I left without my hat.

I didn't mean to be nosy but I went into a bank
To get some bail for arab the boys back in the tank.
They asked me for some collateral and I pulled down my pants.
They threw me in the alley, when up comes this girl from france
Who invited me to her house. I went, but she had a friend
Who knocked me out an' robbed my boots an' was I on the street again.

I rapped upon a house with a u.s. flag upon display.
I said can you please help me out, I got some friends down the way.
The man said get out of here I'll tear you limb from limb.
I said you know, they refused jesus, too. he said you're not him.
Get out of here before I break your bones. I ain't your pop.
I decided to have him arrested and went looking for a cop.

I ran right outside and hopped inside a cab
I went out the other door this english man said fab
As he saw me leap a hot dog stand and a chariot that stood
Parked across from a building advertising brotherhood.
I ran right through the front door like a hobo sailor does,
But it was just a funeral parlor and the man asked me who I was
I repeated that all my friends were in jail, with a sigh.
He gave me his card and said call me if they die.
I shook his hand and said goodbye and went back out on the street,
When a bowling ball came down the road and knocked me off my feet.
A pay phone was ringin' and it just about blew my mind
When I picked it up an' said hello, this foot came through the line

Well about this time I was fed up at trying to make a stab
At bringing back any help for my friends and captain arab.
I decided to flip a coin, like either heads or tails,
Would let me know if I should go back to ship or back to jail.
So I hocked my sailor's suit an' I got a coin to flip.
It came up tails, it rhymed with sails, so I made it back to the ship.

Well I got back and took the parking ticket off the mast.
I was ripping it to shreds when this coast guard boat went past.
They asked me my name and I said captain kidd
They believed me but they wanted to know exactly what I did
I said for the pope of eyruke I was employed
They let me go right away, they were very paranoid

Well the last I heard of arab he was stuck on the side of a whale
That was married to the deputy sheriff of the jail
But the funniest thing was as I was leavin' the bay
I saw three ships sailing and they were all headed my way
I asked the captain what his name was an' how come he didn't drive a truck
He said his name was Columbus an' I just said good luck

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Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan ( /ˈdɪlən/; born Robert Allen Zimmerman; May 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter, musician, author, poet and artist. He has been an influential figure in popular music and culture for more than five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s when he was an informal chronicler and a seemingly reluctant figurehead of social unrest. A number of Dylan's early songs, such as "Blowin' in the Wind" and "The Times They Are a-Changin'", became anthems for the US civil rights and anti-war movements. Leaving his initial base in the culture of folk music behind, Dylan's six-minute single "Like a Rolling Stone" has been described as radically altering the parameters of popular music in … more »

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Written by: BOB DYLAN


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