Chimes Of Freedom

Lyrics: Bob Dylan
Music: Bob Dylan

This was sung by Dylan with the Dead but never covered by the Dead on their own.

Far between sundown's finish and midnight's broken toll
We ducked inside the doorway, thunder crashing
As majestic bells of bolts struck shadows in the sounds
Seeming to be the chimes of freedom flashing
Flashing for the warriors whose strength is not to fight
Flashing for the refugees on the unarmed road of flight
And for each and every underdog soldier in the night
And we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing

In the city's melted furnace, unexpectedly we watched
With faces hidden while the walls were tightening
As the echo of the wedding bells before the blowin' rain
Dissolved into the bells of the lightning
Tolling for the rebel, tolling for the rake
Tolling for the luckless, the abandoned and forsaked
Tolling for the outcast, burnin' constantly at stake
And we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing

Through the mad mystic hammering of the wild ripping hail
The sky cracked its poems in naked wonder
That the clinging of the church bells blew far into the breeze
Leaving only bells of lightning and its thunder
Striking for the gentle, striking for the kind
Striking for the guardians and protectors of the mind
And the unpawned painter behind beyond his rightful time
And we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing

Through the wild cathedral evening the rain unraveled tales
For the disrobed faceless forms of no position
Tolling for the tongues with no place to bring their thoughts
All down in taken-for-granted situations
Tolling for the deaf and blind, tolling for the mute
Tolling for the mistreated, mateless mother, the mistitled prostitute
For the misdemeanor outlaw, chased and cheated by pursuit
And we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing

Even though a cloud's white curtain in a far-off corner flashed
And the hypnotic splattered mist was slowly lifting
Electric light still struck like arrows, fired but for the ones
Condemned to drift or else be kept from drifting
Tolling for the searching ones, on their speechless, seeking trail
For the lonesome-hearted lovers with too personal a tale
And for each unharmful, gentle soul misplaced inside a jail
And we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing

Starry-eyed and laughing as I recall when we were caught
Trapped by no track of hours for they hanged suspended
As we listened one last time and we watched with one last look
Spellbound and swallowed 'til the tolling ended
Tolling for the aching ones whose wounds cannot be nursed
For the countless confused, accused, misused, strung-out ones and worse
And for every hung-up person in the whole wide universe
And we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing
The version Dylan sang with the Dead on 4 July 1987 was somwhat mixed up from the full version above:
Far between sundown's finish and midnight's broken toll (verse 1)
We ducked inside the doorway, thunder crashing
As majestic bells of bolts struck shadows in the sounds
Seeming to be the chimes of freedom flashing
Flashing for the warriors whose strength is not to fight
Flashing for the refugees on the unarmed road of flight
And for each and every underdog soldier in the night
We gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing

And wild cathedral evening the rain unraveled tales (verse 4)
For the disrobed faceless forms and no position (verse 4)
And the echo of the wedding bells tolling for the [?] (verse 2)
All down taken-for-granted situations (verse 4)
Tolling for the rebel, tolling for the rake (verse 2)
Tolling for the luckless, the abandoned and forsaked (verse 2)
Tolling for the outcast, burnin' constantly at stake (verse 2)
And we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing (verse 2)

Through the mad mystic hammering of the wild ripping hail (verse 3)
The sky cracked its poems in naked wonder (verse 3)
That the clinging of the church bells blew far into the breeze (mumbled)
Leaving only bells of lightning and its thunder (verse 3)
Tolling for the deaf and blind, tolling for the mute (verse 4)
Tolling for the mistreated, mateless mother, the mistitled prostitute (verse 4)
For the misdemeanor outlaw, chased and cheated by pursuit (verse 4)
And we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing (verse 4)

Even though a cloud's white curtain in a far-off corner flashed (verse 5)
And the hypnotic splattered mist was slowly lifting
Electric light still struck like arrows, fired but for the ones
Condemned to drift or else be kept from drifting
Tolling for the searching ones, on their speechless, seeking trail
For the lonesome-hearted lovers with too personal a tale
And for each unharmful, gentle soul misplaced inside of a jail
And we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing




Futher Information
For more information on recordings see Matt Schofield's Grateful Dead Family Discography

 


Home | Find words/phrases| Find Song lyrics| Dead originals| Dead covers|