Ballad Of A Thin Man

Lyrics: Bob Dylan
Music: Bob Dylan

Played several times by the Grateful Dead with Bob Dylan, but only twice without him. Weir sang it, with only minor variations on the original Dylan lyrics.

You walk into the room
With a pencil in your hand
You see somebody naked
And you say, "Who is that man?"
You try so very hard
But you don't understand
What you'll say
When you get home

And you know something is happening here
But you don't know what it is
Do you, Mister Jones

You raise up your head
And you ask, "Is this where it is?"
And somebody points to you and they say
"It's his"
And you say, "What's mine?"
And then somebody else says, "Well, what is?"
And you say, "Oh my God
Am I here all alone?"


You pay for your ticket
And you go watch the geek
Who immediately walks up to you
When he hears you speak
And he asks you how it feels
To be such a freak
And you say, "Impossible"
As he hands you a bone


You have many contacts
Among the lumberjacks
Who keep you supplied with facts
When someone attacks your imagination
But nobody has any respect (note 1)
Anyway they already expect you
To just give a check
To tax-deductible charity organizations

You've been with the professors
And they all like your looks
With great lawyers you have
Discussed lepers and crooks
You've been through all of
F. Scott Fitzgerald's books
You're very well read
It's well known


The sword swallower comes up to you
And then he kneels
He crosses himself
And then he clicks his high heels
Without further notice
He asks you how it feels
And he says, "Here is your throat back
Thanks for the loan"


You see this one-eyed midget
And he's shouting the word "Now"
You say, "What's the matter?"
And he says, "How?"
And you say, "What does this mean?"
And he screams back, "You're a cow
Give me some milk
Or else go home"


Well, you walk into the room
Like a camel and then you frown
Your eyes in your pocket
And your head on the ground
There ought to be a law
Against you comin' around
You should be made
To wear earphones

(1) Bob Weir forgets this line in the version on "Postcards Of The Hanging"

Grateful Dead Recordings
     Date Album
     27 Mar 1988 Download Series Vol 5
      1 Apr 1988 Road Trips Volume 4, Number 2 (note 2)

(2) also on Postcards Of The Hanging

Further 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|