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High Water (For Charley Patton)

This song is by Bob Dylan and appears on the album Love and Theft (2001) and on the compilation album Tell Tale Signs (2008).

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High Water
High water risin'
Risin' night and day
All the gold and silver
Are being 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

Nothing 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 overboard

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 going 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 something to eat
She said, "Take it off the shelf.
As great as you are, man
You'll never be greater than yourself."

I told her I didn't really care
High water everywhere

I'm getting' 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 Clarksdale
Everything is looking blue
I just can't be happy, love
Unless you're happy too

It's bad out there
High water everywhere

Written by:

Bob Dylan