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Bob Dylan:The Ballad Of Frankie Lee And Judas Priest Lyrics

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The Ballad Of Frankie Lee And Judas Priest

This song is by Bob Dylan and appears on the album John Wesley Harding (1967).

Original video
Well, Frankie Lee and Judas Priest, they were the best of friends
So when Frankie Lee needed money one day, Judas quickly pulled out a roll of tens
And placed them on a footstool just above the potted plain
Sayin', "Take your pick, Frankie Boy, my loss will be your gain"

Well, Frankie Lee, he sat right down and put his fingers to his chin
But with the cold eyes of Judas on him, his head began to spin
"Could you please not stare at me like that?" he said, "it's just my foolish pride
But sometimes a man must be alone, and this is no place to hide"

Well, Judas, he just winked and said, "Alright, I'll leave you here
But you'd better hurry up and choose which of those bills you want before they all disappear"
"I'm gonna start my pickin' right now, just tell me where you'll be"
Judas pointed down the road and said, "Eternity"

"Eternity?" said Frankie Lee, with a voice as cold as ice
"That's right," said Judas, "Eternity, though you might call it paradise"
"I don't call it anything," said Frankie Lee with a smile
"Alright," said Judas Priest, "I'll see you after a while"

Well, Frankie Lee, he sat back down, feelin' low and mean
When just then a passing stranger burst upon the scene
Saying, "Are you Frankie Lee the gambler, whose father's deceased?
Well, if you are, there's a fellow callin' you down the road and they say his name is Priest"

"Oh, yes, he is my friend," said Frankie Lee in fright
"I do recall him very well, in fact he just left my sight"
"Yes, that's the one," said the stranger, as quiet as a mouse
"Oh, my message is he's down the road, stranded in a house"

Well, Frankie Lee, he panicked, he dropped everything and ran
Until he came unto the spot where Judas Priest did stand
"What kind of house is this," he said, "Where I have come to roam?"
"It's not a house," says Judas Priest, "it's not a house, it's a home"

Well, Frankie Lee, he trembled, he soon lost all control
Over everything which he had made while the mission bells did toll
He just stood there staring at that big house as bright as any sun
With four and twenty windows and a woman's face in every one

Well, up the stairs ran Frankie Lee with a soulful, bounding leap
And foaming at the mouth, he began to make his midnight creep
For sixteen nights and days he raved, but on the seventeenth he burst
Into the arms of Judas Priest, which is where he died of thirst

No one tried to say a thing when they carried him out in jest
Except, of course, the little neighbor boy who carried him to rest
And he just walked along alone with his guilt so well-concealed
And muttered underneath his breath, "Nothing is revealed"

Well, the moral of the story, the moral of this song
Is simply that one should never be where one does not belong
So when you see your neighbor carrying somethin', help him with his load
And don't go mistaking paradise for that home across the road

Written by:

Bob Dylan

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