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​Bleeker Street Blues

This song is by Ramblin' Jack Elliott and appears on the album Friends Of Mine (1998).

Bob, I'm up early
Praying for you
I'd give my Martin
For you to play on

Thinkin' you'd like that
Hang it up in your barn
Take it down off the nail
On the tack room wall

Strum it sweet in the straw
In the broodmare's box stall
Or I'll play rhythm as you blow mouth harp
With the smell of alfalfa, wafting through the dark

Memories of Woody
In the graystone hospital memorial cell
Back when you were a kid and I rang the bell
And Syd Gleason was there with chili and cornbread
And Peter LaFarge, and Dave Van Ronk
My Chevy ran cool though it smelled like a skunk

Ian and Sylvia, Johnny Cash and June Carter
All loved you well
Though none was the smarter

Pete Seeger, a leader
Deferred to your style
Of even hand strumming
And winked a wry smile

And I peeked and I winked
When you done it for me
They accused you of stealing
But I said, "No way!"

Then your triumph collapsed
And your neck was injured
I was not allowed to see you
In your hospital tincture

Right then we were severed from being together
Eight years later we were traveling together
On Rolling Thunder we bashed though the weather
In Northern New England and Quebec's narrow streets

Joni Mitchell hung out
Ronnie Hawkins came by
Gordon Lightfoot took us in one night on the fly
The Maple Leaf Gardens played host to our show
Allen Ginsberg said a poem, Rolling Thunder waved a feather
T-Bone and Roger, Wyeth and Stoner
Bearded Bob drove the semi
And clean Bob drove the bus
Seventy five people made one hell of an us!

One tour led to another like drinks lead to smoke
You've been touring forever
Not much of a home life
Take time out to relax and see where you've been
You've enlighten the world with your songs
Sink or swim

I pray you'll stay with the earth for sometime
You've stummed your song
And you've done earned your dime

Prance lightly, fly careful
But Bob, please take it easy

There's a tent for you in my camp
Beside the calm waters

The world's best doctors can't cure what's been ailing you
Not Freud, not Pasteur, not Eddie Van Halen
You've had it forever and you'll never get rid of it
I've got it too though I tried to hide from it
Sometimes I ride it for better or worse
Time to unsaddle and take a good rest

Later on we'll join Woody and Jerry and Townes
But right now we all need you, so please stick around

Written by:

Ramblin' Jack Elliott