Like a Circle Around My Skull…

I’ve been walking around with a reservoir of frustration and rage for several days now because of things going on at work. At such times, others may want to breathe deeply in the thrall of some tranquil contemplative music but I’m drawn like a moth to flame to the rageful cathartic stuff. This bears some relationship to the hateful music featured in this site dedicated to insulting song lyrics; (“stuff … that just doesn’t belong on the radio is what we’re aiming for”), although I’m not talking about misogynist or racist material here. Dylan makes it onto that site for two separate songs; “Don’t Think Twice (It’s Alright)” (listed under ‘D’ for Dylan) and “Idiot Wind” (under ‘B’ for Bob). Now I’m not a real Dylan aficionado, but “Idiot Wind” has always been the consummate contemptuous rage song for me, so I was interested to stumble upon these lyrics, claiming to be the “original version”. Compare the conventional lyrics (below; below the line). A reader who is a much deeper Bob-o-phile writes:

‘I wouldn’t say those are the “original” lyrics. Bob’s known for changing

the lyrics and/or arrangements of songs when he does them live.

But, those surely are the lyrics the way they appeared on the original

acetate of “Blood on the Tracks,” which was released to some radio

stations, but Dylan scrapped it and rerecorded nearly everything before

the official release.

You can hear those versions, which sometimes are superior (in my opinion)

to the official release on a widely available bootleg named “Blood on the

Outtakes.” ‘

On to the blood on the tracks; enjoy!


Someone’s got it in for me, they’re planting stories in the press

Whoever it is I wish they’d cut it out quick, when they will I can only guess

They say I shot a man named Gray and took his wife to Italy

She inherited a million bucks and when she died it came to me

I can’t help it if I’m lucky.

People see me all the time and they just can’t remember how to act

Their minds are filled with big ideas, images and distorted facts

And even you yesterday, you had to ask me where it was at,

I couldn’t believe after all these years, you didn’t know me any better than that, Sweet lady

Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your mouth

Blowing down the back roads headin’ south

Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your teeth

You’re an idiot babe, It’s a wonder that you still know how to breathe.

I threw the I Ching yesterday, it said there might be some thunder at the well

Peace and quiet’s been avoiding me for so long, it seems like livin’ hell

There’s a lone soldier on the hill watching fallin’ raindrops pour

You’d never know it to look at him, but at the final shot he won the war

After losing every battle.

I woke up on the roadside, daydreamin’ about the way things sometimes are

Hoofbeats poundin’ in my head at breakneck speed and makin’ me see stars

You hurt the ones that I love best and cover up the truth with lies

One day you’ll be in the ditch, flies buzzing around your eyes

Blood on your saddle.

Idiot wind, blowing through the flowers on your tomb

Blowing through the curtains in your room

Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your teeth

You’re an idiot babe,

It’s a wonder that you still know how to breathe.

It was gravity which pulled us in, and destiny which broke us apart

You tamed the lion in my cage but it just wasn’t enough to change my heart

Now everything’s a little upside down as a matter of fact the wheels have stopped

What’s good is bad, what’s bad is good, you’ll find out when you reach the top

You’re on the bottom

I noticed at the ceremony that you left all your bags behind

The driver came in after you left, he gave them all to me, and then he resigned

The priest wore black on the seventh day, waltzed around while the building burned

You didn’t trust me for a minute, babe, I’ve never known the spring to turn

So quickly into autumn.

Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your jaw

From the Grand Coulee Dam to the Mardi Gras

Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your teeth

You’re an idiot babe, It’s a wonder that you still know how to breathe.

We pushed each other a little too far and one day it just jumped into a raging storm

A hound dog bayed behind your trees, as I was packin’ up my uniform

I figured I’d lost you anyway, why go on, what’s the use?

In order to get in a word with you, I’d had to come up with some excuse

And that just struck me kinda funny.

I’ve been double-crossed too much, at times I think I’ve almost lost my mind

Lady killers load dice on me, behind my back, while imitators steal me blind

You close your eyes and part your lips and slip your fingers from your glove

You can have the best there is, but it’s gonna cost you all your love

You won’t get it for money.

Idiot wind, blowing through the buttons of our coats,

Blowing through the letters that we wrote

Idiot wind, blowing through the dust upon our shelves

We’re idiots babe, It’s a wonder we can even feed ourselves.

_______________________________________________


Someone’s got it in for me, they’re planting stories in the press

Whoever it is I wish they’d cut it out but when they will I can only guess.

They say I shot a man named Gray and took his wife to Italy,

She inherited a million bucks and when she died it came to me.

I can’t help it if I’m lucky.

People see me all the time and they just can’t remember how to act

Their minds are filled with big ideas, images and distorted facts.

Even you, yesterday you had to ask me where it was at,

I couldn’t believe after all these years, you didn’t know me better than that

Sweet lady.

Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your mouth,

Blowing down the backroads headin’ south.

Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your teeth,

You’re an idiot, babe.

It’s a wonder that you still know how to breathe.

I ran into the fortune-teller, who said beware of lightning that might strike

I haven’t known peace and quiet for so long I can’t remember what it’s like.

There’s a lone soldier on the cross, smoke pourin’ out of a boxcar door,

You didn’t know it, you didn’t think it could be done, in the final end he won the wars

After losin’ every battle.

I woke up on the roadside, daydreamin’ ’bout the way things sometimes are

Visions of your chestnut mare shoot through my head and are makin’ me see stars.

You hurt the ones that I love best and cover up the truth with lies.

One day you’ll be in the ditch, flies buzzin’ around your eyes,

Blood on your saddle.

Idiot wind, blowing through the flowers on your tomb,

Blowing through the curtains in your room.

Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your teeth,

You’re an idiot, babe.

It’s a wonder that you still know how to breathe.

It was gravity which pulled us down and destiny which broke us apart

You tamed the lion in my cage but it just wasn’t enough to change my heart.

Now everything’s a little upside down, as a matter of fact the wheels have stopped,

What’s good is bad, what’s bad is good, you’ll find out when you reach the top

You’re on the bottom.

I noticed at the ceremony, your corrupt ways had finally made you blind

I can’t remember your face anymore, your mouth has changed, your eyes don’t look into mine.

The priest wore black on the seventh day and sat stone-faced while the building burned.

I waited for you on the running boards, near the cypress trees, while the springtime turned slowly into autumn.

Idiot wind, blowing like a circle around my skull,

From the Grand Coulee Dam to the Capitol.

Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your teeth,

You’re an idiot, babe.

It’s a wonder that you still know how to breathe.

I can’t feel you anymore, I can’t even touch the books you’ve read

Every time I crawl past your door, I been wishin’ I was somebody else instead.

Down the highway, down the tracks, down the road to ecstasy,

I followed you beneath the stars, hounded by your memory

And all your ragin’ glory.

I been double-crossed now for the very last time and now I’m finally free,

I kissed goodbye the howling beast on the borderline which separated you from me.

You’ll never know the hurt I suffered nor the pain I rise above,

And I’ll never know the same about you, your holiness or your kind of love,

And it makes me feel so sorry.

Idiot wind, blowing through the buttons of our coats,

Blowing through the letters that we wrote.

Idiot wind, blowing through the dust upon our shelves,

We’re idiots, babe.

It’s a wonder we can even feed ourselves.