Bob Dylan – Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again – Take 13 (Audio)

Lyrics:

(Intro)

Oh, the ragman draws circles
Up and down the block
I’d ask him what the matter was
But I know that he don’t talk
And the ladies treat me kindly
And they furnish me with tape
But deep inside my heart
I know I can’t escape
Oh, Mama, can this really be the end
To be stuck inside of Mobile
With the Memphis blues again

Well, Shakespeare, he’s in the alley
With his pointed shoes and his bells
Speaking to some French girl
Who says she knows me well
And I would send a message
To find out if she’s talked
But the post office has been stolen
And the mailbox is locked
Oh, Mama, can this really be the end
To be stuck inside of Mobile
With the Memphis blues again

Mona tried to tell me
To stay away from the train line
She said that all the railroad men
Just drink up your blood like wine
And I said, “Oh, I didn’t know that
But then again, there’s only one I’ve met
And he just smoked my eyelids
And punched my cigarette”
Oh, Mama, can this really be the end
To be stuck inside of Mobile
With the Memphis blues again

Grandpa died last week
And now he’s buried in the rocks
But everybody still talks about
How badly they were shocked
But me, I expected it to happen
I knew he’d lost control
When I, he built a fire on Main Street
And shot it full of holes
Oh, Mama, can this really be the end
To be stuck inside of Mobile
With the Memphis blues again

Now the senator came down here
Showing everyone his gun
Handing out free tickets
To the wedding of his son
And me, I nearly got busted
And wouldn’t it be my luck
To get caught without a ticket
And be discovered beneath a truck
Oh, Mama, can this really be the end
To be stuck inside of Mobile
With the Memphis blues again

Now the tea preacher looked so baffled
When I asked him why he dressed
With twenty pounds of headlines
Stapled to his chest
But he cursed me when I proved to him
Then I whispered, said “Not even you can hide
You see, you’re just like me
I hope you’re satisfied”
Aw, Mama, can this really be the end
To be stuck inside of Mobile
With the Memphis blues againNow the rainman gave me two cures
Then he said, “Jump right in”
The one was Texas medicine
The other was just railroad gin
And like a fool I mixed them
And it strangled up my mind
And now people just get uglier
And I have no sense of time
Oh, Mama, can this really be the end
To be stuck inside of Mobile
With the Memphis blues againWhen Ruthie says come see her
In her honky-tonk lagoon
Where I can watch her waltz for free
’Neath her Panamanian moon
And I say, “Aw come on now
You know ya’ know about my debutante”
And she says, “Your debutante just knows what you need
But I know what you want”
Oh, Mama, can this really be the end
To be stuck inside of Mobile
With the Memphis blues again
Now the bricks lay on Grand Street
Where the neon madmen climb
They all fall there so perfectly
It all seems so well timed
And here I sit so patiently
Waiting to find out what price
You have to pay to get out of
Going through all these things twice
Oh, Mama, is this really the end
To be stuck inside of Mobile
With the Memphis blues againImage result for Bob Dylan - Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again

Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again” is a song written by Bob Dylan that appears on his 1966 album Blonde on Blonde.[2] The album version also appears on 1971’s Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits Vol. II. An early studio take, done in a faster cut-time, was released on The Bootleg Series Vol. 7: No Direction Home: The Soundtrack in 2005. As the recording indicates, Dylan had difficulty fitting the words to the tempo, and evidently this led to its rearrangement, as heard on Blonde on Blonde, in a more “rock”-oriented 4/4 time.

A live version of this song appears on the 1976 album Hard Rain, and was also released as a single with “Rita May” as the B-side.

Recording

All twenty takes of “Stuck Inside of Mobile” were recorded in the early hours of February 17, 1966, in Columbia’s Music Row Studios in Nashville. Dylan continuously reworked the song in the studio, revising lyrics and changing the song’s structure as he recorded different takes. Eventually, after recording for three hours, a master take, the twentieth and final take, was chosen.[3] Take five would eventually be released on The Bootleg Series Vol. 7.

The entire recording session was released on the 18-disc Collector’s Edition of The Bootleg Series Vol. 12: The Cutting Edge 1965–1966 in 2015, with highlights from the outtakes appearing on the 6-disc and 2-disc versions of that album.[4]

Cover versions

The Grateful Dead covered the song in their live shows during the 1980s and 1990s, and performed it when Dylan himself toured with them in 1987. Cat Power covered the song on the soundtrack of the film I’m Not There. Spanish artist Kiko Veneno covered this song in a rumba (a subgenre of Flamenco) version. North Mississippi Allstars cover it on their 2011 album Keys to the Kingdom. Elvis Costello performed a solo version of the song live in Mobile, AL on March 13, 2015. Old Crow Medicine Show covered the song on their 2017 tribute album 50 Years of Blonde on Blonde.

In popular culture[edit]

  • “Stuck Inside of Mobile” is used in the movie Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and is mentioned in the book by Hunter S. Thompson.
  • John Lennon wrote a spoof titled “Stuck Inside of Lexicon with the Roget’s Thesaurus Blues Again,” pointing out that Dylan was using obscure lyrics too extensively.[5] This line is found in the song “Satire #2” on the John Lennon Anthology.
  • The Sisters of Mercy song “Dominion/Mother Russia” features the line “stuck inside of Memphis with the mobile home”, as a play on words on this song’s title.
  • The song also inspired the name of the Memphis Group, a 1980s design movement, with its title.[6][7]
  • The song was also used as the first and final songs of Mobile radio station 97.5 WABB on February 5, 1973 and February 29, 2012 respectively.
“Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again”
Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again cover.jpg
Single by Bob Dylan
from the album Hard Rain
B-sideRita May
ReleasedNovember 30, 1976[1]
Format7-inch single
RecordedMay 16, 1976
VenueTarrant County Convention Center Arena, Fort Worth, Texas
GenreFolk rock
Length3:35
LabelColumbia
Songwriter(s)Bob Dylan
Producer(s)

 

 

Music video by Bob Dylan performing Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again – Take 13 (audio). Originally recorded 1966 & released 2015. All rights reserved by Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

 

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