"Boots of Spanish Leather" as written by and Bob Dylan....
Oh, I'm sailin' away my own true love,
I'm sailin' away in the morning.
Is there something I can send you from across the sea,
From the place that I'll be landing?

No, there's nothin' you can send me, my own true love,
There's nothin' I wish to be ownin'.
Just carry yourself back to me unspoiled,
From across that lonesome ocean.

Oh, but I just thought you might want something fine
Made of silver or of golden,
Either from the mountains of Madrid
Or from the coast of Barcelona.

Oh, but if I had the stars from the darkest night
And the diamonds from the deepest ocean,
I'd forsake them all for your sweet kiss,
For that's all I'm wishin' to be ownin'.

That I might be gone a long time
And it's only that I'm askin',
Is there something I can send you to remember me by,
To make your time more easy passin'.

Oh, how can, how can you ask me again,
It only brings me sorrow.
The same thing I would today,
I would want again tomorrow.

I got a letter on a lonesome day,
It was from her ship a-sailin',
Saying I don't know when I'll be comin' back again,
It depends on how I'm a-feelin'.

Well, if you, my love, must think that-a-way,
I'm sure your mind is a-roamin'.
I'm sure your heart is not with me,
But with the country to where you're goin'.

So take heed, take heed of the western wind,
Take heed of the stormy weather.
And yes, there's something you can send back to me,
Spanish boots of Spanish leather.


Lyrics submitted by Jack, edited by Mellow_Harsher, aayush

Boots of Spanish Leather song meanings
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  • +7
    General CommentI was in a bookstore not long ago looking at a book that went into great detail of the lyrical interpretations of Bob Dylan. Its obviously a back and forth dialogue between the man and a female, after the female leaves the country, and eventually it turns into a monologue of just the man, when he does not hear back often (or at all) from his female companion.

    This book stated that Spanish Boots/Leather represented torture during and after the Spanish Civil War. Thus, it was interpreted that the man was saying, "you're only torturing me at this point." Take it for what its worth, but it seemed to be very well researched and studied. It is a really great song anyway you look at it though.
    GFOhioon December 02, 2006   Link
  • +6
    General CommentI have been the girl (well, I'm a guy but you get the point) in this song in real life.

    I once left a girlfriend behind at home to travel through South America. I told her I'd be away for six months, but once I got there I realized I needed more time. So I wrote to her and told her my trip would be more like eight months.

    Her response, though she had never listened to Dylan, was pretty much exactly what Bob writes in the penultimate verse. My thoughts were not with her. I went home after eight months but things were never the same and we soon parted ways for good. Every time I hear this song now, I cry for the guilt of how I broke her heart, how lonely and abandoned she must have felt at home, how the emails and letters and gifts I sent her to "make her time more easy passin'" were really, at the end of the day, worthless.

    phomeron May 14, 2011   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI agree, bob dylans one of the greatest song-writers ever, but one thing that's funny (to him) also is how much his songs are over analyzed

    This sond was writted about the 7-8 month period where his then girlfriend, suze rotolo (the girl on the cover of freewheelin' album) was in italy and bob was really feeling it. She was his girlfriend in the early sixties right before he was signed to columbia and they lived in an apartment together when she was 18 and he was 20. When he was signed, he started to get fame and she was feeling like people only knew her as "bob's girl" and she was offered the chance to study in italy, something she wanted to do right after high school but couldn't because of a car accident. Well when her mother, who wasn't too fond of bob, was pushing her to go and she feared if she didn't go she would regret it forever. She finally decided to go, despite the fact her and bob were now in a loving relationship. This was all described in her book that just came out, "a freewheelin' time"

    Back to the song, it is about how any man would feel when his woman is far away (in this case overseas) and thw beginning is essentially a conversation between he and her, where she is asking if there is anything he wants her to buy him while she's on her trip, and he insists that all he wants is her back home "unspoiled" meaning he wants their relationship to be just like it was when they were together. Then she says she's not sure of when she's coming home, that it depends on how she's feeling (which is what happened in real life) and bob fears that this means she's not even thinking about him, that she's too busy having fun in europe to worry about how lovesick he is. That is the basic meaning of the song. The common long-distance relationship fear that your loved one isn't as sad or missing you as much as you miss them

    Thanks
    taki183on August 30, 2008   Link
  • +3
    My InterpretationIt's about the torture of being madly in love (long distance relationship or growing apart) and finally coming to grips with the fact that it's over. At the end, the man realizes that the relationship is definitely over and decides to finally give in to the woman's desire to get him a gift. He asks for Boots of Spanish Leather. Boots are made for walking. He's decided to finally walk away from this relationship but doing so is absolute torture. A means of medieval torture involved something known as the Spanish boot.
    2manymorningson April 21, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General CommentA Spanish Boot is an old torturing device used to crush the foot.
    sweetmelisson February 18, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General Commentpoor dylan took it VERY personally that suze left to study in italy. this song is gorgeous. the first six verses are suze and bob talking and the bob takes off with what he thinks about her leaving and how it must mean she doesn't care about him. it's a very sad song. he was heartbroken =(

    the line "i don't know when i'm coming back again, it depends on how i'm feelin" sticks out to me. who knows if suze actually said something this straight forward, but i thought of it as bob's impression of how she felt nonchalant about their relationship and didn't really give a rat's ass about bob. i don't think that's true at all. suze just wanted some freedom, she was young after all. how many girls would leave BOB DYLAN in his prime? she was very self assured.
    jasssson April 05, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI love this song. He's just so ...sweet. When he realizes she's not coming back he agrees to accept a gift. Almost as a pity gift. He has such a delicate sense of humor. About what thechosenone021 says, I'm a Chilean graduate of English-Spanish translation, and I've learned more reading Dylan lyrics than anything else I've ever read in English. Or Spanish, for that matter.
    cavernon February 03, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentwell i just brought up the girl/boy difference cause dylan says "It was from her ship a-sailin'" which would leave me to believe that it is the girl that is traveling and the boy that is left behind
    thisisfalseon July 25, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentit is about suze rotolo. she was on world cafe not too long ago and david dye talked about it.
    ineedahaircuton February 09, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWhy the boots?

    I believe that "give someone a boot" might mean to break the relationship. So he tells her he'd rather if she breaks it up sincerely now that it's clear that everything leads to it, that to leave him waiting and hoping.
    soboton May 12, 2010   Link

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