"6th Avenue Heartache" as written by and Jakob Dylan....
Sirens ring, the shots ring out
A stranger cries, screams out loud
I had my world strapped against my back
I held my hands, never knew how to act

Chorus:
And the same black line that was drawn on you
Was drawn on me
And now it's drawn me in
6th Avenue heartache

Below me was a homeless man
I'm singin' songs I knew complete
On the steps alone, his guitar in hand
It's fifty years, stood where he stands

Now walkin' home on those streets
The river winds move my feet
Subway steam, like silhouettes in dreams
They stood by me, just like moonbeams

Look out the window, down upon that street
And gone like a midnight was that man
But I see his six strings laid against that wall
And all his things, they all look so small
I got my fingers crossed on a shooting star
Just like me-just moved on


Lyrics submitted by 3ssence

6th Avenue Heartache song meanings
Add your thoughts

27 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +2
    General CommentI went to the website where Jacob made a comment on this song. He says the song was inspired by a homeless guy that played guitar on the doorsteps of a building accross the street from where he lived. He says that he related to that homeless guy in the sense that even with the obvious social class differences, they both lived through their music.

    "Below me was a homeless man
    I'm singin' songs I knew complete
    On the steps alone, his guitar in hand
    It's fifty years, stood where he stands "

    It's actually a very literal part of the song.

    The homeless man later dissapeared from the doorsteps but left all his stuff: "Look out the window, down upon that street And gone like a midnight was that man But I see his six strings laid against that wall And all his things, they all look so small"

    Just like Jacob, the homeless man moved on with his life, but he hopes that the stranger is doing well wherever he is.

    Anyway, here's the web addy if you want to see for yourself:
    wallflowers.com/…
    Zatchon March 17, 2003   Link
  • +2
    General Commentthis is a great wallflowers song, but it's even better because adam duritz of the counting crows sings back up and the mixture of jacob dylan and adam is amazing :)
    CountMyCrowson March 30, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti am really not sure what this song means... but i think it has something to do with life in a big city and how cruel it can be... altho i am prolly wrong. my first clue was the name... "6th Ave. Heartache" if you think about it, almost all major cities in the US have a 6th ave. and ppl rush around, not really paying attn or caring. i think the first verse talks about a shoot out, and how he doesn't know what to do, and the "weight of the world" is crushing him. the chorus talks about a black line. i am guessing this might be referring to the boundary line that seperates the classes in society. i don't know why i think this... it just popped into my head. i can't really relate this to the rest of the song. the rest of the song goes on to talk more about the busy streets and the cruel world. Anyways i think i have this all wrong... but no one has posted anything yet... plz correct me
    dizziness61on June 06, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI have to agree with the last comment; the song is about the busy city and Dylan's role in it. I believe in the song he goes on to say while he tours the country's cities he feels like he never has a home because he's constantly moving. In the second verse he relates himself to a homeless man in the line, "singin' songs I knew complete." In the last verse Dylan also refers to making it big and he thinks of a time when another musician's music has touched that city by saying the 6 string is on the wall. The he says in the end the both moved on.
    guitarplayer_1on July 26, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentat first I interpreted the song as a love song-it seemed to fit me personally that way. The last line "i've got my fingers crossed behind a shooting star" reminds me that sometimes we need all the lcuk we can get in terms of finding or meeting that special someone...this is what feels right to me.
    Marisol Singhon June 22, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think that this song is a communication with his father. Probably, he'd always told himself that he would never be an artist, a poet. In the first verse, he clearly feels the call to comment on society, which is how his father got his start. I suppose the early Dylan could be seen as a minstrel - someone who has the world and his art, quite literally, strapped across his back.
    Something that always struck me about Bob Dylan is how he seemed so alone when he performed - see the movie Don't Look Back to see what I an talking about. His father would have been about 50 when he wrote this song. And, surely, he was singing songs that Jacob knew complete.

    So, I think he's telling his father that the same artistic curse that was laid on him is now being visited upon the son. Any other interpreation of the song leaves unexplained the enigmatic line----
    "The same black line that was drawn on you
    Was drawn on me "
    montresoron December 24, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti definatly agree with montresor.

    when i first heard this song i definatly thought it had soemthing to do with his father. it makes sense when you really listen to it.
    burntfireon January 25, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm so glad some other people find it to have something to do with his father! I thought that but I wasn't quite sure. For some reason the black line comment always struck me as being marked to be like him, or being veiwed as following his footsteps. I'm not sure, but that's how I took it.
    faithful_sparkleon July 16, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentbut also, Jakob has said that he often uses metaphors that create visual images that some may take litterally, so i may be waay off.
    faithful_sparkleon July 16, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentafter a ;ittle reasearch i found that he actually was inspired by a homless man he saw from his window in the mornings.
    faithful_sparkleon July 17, 2005   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain