"You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" as written by and Bob Dylan....
Clouds so swift
Rain won't lift
Gate won't close
Railings froze
Get your mind off wintertime
You ain't goin' nowhere
Whoo-ee, ride me high
Tomorrow's the day
My bride's gonna come
Oh, oh, are we gonna fly
Down in the easy chair

I don't care how many letters they sent
Morning came and morning went
Pick up your money
And pack up your tent
You ain't goin' nowhere
Whoo-ee, ride me high
Tomorrow's the day
My bride's gonna come
Oh, oh, are we gonna fly
Down in the easy chair

Buy me a flute
And a gun that shoots
Tailgates and substitutes
Strap yourself to the tree with roots
You ain't goin' nowhere
Whoo-ee, ride me high
Tomorrow's the day
My bride's gonna come
Oh, oh, are we gonna fly
Down in the easy chair

Genghis Khan
He could not keep
All his kings
Supplied with sleep
We'll climb that hill, no matter how steep
When we come up to it
Whoo-ee, ride me high
Tomorrow's the day
My bride's gonna come
Oh, oh, are we gonna fly
Down in the easy chair


Lyrics submitted by twitty, edited by weirdme

"You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" as written by Bob Dylan

Lyrics © BOB DYLAN MUSIC CO

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You Ain't Goin' Nowhere song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentA levely country-feel to the song that's covered well by Chapin-Carpenter/Cash and Colvin on Dylan's 30th anniv concert.

    Not sure about the lyrical meaning. A last fling before marriage?
    chrisb1on January 20, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentA levely country-feel to the song that's covered well by Chapin-Carpenter/Cash and Colvin on Dylan's 30th anniv concert.

    Not sure about the lyrical meaning. A last fling before marriage?
    chrisb1on January 20, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commentis it me or are the lyrics wrong?
    Alex_kx3on February 09, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThese are the lyrics to the version on his album "The Basement Tapes" and the Joan Baez/Byrds version.

    This is the version on Greatest Hits, Vol. 2:

    Clouds so swift an' rain fallin' in
    Gonna see a movie called "Gunga Din''
    Pack up your money, pull up your tent McGuinn
    You ain't goin' nowhere.

    Whoo-ee, ride me high
    Tomorrow's the day
    That my bride's a-gonna come
    Whoo-ee, are we gonna fly
    Down into the easy chair.

    Genghis Khan an' his brother Don
    Could not keep on keepin' on
    We'll climb that bridge after it's gone
    After we're way past it.

    Whoo-ee, ride me high
    Tomorrow's the day
    My bride's a-gonna come
    Whoo-ee, are we gonna fly
    Down into the easy chair.

    Buy me some rings an' a gun that sings
    A flute that toots an' a bee that stings
    A sky that cries an' a bird that flies
    A fish that walks an' a dog that talks.

    Whoo-ee, ride me high
    Tomorrow's the day
    That my bride's a-gonna come
    Whoo-ee, are we gonna fly
    Down into the easy chair.
    Mr. Blue Skyon March 11, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTo me the lyrics for the greatest hits version are more interesting because of the personal references. The "McGuinn" that Dylan mentions is likely be Roger McGuinn from The Byrds. It is documented that that there was rivalry between Mcguinn and Dylan because of the vast amount of his songs that the Byrds covered. The Byrds changed the tempo and style of his melodies for a more commercial performance which takes away all true meaning of the songs.
    There's also the reference to the "Gunga Din" film. Originally it was a poem by Rudyard Kipling. In the film he is a Hindu slave who wants to join the Brittish Army. Gunga Din works for them faithfully but never recieves much respect in return. For his last act before he dies he saves the entire army by sounding a bugle to warn them of enemies planning an ambush. As he is laid to rest the colonel makes him a corporal of the regiment and speaks some of the words from Kiplings original poem.
    hardrainfallinon April 10, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti think this song projects a struggle with getting by in day-to-day life. it seems to me the lyrics are very desperate, except in the chorus where he forces himself to think that tomorrow his bride will come (or his "light will shine" - however you want to look at it)
    kurtykooon August 04, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentBest song on the album.
    BraveSirRobinon February 02, 2009   Link
  • +1
    My OpinionIs there somebody that knows where is it possible to find the new lyrics that Harddainfallin told. I prefer very much the second version of the Byrds.
    lolocxon November 25, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe Greatest Hits Vol. II version may be "more interesting," does include the personal reference to Roger McGuinn (whether friendly or vindictive?), and the reference to the bird (byrd?) that flies. However, the original version (written for and recorded in the "basement") is the one to discuss and discover the song's meanings. And, that true meaning dates way back to Dylan's early days of hanging out in Zim, Minnesota--the town in-between Hibbing and Duluth that was named after the Zimmerman family--way back before there ever was a Bob Dylan anywhere, not even in Zimmy's mind. The winter rain iced the train tracks ("railings froze"), the train couldn't travel, and stuck in Zim with no train to hop "you ain't goin' nowhere." Bob Zimmerman played the flute in Jr. High, like all students hated substitute teachers, and he also hated tailgates because he once lost a Honda 90 motorcycle out the back of a friend's old pickup truck when the tailgate opened while they bounced over a railroad crossing on some back mine roads out near a crossroads town that used to exist named Perry. Anyway, thus the desire for a "gun that shoots tailgates and substitutes." And, every kid growing up on the Iron Range back then shot rats and pop bottles with their .22 rifles at city dumps in Iron Range towns from east of Grand Rapids to Hibbing to Virginia to Tower to Ely. Meanwhile, there is still a huge white pine in the center of the town of Zim known as the "tree with roots." Climbing "that hill no matter how steep" is another reference to tearing around on mine roads with motorbikes, motor scooters, and small motorcycles. And finally, picking up money and packing up tents is a nod and reference to Bob Zimmerman's Grandma Libby who owned two movie theaters in Hibbing and also showed Saturday morning serials movies for kids in a huge tent in a park in Hibbing. P.S. At age 15, Bob Zimmerman almost married a girlfriend he met while working in the carnival. She was 24 and thought Bob was 19. Bob's parents arrived in the nick of time and stopped the outdoor wedding which was about to take place in from of Zim's "tree with roots."
    Zimbillyon June 26, 2014   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationYOU AIN'T GOIN' NOWHERE


    Dylan has a way with words that's for sure. Just as Patti Smith will sound poetic even when she says good morning, or Michael Sripe will sound existential and profound whatever he says and sings so Dylan when he writes his songs somehow make the words emblematic and full of meaning.

    The title starts off well with it's defeatist, downbeat, deflating double negative. It immediately hints at hopelessness, nihilism and world weariness. The first words quickly express how effimeral and transient things are with symbolic references to the speed of time passing "clouds so swift" and the he confirms his dismal view with the gloomy "the rain fallin' in". Anyone in such a state would need diversion, some entertainment, so he goes and sees a movie. Being intelligent and humorous he throws in a little barbed comment directed at Roger McGuinn lead singer of the Byrds who fully tapped into Dylan's talents to achieve success.

    The next verse seems to be a change of tone. "Ride me high" is a phrase invented by Dylan to mean perhaps make me feel successful, lucky, a winner because his bride is going to come the next day and then they are really going to be ecstatic, "we gonna fly". But then he continues with "down in the easy chair" to let us know what he suspects marital bliss is all about i.e. a succumbing to torpor.

    The last verse is full of amusing paradoxes. A "gun that sings" and "a flute that toots"could be the idea of making the best of living with someone and putting on a happy face. A "sky that cries" and "a bird that flies" might refer to foreseeable moments of unhappiness or even abandonment. A "dog that talks and a fish that walks" could be the absurd things that he thinks he might have to endure.

    Of course it could all be about imagining what it's like to get married and sung with a very liberal dose of irony and humour. More than having actual meaning the song is conjecturing an attitude.
    Seron August 17, 2016   Link

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