"Mama, You Been on My Mind" as written by and Bob Dylan....
Maybe it's the color of the sun cut flat
An' coverin' the crossroads I'm standing at
Or maybe it's the weather or something like that
But mama, you are just on my mind.

I don't mean trouble, please don't put me down or get upset
I am not pleadin' or sayin', I can't forget
I do not walk the floor bowed down an' bent, but yet
Mama, you are just on my mind.

Even though my mind is hazy an' my thoughts they might be narrow
Where you been don't bother me nor bring me down in sorrow
It don't even matter to me where you're wakin' up tomorrow
But mama, you're just on my mind

When you wake up in the mornin', baby, look inside your mirror
You know I won't be next to you, you know I won't be near
I'd just be curious to know if you can see yourself as clear
As someone who has had you on his mind

Maybe it's the color of the sun cut flat
An' coverin' the crossroads I'm standing at
Or maybe it's the weather or something like that
But mama, you are just on my mind
Mama, you are just on my mind


Lyrics submitted by pictorialpyro, edited by Mellow_Harsher

"Mama, You Been on My Mind" as written by Bob Dylan

Lyrics © BOB DYLAN MUSIC CO

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Mama, You Been on My Mind song meanings
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35 Comments

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  • +4
    General CommentTo me it's a rouse, man. It's a cover. See, he wants this gal, wants her bad and all this stuff about it maybe bein' the weather that has got him blue is just a fake. He wants her bad, see. See, he's gone to all this trouble to recollect what she's like, gone to all this trouble to convince HER that HE is not into her in a big way, but it's clear to me that he is. Particularly 'cos of the last line in the song 'I'd just be curious to know if you can see yourself as clear.' Nobody can picture anybody clearly unless there's love there. Maybe Bob didn't know that just then, or maybe he was hidin' it...
    kerrykidon January 11, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentBeautiful. It's about that unrequited, frustrating, powerful feeling of love of someone, who wants nothing to do with you, or is with someone else.
    smallwonderroboton April 13, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentJeff Buckley did a nice cover of it worth listening to!
    HunterUkon August 21, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentit really depends which version you listen to the accoustic one that is on bootleg disc 1-3, really makes the song feel much more of the "I want to be with you. you might not know it, you can be with some one else but i still love you." were as the more upbeat live versions from two of his other albums which are sung as duets i think gives the feeling of two lovers who have parted but still have feelings for each other
    riderofwaveson January 31, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's not about a big overwhelming burning passion
    it's a little feeling
    nothin' special, just tiny
    I mean, I'm not dying for you or anything, I don't have your name written with blood on my wall, or a shrine with your pictures. I won't stalk you or pine for you. Nothing like that.
    It's just that....you've been on my mind
    ....thought you should know

    (I wish I had thought of it first)
    cavernon March 14, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWhat I'm getting from this one is that Bob and "Mama" were in a relationship, and she's moved on to someone else. He just happened to be thinking about her a lot one day.
    My explanation also illustrates how Bob Dylan songs are also really good at letting the listener impose his own story on a song. That's good songwriting.
    GoatboyX2on December 15, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI've just listened to the Rolling Thunder 1975 live with joan Baez version of this song.

    I'm so sad. I wish I could put into words the things that I feel.

    Gorgeous, mad, brilliant song.

    About a guy thinking more about a girl than she's thinking about him.

    Oh man. So perfect for me right now.
    hellopeopleon January 21, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentMmm, this is such a wonderful song.

    This seems not of unrequited love,
    but of a relationship that is a loose string blowing in the wind.
    Its over, but the feelings still remain, but its not any overwhelming-stop-the-world kind of passionate feelings. Its the knowledge that both have and are moving on, but the feeling of missing the other still exists.
    Seawolfinon March 03, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI am not pleading
    or saying I can't forget you.

    Very different from a lot of Dylan's stuff - usually his themes are of something unrequited, of a mistake and longing to be with the person again (e.g. Tangled Up in Blue, Simple Twist of Fate, Love Sick, Cold Irons Bound and many more). But this one is like an attempt to declare independence from the object of desire - although in the end it seems to be futile:

    I'd just be curious to know if you can see yourself as clear
    as someone who has had you on his mind.

    I would say smallwonderrobot that the second suggestion is more likely to be right - someone who is with someone else. To me there isn't the sense of bitterness that would come from someone wanting nothing to do with him.
    caitsith01on June 17, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti like this song.
    plaincl0thesmanon July 26, 2005   Link

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