"Tough Mama" as written by and Bob Dylan Dylan Bob....
Tough mama
Meat shakin' on your bones
I'm gonna go down to the river and get some stones.
Sister's on the highway with that steel-drivin' crew,
Papa's in the big house, his workin' days are through.
Tough mama
Can I blow a little smoke on you?

Dark beauty
Won't you move it on over and make some room?
It's my duty to bring you down to the field where the flowers bloom.
Ashes in the furnace, dust on the rise,
You came through it all the way, flyin' through the skies.
Dark beauty
With that long night's journey in your eyes.

Sweet goddess
Born of a blinding light and a changing wind,
Now, don't be modest, you know who you are and where you've been.
Jack the cowboy went up north
He's buried in your past.
The lone wolf went out drinking
That was over pretty fast.
Sweet goddess
Your perfect stranger's comin' in at last.

Silver angel
With the badge of the lonesome road sewed in your sleeve,
I'd be grateful if this golden ring you would receive.
Today on the countryside it was a-hotter than a crotch,
I stood alone upon the ridge and all I did was watch.
Sweet goddess
It must be time to carve another notch.

I'm crestfallen
The world of illusion is at my door,
I ain't a-haulin' any of my lambs to the marketplace anymore.
The prison walls are crumblin', there is no end in sight,
I've gained some recognition but I lost my appetite.
Dark beauty
Meet me at the border late tonight.


Lyrics submitted by Philadelphia Eagles

"Tough Mama" as written by Bob Dylan

Lyrics © BOB DYLAN MUSIC CO

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Tough Mama song meanings
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4 Comments

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  • +2
    General Commenti can't believe dylan used the phrase, "a-hotter than a crotch."
    misterbojangleson March 13, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis might be my favorite song on Planet Waves. I like the album because there a kind of childlikeness to the writing. Here, Dylan just cuts loose with images that strike at your real heart; and "Tough Mama" is a great case in point.

    It's pretty simple, really; the tough mama is a powerful love interest. She's been around, she's got spirit, she's "got back," she's the sweet bosom on which our hero pauses to rest his head after a wearing sojourn in this world of dark delusion. He's been there, done that, and then some, and he's ready for love. And he sees complementary qualities in this dark beauty. Is she ready? With a worshipful, lusty, rainbow-studded come-on like this, how could she not be?!

    I always figure that real women just want to be seen as beautiful and want to be loved. This song is about exactly that.
    razajacon June 09, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentPlanet Waves is one of his greatest albums. It's music is so amazing, and the poetry in it is so accessible and yet so mysterious at the same time. Just fantastic stuff.
    TheThornBirdson February 08, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Sweet beauty, meet me at the border late tonight" evokes the same feeling in me as that line from Abandoned Love, "One more time at midnight near the wall, take off your heavy makeup and your shawl." And from When the Night Comes Falling From the Sky: "It was on the northern border of Texas where I crossed the line." Borders, midnights, secret assignations, where journeys and relationships begin and end.
    5thdayomayon July 28, 2012   Link

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