Lay down your weary tune, lay down,
Lay down the song you strum,
And rest yourself 'neath the strength of strings
No voice can hope to hum.

Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
Lay down your weary tune, lay down,
Lay down the song you strum,
And rest yourself 'neath the strength of strings
No voice can hope to hum.

The ocean wild like an organ played,
The seaweed's wove its strands.
The crashin' waves like cymbals clashed
Against the rocks and sands.
Lay down your weary tune, lay down,
Lay down the song you strum,
And rest yourself 'neath the strength of strings
No voice can hope to hum.

I stood unwound beneath the skies
And clouds unbound by laws.
The cryin' rain like a trumpet sang
And asked for no applause.
Lay down your weary tune, lay down,
Lay down the song you strum,
And rest yourself 'neath the strength of strings
No voice can hope to hum.

The last of leaves fell from the trees
And clung to a new love's breast.
The branches bare like a banjo played
To the winds that listened best.

I gazed down in the river's mirror
And watched its winding strum.
The water smooth ran like a hymn
And like a harp did hum.
Lay down your weary tune, lay down,
Lay down the song you strum,
And rest yourself 'neath the strength of strings
No voice can hope to hum.



Lyrics submitted by nitsirhc


Lay Down Your Weary Tune song meanings
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9 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentFYI, Beulah, Dylan wrote this song in the early 1960s.. so, no, it's not a tribute to Jeff or Tim or any otherr Buckley.
    smallwonderroboton September 05, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah it's definately not a tribute to Jeff Buckley, it was recorded in 1963 at Dylan's The Times They Are A-Changin' sessions (it wasn't released until 1985 on Biograph), he played it 2 nights later at a show at Carnegie hall - appearently those are the only times he's played this song.

    The line 'Lay down your weary tune, lay down' Dylan heard in a hymn - 'I heard the voice of Jesus say / Come unto me and rest / Lay down thou weary tune, lay down'. Also the structure of the song is appearently based upon a song from Tolkien's Lord Of The Rings.

    The actual content of the song is based on one of Dylan's first LSD trips, connecting this tune in his head to his surroundings - resulting in some amazing, surreal imagery.

    This is one of my favourite songs of Dylan's, it's a shame it was take out of the album The Times They Are A-Changin', not only because i like it so much but it does show the start of a new direction in his creativity and career.
    msr123on February 01, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song wisely advises us to be aware that what we create, dream or otherwise construct, pales in the face of the beauty, intricacy and wonder of the natural world. The intelligence of the universe.
    Possible my favourite Dylan song.
    tomconway53on April 14, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOne of my alltime favourite songs.
    TheTambourineManon July 12, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti read somewhere that he wrote this song while staying at joan baez's place in big sur...
    cuteforapigmyon March 17, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI've been a BD fan for a while now. Knew OF this song, but never really listened to it. Bored at work....read the lyrics....listened on youtube. What a gorgeous song.

    This was written back in the day when Dylan was super charged with a feel for what is right and what is just. He was so attuned to the real warmth of things amidst a cold or crazy world. He had a feel and touch for arcing his songs around that kind of feeling. His melodies did it, his voice did it, his harmonica did it and if that wasn't enough...he wrote lyrics of beauty and truth and skill and quality.

    Lay Down Your Weary Tune, like someone posted earlier is basically a song where the singer stands in awe of creation...of earth, of nature. He stands in awe, humbled in his own attempts...in his own struggles to express himself. It says that the true melodies are played by the trees and the oceans, the mornings and the sky...and what's more, they don't need applause. Beauty and life is in nature and sometimes, when we can't express it, that's where we should look. That Bob Dylan managed to use the theme of a struggle for expression in a song about where to find true expression...and have the song be expressive....well that's pretty damn good.

    I think 'awe' is the wrong word to use. He doesn't really stand in awe...he stands in a more subtle way...something like the way a tired child might come to his mother's arms...fall to her and be held, eyes half closed. Or like someone who's walked a long way and finally come home. So I think standing in 'awe' is wrong...that kind of implies some kind of mejesty...when really it's something more humble than that...it's standing in love maybe....I don't know

    It's a great song. I need more time to think about it. I only just heard it today.
    hellopeopleon April 01, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe lines "The last of leaves fell from the trees And clung to a new love's breast" could refer to leaves falling from a tree in late autumn onto someone's grave--the new breast.
    zzscottyon December 02, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti was reading "Positively Fourth Street" by David Hadju and he wrote that Dylan actually wrote this song while he was living in California with Joan Baez. One night he and Richard Farina went surfing in the moonlight and Dylan came back and wrote this song in one sitting. He [Hadju] seemed to imply that it Dylan was writing about Joan Baez and that he is critiquing her
    dkov43on February 20, 2011   Link
  • -1
    General CommentI don't know a lot about Bob Dylan so I don't know when he wrote this but I can see it as a tribute to Jeff Buckley as he drowned in a river "I gazed down in the river's mirror...". Of course the time he wrote this would determine whether this is true or not.

    This is my second favourite song of Dylan anyway. Tribute or no tribute.

    I think it could be about leaving a mark on the world when it comes your time to die.
    beulahon May 21, 2006   Link

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