"Bottle Baby" as written by and Richards....
Your issue may walk among fine moral spires
But if they went up somebody else built them
Your store is a small one, your goods have no buyers
Your parents are raising your children
O, I could have told you, the vices won't hold you
Warm in a coil where you lay
But high up behind you, seized by the temple
And bid you obey and obey

A heinous, heinous law
Of an endless, endless love, that governs your
Poor heart
In its velvety chambers
Where fellows foul me engage in exchanges
Whose ends are to put out your lights
Who know from the inside you won't put up a fight

To a heinous, heinous law...
Of an endless, endless love, that governs your
Poor heart

It's winter in my bedroom, I stir the broken spring,
And I have in my head to go crawling
When the hounds come around, I go to the bottle
Like every wet shadow before me

Now are you angry at me, 'cause I'm no longer free?
I don't sound it or say it or feel it
But out on the street, somebody told me
It happens to everyone
So I don't blame you, it's my foot in my shoe
And I seem to have easily filled it
While the thing in my charge, whether tiny or large
I fear I may slowly have killed it

Obeying a heinous, heinous law...


Lyrics submitted by kezdump

"Bottle Baby" as written by

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Bottle Baby song meanings
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4 Comments

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  • 0
    General Commentthis is such a haunting song. it has some sort of discourse of hard luck, out-on-the-streets, alcoholism which is complimented beautifully by the strangled vocals and sparse guitar. beautiful song.
    quirky_but_kewlon June 13, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentcouldnt agree more. awesome song, very bob dylan.
    worlds_best_grandmaon April 22, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it's about torn modern families and the struggle they face.
    foxymanon May 23, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this is about the hypocrisy of people who judge the destructive behaviour (in this case, alcoholism) of others without showing understanding or demonstrating an ability to think for themselves.

    "Your parents are raising your children" implies passed down values (from your parents) and ignorance to their origination. These values may be blindly accepted from our parents, the media, the Church etc., even though it's heinous and wrong.

    "O, I could have told you, the vices wont hold you warm in a coil where you lay"
    The typical mantra, that drugs and alcohol are not the answer, well everyone knows that. The idea that addicts don't deserve pity or help because they did it to themselves is commonly purported. The author is even saying they have a point. But it seems ignorant to stand on some pre-built high moral spire and judge without acknowledging the reason for the behaviour in the first place. Everyone struggles for power within themselves, so it's no good reason to get angry at someone just because you don't like the particular way they tried to cope.

    Maybe to some extent we're all obeying some heinous law where we think we are right, but we are really just using some misguided principles to hurt other people and feel better about ourselves. If this cannot be avoided (and I don't think it can), then we should always question what is right and wrong in the hope of finding a more representative and fair standard.

    Anyway, these lyrics say it much more eloquently. The poetic imagery Glenn uses is always so emotionally and intellectually provocative. I'll stop gushing now.
    bulletsandsilvertoneson September 16, 2011   Link

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