"Thunder on the Mountain" as written by and Bob Dylan....
Thunder on the mountain, fires on the moon
There's a ruckus in the alley and the sun will be here soon
Today's the day, gonna grab my trombone and blow
Well, there's hot stuff here and it's everywhere I go

I was thinkin' 'bout Alicia Keys, couldn't keep from crying
When she was born in Hell's Kitchen, I was living down the line
I'm wondering where in the world Alicia Keys could be
I been looking for her even clear through Tennessee

Feel like my soul is beginning to expand
Look into my heart and you will sort of understand
You brought me here, now you're trying to run me away
The writing's on the wall, come read it, come see what it say

Thunder on the mountain, rolling like a drum
Gonna sleep over there, that's where the music coming from
I don't need any guide, I already know the way
Remember this, I'm your servant both night and day

The pistols are poppin' and the power is down
I'd like to try somethin' but I'm so far from town
The sun keeps shinin' and the North Wind keeps picking up speed
Gonna forget about myself for a while, gonna go out and see what others need

I've been sitting down studying the art of love
I think it will fit me like a glove
I want some real good woman to do just what I say
Everybody got to wonder what's the matter with this cruel world today

Thunder on the mountain rolling to the ground
Gonna get up in the morning walk the hard road down
Some sweet day I'll stand beside my king
I wouldn't betray your love or any other thing

Gonna raise me an army, some tough sons of bitches
I'll recruit my army from the orphanages
I been to St. Herman's church and I've said my religious vows
I've sucked the milk out of a thousand cows

I got the pork chops, she got the pie
She ain't no angel and neither am I
Shame on your greed, shame on your wicked schemes
I'll say this, I don't give a damn about your dreams

Thunder on the mountain heavy as can be
Mean old twister bearing down on me
All the ladies of Washington scrambling to get out of town
Looks like something bad gonna happen, better roll your airplane down

Everybody's going and I want to go too
Don't wanna take a chance with somebody new
I did all I could and I did it right there and then
I've already confessed, no need to confess again

Gonna make a lot of money, gonna go up north
I'll plant and I'll harvest what the earth brings forth
The hammer's on the table, the pitchfork's on the shelf
For the love of God, you ought to take pity on yourself


Lyrics submitted by JoshPowell

"Thunder on the Mountain" as written by Bob Dylan

Lyrics © BOB DYLAN MUSIC CO

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Thunder on the Mountain song meanings
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9 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentWhat's that? Is that the sound of Dylan laughing at us all trying to make sense of the absurdity of the song and its lyrics? This is Dylan laughing not just at that but at his critics and people who have put words in his mouth or tried to make him into something he isn't. A few years ago, the press went gaga over Alicia Keys, declaring her, like Dylan, Springsteen and Prince, lo so many years ago, the great saviour of pop music. This of course, is dumb - you shouldn't look for saviours in pop music. Of course all those critics are obsessing over the references to Alicia here (lol). Of course, she didn't turn out to be anything like that. Dylan makes allusions to his past and the things he has done to confound the critics, fans and so forth - his turn towards Christianity, his (and likewise Alicia Keys) "sell-out", his critics obsession with his divorce (likewise his own) and so forth. As he says "she aint no angel and neither am I" - and he goes on to condemn everyone and says he "doesn't give a damn about your dreams" - Part of the song is sung in the voice of these critics, fans and people who looked towards him as their saviour - their false bravado, piety - secular and otherwise. In the end, their yammering and blather amounts only to "Thunder on the Mountain" -- he even takes it further and relates the critical blather to the mass of offensive punditry so prevalent on cable TV and in politics ("all the ladies of Washington scrambling to get out of town"). Dylan sums it up in the last line - "for the love of God, you ought to take pity on yourself"
    vinylmineron September 03, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOur wordsmith at his finest. In the words of Allen Ginsberg, " Bob Dylan is the master of American tongue ".
    easyjim1967on November 16, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhy Alicia Keys?
    RalphieGiordanoon September 02, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentawesome song!
    The Drizzleon September 03, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWell vinylminer (which is an awesome name by the way) seems to have sumed it up rather nicely. I would just like to say that when I bought Dylan's new album and threw it in, this song knocked my socks off. It is a great way to kick off the album, and kudos to Dylan for still kickin' ass.
    TheJackofHeartson October 19, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song, and I agree with vinylminer about it's meanings. "Gonna raise me some army, some tough sons of bitches/I'll recruit my arm from the orphanages" is straight golden.
    BakeCarrotson January 29, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is Dylan at his very best. The whole Album is superb. Why do folk try to find something that most likely isn't there? Just enjoy listening as much as Dylan likes singing.
    foundrymanon October 11, 2012   Link
  • -1
    General CommentThe "Jesus Freak" movement of the seventies temporarily hooked in a batch of hipsters, but Dylan shows that he's not one of these:
    "Some sweet day I'll stand beside my king
    I wouldn't betray your love or any other thing"
    LoganWalteron May 14, 2007   Link
  • -2
    Song MeaningI have listened to Dylan (as many of you have ) for amy years and am still perplexed by some of his lyrics. However, Thunder on the Mountain is one that, I believe, I have some grasp on. Dylan is talking about 9/11 in many of the phrases. i.e. "better roll your airplane down" "ladies in Washington trying to get out of town" "gonna raise me an army some tough sons a bitchs, I'll recruit my army from the orphanges"...airplane down reference to all planes being brought in on 9/11; ladies in Washington--scrambling is reference to Washington pandemonium on 9/11 (see the video); raise army,tough SOB from orphanges is reference to the children left without parents after 9/11; "hammers on the table, pitchfork on the shelf" is reference to we can war with you or have peace with you (9/11 persons); "for the love of God ya'll take pity on yourselves" is reference to war with U.S. will bring no pity. There are other refernces, also, to 9/11 in the lyrics. Some lyrics like "I've got the porkchop she's got the pie" have nothing to do with 9/11, and are pretty easy to comprehend; but overall, most of the song lyrics refer to 9/11.
    bendeschaadon December 29, 2010   Link

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