"I Was Young When I Left Home" as written by and Bob Dylan....
I was young when I left home,
And I been out a'ramblin' 'round,
And I never wrote a letter to my home.
To my home, Lord, to my home,
And I never wrote a letter to my home.

It was just the other day
I was drinkin' on my pay
When I met an old friend I used to know.
He said your mother's dead and gone,
Your baby sister's all gone wrong,
And your daddy needs you home right away.

Not a shirt on my back,
Not a penny on my name.
Well I can't go home this a'way.
This a'way, Lord Lord Lord,
I can't go home this a'way.

If you miss the train I'm on,
Count the days I'm gone,
And you'll hear that whistle blow a hundred miles.
A hundred miles, a hundred, baby,
Lord Lord Lord,
And you'll hear that whistle blow a hundred miles.

When I's playin' on the track,
Maw would come and whip me back,
On them tressles down by ol' Jim McKay's.

When I pay the debt I owe
To the commissary store,
I will pawn my watch and chain and go home.
Oh home, Lord Lord Lord,
I will pawn my watch and chain and go home.

I used to tell my Maw sometimes,
When I see them ridin' blinds,
Gonna make me a home out in the wind.
In the wind, Lord, in the wind,
Make me a home out in the wind.

I don't like it in the wind,
I want to go back home again,
But I can't go home this a'way.
This a'way, Lord Lord Lord,
And I can't go home this a'way.

I was young when I left home,
And I been all a' ramblin' 'round,
And I never wrote a letter to my home.
To my home, Lord Lord Lord,
And I never wrote a letter to my home.


Lyrics submitted by noice

"I Was Young When I Left Home" as written by Bob Dylan

Lyrics © BOB DYLAN MUSIC CO

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I Was Young When I Left Home song meanings
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8 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentI don't think that Bob Dylan's lyrics are ever really meant to be symbolic, he's an amazing storyteller. This is telling a story about loneliness, regret.
    PlugSixon December 22, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI can definitely relate. I love this song. It's a beautiful classic.
    PB420on November 02, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis song telles exactly my story axcept my parents divorced since little child I was suffering then left home for 18 years to hear grieve-full news about how bad things went with my family ,,,willing but not able to go home with empty hands and pockets,,,,,sad song it makes me feel like I want to cry but I can`t
    thanks to dylan `s sad voice
    mikadoon August 01, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwhat a beautiful song. i think everyone can relate to the feeling of being out "in the wind" and just wanting to "go back home" but not knowing the way. that, i believe, is what life is all about. that is, finding the way home..whatever home is.
    west of saraon April 12, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is simple genius. There should be millions comments on this song. This is the best autobiographical song of bob dylan. That feeling of uncertainty and attempting to prove yourself is embedded deep with in this song.
    tronistroyon June 03, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with Plugsix, this is not a symbolic song, just the best song about regret and being homesick ever written.
    I was young when I left home myself and after that I really lost it. I would listen to this song when I'd been partying for weeks and I finally came down, hiding under the sheets, really fucking afraid of the world outside and more than anything - feeling bad for letting mum and dad down.
    This song is just...wow....over and over again.
    cluelessson May 23, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is very important early Dylan song because it gives us a big clue about how his songwriting art developed. He has taken a old song "500 miles" as a seed and from it crafted this heart-wrenching classic - pure genius.
    Jukebillon March 07, 2012   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI believe this song could also work being from the perspective of a ghost...thus meeting a friend "he used to know," being out in the wind, without a shirt on his back, only with debts he can never repay. And he only hears news of the dead.

    As for how he died, well, he was hit by a train. Maybe it was an accident, or maybe a lonely, grief-stricken suicide; either way, without his mother to whoop him back.

    Of course, as a ghost, he can never return home "this way"...

    I don't think this is what Dylan had in mind, but given the ambiguous, dreamy, and adrift-in-time nature of the lyrics, I think, it could be a plausible interpretation.
    jonathanproxyon November 23, 2015   Link

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