"All Along the Watchtower (Bob Dylan cover)" as written by and Bob Dylan....
There must be some kind of way outta here
Said the joker to the thief
There's too much confusion
I can't get no relief

Business men, they drink my wine
Plowman dig my earth
None were level on the mind
Nobody up at his word
Hey, hey

No reason to get excited
The thief he kindly spoke
There are many here among us
Who feel that life is but a joke
But, uh, but you and I, we've been through that
And this is not our fate
So let us stop talkin' falsely now
The hour's getting late, hey

All along the watchtower
Princes kept the view
While all the women came and went
Barefoot servants, too
Outside in the cold distance
A wildcat did growl
Two riders were approaching
And the wind began to howl


Lyrics submitted by lzphishhead, edited by somacep4sc

"All Along the Watchtower" as written by Bob Dylan

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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All Along the Watchtower (Bob Dylan cover) song meanings
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  • +14
    General CommentIts funny how the joker is complaining to the thief that things are being stolen from him (businessmen drink my wine, plowmen dig my earth) and the thief is complaining to the joker that people don't take life seriously and complains about 'speaking falsely'. The two characters pretty much complain to each other about each other.

    Did no one else realize this connection?
    Thoughts?
    tragicallybobon February 05, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General Commentthis is my all time favorite jimi song, it just flows ya know? the lyrics are great too.
    UseYourIllusionon June 21, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Commentits about two real life people with human sin who have lived the life who toghether make the commitment to rise above their earthly limitations and watch out for, guard and love the truth.

    amen
    Soloon April 27, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentBob Dylan, typically, tends to be outstandingly cryptic in his lyrics. while others are just what they are.

    i tend to believe this song was connotated with Vietnam because it was going on at the time this song was released (originally on Dylan's LP "John Wesley Harding" in 1967)

    but what i actually believe the song is a story about society: the upper class being the Princes,

    the Joker and pregnant women being the Middle class and the Thief representing the Lower Class.

    i always thought the Thief's line when speaking to the Joker was a very peculiar one: "There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke."

    the Thief is telling the Joker, of all people, that nobody takes life seriously. was it a hint from the Thief to the Joker to stop screwing around? and make plans for escape?

    i'm still trying to figure that one out...
    roger wilcoon May 15, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHow could any of you people think this song is about something so superficial and obvious as the Viet Nam War?! The reasoning put forward by CoNjOutsidersLsSm is so amazingly pathetic. It was written by Bob Dylan, the greatest artist, songwriter and lyricist that ever lived. He was such an inventer. Making a song about the Viet Nam war is more like jumping on the bandwagon. To think that Dylan would make a song so easily interpretable is plain stupid. Ok Hendrix may have turned it into an anthem for the anti-war movement, but it was certainly not Dylan's idea. If you knew anything about the time at which Dylan wrote it you would know that his time of great political comment was already over. And anyway when he did make statements they weren't so obvious or popular. I go with a mix between the Biblical context and the reason on the link given by the 6th Sadistic Sniper. It does truly make more sense. All through Dylan's career he made songs about Biblical and historical ideas. The Nam idea is way off. Even on the "John Wesley Harding" LP Dylan, in the titlae track and on most other tracks is narrating and its all historical. No way is it Nam, hes not that obvios.
    SouthHibbingon April 20, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General Commentso what you're all basically saying is that this song is about phildelphia eagles, defending his lyrics, and albertus being a prick. thanks, it's all so clear. woohoo. I'm glad i wasted my life reading that.
    joAKAmegalomaniacon October 30, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI've noticed a large pattern on this site, in regards to common themes that people tend to think songs fit into. The big obvious one is religion, the other being the big social context of whatever period the song was written in. For the 60's and 70's every song is apparently about Vietnam, and for our current decade they're all reputably about 9-11, George Bush or the Iraq war. For some, this may be completely true and absolutely the case, but I have a hard time believing 90% of all songs ever made are either about Jebus or the then current/recent war.

    With a song like this I can see how it would be easy to think its about Vietnam. Hell, until I really looked at the lyrics I would have agreed with you. The first four lines ("There must be some kind of way out of here", ext.) sound a lot like a statement on Vietnam. But if you get locked into that train of thought right off the bat then you're going to have to really stretch the rest of the lyrics to make it fit.

    Granted, I don't know what its about. And hell, it might be about religion or Vietnam. But if you're gonna make the claim, you need more than one or two lines that sorta-kinda-maybe-could-be about your theory. I'm not trying to insult anyone here, and no offense is meant, but please try not to jump to conclusions so damn fast.
    TheGassyGunslingeron November 14, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI know that Jimi was the one who made this song a BIG one, but I prefer the Original and about the two last lines in first stanza, I can't say clearly what Jimi says but I think we must accept the dylan's part ("None of them along the line, Know what any of it worth"), because he wrote the song and knew why it must be like this
    Paymaanon December 04, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIts about Vietnam
    Temujinon April 19, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIts about finding meaning in life in Vietnam
    NattyDreadon April 26, 2002   Link

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