Crickets are chirpin', the water is high,
There's a soft cotton dress on the line hangin' dry,
Windows wide open, African trees
Bent over backwards from a hurricane breeze.
Not a word of goodbye, not even a note,
She's gone with the man
In the long black coat.

Somebody seen him hanging around
At the old dance hall on the outskirts of town,
He looked into her eyes when she stopped to ask
If he wanted to dance, he had a face like a mask.
Somebody said from the Bible he'd quote
There was dust on the man
In the long black coat.

Preacher was a talkin' there's a sermon he gave,
He said every man's conscience is vile and depraved,
You cannot depend on it to be your guide
When it's you who must keep it satisfied.
It ain't easy to swallow, it sticks in the throat,
She gave her heart to the man
In the long black coat.

There are no mistakes in life some people say
It is true sometimes you can see it that way.
But people don't live or die, people just float.
She went with the man
In the long black coat.

There's smoke on the water, it's been there since June,
Tree trunks uprooted, 'neath the high crescent moon
Feel the pulse and vibration and the rumbling force
Somebody is out there beating the dead horse.
She never said nothing there was nothing she wrote,
She's gone with the man
In the long black coat.


Lyrics submitted by ecorchee1

Man In The Long Black Coat song meanings
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    General CommentI'm a little surprised not a singl person has commented yet. Oh well, buy the ticket, take the ride.

    Anyways this piece was originally done by Bob Dylan off the album OH MERCY, but remade by Mark Lanegan for the "I'm Not There" soundtrack. There's quite a bit of speculation on who the man in the long black coat is.....some say it's death, some say its a man who killed his wife, some even say it's like an incubus-like demon coming to women to whisk them away. I personally go along with THE MAN being death. People can romanticize about death, when death to the human eyes is really the cruel personification of destruction of natural form.

    In the first verse we're given a slight taste of the destruction by the imagery of the african trees bent over backwards. The next verse is the romanticism of THE MAN, and after that the third verse is your everyday preacher explaining how thing can look glorious but be devilish as well, the proverbial "Wolf In Sheep's Clothing." I personally feel unsettled with the lines "every man's conscience is vile and depraved, You cannot depend on it to be your guide When it's you who must keep it satisfied. Brutal. Anyways, the last verse gives an idea of widespread destruction in the end, even as far as a man beating on a dead horse. In the end, we all go with The Man In The Long Black Coat.

    Anyways, that's my interpretation. I could be wrong, but it's a start. I hope others will comment on this version.
    ericdraven5150on March 23, 2010   Link

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