"Song for Bob Dylan" as written by and David Bowie....
Oh, hear this Robert Zimmerman
I wrote a song for you
About a strange young man called Dylan
With a voice like sand and glue
Some words had truthful vengeance
That could pin us to the floor
Brought a few more people on
And put the fear in a whole lot more

Ah, here she comes
Here she comes, here she comes again
The same old painted lady
From the brow of the superbrain
She'll scratch this world to pieces
As she comes on like a friend
Couple of songs from your old scrapbook
Could send her home again

Gave your heart to every bedsit room, at least a
Picture on my wall
And you sat behind a million pair of eyes
And told them how they saw
Then we lost your train of thought
Your paintings are all your own
While troubles are rising, we'd rather be scared
Together than alone

Ah, here she comes
Here she comes, here she comes again
The same old painted lady
From the brow of the superbrain
She'll scratch this world to pieces
As she comes on like a friend
But a couple of songs from your old scrapbook
Could send her home again

Now hear this, Robert Zimmerman
Though I don't suppose we'll meet
Ask your good friend Dylan
If he'd gaze a while down the old street
Tell him we've lost his poems
So we're writing on the walls
Give us back our unity
Give us back our family
You're every nation's refugee
Don't leave us with their sanity

Ah, here she comes
Here she comes, here she comes again
The same old painted lady
From the brow of the superbrain
She'll scratch this world to pieces
As she comes on like a friend
But a couple of songs from your old scrapbook
Could send her home again

Ah, couple of songs from your old scrapbook
Could send her home again
Oh, here she comes
Here she comes, and here she comes


Lyrics submitted by magicnudiesuit

"Song for Bob Dylan" as written by David Bowie

Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Peermusic Publishing, Universal Music Publishing Group

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Song for Bob Dylan song meanings
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12 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentI think considering this song follows the song "Andy Warhol" on the 1972 album "Hunky Dory," released one year after Edie Sedgwick's death, I see some refences to Warhol's Factory years and the involvement both Edie and Dylan had in it in those days.

    When the chorus goes "Here she comes again/ the same old painted lady/ from the brow of a superbrain" I think is a reference to Edie as the fake "painted" lady that was created by Warhol (the superbrain). I think the use of the word painted is clever, being that Warhol was a painter of sorts.

    Then the part that goes "She'll scratch this world to pieces/ as she comes on like a friend/ but a couple of songs/ from your old scrapbook/ could send her home again" is a reference to how Edie is falling apart from the heroin (amongst other substances) and creating havoc around her and if Dylan would talk to her and remind her of how great things use to be, then maybe he could save her
    PsychoGodon December 29, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentAnother in a line of songs - Joan Baez's "To Bobby" and Country Joe & The Fish's "Hey Bobby" spring to mind - seeming to think that Dylan had some sort of responsibility to lead the people ("Give us back our unity, Give us back our family" - what is he, Jesus?) and sing about social injustice rather than his own experiences. "Judas!" indeed.

    "I was sick of the way my lyrics had been extrapolated, their meanings subverted into polemics and that I had been anointed as the Big Bubba of Rebellion, High Priest of Protest, the Duke of Disobedience, Leader of the Freeloaders, Kaiser of Apostasy, Arch-bishop of Anarchy, the Big Cheese. What the hell are we talking about? They were songs - not sermons." - Bob Dylan

    But a nice song nonetheless, and the "voice like sand and glue" line is great.

    (Oh, and incidentally, Dave: Dylan legally changed his name to Robert Dylan in 1962.)
    beer goodon August 11, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti see this as a tribute to him, dylan. like david's asking him to come back and sing words of wisdom again. "you're every nation's refugee". great song.
    ventilatorblueson April 03, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis was written during Dylan's 'Hiatus' after his motorcycle crash. It was a callout to him to come out of 'retirement'. He (Dylan) eventually did.
    taverneron September 26, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI like that Bowie seems to use the Dylan voice in spite of noting that it sounds like "sand and glue". I also wanted to note that Dylan is doing some sort of XM Radio situation now, so he hasn't fallen out of music just yet: xmradio.com/…
    organic matteron May 08, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBowie sounds like dylan I noticed on some parts of the album.
    DJgifon June 07, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSo far as I know the song is just saying: start "protesting" again, Bob - 'cause if you don't someone else will, and your career will never recover!
    As to the chorus - well, I've never heard that theory about Edie before, but I don't know why he would be identifying her with Pallas Athena (which is where the "brow of the superbrain" imagery stems from).

    I prefer the live BBC version (bootleg only) where most of the lead vocal is by George Underwood - who does a much more convincing Dylan impression than Bowie!
    imrazoron August 04, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentParallels with the Dylan song 'Song to Woody' maybe?
    ooshnason December 19, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentCan someone explain why Bowie uses the reference 'Here SHE comes...'? Who or what is SHE?
    Gwladyson November 06, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's David's answer to Bob's song "Ballad of a Thin Man".
    seeingon December 12, 2015   Link

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