Mama, take this badge off of me
I can't use it anymore.
It's gettin' dark, too dark for me to see
I feel like I'm knockin' on heaven's door.

Knock, knock, knockin' on heaven's door
Knock, knock, knockin' on heaven's door
Knock, knock, knockin' on heaven's door
Knock, knock, knockin' on heaven's door

Mama, put my guns in the ground
I can't shoot them anymore.
That long black cloud is comin' down
I feel like I'm knockin' on heaven's door.

Knock, knock, knockin' on heaven's door
Knock, knock, knockin' on heaven's door
Knock, knock, knockin' on heaven's door
Knock, knock, knockin' on heaven's door


Lyrics submitted by oofus, edited by Mellow_Harsher


Knockin' on Heaven's Door song meanings
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77 Comments

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  • +10
    General Commentgeez. no one pays attention to the real history of a song anymore. This movie is NOT an anti-war song, or anything like that. This was a song written FOR A MOVIE, thus, to tie in with the script.
    In the movie, entitled Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (i thinkthats the right title), the song is about Pat Garrett, and outlaw who is made into a sheriff and ordered to hunt down his old friend billy the kid. "Mama, take this badge off of me, I can't use it anymore." It's the sheriff's badge, he has no desire to be one when it becomes clear that he must help kill the lifestyle he truly loves. Those are the facts, but in a specific sense I take the knockin' on heaven's door to be about how close Garret is to being an outlaw again, his heaven. In the non-movie related sense of the song, I think it's about a man deciding to be killed rather than fight back, and he's going to die, but he thinks his decision puts him at heaven's door.
    dikoduckon December 05, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General Commentbob dylan is a genius.
    roger wilcoon May 12, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General Comment^^ he's not sick of life. He's guilty. From the war and all the killing - He's knockin' on heavens door and waiting to be let in.
    nameron August 11, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti love this song, it's really short but it's really good
    ali_caton February 03, 2002   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI believe that this song is about a dying and regretting soldier who is in pain. He is wearing his army badge that he doesn't need any more ... also all of his guns are useless which he used to rule people .. he is now going to see the heaven where his all powers will be abandoned , only his spent way of life will matter.
    ishtiaqahmedzon August 27, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with dunehermit. The lyric about it getting too dark to see is brilliant, and shows how a badge and a gun can blind a persons morals and sense of right and wrong.
    MrMojoRisin5552on May 03, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commenthe sure as hell is.
    callitacrushon May 12, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentto oaf- this is an original dylan song, not a jerry garcia cover.
    jjudgeon May 13, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it's about life.
    he's sick of life.
    miseraon June 09, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is my favorite Bob original, it's a very simple song, but there's just something about it that made me fall in love with it. There are many variations of the second verse, and i think version with The Grateful Dead is one of the best.
    seraphimcomplexon August 27, 2002   Link

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