Oh, all the money that in my whole life I did spend
Be it mine right or wrongfully
I let it slip gladly to friends
To tie up the time most forcefully
But the bottles are done
We've killed each one
And the table's full and overflowed
And the corner sign
Says it's closing time
So I'll bid farewell and be down the road

Oh, ev'ry girl that ever I've touched
I did not do it harmfully
And ev'ry girl that ever I've hurt
I did not do it knowin'ly
But to remain as friends
You need the time to make amends
And stay behind
And since my feet are now fast
And point away from the past
I'll bid farewell and be down the line

Oh, ev'ry foe that ever I faced
The cause was there before we came
And ev'ry cause that ever I fought
I fought it full without regret or shame
But the dark does die
As the curtain is drawn and somebody's eyes
Must meet the dawn
And if I see the day
I'd only have to stay
So I'll bid farewell in the night and be gone

Oh, ev'ry thought that's strung a knot in my mind
I might go insane if it couldn't be sprung
But it's not to stand naked under unknowin' eyes
It's for myself and my friends my stories are sung
But the time ain't tall
Yet on time you depend and no word is possessed
By no special friend
And though the line is cut
It ain't quite the end
I'll just bid farewell till we meet again

Oh, a false clock tries to tick out my time
To disgrace, distract, and bother me
And the dirt of gossip blows into my face
And the dust of rumors covers me
But if the arrow is straight
And the point is slick
It can pierce through dust no matter how thick
So I'll make my stand
And remain as I am
And bid farewell and not give a damn


Lyrics submitted by Jack, edited by andykndr, Ziwdon, Ghado

Restless Farewell Lyrics as written by Bob Dylan

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Restless Farewell song meanings
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  • 0
    General Comment

    when frank sinatra was retiring/having a birthday/some other celebration, he invited lots of performers to sing at it. he asked bob dylan specifically to sing this song. it's a great song-- saying goodbye, no regrets, moving on, etc.

    luckye225on October 07, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    this is such a beutiful song. But the dark goes die As the curtain is drawn and somebody's eyes Must meet the dawn. And if I see the day I'd only have to stay, So I'll bid farewell in the night and be gone.

    that line completes the most necessary revelation in my soul.

    Dornanon June 16, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    This song is stunningly beautiful. I love it, all the more because of the basis of one of my favourite traditional folk songs, 'The Parting Glass'. I always enjoy when Bob Dylan incorporates folk songs in his music.

    dongiovannion March 11, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    On leaving a lover and refusing the suggestion that they could stay friends. Conflated with musings on how he has now become public property, with every aspect of his private life raked over, asked about, and his songs examined for clues (as many of us are doing here all these year's later!)

    Oh, ev'ry thought that's strung a knot in my mind, I might go insane if it couldn't be sprung. But it's not to stand naked under unknowin' eyes, It's for myself and my friends my stories are sung.

    Perhaps the most intriguing verse though is the third, which seems to contain a contradiction midway through. Dylan claims to have fought his every argument without remorse

    Oh ev'ry foe that ever I faced, The cause was there before we came. And ev'ry cause that ever I fought, I fought it full without regret or shame.

    but goes on to talk of leaving before the sun rises, and before he has to face the person with whom he's argued

    But the dark goes die As the curtain is drawn and somebody's eyes Must meet the dawn. And if I see the day I'd only have to stay, So I'll bid farewell in the night and be gone.

    Slipping out on a lover with whom he's quarreled one too many times perhaps, and with whom he's decided there is no future, just more quarrels, even if he's not (had the courage) to say as much.

    SuitBoyon April 07, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    i think it has more to do than telling a lover you're moving on. it sounds almost like a suicide note, telling everyone, whether they liked him or not, that he's not sorry for anything he's done. 'profound' is the best word i can use to describe this song

    BigDean93on July 04, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I can't help but wonder if he was hinting at his intention to move away from issue directed folk songs. Like leaving a lover, with the motivation being his "musings on how he has now become public property, with every aspect of his private life raked over, asked about, and his songs examined for clues (as many of us are doing here all these year's later!)"

    After this came Another Side of Bob Dylan, with more personal and abstract songs, less topical, less true to the folk roots of the early days.

    mrgreenon January 23, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    This song is a masterpiece. The sentimental tune, borrowed from The Parting Glass, amplifies the emotional power of the lyrics, which are pure poetry.

    The song is about a life lived honestly and the life beyond this life that waits. He's lived honestly and will leave this world without giving a damn. It's only a "false" clock that ticks out his time -- just an annoyance to distract him. The dirt and dust that covers his face (when he's buried) are merely "rumors" and "gossip," easily pierced by the arrow of the truth. It's the darkness that dies when the curtains are drawn (death) and the dawn that follows.

    gregwon March 30, 2014   Link

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