Gypsy gal, the hands of Harlem
Cannot hold you to its heat.
Your temperature's too hot for taming,
Your flaming feet burn up the street.
I am homeless, come and take me
Into reach of your rattling drums.
Let me know, babe, about my fortune
Down along my restless palms.

Gypsy gal, you got me swallowed.
I have fallen far beneath
Your pearly eyes, so fast an' slashing,
An' your flashing diamond teeth.
The night is pitch black, come an' make my
Pale face fit into place, ah, please!
Let me know, babe, I got to know, babe,
If it's you my lifelines trace.

I been wond'rin' all about me
Ever since I seen you there.
On the cliffs of your wildcat charms I'm riding,
I know I'm 'round you but I don't know where.
You have slayed me, you have made me,
I got to laugh halfways off my heels.
I got to know, babe, will I be touching you
So I can tell if I'm really real.

Lyrics submitted by Jack

Spanish Harlem Incident song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentMarvellous little song - it's easy to picture this wildcat described in the first verse and how after their encounter in the second verse (probably the most explicitly vague erotics he's ever written) and how he's completely lost in her memory in the third, the exhilirating and terrifying feelings from a hot one-night-stand when you don't know if you'll ever see her again.
    efforton June 13, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentYour flaming feet *are burnin up the street.*

    Let me know, babe, *I'm nearly drowning*,
    If it's you my lifelines trace.

    *I got to know, babe, eh, will you surround me?
    So I can know if I am really real.*

    I've heard this has to do with Dylan's self-consciousness about being a white boy playing the blues and how he's also attracted to the fiery black women of Harlem. "the night is pitch black, come and make my pale face fit into place ah please". also in other songs, he often depicts his woman as a soulful "junkyard angel"... a real bluesy kinda dame. i dunno
    theegoist1917on August 25, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is one of my favorite bob dylan songs. almost unknown, that's why i like it. so beautiful.
    kingmikekingon October 14, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti never thought this song to be unknown, it's always been a favorite of mine (like so many others). i think a lot of songmeanings users have been heavily drinking lately, which explains lack of posts on a lot of good songs.
    plaincl0thesmanon July 26, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti dont know, but it always makes me think of the first girl i loved, being a lesbian and she being straight i could never say anything. and she was a beautiful gypsie type hippie. and the anguish in my heart!! i could probably write my own song about her!! not a bad idea!
    sand_duneson February 19, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think Dylan recent ammitted that even he couldn't connect a meaning to the song.
    Mason88on March 28, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWell Bob's also an obsessive compulsive liar lol...even if he says the song meant nothing to him, that might not even be true.

    Anyway, in my opinion, it sounds like Joan Baez might've been the influence behind this. I dont know why, but shes the first woman that comes to mind when I hear these lyrics.
    songofishon May 30, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhat I get from this song..... is seeing a woman from a totally different world and being absolutely infactuated with her. Dylan is so good at expressing vulnerability in a very cool way. I've been there many times. I love this song.
    lonelysoul74on March 18, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentman it depresses me to see such few comments especially on such a well written song
    i like the idea of joan baez being the inspiration for this song, especially since bobby was still young when he wrote this and though he was wise beyond his years this song proves that even he doesnt know how to fully understand and express his feelings toward women
    fallenchief123on July 02, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthe lyrics are wrong,'s let me know babe-i'm nearly drowning..... and will you surround me so i can know if i am really real .. at the end of the 2 verses. sdfjjlsf. this song is beautiful.
    keylimefulon September 29, 2009   Link

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