Do you love me, or are you just extending goodwill?
Do you need me half as bad as you say, or are you just feeling guilt?
I've been burned before and I know the score
So you won't hear me complain
Will I be able to count on you?
Or is your love in vain?

Are you so fast that you cannot see that I must have solitude?
When I am in the darkness, why do you intrude?
Do you know my world, do you know my kind?
Or must I explain?
Will you let me be myself?
Or is your love in vain?

Well I've been to the mountain and I've been in the wind
I've been in and out of happiness
I have dined with kings, I've been offered wings
And I've never been too impressed

All right, I'll take a chance, I will fall in love with you
If I'm a fool you can have the night, you can have the morning too
Can you cook and sew, make flowers grow?
Do you understand my pain?
Are you willing to risk it all?
Or is your love in vain?

Lyrics submitted by nitsirhc

"Is Your Love in Vain?" as written by Bob Dylan


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Is Your Love in Vain? song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentMy first post on this site goes to this song. If i were to make a Dylan compilation, this song would definitely be in... The overall mood of the song and Bob's voice is so perfect. Just like "Sarah", this is one of the best examples of Bob, clearly saying what he is meaning other than metaphorically speaking... And he does it best when he does...
    WeatherReporton May 12, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentGreat red carpet intro...his heart is aching for true love
    McJensenon July 22, 2016   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationHonestly I think this is one of his greater songs, especially from Street-Legal. Probably written during/after his divorcing Sara, it features all the feelings one feel during a break-up (especially after a long, long relationship).

    The line "I have dined with kings, I've been offered wings, and I've never been too impressed" is one of my favs. I think it so accurately captures the feeling of having lost something, not having appreciated the life and reality you've lived in. Spoken from someone who've lost whom I believed to be the one, I can't do more than agree.
    jackemsapon October 18, 2017   Link
  • +1
    General CommentGreat intro...title says it all.
    michaelbaxon January 06, 2019   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHow did noone comment on this??? That's Bob Dylan's BEST song ever!!!!
    shi89on February 03, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment... and i wonder who he sings to?
    WeatherReporton May 12, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti heard this song on a cover album my friend had. All acoustic. This song on acoustic is brilliant. The original I've never really listened to....
    ringouton August 18, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song, but does it remind anyone else of Procul Harem's "A Whiter Shade of Pale" ?

    I think the first two lines explain the song. The singer feels he may love someone, but is not sure if it is just love in a friendship way that he is getting back.
    originlon January 14, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this is a song about finding a woman who would give him at that time, everything that Sarah gave him. Sarah used to cook and sew and make flowers grow. However, after the divorce Dylan encountered other females from the musical scene lacking those classical Sarah female virtues. So he asks the lover if she would sacrifice all her life to be with him, a complicated character. It is not a misoginy song at all as many are saying. Most of Dylan songs take things from his real life and then he adds poetry to those common issues that we all experiment as humans.
    maribel101on August 11, 2019   Link
  • -1
    General CommentIMO this is one of his weakest songs
    soujiro707on March 17, 2009   Link

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