I was in your presence for an hour or so
Or was it a day?
I truly don't know
Where the sun never set, where the trees hung low
By that soft and shining sea
Did you respect me for what I did
Or what I didn't do, or keeping it hid?
Did I lose my mind when I tried to get rid
Of everything you see?

In the summertime, ah in the summertime
In the summertime, when you were with me.

I got the heart and you got the blood
We cut through iron and we cut through mud
Then came the warning that was before the flood
That set everybody free
Fools they made a mock of sin
Our loyalty they tried to win
But you were closer to me than my next of kin
When they didn't want to know or see.

In the summertime, ah in the summertime
In the summertime, when you were with me.

Strangers, they meddled in our affairs
Poverty and shame were theirs
But all that suffering was not to be compared
With the glory that is to be
And I'm still carrying the gift you gave
It's a part of me now, it's been cherished and saved
It'll go with me unto the grave
And into eternity.

In the summertime, ah in the summertime
In the summertime, when you were with me.

Lyrics submitted by nitsirhc

"In the Summertime" as written by Bob Dylan


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In the Summertime song meanings
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  • +1
    Song MeaningI can see how Rayman's explanation fits with the lyrics. But as with so much of Dylan's work there could be more than one interpretation and I don’t think a twofold meaning is beyond what Dylan often tried to do.
    That Christian way described above is not how I have read this song at all! Shot of Love does have some Christian tracks on it but also some which are secular.
    I think this is a beautiful poetic way of describing a relationship, and his description is so rich. I always pictured it as a couple who are doing things 'properly'. They are showing their love for each other and desire to do things right by waiting until they are married before they have sex, and then when they do, how amazing it is. I suppose this would sort of fit in with Dylan’s Christian attitude at this time.
    That is what he is talking about in verse one when he describes how he loves being with her. He had spent time with her and he hardly knows how long they had together. All around the scenery seems beautiful and time is of no matter. He asks if she respects him for what he did, or for what he didn’t do. He found it hard (did I lose my mind…) but he kept her purity.
    By verse 2 they have got married and are together as one. It is so great to be properly together finally. It is like he is a heart and she is the blood. They can cope through anything (iron… mud…) their love is so strong. People mocked them for keeping themselves for each other alone and waiting, but that just made them closer.
    In verse 3 people are interfering but it doesn’t matter. All that is nothing compared to how great it is to be together and they will be forever. He talks about now owning the gift she gave him on their wedding night and he will treasure it and save it. She kept it and gave it especially to him. She will be his and he will be hers until their dying day and in to eternity.
    LettersFromWaron December 31, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI really like this song. It's got a lullabye feel to it and the vocals are great. The lyrics are pretty obvious; Dylan is equating the season of Summer with the presence of Christ in his life. (This also explains why nobody has bothered to comment on it yet; the rockers think Dylan's dabbling in Christianity is so "NOT cool", and the Christians think Dylan's "conversion" is so "NOT real". As for me... I just focus on the ART. I like SOME of Dylan's stuff, and this is one of them!)
    RayManon June 20, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love the line "we cut through mud"
    Dylan's lyrics are so enexpected
    TiedToTrainTrackson July 12, 2010   Link

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