Rambling out of the wild west
Leaving the towns I love best
Thought I'd seen some ups and down
'Till I come into New York town
People going down to the ground
Building going up to the sky

Wintertime in New York town
The wind blowing snow around
Walk around with nowhere to go
Somebody could freeze right to the bone
I froze right to the bone
New York Times said it was the coldest winter in seventeen years
I didn't feel so cold then

I swung on to my old guitar
Grabbed hold of a subway car
And after a rocking, reeling, rolling ride
I landed up on the downtown side
Greenwich Village

I walked down there and ended up
In one of them coffee-houses on the block
Got on the stage to sing and play
Man there said, come back some other day
You sound like a hillbilly
We want folksingers here

Well, I got a harmonica job, begun to play
Blowing my lungs out for a dollar a day
I blowed inside out and upside down
The man there said he loved my sound
He was raving about he loved my sound
Dollar a day's worth

After weeks and weeks of hanging around
I finally got a job in New York town
In a bigger place, bigger money too
Even joined the union and paid my dues

Now, a very great man once said
That some people rob you with a fountain pen
It don't take too long to find out
Just what he was talking about
A lot of people don't have much food on their table
But they got a lot of forks and knives
And they gotta cut something

So one morning when the sun was warm
I rambled out of New York town
Pulled my cap down over my eyes
And heated out for the western skies
So long New York
Howdy, East Orange

Lyrics submitted by SongMeanings

"Talkin' New York" as written by Bob Dylan

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Talkin' New York song meanings
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  • +1
    General Commentthis line is really witty

    A lot of people don't have much food on their table,
    But they got a lot of forks 'n' knives,
    And they gotta cut somethin'.
    spook!!on November 16, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHe was ravin' about how he loved m' sound;
    Dollar a day's worth.

    My favorite line!
    SMUSER17345272on September 04, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentdylans early days playing, working in cafes and nightclubs around new york. Just like a slice out of the first part of his autobiography.
    davemkon January 24, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song's so good. i can't believe the lack of comments. it's such a true song about his early experiences playing around new york.
    peepeeheadon October 04, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSuch a great song, about Dylan's time in New York.

    I love the lines;

    "Now a very great man once said
    That some people rob you with a fountain pen."

    The "great man" Dylan talks about is Woody Guthrie, who in his song "Pretty Boy Floyd" wrote...

    "Some will rob you with a six-gun,
    And some with a fountain pen"

    Great song by a great artist.

    CrackedDiscon March 16, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"A lot of people don't have much food on their table,
    But they got a lot of forks 'n' knives,
    And they gotta cut somethin'."

    is he talking about pay cuts?
    mumblecoreeeeon December 26, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is about the beginnings of Dylan's musical career in Greenwich Village, where he moved to from the Midwest. For more information on this stage of Dylan's career, read Dylan's memoir/autobiography Chronicles Vol. I. The structure and melody of the song are based off of "Talkin' Dust Bowl Blues" by Woody Guthrie, Dylan's idol. There is at least one other homage to Guthrie: the line "rob you with a fountain pen" references Guthrie's song "Pretty Boy Floyd." Dylan's first album also contains "Song to Woody," a more overt tribute to Guthrie.
    JohnnyLurgon March 21, 2012   Link

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