Julie catch a rabbit by his hair
Come back steppin' like to walk on air
Get back home where you belong
And don't you run off no more

Don't hang your head, let the two time roll
Grass shack nailed to a pine wood floor
Ask the time baby I don't know
Come back later, gonna let it show

I say row Jimmy row, gonna get there, I don't know
Seems a common way to go, get out and row, row, row, row, row
Here's a half dollar if you dare
Double twist when you hit the air
Look at Julie down below
The levee doin' the do-pas-o

I say row Jimmy row, gonna get there, I don't know
Seems a common way to go, get out and row, row, row, row, row
Broken heart don't feel so bad
You ain't got half of what you thought you had
Rock you baby to and fro
Not too fast and not too slow

I say row Jimmy row, gonna get there, I don't know,
Seems a common way to go, get out and row, row, row, row, row.
That's the way it's been in town,
Ever since they tore the jukebox down
Two bit piece don't buy no more
Not so much as it done before
I say row Jimmy row, gonna get there I don't know
Seems a common way to go, get out and row, row, row, row, row

Lyrics submitted by itsmyownmind

"Row Jimmy" as written by Robert C. Hunter Jerome J. Garcia

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

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Row Jimmy song meanings
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    My InterpretationSure, it seems like a song about Jimmy and Julie living in abject poverty - 'til the line, "Ever since they tore the jukebox down". This line suggests the song is set in a post-apocalyptic town, perhaps, or a post-anarchy town - Jimmy and Julie live in a village that has been ravaged by something (let's call it The Event, for the sake of convenience) that has supplanted modes of playing music.

    They're living slowly, day-by-day, subsisting - a pace of life reflected in the song's stately pace. Since The Event, they've been living off rabbits; Julie's tried to run away, to escape, but she couldn't - the effects of The Event were too widespread, and anyway, she needs Jimmy just as much as Jimmy needs her.

    Jimmy, the stoic optimist, tells Julie not to "hang [her] head", as moping won't help them get by - they should "let the two-time roll" (two-time being a triple-entendre, I think - it's a dance, i.e. they're sort of slow-dancing their way through life, but also the 'two' suggests that the pair have each other, and no-one else. A third possible interpretation is that Julie has two-timed Jimmy - but we'll get to that interpretation later.) Naturally, everything is made more difficult by the fact that there's no music (no jukeboxes), except for the song that Jimmy's singing - the song that helps them get by.

    Jimmy's rowing himself and Julie down the metaphorical river of life - seemingly to some sort of afterlife. It's a "common way to go"; 'common' could also be a double-entendre (it's 'common' because everyone since The Event is just rowing, fatalistically, towards death/afterlife; but, since 'common' can also mean 'poor', it could suggest that commoners are forced to merely row, while the richer people can sail by on their yachts - although they, too, are headed for death/afterlife).

    The whole interpretation of the song may change if we interpret 'two time' as Julie having cheated on Jimmy - in which case, they're living in spiritual misery. They may as well be living in literal poverty - the cheating has brought their world crashing down. Even the jukeboxes may as well have been torn down, for all the good the music's doing the couple. Still, there's a sense of optimism - they're rowing their way towards a paired salvation, a state of mind in which they've got over the cheating.

    Anyway - those are my two cents. :)
    as2191on April 07, 2014   Link

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