"Talkin' Bear Mountain Picnic Massacre Blues" as written by and Bob Dylan....
I saw it advertised one day,
Bear Mountain picnic was comin' my way.
"Come along 'n' take a trip,
We'll bring you up there on a ship.
Bring the wife and kids
Bring the whole family."

Well, I run right down 'n' bought a ticket
To this Bear Mountain picnic.
But little did I realize
I was in for a picnic surprise.
Had nothin' to do with mountains.
I didn't even come close to a bear.

Took the wife 'n' kids down to the pier,
Six thousand people there,
Everybody had ticket for the trip.
"Oh well." I said, "it's a pretty big ship.
Besides, anyway, the more the merrier."

Well, we all got on 'n' what d'ya think,
That big old boat started t' sink
More people kept a-pilin' on,
That old ship was a-slowly goin' down.

Funny way t' start a picnic.

Well, I soon lost track of m' kids 'n' wife,
So many people there I never saw in m' life
That old ship sinkin' down in the water,
Six thousand people tryin' t' kill each other,

Dogs a-barkin', cats a-meowin',
Women screamin', fists a-flyin', babies cryin',
Cops a-comin', me a-runnin'.
Maybe we just better call off the picnic.

I got shoved down 'n' pushed around,
All I could hear there was a screamin' sound,
Don't remember one thing more,
Just remember wakin' up on the shore,
Head busted, stomach cracked,
Feet splintered, I was bald, naked
Quite lucky to be alive though.

Feelin' like I climbed outa m' casket,
I grabbed back hold of my picnic basket.
Took the wife 'n' kids 'n' started home,
Wishin' I'd never got up that morn.

Now, I don't care just what you do,
If you wanta have a picnic, that's up to you.
But don't tell me about it, I don't wanta hear it,
'Cause, see, I just lost all m' picnic spirit.
Stay in m' kitchen, have my own picnic so there
In the bedroom
In the bathroom.

Now, it don't seem to me quite so funny
What some people are gonna do f'are money.
There's a bran' new gimmick every day
Just t' take somebody's money away.
I think we oughta take some o' these people
And put 'em on a boat, send 'em up to Bear Mountain
For a picnic.

Lyrics submitted by blasfemme, edited by Mellow_Harsher

"Talkin' Bear Mountain Picnic Massacre Blues" as written by

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Talkin' Bear Mountain Picnic Massacre Blues song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentThis song is pretty explicitly explained in the last verse - it's about people getting cheated out of their money by crooked companies.
    Meghynneon December 16, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOkay, I just love the way he says
    "maybe we just better call off the picnic."
    It makes me looooooose it, for some reason, haha.
    MrsJoeyRamoneon October 17, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti agree with above, this is one of my favorite dylan comedy songs. my favorite part:

    "Now, I don't care just a-what you do,
    If you wanta have a picnic, that's up t' you.
    But don't tell me about it, I don't wanta hear it,
    'Cause, see, I just lost all m' picnic spirit.
    Stay in m' kitchen, have a picnic in the bathroom."

    his sarcasm is just so evident. dylan is just an expert in conveying certain feelings. brilliant.
    rockisgroovyon April 21, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBob read an article (or some one showed him an article) about something like this actually happening, and he made it a song. People were supposed to go on this big picnic thing, but someone made illegitamate tickets and sold them, so WAY more people were trying to get on this boat than were supposed to, and it ended up sinking.

    But man, oh man, this is one of my FAVORITE Dylan comedy numbers. Almost as good as "I Shall Be Free No. 10"!
    HibbingismyHolyLandon January 18, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOne of the first topical songs he wrote. I love it, its so funny.
    hightide16and87on December 26, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is hilarious! haha dylan has the best sense of humor!!
    jasssson October 28, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBob Dylan hates bears.
    ThomYorkeGuyGarvey92on November 11, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis may have referred to the "Eastland Disaster" on July 24th 1915 at or near Chicago. It was a company picnic for the Western Electric employees and their families. The death toll was 800/850. I talked just lately to someone whose father died at this event and remembered the lyrics to the song.
    sbrya45on June 13, 2013   Link

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