You must leave now, take what you need, you think will last
But whatever you wish to keep, you better grab it fast
Yonder stands your orphan with his gun
Crying like a fire in the sun
Look out, the saints are comin' through
And it's all over now, baby blue

The highway is for gamblers, better use your sense
Take what you have gathered from coincidence
The empty-handed painter from your streets
Is drawing crazy patterns on your sheets
The sky, too, is folding under you
And it's all over now, baby blue

All your seasick sailors, they are rowing home
Your empty-handed army is all going home
You lover who just walked out your door
Has taken all his blankets from the floor
The carpet, too, is moving under you
And it's all over now, baby blue

Leave your stepping stones behind now, something calls for you
Forget the dead you've left, they will not follow you
The vagabond who's rapping at your door
Is standing in the clothes that you once wore
Strike another match, go start anew
And it's all over now, baby blue

Lyrics submitted by bird, edited by rb3868, bertram114

It's All Over Now, Baby Blue Lyrics as written by Bob Dylan

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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It's All Over Now, Baby Blue song meanings
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  • +7
    General CommentCould it be that Dylan is Baby Blue? He has to stop listening to everyone's expectations as to where he should go. He must leave those stepping stones and go his own way even though there may be a price to pay.

    I've enjoyed singing and playing this song for years but have never looked at from the point of view that Dylan is Baby Blue. It seems more interesting from that perspective.
    steveclarkuson July 09, 2010   Link
  • +6
    General Commenti think this song is about accepting changes in life. this was the last song dylan played at the infamous newport concert (where he was booed for going electric) and the last song on Bringing It All Back Home (his last album that was mostly acoustic) i think he is just saying it is time for him to move on creatively(sp?)
    therovinggambleron March 05, 2003   Link
  • +5
    General CommentThe obvious major theme of this song is Dylans moving on out of the folk scene, and giving a kind of warning to others than you can't stop change. But as is so typical of him, the images don't all make perfect sense, at least not to me. But they are so vivid... oh my, they must mean something. The one line I especially like is ..... "The highway is for gamblers, better use your sense. Take what you have gathered from coincidence." I could go off for a while on what I think it means... it's obviously more warning to those who want to stay put but are forced, as we all are, to move on and start anew. About 30 years ago I read a whole essay in some magazine about the "take what you have gathered from coincidence" line. The author felt it was very metaphysical..... kind of like..."Life is very mysterious and uncertain and we're not going to figure it out really well, but hey..... those seeming coincidences may just give us a clue. So gather them up and make the best sense out of things that you can. There's a wonderful line in a Jackson Browne song about death...."It's like a song I can hear right in my ear. I can't sing it. I can't help listening." For me, Dylan's lyrics are often like that. They are just beyond my total grasp. I can't put them in a box and wrap them up with a bow. There. Done. They just keep ringing in my ear... over and over. They must mean something very important. What?
    jmark1949on January 09, 2008   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI think there is one line here that is misunderstood, and it is pretty nifty.

    When Dylan is wrapping up the song, and he's telling the woman to leave the dead and to start over, he says the line "strike another match girl, start anew" I really think it's "girl" and not "go"-- if you listen to the song it could go either way, but just here me out.

    I think this line reference to Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Match Girl," in which a vagabond child selling matches sees visions of warm, safe places she will never be a part of, and each time she lights a match she sees a new scene, a new life. At the end of the fairy-tale, she lights her final match and dies... but in Dylan's case, when he says to "light another match, girl" he's not talking about a REAL death, he's talking about a change. Like the girl in the story, the subject of this song is down-and-out, she thought she was in a safe place, but she's not-- the carpet's being pulled right out from under her. She needs to figuratively "light a match" and see the possibilities for a new life, and she needs to accept, even embrace this change and join the vagabond outside to start a new journey.

    Great song.
    mkoch2on June 19, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think it's about a girl/woman who used to be able to get whatever man she wanted; but now the narrator (Bob?) has realised this and won't be strung along any more. Or maybe the world has sussed the woman out. Either way, same message, you won't fool us no more baby blue!
    originlon August 28, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI just had to respond to karmacat:
    ("Crying like a fire in the sun." Cry like a fire, son, the enormity of burning pain cannot even be comprehended, like if you think a fire burns, imagine how hot the sun is )

    As a sometime writer of poetry I love hearing how people can misinterpret some of my words - but then words can be deliberately ambiguous and misleading. However with the lyric above I see a simple metaphor for pointless tears. Of course I could be totally wrong.
    Imagine the sun - a giant infernal ball of nuclear fusion. Now drop a fire into it. Pretty insignificant. Like "a drop in the ocean" a "fire in the sun" is a lost and meaningless thing. Just as Rutger Hauer at the end of "Blade Runner" says - " tears lost in rain." That is to say that they are un-noticed, un-heeded, pointless, lost.
    How about this - Shakespeare's Portia says "How far that little candle throws his beams. So shines a good deed in a naughty world." I see there a double meaning; on the one hand the comparison of the luminosity of candle light piercing the gloom to the shining beacon of goodness amongst evil; but on the other hand (especially if spoken with sarcasm) how the light from one small candle is so insignificant in such a dark place and such is the good deed lost in an ostensibly evil world.
    Sorry to ramble.
    IkeKhanon December 18, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think this song is about a woman who was once well off and is now poor and off on her own . . . similar to like a rolling stone . . . or maybe i have it backwards. Either way these lyrics left out half the song.
    belli67on July 04, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Commentit's about him moving on to new styles, and a lot of people were very upset.

    Beck uses a sample from this song in "Jackass" which is a pretty sweet song.
    subterranean_summeron March 25, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentone of my favorites.. in DA pennebaker's Don't Look Back, dylan plays an acoustic version of this song in a hotel room with donovan and some other people on tour with him. it's cool.
    plaincl0thesmanon July 26, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is about the Cuban Revolution, when Castro ('your orphan with his gun") and his guerillas ("the saints") tossed out the mob run casinos ('gamblers), who had to hit the 'highway', and also tossed out the US backed puppet government (baby blue), who had to 'row' to exile in Miami. Ultimately, as we know, Castro took over the govt. of Cuba ('the vagabond..standing in the clothes that you once wore.")
    Alton January 11, 2006   Link

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