Talkin' World War III Blues By: Bob Dylan

One time ago a crazy dream came to me

I dreamt I was walkin' into World War Three

I went to the doctor the very next day

To see what kinda words he could say

He said it was a bad dream

I wouldn't worry 'bout it none, though

Them old dreams are only in your head

The protagonist dreams of WWIII, so he goes to see a doctor who says he's only dreaming, assuring the protagonist that everything is fine.

I said, hold it, Doc, a World War passed through my brain

He said, nurse, get your pad, this boy's insane

He grabbed my arm, I said ouch

As I landed on the psychiatric couch

He said, tell me about it

The protagonist insists, saying that he saw a World War, so the doctor thinks the man is insane, sending him to a counselor, asking the protagonist what they saw.

Well, the whole thing started at three o'clock fast

It was all over by quarter past

I was down in the sewer with some little lover

When I peeked out from a manhole cover

Wondering who turned the lights on

The protagonist begins telling the doctor what he saw, starting in a sewer with a lover, and decides to peer out of a manhole cover to find out what is going on.

Well, I got up and walked around

And up and down the lonesome town

I stood a-wondering which way to go

I lit a cigarette on a parking meter

And walked on down the road

It was a normal day

After leaving the sewer, the protagonist walked around the town which seemed abandoned, although to him it was a normal day.

Well, I rung the fallout shelter bell

And I leaned my head and I gave a yell

Give me a string bean, I'm a hungry man

A shotgun fired and away I ran

I don't blame them too much though

They didn't know me

The protagonist then finds a fallout shelter, and asks the occupants for food, and they fire a shotgun at him instead.

Down at the corner by a hot-dog stand

I seen a man, I said, 'howdy friend'

I guess there's just us two

He screamed a bit and away he flew

Thought I was a Communist

The protagonist then says 'howdy' to a man operating a hotdog stand, causing the man to run away.

Well, I spied a girl and before she could leave

I said, let's go and play Adam and Eve

I took her by the hand and my heart it was thumpin'

When she said, hey man, you crazy or sumpin'

You seen what happened last time they started

The protagonist sees a woman, and invites her to go have sex, which she refuses.

Well, I seen a Cadillac window uptown

And there was nobody aroun'

I got into the driver's seat

And I drove down 42nd Street

In my Cadillac

Good car to drive after a war

The protagonist steals a Cadillac, and starts driving around.

Well, I remember seein' some ad

So I turned on my Conelrad

But I didn't pay my Con Ed bill

So the radio didn't work so well

Turned on my record player

It was Rock-A-Day, Johnny singin'

Tell your Ma, tell your Pa

Our loves are gonna grow ooh-wah, ooh-wah

While driving, the protagonist regards a an advertisement, so he attempts to turn on the radio, to discover the vehicle lacks one. Then he turns on the recorder, which begins playing "Rock-A-Day".

I was feelin' kinda lonesome and blue

I needed somebody to talk to

So I called up the operator of time

Just to hear a voice of some kind

When you hear the beep

It will be three o'clock

She said that for over an hour

And I hung up

Feeling lonesome, the protagonist calls an operator so he can have someone to talk to, only to find out that the operator was automated.

Well, the doctor interrupted me just about then

Sayin, Hey I've been havin' the same old dreams

But mine was a little different you see

I dreamt that the only person left after the war was me

I didn't see you around

The doctor interjects into the protagonist's story, saying again it is only a dream. The protagonist thinks he was the only person left after the war, and did not remember the doctor.

Well, now time passed and now it seems

Everybody's having them dreams

Everybody sees themselves walkin' around with no one else

Half of the people can be part right all of the time

Some of the people can be all right part of the time

But all of the people can't be all right all of the time

I think Abraham Lincoln said that

I'll let you be in my dreams if I can be in yours

I said that

The protagonist concludes, saying that everyone is having dreams of being lonely.

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