Words and Music by Bob Dylan 1965 Warner Bros. Inc Renewed 1993 Special Rider Music
Darkness at the break of noon Shadows even the silver spoon The handmade blade, the child's balloon Eclipses both the sun and moon To understand you know too soon There is no sense in trying. Pointed threats, they bluff with scorn Suicide remarks are torn From the fool's gold mouthpiece The hollow horn plays wasted words Proves to warn That he not busy being born Is busy dying. Temptation's page flies out the door You follow, find yourself at war Watch waterfalls of pity roar You feel to moan but unlike before You discover That you'd just be One more person crying. So don't fear if you hear A foreign sound to your ear It's alright, Ma, I'm only sighing. As some warn victory, some downfall Private reasons great or small Can be seen in the eyes of those that call To make all that should be killed to crawl While others say don't hate nothing at all Except hatred. Disillusioned words like bullets bark As human gods aim for their mark Made everything from toy guns that spark To flesh-colored Christs that glow in the dark It's easy to see without looking too far That not much Is really sacred. While preachers preach of evil fates Teachers teach that knowledge waits Can lead to hundred-dollar plates Goodness hides behind its gates But even the president of the United States Sometimes must have To stand naked. An' though the rules of the road have been lodged It's only people's games that you got to dodge And it's alright, Ma, I can make it. Advertising signs that con you Into thinking you're the one That can do what's never been done That can win what's never been won Meantime life outside goes on All around you. You lose yourself, you reappear You suddenly find you got nothing to fear Alone you stand with nobody near When a trembling distant voice, unclear Startles your sleeping ears to hear That somebody thinks They really found you. A question in your nerves is lit Yet you know there is no answer fit to satisfy Insure you not to quit To keep it in your mind and not fergit That it is not he or she or them or it That you belong to. Although the masters make the rules For the wise men and the fools I got nothing, Ma, to live up to. For them that must obey authority That they do not respect in any degree Who despise their jobs, their destinies Speak jealously of them that are free Cultivate their flowers to be Nothing more than something They invest in. While some on principles baptized To strict party platform ties Social clubs in drag disguise Outsiders they can freely criticize Tell nothing except who to idolize And then say God bless him. While one who sings with his tongue on fire Gargles in the rat race choir Bent out of shape from society's pliers Cares not to come up any higher But rather get you down in the hole That he's in. But I mean no harm nor put fault On anyone that lives in a vault But it's alright, Ma, if I can't please him. Old lady judges watch people in pairs Limited in sex, they dare To push fake morals, insult and stare While money doesn't talk, it swears Obscenity, who really cares Propaganda, all is phony. While them that defend what they cannot see With a killer's pride, security It blows the minds most bitterly For them that think death's honesty Won't fall upon them naturally Life sometimes Must get lonely. My eyes collide head-on with stuffed graveyards False gods, I scuff At pettiness which plays so rough Walk upside-down inside handcuffs Kick my legs to crash it off Say okay, I have had enough What else can you show me? And if my thought-dreams could be seen They'd probably put my head in a guillotine But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only.