I don’t know what is stronger, mine love of well-written text or mine disgust because that poorly-written ones. One of two people way, lyrics to songs play a huge role in mine life (too huge a role, some can argue). So when I had actually an interesting experience concerning lyrics recently, I wanted to commemorate that here. Does the sound ok to you? Excellent.

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If i learned a track as a kid, I’ve probably never offered the lyrics sufficient serious thought. I often tended to accept points much much more easily in ~ a young age (like the fact that Sigourney’s an acceptable very first name), therefore revisiting them together an adult deserve to be an amazing experience. Today’s instance of that needs to do through a tune by Bob Dylan. An ext specifically, a song he penned and also sang as part of the very first album by traveling Wilburys. It’s called “Tweeter and the Monkey Man,” and even despite my girlfriend Melissa melted the cd because that me years ago, ns was still stuck in mine 1988 perspective as i listened to the acquainted tunes…until critical week. Wherein was as soon as a track that I’d written off together “a weird however catchy Bob Dylan ditty” is currently a song that ns intend to dive right into head first.

Before I do that though, permit me acknowledge my thoughts on Bob Dylan. He’s not well known for his voice, people. The man have the right to write part unbelievable songs, consisting of “Blowin’ in the Wind,” “The times They are A-Changin’,” “Like a rolling Stone,” and also many more. He’s additionally a weird dude, throw out some bizarre lines native time to time. In “I want You,” he find it ideal to sing, “Now her dancing kid in his Chinese suit/He speak to me, ns took his flute/You understand I wasn’t really cute to him, was I?” oh yeah, that gets rid of it up, Bob. Anyway, the dude’s an excellent and strange, and also “Tweeter and also the Monkey Man” has facets of both. Right here goes…something.

Tweeter and the Monkey man were hard up for cash.They continued to be up every night selling cocaine and also hashto one undercover cop who had a sister named Jan.For reasons unexplained, she love the Monkey Man.

Ok, this is a great start. In four lines, we obtain a shitload of plot and also backstory. We have developed “bad guys” in the titular characters, and they room unwittingly handling the police. We likewise get part family history of the cop, though ns don’t recognize why his sister gets a name yet he’s simply “the undercover cop.” (Oh yeah, something needed to rhyme through “Monkey Man.”) ns think that’s some superior storytelling to gift the song.

Tweeter was a young scout ’fore she saw Vietnamand found out the hard method nobody provides a damn.

Ok, what the hell simply happened? What execute you median that Tweeter was a female young scout? go s/he have actually a sex readjust operation in Vietnam or to be the war experience simply so intense that it might be categorized as “gender-shifting”? moving on, ns guess.

They knew that they’d uncover freedom just throughout the Jersey lineso they hopped right into a steal car, took Highway 99.

CHORUS:And the wall surfaces came downall the method to hell.Never observed them when they’re standing,never experienced them when they fell.

Ok, so reportedly they’re either now hip to the truth that they’re handling a cop and want to get out the town, or they’re running from other legislation enforcement. I gain it; criminal (especially ones with cool names) regularly flee their surroundings. The chorus doesn’t really add much because that me and is sort of “just there” lyrically. And personally, I’m not a large fan of using “they’re” for “they were,” however I’m acquiring overly picky. Besides, the chorus is quite catchy even if it doesn’t advance the plot. 

The undercover cop never ever liked the Monkey Man.Even back in childhood he wanted to see him in the can.Jan got married in ~ fourteen come a racketeer called Bill.She made mystery calls come the Monkey guy from a mansion ~ above the hill.

I’m a tiny confused through the very first two the these four lines. Ns can’t decision whether the Monkey man is a lot older criminal the the cop flourished up wanting come apprehend, or if lock knew each various other as kids. If it’s the latter, climate wouldn’t the Monkey Man understand that the cop to be an undercover cop? If it’s the former, the reality that the “never liked” that strikes me as odd fairly than “always tracked him,” or miscellaneous similar. Meanwhile, january gets more character development, and also her pedophile husband even gets a name before the undercover cop. One an ext question: which “bad guy” is the leader of these two? we hear them referred to as “Tweeter and also the Monkey Man” and also get a confound snippet the Tweeter’s backstory first, but then the “cop and sister” storyline is focused on the Monkey Man. Tonto and also Robin never obtained that lot love.

It was out on Thunder Road, Tweeter at the wheel,they crashed right into paradise, they can hear castle tires squeal.The undercover cop pulled up and said, “Every among you’s a liar.If you nothing surrender now, that gonna go under to the wire.”


I’m cool with a “crashing right into paradise” an allegory that ns don’t understand, since it’s the form of an intricate phrasing and possible symbolism I’m offered to through Mr. Dylan. The undercover cop should probably just be “the cop” now since he’s outed himself to the “bad guys,” right? and also is his pistol drawn? how does it get much more “down come the wire” than this test arrest? and who uses “every one of you” for two people? Honestly. (I’m trying to let the forced rhyme of “liar” slide, however I simply wish that were for a much better payoff 보다 “down come the wire.” like in “Positively fourth Street,” Dylan forces an entire line to obtain it to end with “rob them” simply so it can rhyme with a very solid line of, “Don’t you understand, it’s not my problem.” Forcing that for that particular idiom that doesn’t make sufficient sense come me, though. I’m just sayin’. Yeah yet still.)

An ambulance rolled up, a state trooper close behind.Tweeter take it his total away and messed up his mind.The undercover cop was left tied as much as a treenear the souvenir was standing by the old abandoned factory.

If I’m reading this right, the cop (who’s quiet “undercover” somehow) referred to as in backup, however the antagonists foiled the plan and also killed a dude in the process. Why didn’t they death the “overcover cop”? I’m not sure – possibly there were childhood acquaintances after ~ all.

Next work the undercover cop was warm in pursuit.He was acquisition the totality thing personal, he no care around the loot.Jan had actually told him plenty of times, “It was you come me who taught:In Jersey anything’s legitimate as lengthy as friend don’t obtain caught.”


Wait a second here. What carry out you typical that “he didn’t care around the loot”? His entirety life, he’s wanted to arrest this criminal, and also now it’s personal and not about money? once was the going to get money for this? Is he a crooked cop who was taking a piece of the medicine dealing action? ns don’t obtain those two lines in ~ all. In the next two, we watch a perfect example of me allowing a an extremely forced heat in order to collection up vital one. Jan’s heat tells united state a an excellent deal about her personality and about the atmosphere as a whole, for this reason I’m ok v the aer “you come me who taught” fiasco. (Is ‘fiasco’ too strong? possibly for you.)

Someplace by Rahway prison they ran the end of gas.The undercover cop had cornered them, said, “Huh, you didn’t think that this might last?”Jan jumped out of the bed, said, “There’s someplace i gotta go.”She take it a gun out of the drawer and also said, “It’s ideal if you nothing know.”

The undercover cop was found face-down in a field.The Monkey man was ~ above the river bridge making use of Tweeter together a shield.Jan claimed to the Monkey Man, “I’m no fooled by Tweeter’s curl.I knew him long before he ever ended up being a Jersey girl.”


Wow, where do I even start with this chunk that lyrics? I’ll begin with the very first four lines, i beg your pardon seems choose the many logical resolution. The cop (who is so not undercover now that the moniker is laughable) catches up come his nemeses. Back in the mansion, jan grabs a piece and also bolts to destructive shit up. How old is jan now? If she obtained married in ~ 14, has sufficient time passed the Bill wouldn’t be considered an obvious pedophile by now? one of two people way, I’m quiet a little upset that he it s okay a surname while our key protagonist just has actually an not correct adjective and his profession. 

The next line is a doozy: the cop’s dead. Since this is ideal after Jan got a gun, we need to assume the she offed she bro in support of her secret love, Mr. Monkey Man. Especially since the “bad guys” onlytied him come a tree before, that has to be what happened, right? ns ask due to the fact that of the next line. Who is aiming to shoot in ~ the Monkey Man? The cop on your tail was killed, so as much as we know, just pistol-wielding january remains. Why would certainly she hold them in ~ gunpoint after running over over there to aid their convict asses? probably the following two lines will burned light on the for us…NOPE! Instead, we get a very confusing gender-bending line around a ahead relationship. I have to be absent something here, since here’s exactly how I sum up those lines: “Monkey Man, i came right here to save you from my brother due to the fact that I love you. But now I need to kill you. Five please, don’t hind behind Tweeter. Tweeter’s mine homey, and also we’ve remained in cahoots due to the fact that before Vietnam adjusted him to a her. For this reason you’re the end of allies.” There’s a crapload that faulty logic and 180 degree motive changes in that, and yet it’s the finest I got. What a strange and also confusing means to end the song, right? What’s that? There’s an additional verse? Ooh, perhaps that’ll it is in the lacking piece!

Now the city of Jersey City is quieting under again.I’m sitting in a gambling club dubbed the Lion’s Den.The TV set was puffy up, every little bit of it was goneever since the nightly news present that the Monkey guy was on.

I guess I’ll walk to Florida and also get myself part sun.There ain’t no an ext opportunity here, whatever been done.Sometimes i think that Tweeter, sometimes I think the Jan,sometimes ns don’t think about nothing however the Monkey Man…

What. The. Fuck. None of this – absolutely none of that – makes any sense. The narrator randomly came to be a character who tells us an ext details about where he’s sitting than we ever learned about the story’s hero. Therefore a news show reported on the Monkey male (and not Tweeter?), which for part reason brought about someone or something destroying the television. Nobody is also hinted at as a culprit, no one is anything the same, similar thing a engine mentioned. If I’m the town hall tv and also a heinous crime is gift reported, I might go as far as, ya know, transforming it off. But blowing that up? That’s extreme, man.

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It’s this last group of 4 lines that most likely confounds me even much more than Tweeter’s fluid sexual identification. First, our suddenly existent narrator tells us of upcoming travel plans to catch some rays. Then he laments the state of Jersey City, and admits the he occasionally gives thought to several of the characters in the story he just told. Why? I have no idea. These critical lines add nothing to the story at all, specifically the critical four. Ns can’t believe I’m speak this, however ending with, “I knew that long prior to he ever came to be a Jersey girl” would’ve make much more sense. Instead, we got…that. And I tho don’t know which one’s the main bad guy and also which is the sidekick. 

(If you for some factor haven’t check out enough around a 1988 tune from a band the no longer exists, Wikipedia’s entry on the song has an amazing point around Dylan nodding to number of Bruce Springsteen songs in it. Few of it I’m sure is 100% right, and also other parts…not so much.)

So there you go, readers: so much much more than you ever wanted about something friend don’t provide a crap about. That’s what I’m below for. In ~ the very least, i feel a little better now the I’ve properly over-thought through something from mine childhood. Who knows, maybe I’ll dig out one more old album and also find that my younger self accepted one more twisted track at confront value. Hmm, i wonder if ns still have “Wild Wild West” through The Escape society somewhere. (On second thought, this write-up took me components of 4 days come write and review, for this reason this may be one of a kind. Sorry/you’re welcome.) R.I.P., overcover cop.