I’m Not There (I’m Gone) Lyrics

I’ve been listening to Dylan’s I’m Not There a lot lately. That might seem odd, considering that the track starts part way through the first verse and many of the lyrics are inaudible. The song was unfinished an never intended for release. It was recorded at the legendary Basement Tape / Big Pink sessions:

As Dylan recovered from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident in July 1966, he summoned the Band and began to record both new compositions and traditional material with them. All of the sixteen Dylan compositions are thought to have been recorded in 1967 in the basement of Big Pink, a house shared by three of the members of the Band, while the eight Band songs were recorded at various times and locations between 1967 and 1975; overdubs were also added in 1975 to some of the Dylan songs

The song wasn’t formally released until it was included in the I’m Not There Motion Picture Soundtrack. Even though the cut of the song is rough, the melody is hypnotic and the listener can get the sense of what Dylan was trying to say. Despite the relative popularity of the song, it’s hard to find a decent transcription of the lyrics. I thought I’d give it a shot.

You can listen to the song at last.fm.

    […]thing’s alright, and she’s all too tired
    In my neighborhood, she cried both day and night
    I know it because it was there

    It’s a milestone, but she’s down on her luck
    And each day makes her alone and-but to make it hard to buck
    I believe

    I believe where she’d stop him, where-if she would start to care
    I believe that she’d look upon deciding to care
    And I go by the Lord, in ways she’s on my way
    But I don’t belong there

    No I don’t belong to her, I don’t belong to everybody
    She’s my prize-forsaken angel, but she don’t hear me cry
    She’s a long-hearted mystic, and she can’t carry on
    When I’m there she’s alright, but when she’s not, when I’m gone

    Heaven knows that’s the answer, she’s don’t calling no one
    She’s the way, the sailin’ beautiful, she’s mine for the one
    And I lost to hesitation, by temptation, unless it runs
    But she don’t holler me, but I’m not there, I’m gone

    Now I’ve cried tonight, like I cried the night before
    And I’m least on the highs, but I dream about the door
    So long, Jesus Savior, my faith, what’s to tell
    It don’t hang proclamation, she’s miles off, fare thee well

    And I went out [inaudible] the levee, I was born to love her
    But she knows that the kingdom waits so high above her
    And I run, but I race, but it’s not too fast [inaudible]
    But I don’t deceive her, I’m not there, I’m gone

    Well it’s all about confusion, and I cry for her veil
    I don’t need anybody now, beside me to tell
    And its all affirmation, I received, but it’s not
    She’s a long-hearted beauty, but she’s gone like the spot
    And she wants

    Yes she’s gone like the rainbow, that shinin’ yesterday
    But now she’s home beside me, and I’d like her here to stay
    She’s a gold-forsaking beauty and it’s don’t trust anyone
    And I wish I was beside her, but I’m not there, I am gone

    Well it’s too hard to stay here, and I don’t bother leave
    It’s all bad for to amusin’, but she’s hard, too hard to leave
    It’s alone, it’s a crime, the way she won’t be around
    But she told for to hate me, but this long forsaken clown

    Yes I believe that it’s rightful, oh I believe it in my mind
    I’ve been told, like I said, when I before, carry on the cryin’
    And she’s all good to told her, like I said, carry on
    I wish I was there to help her, but I’m not there, I’m gone

Sonic Youth covered the song for the abstract Dylan biopic, I’m Not There. Here’s their cleaner, more fluid rendition of the song: I’m Not There (I’m Gone)

To learn more about Bob Dylan and his work, click here: Bob Dylan’s Best Music: A Cheat Sheet.

I’m Not There (I’m Gone) Lyrics
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