Ain’t Talkin’ (Just Reflectin’)

Ain’t Talkin’


One of my Christmas  presents was the new Bob Dylan cd, “Modern Times”. This is the last track on the cd. Take a read (or a listen) if you will, and see what it is that he “Ain’t Talkin’ ” about. Here is my interpretation.

                           Ain’t Talkin’

                  Bob Dylan
As I walked out tonight in the mystic garden,
The wounded flowers were dangling from the vine,                                           
I was passin' by yon cool crystal fountain,
Someone hit me from behind. 
Ain't talkin',just walkin 
Through this weary world of woe.  
Heart burnin',still yearnin' 
No one on earth would ever know. 
They say prayer has the power to heal, 
so pray for me, mother.
In the human heart, an evil spirit will dwell. 
I am a-tryin' to love my neighbor and do good unto others,
But oh mother things ain't goin' well.
Ain't talkin', just walkin' 
I'll burn that bridge before you can cross. 
Heart burnin', still yearnin' 
There'll be no mercy for you once you've lost. 
Now I'm all worn down by weeping, 
My eyes are filled with tears, my lips are dry.
If I catch my opponents ever sleeping, 
I'll just slaughter'em where they lie.
Ain't talkin', just walkin' 
Through the world mysterious and vague. 
Heart burnin', still yearnin' 
Walkin' through the cities of the plague. 
Well, the whole world is filled with speculation, 
The whole wide world which people say is round. 
They will tear your mind away from contemplation, 
They will jump on your misfortune when you're down. 
Ain't talkin', just walkin' 
Eatin' hog-eyed grease in a hog-eyed town. 
Heart burnin', still yearnin' 
Some day you'll be glad to have me around. 
They will crush you with wealth and power. 
Every waking moment you could crack. 
I'll make the most of one last extra hour, 
I'll avenge my father's death when I step back.
Ain't talkin', just walkin' 
Hand me down my walkin' cane. 
Heart burnin', still yearnin' 
Got to get you out of my miserable brain. 
All my loyal and my much-loved companions 
They approve of me and share my code. 
I practice a faith that's been long abandoned 
Ain't no altars on this long and lonesome road
Ain't talkin', just walkin' 
My mule is sick, my horse is blind. 
Heart burnin', still yearnin' 
Thinkin' 'bout that gal I left behind. 
Well, it's bright in the heavens and the wheels are flyin', 
Fame and honor never seem to fade. 
The fire gone out but the light is never dyin'. 
Who says I can't get heavenly aid'
Ain't talkin', just walkin' 
Carryin' a dead man's seal. 
Heart burnin', still yearnin' 
Walkin' with a toothache in my heel. 
The suffering is unending; 
Every nook and cranny has its tears. 
I'm not playing, I'm not pretending, 
I'm not nursing any superfluous fears.
Ain't talkin', just walkin' 
Walkin' ever since the other night.
 Heart burnin', still yearnin' 
Walkin' till I'm clean out of sight. 
As I walked out in the mystic garden 
On a hot summer day, a hot summer lawn.
Excuse me, ma'am, I beg your pardon: 
There's no one here, the gardener is gone.
Ain't talkin', just walkin' 
Up the road, around the bend. 
Heart burnin', still yearnin' 
In the last outback at the world's end. 
   Copyright © 2006 Special Rider Music

9 Responses

  1. Tim,

    That’s a great song. I’m glad you posted the words, I enjoyed reading through it.

    Happy New Years Eve to you and your family! 😀


  2. Im glad you enjoied it. Happy New Year to you also.

  3. Hi timglass,
    Just out of curiosity, is he talking about hell?

    Interesting to read….


  4. Thanks for taking time to share your Christmas present with us! 😉

    Every blessing for 2007… thanks for your faithful blogging and commenting.
    Maria in the UK

  5. I’m intriqued by what ‘pray from the mother’ means.
    It sticks in my mind as being very deep and mysterious
    like some other lyrics of Dylan’s that making a lasting

  6. Sorry, it’s ‘pray for me, mother’ I must be making it up
    as i go along! Anyway it’s still touching.

  7. Thanks everyone for the comments/questions. I will post my “interpretation” of the song next. Then move on to another study.
    Everyone have a great 2007 and thanks for the visits!

  8. Interesting, though I’m not sure I “get it”. It seems to bounce back and forth between conflicting concepts…


  9. Thanks for this. I love Bob Dylan ~ we were lucky enough to see him live last year here in the UK!

    Wishing you a blessed New Year, too 🙂

    I saw him last year as well. I loved every minute of it!!!!
    A blessed New Year to you as well.

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