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We carried you in our arms
On Independence Day
And now you'd throw us all aside
And put us on our way
Oh, what dear daughter 'neath the sun
Would treat a father so
To wait upon him hand and foot
And always tell him "No?"
Tears of rage, tears of grief
Why am I the one who must be the thief ?
Come to me now, you know
We're so alone
And life is brief.

We pointed out the way to go
And scratched your name in sand
Though you just thought that it was nothing more
Than a place for you to stand
Now I want you to know that while you watched
You discover there was no one true
Must everybody really thought
It was a childish thing to do
Tears of rage, tears of grief
Why am I the one who must be the thief ?
Come to me now, you know
We're so alone
And life is brief.

It was all very painless
When you went out to receive
All that false instruction
Which we never could believe
And now the heart is filled with gold
As if it was a purse
But oh, what kind of love is this
Which goes from bad to worse ?
Tears of rage, tears of grief
Why am I the one who must be the thief ?
Come to me now, you know
We're so alone
And life is brief.



Lyrics taken from http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/b/bob_dylan/tears_of_rage.html

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  • U
    +1
    UnregisteredMay 23, 2012 at 11:53 pm
    This piece of lyrical art reflects the dylanesque notion of loss of freedom. The references to 'we carried you in our arms on independence day' aims at birth , the flag, a parade celebrating freedom and life's opportunity, contrasting tragically with 'wait upon him hand and foot, always tellin' no' or denying that freedom so respected in all of dylan's work, a commonly heralded feature of attitudes in the 60s.

    The scene in the second verse with a name scratched in the sand with the object of the piece, the child grown older, failing to see the importance of recognizing the the brevity and value of life her own self - echoed with 'just a childish thing to do.

    The final verse captures the weakness of an education that fails to appreciate the higher worth of life, emphasizing 'false instruction' and 'heart is filled with gold as if it were a purse'

    But the haunting beauty rests in the repetitive chorus of 'tears of rage, tears of grief' the weeping of a family, of a nation of a people over the devaluing of individual respect for the basic freedom that fathered such a lost soul whose values have forsaken and abandoned the purity of human decency, the innate connection to our birthright.

    The refrain 'why must i always be the thief? ' admits the sense of stealing the attention, as if the mother of a selfish child has felt the scorn of rejection and the role of taking what is not hers - the stealing of rightfully obligations to honor the blessing of freedom.

    The theme of brevity of life and sense of loss of connection are paramount throughout the piece with heightened intensity as this picture unfolds one piece at a time, reflecting the tragedy of failed family ties and lack of gratitude for our heritage as free and respectful people.
  • U
    UnregisteredJun 28, 2012 at 12:28 pm
    I always thought it was about an alcoholic father, whose daughter cared for him, and he rejected her love.

    I guess one can interpret a beautiful song in many different ways, and none are wrong.

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