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Bob Dylan

Up To Me lyrics

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Bob Dylan – Up To Me lyrics

Everything went from bad to worse, money never changed a thing,
Death kept followin', trackin' us down, at least I heard your bluebird sing.
Now somebody's got to show their hand, time is an enemy,
I know you're long gone,
I guess it must be up to me.

If I'd thought about it I never would've done it, I guess I would've let it slide,
If I'd lived my life by what others were thinkin', the heart inside me would've died.
I was just too stubborn to ever be governed by enforced insanity,
Someone had to reach for the risin' star,
I guess it was up to me.

Oh, the Union Central is pullin' out and the orchids are in bloom,
I've only got me one good shirt left and it smells of stale perfume.
In fourteen months I've only smiled once and I didn't do it consciously,
Somebody's got to find your trail,
I guess it must be up to me.

It was like a revelation when you betrayed me with your touch,
I'd just about convinced myself that nothin' had changed that much.
The old Rounder in the iron mask slipped me the master key,
Somebody had to unlock your heart,
He said it was up to me.

Well, I watched you slowly disappear down into the officers' club,
I would've followed you in the door but I didn't have a ticket stub.
So I waited all night 'til the break of day, hopin' one of us could get free,
When the dawn came over the river bridge,
I knew it was up to me.

Oh, the only decent thing I did when I worked as a postal clerk
Was to haul your picture down off the wall near the cage where I used to work.
Was I a fool or not to try to protect your identity?
You looked a little burned out, my friend,
I thought it might be up to me.

Well, I met somebody face to face and I had to remove my hat,
She's everything I need and love but I can't be swayed by that.
It frightens me, the awful truth of how sweet life can be,
But she ain't a-gonna make me move,
I guess it must be up to me.

We heard the Sermon on the Mount and I knew it was too complex,
It didn't amount to anything more than what the broken glass reflects.
When you bite off more than you can chew you pay the penalty,
Somebody's got to tell the tale,
I guess it must be up to me.

Well, Dupree came in pimpin' tonight to the Thunderbird Cafe,
Crystal wanted to talk to him, I had to look the other way.
Well, I just can't rest without you, love, I need your company,
But you ain't a-gonna cross the line,
I guess it must be up to me.

There's a note left in the bottle, you can give it to Estelle,
She's the one you been wond'rin' about, but there's really nothin' much to tell.
We both heard voices for a while, now the rest is history,
Somebody's got to cry some tears,
I guess it must be up to me.

So go on, boys, and play your hands, life is a pantomime,
The ringleaders from the county seat say you don't have all that much time.
And the girl with me behind the shades, she ain't my property,
One of us has got to hit the road,
I guess it must be up to me.

And if we never meet again, baby, remember me,
How my lone guitar played sweet for you that old-time melody.
And the harmonica around my neck, I blew it for you, free,
No one else could play that tune,
You know it was up to me.



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

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    Probably Dylan's most personal song to his ex wife Sara and their place in the universe.

    Starts out -
    Everything went from bad to worse, money never changed a thing,
    Death kept followin', trackin' us down, at least I heard your bluebird sing.
    Now somebody's got to show their hand, time is an enemy,
    I know you're long gone,
    I guess it must be up to me.

    Seems to be speaking to Sara commenting on the fame and fortune did not bring joy....death in literally losing friends and family and just a general darkness of the times maybe the bluebird references McCartney's cheerful song as a reference to some happiness
    Dylan makes the move away from Sara knowing it is inevitable

    If I'd thought about it I never would've done it, I guess I would've let it slide,
    If I'd lived my life by what others were thinkin', the heart inside me would've died.
    I was just too stubborn to ever be governed by enforced insanity,
    Someone had to reach for the risin' star,
    I guess it was up to me.

    Dylan's reflection on youthful impulsiveness and following his heart to seek his true path and not allowing a brainwashed confused society to pressure him to conform and his willingness to reach to a higher level as an artist.

    Oh, the Union Central is pullin' out and the orchids are in bloom,
    I've only got me one good shirt left and it smells of stale perfume.
    In fourteen months I've only smiled once and I didn't do it consciously,
    Somebody's got to find your trail,
    I guess it must be up to me.

    Sounds to me like a reference to Dylan's marriage...his wife is pulling out from his world maybe not being together in the last 14 months is specific for the time line was written and expressing his lack of joy in that time
    finding her trail etc.

    It was like a revelation when you betrayed me with your touch,
    I'd just about convinced myself that nothin' had changed that much.
    The old Rounder in the iron mask slipped me the master key,
    Somebody had to unlock your heart,
    He said it was up to me.

    Sounds like a reference to the dichotomy of the good and evil that surrounds romance and relationships the revelation of love resulting in the feeling of being conned into unlocking a heart that will eventually betray the original love forever concept. seems to be Dylans conclusion of his relationship with Sara. the old rounder (the old conman) sounds like he is referring to the spiritual battle battle, the devil temps the heart etc Dylan was in a heavy Christian period at this time

    Well, I watched you slowly disappear down into the officers' club,
    I would've followed you in the door but I didn't have a ticket stub.
    So I waited all night 'til the break of day, hopin' one of us could get free,
    When the dawn came over the river bridge,
    I knew it was up to me.

    One of my fav Dylan lines

    Dylan referencing his wife going into high society and that reality, while Dylan is unable to be in that part of society

    The officer;s club references the upper society elite and Dylan does not have a ticket to enter that club

    Dylan uses the river to reference the bridge between Sara and himself , he waits to see if she will come back to his side because they are unable to break free of their realities.
    when the dawn brings to light the answer Dylan knows it is up to him to make the move

    Oh, the only decent thing I did when I worked as a postal clerk
    Was to haul your picture down off the wall near the cage where I used to work.
    Was I a fool or not to try to protect your identity?
    You looked a little burned out, my friend,
    I thought it might be up to me.

    One of Dylan's most important lines..

    He acknowledges that he was a messenger (postal clerk)
    he sounds like he has contempt for that position and resulting messages he was forced into (caged)
    but he felt good about keeping the other person out of the spotlight and the stress he had to deal with

    Well, I met somebody face to face and I had to remove my hat,
    She's everything I need and love but I can't be swayed by that.
    It frightens me, the awful truth of how sweet life can be,
    But she ain't a-gonna make me move,
    I guess it must be up to me.

    reference to the bitter and sweet of love and relationships

    We heard the Sermon on the Mount and I knew it was too complex,
    It didn't amount to anything more than what the broken glass reflects.
    When you bite off more than you can chew you pay the penalty,
    Somebody's got to tell the tale,
    I guess it must be up to me.

    Seems Dylan is referencing that people are not able to truly comprehend truth and it will be reflected back in pieces in a literal sense

    Dylan feels he tried to tell the truth and paid the penalty for taking on a bit more that he expected but felt somebody had to


    Well, Dupree came in pimpin' tonight to the Thunderbird Cafe,
    Crystal wanted to talk to him, I had to look the other way.
    Well, I just can't rest without you, love, I need your company,
    But you ain't a-gonna cross the line,
    I guess it must be up to me.

    It seems to me that Dupree represents A devil or dark influence and the crystal sounds like reference to drugs and someone is crossing lines seems to be a metaphor and a literal statement that Dylan is on opposing sides

    There's a note left in the bottle, you can give it to Estelle,
    She's the one you been wond'rin' about, but there's really nothin' much to tell.
    We both heard voices for a while, now the rest is history,
    Somebody's got to cry some tears,
    I guess it must be up to me.

    Seems to be Dylan telling Sara that he and Joan Baez (Estelle) were tuned in (prophets) for a period when they were together writing songs and their time of fame was destiny but he left it and Baez and she should not have been jealous of that relationship

    So go on, boys, and play your hands, life is a pantomime,
    The ringleaders from the county seat say you don't have all that much time.
    And the girl with me behind the shades, she ain't my property,
    One of us has got to hit the road,
    I guess it must be up to me.

    Dylan is telling the boys those in power in the earthly life that the ringleaders in the county seat (the spiritual leadership) say you have limited time
    and Dylan is not able to control a girl who is controlled by other influences to see his point of view

    So Dylan is resigned to leaving his wife and is unable to get her away from the worldly power structure that influences and determines her thoughts and actions (she aint my property)

    And if we never meet again, baby, remember me,
    How my lone guitar played sweet for you that old-time melody.
    And the harmonica around my neck, I blew it for you, free,
    No one else could play that tune,
    You know it was up to me.

    Dylan says a last goodbye to Sara and reminds her that he played for her because of his love and passion and not for worldly motivations and that their destiny called for him and no other could have fulfilled that purpose
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