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Black Diamond Bay

Words by Bob Dylan, Jacques Levy, music by Bob Dylan © 1975 Ram's Horn Music

(Official lyrics @ www.bobdylan.com)

30 July 1975

Desire session 4, Columbia Studio E, NYC - 30.jul.1975, album version  

Up in the white veranda,
She wears a necktie and a 
Panama hat.
Her passport shows a face
From another time an' place
She looks nothin' like that.
An' all the remnants of her recent past 
Are scattered in the wild wind.
She walks across the marble floor where a voice from the gamblin room
Is callin' her to come on in.
She smiles, walks the other way 
As the last ship sails an' the moon fades away
From Black Diamond Bay.

As the mornin light breaks open
The greek comes down an' he asks for a rope an' 
A pen that will write.
"Pardon monsieur", the desk clerk says
Carefully removes his fez
"Am i hearin' you right?"
An' as the yellow fog is liftin', the greek is quickly 
Headin' for the second floor.
She passes him on the spiral staircase thinkin' 
He's the soviet ambassador.
She starts to speak but he walks away 
As the storm clouds rise an' the palm branches sway
On Black Diamond Bay.

A soldier sits beneath the fan
Doin' business with a tiny man
Who sells him a ring.
Lightnin' strikes, the lights blow out
The desk clerk wakes, he  begins to shout, 
"Can you see anything?"
Then the greek appears on the second floor in his bare feet
With a rope around his neck
While the loser in the gamblin' room lights up a candle 
Says, "Open up another deck"
But the dealer says, "Attendez! vous, s'il vous plait" 
As the rain beats down an' the cranes fly away
From Black Diamond bay.

The desk clerk heard the woman laugh
As he looked around in the aftermath 
An' the soldier got tough.
He tried to grab the woman's hand
Said, "Here's a ring it costs a grant"
She said, " 't ain't enough."
Then she ran upstairs to pack her bags while a horse drawn taxi 
Waited at the curb
She passed the door that the greek had locked where a hand written sign
Said, "Do not disturb"
She knocked on it anyway 
As the sun went down an' the music did play
On Black Diamond Bay.

"I've got to talk to someone quick"
But the greek said, "Go away", he kicked
The chair to the floor.
He hung there from the chandelier
She cried, "There's danger near, 
Please, open up the door."
Then the vulcano erupted an' the lava flowed down
From the moutain high above.
The soldier an' the tiny man were crouched in the corner 
Thinkin' of forbidden love.
But the desk clerk said, "It happens everyday" 
As the stars fell down an' fields burned away
On Black Diamond Bay.

As the island slowly sank,
The loser finally broke the bank 
In the gamblin' room.
The dealer said, "It's too late now
You can take your money  but i don't know how
You'll spend it in the tomb."
The tiny man bit the soldier's ear as the floor caved in
And the boiler in the basement blew 
While she's out on the balcony where a stranger tells her, 
"My darling, je vous aime beaucoup."
She sheds a tear an' then begins to pray 
As the fire burns an' the smoke drifts away
From Black Diamond Bay.

I was sittin' home alone one nite 
In L.A. watchin' ol' Cronkite 
On the 7 o'clock news.
It seems there was an earthquake that 
Left nothin' but a Panama hat
An' a pair of old greek shoes.
Didn't seem like much was happenin' so i turned it off,
Went to grab another beer.
Seems like everytime you turn around there's another hard luck story 
That you're gonna hear.
An' there's really nothin' anyone can say 
An' i never did plan to go anyway
To Black Diamond Bay. 

Recording dates & record list

30 July 1975 1DESIRE