prev next
home  J
 | 1 |

Joey

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

(Official lyrics @ www.bobdylan.com)


30 July 1975
cd imgDESIRE

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

Born in Red Hook Brooklin
In the year of a-who knows when
Opened up his eyes
To the tune of an accordion
Always on the outside
Of whatever side there was
When they asked him why it had to be that way
''Well'', he answered, ''Just because''.

Larry was the oldest
Joey was next to last
They called Joe ''Crazy''
The baby they called ''Kid Blast''
Some say they lived off gambling
An' runnin' numbers too
It always seemed they got caught between
The mob an' the men in blue.

Joey, Joey
King of the street, child of clay
Joey, Joey
What made them want to come
An' blow your head away?

There was talk they killed their rivals
But the truth was far from that
No one ever knew for sure
What they were really at
When they tried to strangle Larry
Joey almost hit the roof
He went out that night to seek revenge
Thinkin' he was bullet-proof.

Then the war broke out at the break of dawn
It emptied out the streets
Joey an' his brothers
Suffered terrible defeats
Till they ventured out behind the lines
An' took five prisoners
They stashed them away in a basement
Called 'em amateurs.

The hostages were tremblin'
When they heard a man explain
''Let's blow this place to Kingdom Come
Let Con Edison take the blame''
But Joey stepped up, he raised his hand
Said, ''We ain't those kind of men
It's peace an' quiet that we need
To go back to work again.''

Joey, Joey
King of the street, child of clay
Joey, Joey
What made them want to come
An' blow your head away?

The police department hounded him
They called him Mr. Smith
They got him on conspiracy
They were never sure who with
''What time is it?'' said the judge
To Joey when they met
''Five to ten'', said Joey
Judge says, ''That's exactly what you get''.

He did ten years in Attica
Readin' Nietzsche an' Wilhem Reich
They threw him in the hole one time
For tryin' to stop a strike
His closest friends were black men
'Cause they seem to understand
What it's like to be in society
With a shackle on your hand.

They let him out in '71
He'd lost a little weight
But he dressed like Jimmey Cagney
An' i swear he did look great
He tried to find a way back in
To the life he left behind
To the boss he sais, ''I have returned
An' now i want what's mine''.

Joey, Joey
King of the street, child of clay
Joey, Joey
What made them want to come
An' blow your head away?

It was true that in his later years
He would not carry a gun
''I'm around too many children'', he'd say
''They should never know of one''
Yet he walked right into the clubhouse
Of his life-long deadly foe
Emptied out the register
Said, ''Tell 'em it was Crazy Joe.''

One day they blew him down
In a clam bar in New York
He could see it comin' thru the door
As he lifted up his fork
He pushed the table over
To protect his family
The he staggered out into the streets
Of Little Italy.

Joey, Joey
King of the street, child of clay
Joey, Joey
What made them want to come
An' blow your head away?

Sister Jacqueline and Carmela
And mother Mary all did weep
I heard his best friend Frankie say
''He ain't dead, he's just asleep.''
Then i saw the old man's limousine
Head back towards the grave
I guess he had to say one last goodbye
To the son that he could not save.

The sun turned cold over President Street
And the town of Brooklin mourned
They said a mass in the old church
Near the house where he was born
And someday if god's in heaven
Overlookin' his preserve
I know the men that shot him down
Will get what they deserve.

Joey, Joey
King of the street, child of clay
Joey, Joey
What made them want to come
An' blow your head away?  up
    

 Recording dates & record list

30 July 1975 1 DESIRE
4 July 1987 DYLAN & THE DEAD
FOXBORO (b)
10 June 1988 SAN FRANCISCO BAY BLUES (b)
12 Jan 1990 TOAD'S PLACE VOL. 2 (b)
12 Nov 1990 YOU DON'T KNOW ME (b)
31 Mar 1995 BOB'S FULL HOUSE BRIXTON III (b)
19 Dec 1997 OH BABE IT AIN'T NO LIE (b)
DON'T BE LATE (b)