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Desolation Row Chords

version 8
version 8

Whole song

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Author
Difficulty
Capo
intermediate
2nd fret
About this tab version
Based on the original studio version from Highway 61 Revisited. Chords listed throughout the entire song. Was this info helpful? Yes No
Chords by: Sliver24

"Desolation Row" by Bob Dylan

CAPO: II

[Intro]
D D D D


[Verse 1]
D
They're selling postcards of the hanging
        G                      D
They're painting the passports brown
    A
The beauty parlour is filled with sailors
G                 D
 The circus is in town
D
Here comes the blind commissioner
G                    D
They've got him in a trance
    A
One hand is tied to the tightrope walker
G                    D
 The other is in his pants
        G
And the riot squad, they're restless
     D                 G
They need somewhere to go
   D               A
As lady and I look out tonight from
G           D
 Desolation Row


[Verse 2]
D
Cinderella, she seems so easy
   G                         D
It takes one to know one she smiles
    A
And puts her hands in her back pocket
G                 D
 Bette Davis style
     D
Then in comes Romeo, he's moaning
    G                D
You belong to me I believe
    A
And someone says you're in the wrong place my friend
G               D
 You'd better leave
        G
And the only sound that's left
D                    G
After the ambulances go
   D          A
Is Cinderella sweeping up on
G           D
 Desolation Row


[Verse 3]
        D
Now the moon is almost hidden
    G                      D
The stars are beginning to hide
    A
The fortune telling lady
    G                           D
Has even taken all her things inside
      D
All except for Cain and Abel
        G                  D
And the Hunchback of Notre-Dame
A
Everybody is making love
   G              D
Or else expecting rain
        G
And the Good Samaritan, he's dressing
             D             G
He's gettin' ready for the show
     D            A
He's going to the carnival tonight on 
G           D
 Desolation Row


[Verse 4]
 D
Ophelia, she's 'neath the window
    G              D 
For her I feel so afraid
      A
On her twenty-second birthday
      G               D
She already is an old maid
   D
To her, death is quite romantic
    G             D
She wears an iron vest
    A
Her profession's her religion
    G                  D
Her sin is her lifelessness
    G
And though her eyes are fixed upon
D                G
Noah's great rainbow
    D               A
She spends her time peeking into
G           D
Desolation Row


[Verse 5]
D
Einstein disguised as Robin Hood
         G             D
With his memories in a trunk
A
Passed this way an hour ago
         G                D
With his friend a jealous monk
      D
Ah he looked so immaculately frightful
      G             D
As he bummed a cigarette
     A
Then went off sniffing drain pipes
      G               D
And reciting the alphabet
    G
You would not think to look at him
           D            G
But he was famous long ago
    D                    A
For playing the electric violin on
G           D
Desolation Row


[Verse 6]
       D
Doctor Filth, he keeps his world
 G                  D
Inside of a leather cup
    A
But all his sexless patients
         G                    D
They are trying to blow it up
       D
Now his nurse, some local loser
         G                     D
She's in charge of the cyanide hole
        A
And she also keeps the cards that read
     G            D
Have mercy on his soul
G
They all play on the penny whistle
D                 G
You can hear them blow
       D               A
If you lean your head out far enough from
G           D
 Desolation Row


[Verse 7]
          D
Across the street they've nailed the curtains
                G             D
They're gettin' ready for the feast
    A
The Phantom of the Opera
     G                  D
In a perfect image of a priest
         D
They are spoon feeding Casanova
   G                      D
To get him to feel more assured
             A
Then they'll kill him with self-confidence
       G                     D
After poisoning him with words
        G
And the Phantom's shouting to skinny girls
    D                       G
Get outta here if you don't know
    D                  A
Casanova is just being punished for going 
G             D
To Desolation Row


[Verse 8]
      D
At midnight all the agents
        G          D
And the superhuman crew
     A
Come out and round up everyone
     G                    D
That knows more than they do
D
Then they bring them to the factory
          G              D
Where the heart attack machine
   A
Is strapped across their shoulders
    G            D
And then the kerosene
   G
Is brought down from the castles
     D               G
By insurance men who go
         D                    A
Check to see that nobody is escaping to
G           D
Desolation Row


[Verse 9]
       D
Praise be to Nero's Neptune
      G              D
The Titanic sails at dawn
A
Everybody is shouting
G                  D
Which side are you on
     D
And Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot
G                        D
Fighting in the captain's tower
      A
While calypso singers laugh at them
    G              D
And fishermen hold flowers
  G
Between the windows of the sea
      D               G
Where lovely mermaids flow
    D             A
And nobody has to think too much about
G           D
 Desolation Row

[Bridge]
D  G D  A  G D  D  G D  A  G D  G  D G  D A  G D
(*no lyrics - harmonica solo - optional*)

[Verse 10]
      D
Yes I received your letter yesterday
      G                      D
About the time the door knob broke
         A
When you asked me how I was doing
    G                 D
Was that some kind of joke
          D
All these people that you mention
      G                        D
Yes I know them, they're quite lame
         A
I had to rearrange their faces
              G             D
And give them all another name
G
Right now I can't read too good
      D                        G
Don't send me no more letters, no
D              A
Not unless you mail them from
G           D
Desolation Row

/Sliver24
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1 comment total.
0 reply
thehighwaysjamm 18 Oct 19, 2016 01:17 AM

I think transposing up 2 and making the B (or A) as a B7 (or A7) sounds better either one works though. good tab, like the full song and harmonica

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