Bob Dylan – Key West (Philosopher Pirate)


McKinley hollered, McKinley squalled
Doctor said, “McKinley, death is on the wall
‪Say it to me, if you got something to confess”
‪I heard all about it, he was going down slow ‬
‪I heard it on the wireless radio ‬
‪From down in the boondocks way down in Key West
‪I’m searching for love, for inspiration ‬
‪On that pirate radio station
‪Coming out of Luxembourg and Budapest ‬
‪Radio signal, clear as can be
‪I’m so deep in love that I can hardly see ‬
‪Down on the flatlands, way down in Key West

‪Key West is the place to be ‬
‪If you’re looking for immortality ‬
‪Stay on the road, follow the highway sign ‬
‪Key West is fine and fair
‪If you lost your mind, you will find it there
‪Key West is on the horizon line

‪I was born on the wrong side of the railroad track
‪Like Ginsberg, Corso and Kerouac
‪Like Louis and Jimmy and Buddy and all the rest ‬
‪Well, it might not be the thing to do ‬
‪But I’m sticking with you through and through ‬
‪Down in the flatlands, way down in Key West
‪I got both my feet planted square on the ground ‬
‪Got my right hand high with the thumb down ‬
‪Such is life, such is happiness
‪Hibiscus flowers, they grow everywhere here
‪If you wear one, put it behind your ear
‪Down in the bottom, way down in Key West ‬

‪Key West is the place to go
‪Down by the Gulf of Mexico ‬
‪Beyond the sea, beyond the shifting sand
‪Key West is the gateway key ‬
‪To innocence and purity ‬
‪Key West, Key West is the enchanted land

‪I’ve never lived in the land of Oz ‬
‪Or wasted my time with an unworthy cause ‬
‪It’s hot down here, and you can’t be overdressed
‪Tiny blossoms of a toxic plant ‬
‪They can make you dizzy, I’d like to help you but I can’t
‪Down in the flatlands, way down in Key West ‬
‪Well, the Fishtail Palms, and the orchid trees
‪They can give you that bleeding heart disease
‪People tell me I ought to try a little tenderness ‬
‪On Newton Street, Bayview Park ‬
‪Walking in the shadows after dark ‬
‪Down under, way down in Key West ‬
‪I played Gumbo Limbo spirituals
‪I know all the Hindu rituals ‬
‪People tell me that I’m truly blessed ‬
Bougainvillea blooming in the summer, in the spring
Winter here is an unknown thing
Down in the flat lands, way down in Key West

Key West is under the sun, under the radar, under the gun
You stay to the left, and then you lean to the right
Feel the sunlight on your skin, and the healing virtues of the wind
Key West, Key West is the land of light

Wherever I travel, wherever I roam
I’m not that far from the convent home
I do what I think is right, what I think is best
Mystery Street off of Mallory Square
Truman had his White House there
East bound, West bound, way down in Key West
Twelve years old, they put me in a suit
Forced me to marry a prostitute
There were gold fringes on her wedding dress
That’s my story, but not where it ends
She’s still cute, and we’re still friends
Down on the bottom, way down in Key West
I play both sides against the middle
Trying to pick up that pirate radio signal
I heard the news, I heard your last request
Fly around, my pretty little Miss
I don’t love nobody, give me a kiss
Down on the bottom, way down in Key West

Key West is the place to be
If you’re looking for immortality
Key West is paradise divine
Key West is fine and fair
If you lost your mind, you’ll find it there
Key West is on the horizon line


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