Ballad of Hollis Brown
Bob Dylan Lyrics


Hollis Brown
He lived on the outside of town
Hollis Brown
He lived on the outside of town
With his wife and five children
And his cabin fallin' down

You looked for work and money
And you walked a ragged mile
You looked for work and money
And you walked a ragged mile
Your children are so hungry
That they don't know how to smile

Your baby's eyes look crazy
They're a-tuggin' at your sleeve
Your baby's eyes look crazy
They're a-tuggin' at your sleeve
You walk the floor and wonder why
With every breath you breathe

The rats have got your flour
Bad blood it got your mare
The rats have got your flour
Bad blood it got your mare
If there's anyone that knows
Is there anyone that cares?

You prayed to the Lord above
Oh, please send you a friend
You prayed to the Lord above
Oh, please send you a friend
Your empty pockets tell ya
That you ain't a-got no friend

Your babies are crying louder
It's pounding on your brain
Your babies are crying louder
It's pounding on your brain
Your wife's screams are stabbin' you
Like the dirty drivin' rain

Your grass it is turning black
There's no water in your well
Your grass is turning black
There's no water in your well
You spent your last lone dollar
On seven shotgun shells

Way out in the wilderness
A cold coyote calls
Way out in the wilderness
A cold coyote calls
Your eyes fix on the shotgun
That's hangin' on the wall

Your brain is a-bleedin'
And your legs can't seem to stand
Your brain is a-bleedin'
And your legs can't seem to stand
Your eyes fix on the shotgun
That you're holdin' in your hand

There's seven breezes a-blowin'
All around the cabin door
There's seven breezes a-blowin'
All around the cabin door
Seven shots ring out
Like the ocean's pounding roar

There's seven people dead
On a South Dakota farm
There's seven people dead
On a South Dakota farm
Somewheres in the distance
There's seven new people born

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Written by: BOB DYLAN

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Most interesting comments from YouTube:

lino joseph

Hollis Brown
He lived on the outside of town
Hollis Brown
He lived on the outside of town
With his wife and five children
And his cabin fallin' down
You looked for work and money
And you walked a rugged mile
You looked for work and money
And you walked a rugged mile
Your children are so hungry
That they don't know how to smile
Your baby's eyes look crazy
They're a-tuggin' at your sleeve
Your baby's eyes look crazy
They're a-tuggin' at your sleeve
You walk the floor and wonder why
With every breath you breathe
The rats have got your flour
Bad blood it got your mare
The rats have got your flour
Bad blood it got your mare
If there's anyone that knows
Is there anyone that cares?
You prayed to the Lord above
Oh please send you a friend
You prayed to the Lord above
Oh…
You prayed to the Lord above
Oh please send you a friend
Your empty pockets tell yuh
That you ain't a-got no friend
Your babies are crying louder
It's pounding on your brain
Your babies are crying louder
It's pounding on your brain
Your wife's screams are stabbin' you
Like the dirty drivin' rain
Your grass it is turning black
There's no water in your well
Your grass is turning black
There's no water in your well
You spent your last lone dollar
On seven shotgun shells
Way out in the wilderness
A cold coyote calls
Way out in the wilderness
A cold coyote calls
Your eyes fix on the shotgun
That's hangin' on the wall
Your brain is a-bleedin'
And your legs can't seem to stand
Your brain is a-bleedin'
And your legs can't seem to stand
Your eyes fix on the shotgun
That you're holdin' in your hand
There's seven breezes a-blowin'
All around the cabin door
There's seven breezes a-blowin'
All around the cabin door
Seven shots ring out
Like the ocean's pounding roar
There's seven people dead
On a South Dakota farm
There's seven people dead
On a South Dakota farm
Somewhere in the distance
There's seven new people born



Arwen Burgmans

Hollis Brown
He lived on the outside of town
Hollis Brown
He lived on the outside of town
With his wife and five children
And his cabin fallin' down

You looked for work and money
And you walked a ragged mile
You looked for work and money
And you walked a ragged mile
Your children are so hungry
That they don't know how to smile

Your baby's eyes look crazy
They're a-tuggin' at your sleeve
Your baby's eyes look crazy
They're a-tuggin' at your sleeve
You walk the floor and wonder why
With every breath you breathe

The rats have got your flour
Bad blood it got your mare
The rats have got your flour
Bad blood it got your mare
If there's anyone that knows
Is there anyone that cares?

You prayed to the Lord above
Oh, please send you a friend
You prayed to the Lord above
Oh, please send you a friend
Your empty pockets tell ya
That you ain't a-got no friend

Your babies are crying louder
It's pounding on your brain
Your babies are crying louder
It's pounding on your brain
Your wife's screams are stabbin' you
Like the dirty drivin' rain

Your grass it is turning black
There's no water in your well
Your grass is turning black
There's no water in your well
You spent your last lone dollar
On seven shotgun shells

Way out in the wilderness
A cold coyote calls
Way out in the wilderness
A cold coyote calls
Your eyes fix on the shotgun
That's hangin' on the wall

Your brain is a-bleedin'
And your legs can't seem to stand
Your brain is a-bleedin'
And your legs can't seem to stand
Your eyes fix on the shotgun
That you're holdin' in your hand

There's seven breezes a-blowin'
All around the cabin door
There's seven breezes a-blowin'
All around the cabin door
Seven shots ring out
Like the ocean's pounding roar

There's seven people dead
On a South Dakota farm
There's seven people dead
On a South Dakota farm
Somewheres in the distance
There's seven new people born



All comments from YouTube:

Paul Heptinstall

I once read that when Dylan sings 'There's seven people dead on a South Dakota farm, somewhere in the distance seven new people are born' he was referring to his belief in reincarnation. But to me it was Dylan commenting on how cheap human life is, especially the lives of the poorest in our society.

Brenden Tait

To me its kind of the idea of the cycle if poverty that no matter what more people are born into it as fast as they escape or die

Allan Johnson

Bleak,dark,morbid and sad.Up there with Desolation Row.Bob is one special musician

DonPeyote

One of the darkest Dylan songs

Nicolas Lideo

I'd say... the darkest

Ben Redmoon

and i love it

Leeland Whitted

Yes, it is very dark and beautiful.It is a chronicle of a victim who is loosing his mind. Exceptional!!

Leeland Whitted

@peaceandleisure Thanks, i'll check it out!

peaceandleisure

@Leeland Whitted suggested comparison - W.H.Auden's poem -"musee des beaux arts" -you guys had a cool discussion here

5 More Replies...

MrKneller

This is genius. Bob plays with the pronouns "he" and "you", and that tiny little thing makes the whole fucking song. At a point, Hollis Brown goes from being "he" to "you". It's a magician's sleight of hand. You don't notice it, but it makes it suddenly so personal. Now you're having starving screaming children. Now you're the one on the island. Now you're the one who picks up the shotgun.

The only other time he reverts back to "he" is when he prays to the lord to send you a friend, and then it's right back to you praying for yourself.

He forces you to be Hollis Brown. He makes you make that choice. That is the powerful songwriting you'll never see again.

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