Photo Credit: Asher Schwartz

Neighborhood Bully – Bob Dylan


Well, the neighborhood bully, he’s just one man His enemies say he’s on their land They got him outnumbered, ’bout a million to one He got no place to ‘scape to, no place to run He’s the neighborhood bully.

The neighborhood bully, he just lives to survive He’s criticized and condemned for being alive Not supposed to fight back and have thick skin Supposed to lay down and die when his door is kicked in He’s the neighborhood bully.

Neighborhood bully been driven out of every land He’s wandered the earth an exiled man Seen his family scattered, his people hounded and torn He’s always on trial for just being born He’s the neighborhood bully.

Well, he knocked out a lynch mob, he was criticized Old women condemned him, said he should apologize Then he destroyed a bomb factory, he ‘n’ nobody was glad The bombs were meant for him. He was supposed to feel bad He’s the neighborhood bully.

Well, the chances are against it, and the odds are slim That he’ll live by the rules that the world makes for him ‘Cause there’s a noose at his neck and a gun at his back And a licence to kill him given out to every maniac He’s the neighborhood bully.

Well, he got no allies to really speak of What he gets he must pay for, he don’t get it out of love He buys obsolete weapons and he won’t be denied But no one sends flesh and blood to fight by his side He’s the neighborhood bully.

Well, he’s surrounded by pacifists who all want peace They pray for it nightly that the bloodshed must cease Now, they wouldn’t hurt a fly. To hurt one they would weep They lay and they wait for this bully to fall asleep He’s the neighborhood bully. Every empire that’s enslaved him is gone Egypt and Rome, even the great Babylon He’s made a garden of paradise in the desert sand In bed with nobody, under no one’s command He’s the neighborhood bully.

Now his holiest books have been trampled upon No contract he signed was worth what was it written on He took the crumbs of the world and he turned it into wealth Took sickness and disease and he turned it into health He’s the neighborhood bully.

What’s anybody indebted to him for? Nothing, they say. He just like to cause war Pride and prejudice; superstition indeed They wait for this bully like a dog waits to feed Neighborhood bully.

What has he done to wear so many scars?
Does he change the course of rivers? Does he pollute the moon and stars?
Neighborhood bully, standing on a hill
Running out the clock, time standing still
Neighborhood bully.

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