Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafesj

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home

Lyr Req: Lily Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts

GUEST,Hilary 25 Aug 10 - 11:15 AM
open mike 25 Aug 10 - 12:20 PM
open mike 25 Aug 10 - 12:25 PM
GUEST,Paul Steele 25 Aug 10 - 01:13 PM
bobad 25 Aug 10 - 01:19 PM
michaelr 25 Aug 10 - 07:46 PM
Share Thread
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:

Subject: lily rosemary and the jack of hearts
From: GUEST,Hilary
Date: 25 Aug 10 - 11:15 AM

Has anyone else considered the idea that Lily in the song could be based on Lily Langtry? I have never seen liner notes for this song, so I'm not sure what Dylan's reasoning behind writing it was. But think about it. She's an actress who's been a mistress of many men, even one like Big Jim who seems to be almost a king. The song features a hanging judge who frequently gets drunk. This could easily be Judge Roy Bean whose nickname was the Hanging Judge. Oddly enough, there has been nothing else on the internet at all related to this idea. But it seems so obvious to me. I can't believe that no one's ever drawn this conclusion.

Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: lily rosemary and the jack of hearts
From: open mike
Date: 25 Aug 10 - 12:20 PM

lily rosemary and the jack of hearts is discussed in many places,_Rosemary_and_the_Jack_of_Hearts

two screen plays have been written based on this song. neither of them materialized into is info on one..

Here are the lyrics....can these be added to the D.T.?

The festival was over and the boys were all planning for a fall
The cabaret was quiet except for the drilling in the wall
The curfew had been lifted and the gambling wheel shut down
Anyone with any sense had already left town
He was standing in the doorway looking like the Jack of Hearts

He moved across the mirrored room, "Set it up for everyone," he said
Then everyone commenced to do what they were doing before he turned their heads
Then he walked up to a stranger and he asked him with a grin
"Could you kindly tell me, friend, what time the show begins?"
Then he moved into the corner, face down like the Jack of Hearts

Backstage the girls were playing five-card stud by the stairs
Lily had two queens, she was hoping for a third to match her pair
Outside the streets were filling up, the window was open wide
A gentle breeze was blowing, you could feel it from inside
Lily called another bet and drew up the Jack of Hearts

Big Jim was no one's fool, he owned the town's only diamond mine
He made his usual entrance looking so dandy and so fine
With his bodyguards and silver cane and every hair in place
He took whatever he wanted to and he laid it all to waste
But his bodyguards and silver cane were no match for the Jack of Hearts

Rosemary combed her hair and took a carriage into town
She slipped in through the side door looking like a queen without a crown
She fluttered her false eyelashes and whispered in his ear
"Sorry, darling, that I'm late," but he didn't seem to hear
He was staring into space over at the Jack of Hearts

"I know I've seen that face before," Big Jim was thinking to himself
"Maybe down in Mexico or a picture up on somebody's shelf"
But then the crowd began to stamp their feet and the house lights did dim
And in the darkness of the room there was only Jim and him
Staring at the butterfly who just drew the Jack of Hearts

Lily was a princess, she was fair-skinned and precious as a child
She did whatever she had to do, she had that certain flash every time she smiled
She'd come from a broken house, had lots of strange affairs
With men in every walk of life which took her everywhere
But she's never met anyone quite like the Jack of Hearts

The hanging judge came in unnoticed and was being wined and dined
The drilling in the wall kept up but no one seemed to pay it any mind
It was known all around that Lily had Jim's ring
And nothing would ever come between Lily and the King
No, nothing ever would except maybe the Jack of Hearts

Rosemary started drinking hard and seeing her reflection in the knife
She was tired of the attention, tired of playing the role of Big Jim's wife
She had done a lot of bad things, even once tried suicide
Was looking to do just one good deed before she died
She was gazing to the future, riding on the Jack of Hearts

Lily took her dress off, buried it away
"Has your luck run out?" she laughed at him, "Well, I guess you must have known it would someday
Be careful not to touch the wall, there's a brand-new coat of paint
I'm glad to see you're still alive, you're looking like a saint"
Down the hallway footsteps were coming for the Jack of Hearts

The backstage manager was pacing all around by his chair
"There's something funny going on," he said, "I can just feel it in the air"
He went to get the hanging judge, but the hanging judge was drunk
As the leading actor hurried by in the costume of a monk
There was no actor anywhere better than the Jack of Hearts

No one knew the circumstance but they say that it happened pretty quick
The door to the dressing room burst open and a cold revolver clicked
And Big Jim was standing there, you couldn't say surprised
Rosemary right beside him, steady in her eyes
She was with Big Jim but she was leaning to the Jack of Hearts

Two doors down the boys finally made it through the wall
And cleaned out the bank safe, it's said that they got off with quite a haul
In the darkness by the riverbed they waited on the ground
For one more member who had business back in town
But they couldn't go no further without the Jack of Hearts

The next day was hanging day, the sky was overcast and black
Big Jim lay covered up, killed by a penknife in the back
And Rosemary on the gallows, she didn't even blink
The hanging judge was sober, he hadn't had a drink
The only person on the scene missing was the Jack of Hearts

The cabaret was empty now, a sign said, "Closed for repair"
Lily had already taken all of the dye out of her hair
She was thinking about her father, whom she very rarely saw
Thinking about Rosemary and thinking about the law
But most of all she was thinking about the Jack of Hearts

Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: lily rosemary and the jack of hearts
From: open mike
Date: 25 Aug 10 - 12:25 PM

Tom Russell has a cover of this song on Indians Horses Cowboys and Dogs

Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: lily rosemary and the jack of hearts
From: GUEST,Paul Steele
Date: 25 Aug 10 - 01:13 PM

There is another verse not on Blood on the Tracks. Not sure if it's on the bootleg, but it's in the music book to the album. Can't remember it though. "Hounded her so much" is a clue for you

Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: lily rosemary and the jack of hearts
From: bobad
Date: 25 Aug 10 - 01:19 PM

Lily's arms were locked around the man that she dearly loved to touch
She forgot all about the man she couldn't stand who hounded her so much
"I've missed you so," she said to him, and he felt she was sincere
But just beyond the door he felt jealousy and fear
Just another night in the life of the Jack of Hearts

Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: lily rosemary and the jack of hearts
From: michaelr
Date: 25 Aug 10 - 07:46 PM

We had a lengthy thread about this song just a few months ago, but I'm damned if I can find it now. The extra verse was quoted in that thread.

Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")

Mudcat time: 5 December 3:56 AM EST

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.