"All Along The Watchtower" by Bob Dylan

All Along The Watchtower

All Along The Watchtower by Bob Dylan

"There must be some way out of here" said the joker to the thief "There's too much confusion", I can't get no relief Businessmen, they drink my wine, plowmen dig my earth None of them along the line know what any of it is worth.

"No reason to get excited", the thief he kindly spoke "There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke But you and I, we've been through that, and this is not our fate So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late".

All along the watchtower, princes kept the view While all the women came and went, barefoot servants, too.

Outside in the distance a wildcat did growl Two riders were approaching, the wind began to howl.

© Dwarf Music

art by John Rea Neill lyrics by Bob Dylan

Dylan's "All Along The Watchtower" is one of my favorite songs.  It sounds like the opening scene of a great, epic fantasy (indeed, writer / editor Jessica Amanda Salmonson tried years ago to turn it into a lengthy story with another writer, but her co-author's untimely death pretty much killed any momentum that project had; still, it would have been wonderful).  Unlike most ballads, it does not complete its story; rather it leaves it open ended and ripe for interpretation.  For that reason, it is haunting.

update:  "As you allude to, I published Ron Nance's first story 'Watchtower' about the Jester and the Thief. He wrote a very few more tales of this duo, and he and I co-wrote 'A Wine of Heart's Desire' set in the world of Dylan's characters, to be found in the Tor Books anthology Tales By Moonlight." -- Jessica Amanda Salmonson

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