The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest cover
The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest cover

The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest
byBob Dylan
Lyrics Meanings


The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest Lyrics

Well, Frankie Lee and Judas Priest
They were the best of friends
So when Frankie Lee needed money one day
Judas quickly pulled out a roll of ten
And placed them on a footstool
Just above the plotted plain,
Sayin', Take your pick, Frankie Boy
My loss will be your gain

Well, Frankie Lee, he sat right down
And put his fingers to his chin
But with the cold eyes of Judas on him
His head began to spin
Would ya please not stare at me like that, he said
It's just my foolish pride
But sometimes a man must be alone
And this is no place to hide

Well, Judas, he just winked and said
All right, I'll leave you here
But you'd better hurry up and choose
Which of those bills you want
Before they all disappear
I'm gonna start my pickin' right now
Just tell me where you'll be

Judas pointed down the road
And said, eternity
Eternity, said Frankie Lee
With a voice as cold as ice
That's right, said Judas Priest, eternity
Though you might call it 'Paradise

I don't call it anything
Said Frankie Lee with a smile
All right," said Judas Priest
I'll see you after a while

Well, Frankie Lee, he sat back down
Feelin' low and mean
When just then a passing stranger
Burst upon the scene
Saying, are you Frankie Lee, the gambler
Whose father is deceased
Well, if you are
There's a fellow callin' you down the road
And they say his name is Priest

Oh, yes, he is my friend
Said Frankie Lee in fright
I do recall him very well
In fact, he just left my sight
Yes, that's the one,said the stranger
As quiet as a mouse
Well, my message is, he's down the road
Stranded in a house

Well, Frankie Lee, he panicked
He dropped everything and ran
Until he came up to the spot
Where Judas Priest did stand
What kind of house is this,he said
Where I have come to roam
It's not a house,said Judas Priest
It's not a house it's a home

Well, Frankie Lee, he trembled
He soon lost all control
Over everything which he had made
While the mission bells did toll
He just stood there staring
At that big house as bright as any sun
With four and twenty windows
And a woman's face in every one

Well, up the stairs ran Frankie Lee
With a soulful, bounding leap
And, foaming at the mouth
He began to make his midnight creep
For sixteen nights and days he raved
But on the seventeenth he burst
Into the arms of Judas Priest
Which is where he died of thirst

No one tried to say a thing
When they took him out in jest
Except, of course, the little neighbor boy
Who carried him to rest
And he just walked along, alone
With his guilt so well concealed
And muttered underneath his breath
Nothing is revealed

Well, the moral of the story
The moral of this song,
Is simply that one should never be
Where one does not belong.
So when you see your neighbor carryin' somethin'
Help him with his load
And don't go mistaking Paradise
For that home across the road

Writer(s): Lyrics © AUDIAM, INC
Copyright: BOB DYLAN
Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

What's Your Interpretation?

Attach an image to this thought

Drag image here or click to upload image

1 Thoughts & Meanings

I think this is a very cool song. I always wondered about the meaning but with Dylan you never know for sure. Like the little neighbor boy at the end of this song who smiles and says "nothing is revealed"; classic Bob. My take is that its a parable about the importance of giving of yourself and the struggle Dylan has to reconcile being "good" with the temptations of the world, like the house he is led to with "4 and 20 windows, and a woman's face in every one."

End of content

That's all we got for #

Lyrics Discussions



Hot Tracks

by Lil Baby, Drake