Bob Dylan The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest cover

The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest
by Bob Dylan
Lyrics and Meaning

The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest Lyrics

Song Meaning
Verse 1
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
Verse 2
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
Verse 3
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
Verse 4
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
Verse 5
I don't call it anything
Said Frankie Lee with a smile
All right," said Judas Priest
I'll see you after a while
Verse 6
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
Verse 7
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
Verse 8
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
Verse 9
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
Verse 10
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
Verse 11
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
Verse 12
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

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