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When the Ship Comes In

(„The Times They Are A-Changin'”, 1964 Columbia)
słowa i muzyka: Bob Dylan
Intro G
              G             h7                          C              G

Oh the time will come up when the winds will stop

                   e        C                           G

And the breeze will cease to be a-breathin

                 G                      h7                      C                 G

Like the stillness in the wind before the hurricane begins,

         G                     D7            G

The hour that the ship comes in

                D11         C                  G

And the sea will split and the ships will hit

                D11                 C                         G

And the sands on the shoreline will be shaking

               D11         C                     G

And the tide will sound and the waves will pound

                 G   C      h7 D        D7G

And the morning will be a-breaking



Oh the fishes will laugh as they swim out of the path

And the seagulls will be a-smilin'

And the rocks on the sand will proudly stand

The hour that the ship comes in

And the words that are used for to get the ship confused

Will not be understood as they're spoken

Oh the chains of the sea will have busted in the night

And be buried on the bottom of the ocean


A song will lift as the main sail shifts

And the boat drifts unto the shoreline

And the sun will respect every face on the deck

The hour that the ship comes in

And the sands will roll out a carpet of gold

For your wearied toes to be a-touchin'

And the ship's wise men will remind you once again

That the whole wide world is watchin'


Oh the foes will rise with the sleep still in their eyes

And they'll jerk from their beds and think they're dreamin'

But they'll pinch themselves and squeal

And they'll know that it's for real,

The hour that the ship comes in

And they'll raise their hands

Sayin' we'll meet all you demands

But we'll shout from the bow

Your days are numbered

And like Pharoah's tribe they'll be drownded in the tide

And like Goliath they'll be conquered

When the Ship Comes In” is a folk music song by Bob Dylan, released on his third album, The Times They Are a-Changin', in 1964.
Joan Baez states in the documentary film No Direction Home that the song was, more or less, inspired by a hotel clerk who refused to allow Dylan a room due to his „unwashed” appearance (he was not famous outside of the folk movement at this time). The song then grew into a sprawling epic allegory about vanquishing the oppressive „powers that be”. Another inspiration was the Bertolt Brecht/Kurt Weill song, „Jenny the pirate's bride”.
According to Heylin, „When The Ship Comes In” was written in August 1963 „in a fit of pique, in a hotel room, after his unkempt appearance had led an impertinent hotel clerk to refuse him admission until his companion, Joan Baez, had vouched for his good character.” Heylin speculates that „Jenny's Song” from Brecht and Weill's Threepenny Opera was also an inspiration: „As Pirate Jenny dreams of the destruction of all her enemies by a mysterious ship, so Dylan envisages the neophobes being swept aside in 'the hour when the ship comes in'.” Dylan's former girlfriend Suze Rotolo recalls that her „interest in Brecht was certainly an influence on him. I was working for the Circle in the Square Theater and he came to listen all the time. He was very affected by the song that Lotte Lenya's known for, 'Pirate Jenny'.


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