Song 11 - Drifter's Escape

This little moral fable from the album John Wesley Harding 1967 here gets the full rock treatment with rollicking harmonica. Performance date: 1996

Dylan's ability to put conversations into his songs are evident here. 

Did God save the Drifter? 

Drifter’s Escape

“Oh, help me in my weakness”

I heard the drifter say

As they carried him from the courtroom

And were taking him away

“My trip hasn’t been a pleasant one

And my time it isn’t long

And I still do not know

What it was that I’ve done wrong”

Well, the judge, he cast his robe aside

A tear came to his eye

“You fail to understand,” he said

“Why must you even try?”

Outside, the crowd was stirring

You could hear it from the door

Inside, the judge was stepping down

While the jury cried for more

“Oh, stop that cursed jury”

Cried the attendant and the nurse

“The trial was bad enough

But this is ten times worse”

Just then a bolt of lightning

Struck the courthouse out of shape

And while ev’rybody knelt to pray

The drifter did escape