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PostPosted: Sat November 11th, 2017, 16:27 GMT 
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This is another try of putting together the lyrics of the 4 known Caribbean Wind versions.
It is based, of course, on the work of many others, but here I tried to make out the words as I understand them, which is not alway easy and not always right, I'm afraid.
If you look close into this, you may find one or the other word or string of words, where my hearing differs from common transcriptions, feel free to find them.

On a few (I think three) occasions, I gave up to try to decipher the words sung, but maybe you'll find my notes helpful to come to a better conclusion.

This:
https://www.sendspace.com/file/puvunr
is a sendspace download link with the lyrics below in xls.format, where it is possible to sort the individual lines differently.

You are welcome to correct me wherever you found a mistake or think I'm wrong.


Rehearsal / Sept. 23, 1980
She was from Haiti, fair brown and intense
I don’t think she’d never known about innocence
I’s playin' a show in Miami in the theater of mystery.
I Told about Jesus, told about the rain
She told me 'bout the vision, told me 'bout the pain
That had risen from the ashes and abided in her memory.
Was she a virtuous woman? I really can’t say
Something about her said: trust me anyway.
As the days turned to minutes and the minutes turned back into hours.
I Pretended to be sleeping and he thought I was
But I was only paying attention like a rattlesnake does
When he's hearin' footsteps trampling on the flowers.
The Caribbean winds still blow from Mexico to Curacao
From Chinatown to the furnace of desire.
And them distant ships of liberty on the iron waves so bold and free
Bringing everyone that's near to me closer to the fire.
Well, our shadows drew closer, ‘till they touched on the floor
Prodigal son’s waiting close to the door.
Preaching obscenities, waiting for the night to arrive
He was well connected, but her heart was a snare
And she had left him to die in there
But I knew I couldn’t get him out while he still was alive.
Well the stars on the balcony, flies buzz my head
Ceiling fan’s broken, there’s heat in my bed
Street band playin' "Nearer My God To Thee.”
She looked into my eyes, I heard the mission bell ring
She said, "I know what you're thinkin', but there ain't a thing
You can do about it, so you might as well let it be.”
And the Caribbean wind still blows from Mexico down to Curacao
From Chinatown to the furnace of desire.
And them distant ships of liberty on them iron waves so bold and free
Bringing everything and everyone close to me, closer to the fire.
Atlantic City by the cruel sea
I hear a voice crying "Daddy”, I always think it’s for me
But it's only the silence in the buttermilk hill that calls.
Every new messenger bringin' evil report
‘bout armies that are rioting, whose fuses are short
And them ugly gargoyles and hate words written on walls.
Would I have married her? I don't know I suppose
She had bells in her braids, fire in her clothes
But the curtain was rising, like they say “the show must go on”.
And I felt it come over me, some kind of gloom
I’s gonna say "Come on with me, I got plenty of room.”
But I knew I'd be lyin' and besides she had already gone.
And them Caribbean wind still blows from Curacao to Mexico
From Chinatown to the furnace of desire.
And them distant ships of liberty on iron waves so bold and free
Bringing everything that's near to me, nearer to the fire.

Live / Nov. 12, 1980
She was from Haiti, fair brown and intense
I met her at the …. (xxx's last/lost/Lord's [a word rhyming with "intense])
Playin’ a show in Miami, in the theater of divine comedy.
Told about Jesus, told about the rain
She told me ‘bout the vision, told me ‘bout the pain
That had risen from the ashes and abided in her memory.
Is she a child or a woman? I really can't say,
Something about her said: Trust me anyway
As the days turned to minutes and the minutes turned back into hours.
Could I've been used, played as a pawn?
It certainly was possible as the gay night wore on
But victory was mine, and I held it with the help of God's power.
And the Caribbean winds still blow from Trinidad to Mexico
The circle of light to the furnace of desire
And them distant ships of liberty on them iron waves so bold and free
Bringing everything that's near to me nearer to the fire.
Shadows grew closer as we touched on the floor
Prodigal son sitting next to the door
Preaching resistance, waiting for the night to arrive.
He was well connected, but her heart was a snare
Has she had left him to die in there?
But I knew he could get out while he still was alive.
Stars on my balcony, buzz in my head
([word beginning with "s", NOT "slaying, rather staying] and NOT "Bob Dylan") …. heat in my bed
Street band playin', "Nearer My God To Thee."
We met at secret where the mission bells ring
She said, "I know what you're thinkin', but there ain't a thing
You can do about it, so you might as well agree to agree".
And the Caribbean wind blows hard from the Valley coast into my backyard
Driven all your love to the furnace of desire
And them distant ships of liberty on them iron waves so bold and free
Bringing everything that's near to me, nearer to the fire.
Atlantic City by the cruel sea
I hear a voice cryin' "Daddy", I always think it's for me
But it's only the silence in the buttermilk hills that call.
Every new messenger bringin' evil report
About rioting armies and time that is short
And earthquakes and train wrecks and death threats written on walls.
Would I have married her? I don't know, I suppose
She had bells on her braids and they hung to her toes
The curtain was risin' and like they say, the ship would sail at dawn.
Then I felt it come over me, some kind of gloom
I’m gonna say, "Come on with me girl, I got plenty of room."
But I knew I'd be lyin', and besides she had already gone.
And them Caribbean winds still howl from Tokyo to the British Isle
… to that furnace of desire
And them distant ships of liberty on 'em iron waves so bold and free
Bringing everything that's near to me, nearer to the fire.


Unreleased / March 31, 1981
She was well rehearsed, fair brown and blonde
She had friends who were best boys and friends in the Pentagon
I’s playin’ a show in Miami in the theater of divine comedy.
Talked in the shadows, where they talked in the rain
I could tell she was still feeling the pain
Pain of rejection, pain of infidelity.
Was she a child or a woman? I can't say which
One to another she could easily switch
Couples were dancing and I lost track of the hours
He was well prepared, I knew he was
Paying attention like a rattlesnake does
When he's hearin’ footsteps trampling over his flowers.
And the Caribbean winds still blow from Nassau to Mexico,
From the circle of ice to the furnace of desire.
And them distant ships of liberty on them iron waves so bold and free
Bringing everything that's near to me nearer to the fire.
She looked into my soul through the clothes that I wore
She said "we got a mutual friend standing at the door
Yeah, you know he's got our best interest in mind"
He was well connected, but her heart was a snare
And she had left him to die in there
He had due payments to do and he was a little behind.
Well, I sleep in a hotel where flies buzz my head
Ceiling fan was broken, there was heat in my bed
Street band playin' "Nearer My God To Thee."
We met in secret where we drank from a spring
She said "I know what you're thinking, but there ain't a thing
We can do about it, so we might as well let it be"
Them Caribbean winds still blow from Nassau to Mexico
From the circle of ice to the furnace of desire.
And them distant ships of liberty on them iron waves so bold and free
Bringing everything that's near to me nearer to the fire.
Atlantic City two years to the day
I hear a voice cryin' "Daddy" and I look that way
But it's only the silence in the buttermilk hills that call.
Every new messenger bringin’ evil report 
'bout rioting armies and time that is short,
And earthquakes and train wrecks and hate words scribbled on walls.
Would I have married her? I don't know I suppose
She had bells in her braids and they hung to her toes.
But I heard my name and destiny say to be movin' on
Then I felt it come over me, some kind of gloom,
Gonna say "Come on with me girl, I got plenty of room"
But I knew I'd be lyin', and besides she had already gone.
And them Caribbean winds still blow from Nassau to Mexico,
Circle of ice to the furnace of desire.
And them distant ships of liberty on them iron waves so bold and free
Bringing everything that's near to me nearer to the fire.


Biograph / April 7, 1981
She was the rose of Sharon, from paradise lost
From the city of seven hills, near the place of the cross.
I was playin' a show in Miami in the theater of divine comedy.
Told about Jesus, told about the rain
She told me 'bout the jungle where her brothers were slain
By the man who invented iron and disappeared so mysteriously.
Was she a child or an angel? Did we go too far?
Where we sniper bait? Did we follow a star
Through the hole in the wall to where the long arm of the law cannot reach?
Could I have been used and played as a pawn?
It certainly was possible as the gay night wore on
When men bathed in perfume and practiced the hoax of free speech.
And them Caribbean winds still blow from Nassau to Mexico
Fanning the flames in the furnace of desire
And them distant ships of liberty on them iron waves so bold and free
Bringing everything that's near to me nearer to the fire.
Sea breeze blowin', there's a hellhound loose
Redeemed men who were escaped from the noose
Preaching faith and salvation, waitin' on the night to arrive.
He was well connected, but her heart was a snare
And she had left him to die in there
He was goin' down slow, just barely stayin' alive.
The cry of the peacock, flies buzz in my head
Ceiling fan broken, there's a heat in my bed
Street band playing "Nearer My God to Thee."
We met at the station where the mission bells ring
She said, "I know what you're thinkin', but there ain't a thing
You can do about it, so let us just agree to agree.”
And them Caribbean winds still blow from Nassau to Mexico
Fannin' the flames in the furnace of desire
And them distant ships of liberty on them iron waves so bold and free
Bringing everything that's near to me nearer to the fire.
Atlantic City by the cold grey sea
Hear a voice crying "Daddy”, I always think it's for me,
But it's only the silence in the buttermilk hills that call.
Every new messenger bringin’ evil report
'bout armies on the march and time that is short
And famines and earthquakes and train wrecks and the tearin' down of the wall.
Did you ever have a dream that you couldn't explain?
Ever meet your accusers face to face in the rain?
She had chrome brown eyes that I won't forget as long as she's gone.
I see the screws breakin' loose, see the devil poundin' on tin
See a house in the country bein' torn from the within.
I can hear my ancestors callin' from the land far beyond.
And them Caribbean winds still blow from Nassau to Mexico
Fannin' the flames in the furnace of desire
And them distant ships of liberty on them iron waves so bold and free
Bringing everything that's near to me nearer to the fire.


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PostPosted: Sun November 12th, 2017, 07:42 GMT 
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Joined: Thu February 2nd, 2006, 05:11 GMT
Posts: 3063
Location: Tokyo, Japan
In the March 31st, 1981 rehearsal, I always thought it went:

She had friends who were bus boys...

But who knows?


I love this:

Was she a child or a woman? I can't say which.
From one to the other she could easily switch.


Been there.


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PostPosted: Sun November 12th, 2017, 09:05 GMT 
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Joined: Tue June 21st, 2011, 11:15 GMT
Posts: 1523
panther wrote:
In the March 31st, 1981 rehearsal, I always thought it went:

She had friends who were bus boys...

But who knows?


I love this:

Was she a child or a woman? I can't say which.
From one to the other she could easily switch.


Been there.


Yes, the best boy/busboy line is one of those in question. I know, busboys is written in the official lyrics, but I can't help, I hear a "t" at the end of the syllable before "boys". Maybe it's bustboys? :wink:

To the child/woman line: Could that be a little, hm, offensive these days?


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PostPosted: Sun November 12th, 2017, 09:14 GMT 
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Joined: Tue August 23rd, 2011, 14:43 GMT
Posts: 1464
Location: Singapore
Thank you. What a song!


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PostPosted: Sun November 12th, 2017, 12:35 GMT 

Joined: Sat December 27th, 2014, 12:09 GMT
Posts: 63
h.egbert wrote:
panther wrote:

Yes, the best boy/busboy line is one of those in question. I know, busboys is written in the official lyrics, but I can't help, I hear a "t" at the end of the syllable before "boys". Maybe it's bustboys? :wink:

To the child/woman line: Could that be a little, hm, offensive these days?


Surely busboys is best as a counterpoint to friends in the Pentagon. Mind you I had to look at Wiki to discover what a busboy is.

I've sometimes wondered what if any influence J D Salinger's writing had on Dylan. I expect this is discussed somewhere in the millions of pages but I can't recall. To me, some of Dylan's outstanding dreamlike works such as CW and Visions of Johanna and It's All Right Ma have something of Salinger in them. Sorry if this is tangential to the topic.


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PostPosted: Sun November 12th, 2017, 13:20 GMT 

Joined: Sun November 7th, 2004, 18:31 GMT
Posts: 408
It's definitely bus boys. It's common in the States to start as a bus boy as an entry level position at a restaurant. It's usually a minimum wage job done by high school/college kids or poorer people so it's a perfect contrast to someone who works at the Pentagon. It's a wonderful line describing a woman who, like Jesus, embraces all segments of society. Best boy on the other hand, is meaningless.


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PostPosted: Sun November 12th, 2017, 15:25 GMT 
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Joined: Tue June 21st, 2011, 11:15 GMT
Posts: 1523
tyke wrote:

Surely busboys is best as a counterpoint to friends in the Pentagon. Mind you I had to look at Wiki to discover what a busboy is.



toilandblood546 wrote:
It's definitely bus boys. It's common in the States to start as a bus boy as an entry level position at a restaurant. It's usually a minimum wage job done by high school/college kids or poorer people so it's a perfect contrast to someone who works at the Pentagon. It's a wonderful line describing a woman who, like Jesus, embraces all segments of society. Best boy on the other hand, is meaningless.


Thank you both for contributing. I'm halfways convinced by your explanations, although not acoustic wise. Isn't a "best boy" someone who works at a film set or the like?


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PostPosted: Tue November 14th, 2017, 17:02 GMT 

Joined: Tue June 21st, 2016, 17:01 GMT
Posts: 206
h.egbert wrote:
tyke wrote:

Surely busboys is best as a counterpoint to friends in the Pentagon. Mind you I had to look at Wiki to discover what a busboy is.



toilandblood546 wrote:
It's definitely bus boys. It's common in the States to start as a bus boy as an entry level position at a restaurant. It's usually a minimum wage job done by high school/college kids or poorer people so it's a perfect contrast to someone who works at the Pentagon. It's a wonderful line describing a woman who, like Jesus, embraces all segments of society. Best boy on the other hand, is meaningless.


Thank you both for contributing. I'm halfways convinced by your explanations, although not acoustic wise. Isn't a "best boy" someone who works at a film set or the like?


The booklet that comes with Trouble in Mind reproduces a couple of Dylan's typed drafts of "Caribbean Wind": one that's close to the Biograph, one from earlier in the song's evolution. The second line of the latter is "she'd been a friend to both busboys & presidents."


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