Trump Time

“I pity the poor immigrant”: the meaning of the music and the lyrics
By Tony Attwood

This is a song that has attracted few commentaries, but those who have ventured into it have wandered deep, dark and different roads as they have endeavoured to make sense of the whole piece.

Speaking generally, there are two separate approaches that have been explored. One focuses on the use of the word “immigrant” and what that means, and how the words flow on from that point, and the other focuses on the music. I’ll try and take a quick look at each approach.
http://bob-dylan.org.uk/archives/1728

http://www.bobdylancommentaries.com/in-progress/pity-poor-immigrant/

I Pity The Poor Immigrant

Written by: Bob Dylan

I pity the poor immigrant

Who wishes he would’ve stayed home

Who uses all his power to do evil

But in the end is always left so alone

That man whom with his fingers cheats

And who lies with ev’ry breath

Who passionately hates his life

And likewise, fears his death

I pity the poor immigrant

Whose strength is spent in vain

Whose heaven is like Ironsides

Whose tears are like rain

Who eats but is not satisfied

Who hears but does not see

Who falls in love with wealth itself

And turns his back on me

I pity the poor immigrant

Who tramples through the mud

Who fills his mouth with laughing

And who builds his town with blood

Whose visions in the final end

Must shatter like the glass

I pity the poor immigrant

When his gladness comes to pass

Copyright © 1968 by Dwarf Music; renewed 1996 Dwarf Music

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