It was written in the summer of 1964, first performed live on October 10, 1964, and recorded on January 15, 1965.
Darkness at the break of noon. Shadows even the silver spoon. The handmade blade, the child's balloon. Eclipses both the sun and moon. To understand you know too soon. There is no sense in trying.
Pointed threats, they bluff with scorn. Suicide remarks are torn. From the fools gold mouthpiece. The hollow horn plays wasted words. Proved to warn. That he not busy being born. Is busy dying.
Temptation's page flies out the door. You follow, find yourself at war. Watch waterfalls of pity roar. You feel to moan but unlike before. You discover. That you'd just be. One more person crying.
So don't fear if you hear. A foreign sound to you ear. It's alright, Ma, I'm only sighing.
As some warn victory, some downfall. Private reasons great or small. Can be seen in the eyes of those that call. To make all that should be killed to crawl. While others say don't hate nothing at all. Except hatred.
Disillusioned words like bullets bark. As human gods aim for their marks. Made everything from toy guns that sparks. To flesh-colored Christs that glow in the dark. It's easy to see without looking too far. That not much. Is really sacred.
While preachers preach of evil fates. Teachers teach that knowledge waits. Can lead to hundred-dollar plates. Goodness hides behind its gates. But even the President of the United States. Sometimes must have To stand naked.
An' though the rules of the road have been lodged. It's only people's games that you got to dodge. And it's alright, Ma, I can make it.
Advertising signs that con you. Into thinking you're the one. That can do what's never been done. That can win what's never been won. Meantime life outside goes on All around you.
You loose yourself, you reappear. You suddenly find you got nothing to fear. Alone you stand without nobody near. When a trembling distant voice, unclear. Startles your sleeping ears to hear. That somebody thinks. They really found you.
A question in your nerves is lit. Yet you know there is no answer fit to satisfy. Insure you not to quit. To keep it in your mind and not forget. That it is not he or she or them or it That you belong to.
Although the masters make the rules. For the wise men and the fools. I got nothing, Ma, to live up to.
For them that must obey authority. That they do not respect in any degree. Who despite their jobs, their destinies. Speak jealously of them that are free. Cultivate their flowers to be. Nothing more than something. They invest in.
While some on principles baptized. To strict party platforms ties. Social clubs in drag disguise. Outsiders they can freely criticize. Tell nothing except who to idolize. And then say God Bless him.
While one who sings with his tongue on fire. Gargles in the rat race choir. Bent out of shape from society's pliers. Cares not to come up any higher. But rather get you down in the hole. That he's in.
But I mean no harm nor put fault. On anyone that lives in a vault. But it's alright, Ma, if I can't please him.
Old lady judges, watch people in pairs. Limited in sex, they dare. To push fake morals, insult and stare. While money doesn't talk, it swears. Obscenity, who really cares. Propaganda, all is phony.
While them that defend what they cannot see. With a killer's pride, security. It blows the minds most bitterly. For them that think death's honesty. Won't fall upon them naturally. Life sometimes. Must get lonely.
My eyes collide head-on with stuffed graveyards. False gods, I scuff. At pettiness which plays so rough. Walk upside-down inside handcuffs. Kick my legs to crash it off. Say okay, I have had enough. What else can you show me ?
And if my thought-dreams could been seen. They'd probably put my head in a guillotine. But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only.