Love Is Just a Four-Letter-Word

by Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan

Seems like only yesterday
I left my mind behind
Down in the Gypsy Cafe
With a friend of a friend of mine -
She sat with a baby heavy on her knee
Yet spoke of life most free from slavery
With eyes that showed no trace of misery -
A phrase in connection first with she I heard
That love is just a four-letter word.

Outside a rambling store-front window
Cats meowed to the break of day -
Me, I kept my mouth shut,
To you I had no words to say -
My experience was limited and underfed -
You were talking, while I hid,
To the one who was the father of your kid:
You probably didn't think I did, but I heard
You say that love is just a four-letter word.

I said goodbye unnoticed,
Pushed towards things in my own games,
Drifting in and out of lifetimes
Unmentionable by name,
Searching for my double, looking for
Complete evaporation to the core -
Though I tried and failed at finding any door,
I must have thought that there was nothing more absurd
Than that love is just a four-letter word.

Though I never knew just what you meant
When you were speaking to your man,
I could only think in terms of me
And now I understand -
After waking enough times to think I see
The Holy Kiss that's s'posed to last eternity
Blow up in smoke, its destiny
Falls on strangers, travels free -
Yes, I know now, traps are only set by me
And I do not really need to be assured
That love is just a four-letter word.

Strange it is to be beside you
Many years, the tables turned -
You'd probably not believe me
If I told you all I've learned -
And it is very, very weird indeed
To hear words like "forever" plead,
So ships run through my mind, I cannot cheat -
It's like looking in a teacher's face complete:
I can say nothing to you but repeat what I heard -
That love is just a four-letter word.

Last updated October 13, 2016