Thirsty Boots

Written by Eric Andersen
Recorded 4 March 1970 during the Self Portrait sessions, and released on Bootleg Series 10: Another Self Portrait (2013)
Tabbed by Eyolf Østrem

This is one of the songs where Dylan seems not to have rehearsed the song too well before going into the studio: In the first verse and chorus, he maintains the slight distinction between the two, chord-wise, but as the verses progress, this distinction fades, and what remains at the end is the constant repetition of the same falling bass figure.

It's a wonderful song, though, beautifully performed.

The G variants are suggestions.

Chords
G7sus4    3x3010
G7/6      323000
            
       C                Em
You've long been on the open road,
Dm                            G     G7/6
  You've been sleeping in the rain,
C                          Em
  From the dirty words and muddy cells
    Dm                       G
Your clothes are smeared and stained,
C                         Em
  But the dirty words and muddy cells
    Dn                G
Will soon be judged insane                       *)
        C        F
So only stop and rest yourself
     Dm           G     G7sus4
Till you are off again
            
       C             F
   And take off your thirsty boots
      C            F
   and stay for a while,
   C             /b         Am   /g
   Your feet are hot and weary,
   Dm           G      G7sus4
   from a dusty mile,
       C           F
   And maybe I can make you laugh,
   C           F
   maybe I can try,
            C         /b    Am    /g
   I'm just looking for the evening,
   Dm              G7sus4     C
    and the morning in your eye.
            
Now, tell me of the ones you saw,
As far as you could see,
Across the plain from field to town
A-marching to be free
And of the rusted prison gates
That tumbled by degree
Like laughing children, one by one,
who look like you and me
            
       C             F
   And take off your thirsty boots
      F            G7sus4
   and stay for a while,
   C             /b         Am   /g
   Your feet are hot and weary,
   Dm           G  
   from a dusty mile,
       C      /b   Am            /g
   And maybe I can make you laugh,
       Dm          G    G7
   and maybe I can try,
        C         /b    Am    /g
   just looking for the evening,
   Dm              G   G7sus4     C
    and the morning in your eye.
            
  C               Em/b
I know you are no stranger
         Dm              G
down the crooked rainbow trails
     C       /b          Am        /g
From dancing cliff-edged shattered sills
   F          Dm       G     G7sus4
Of slandered, shackled jails
        C     /b        Am     /g
But the voices drift up from below
       Dm        F     G
As the walls are being scaled
     C      /b        Am       /g
Yes, all of this, and more, my friend,
     Dm                G      G7sus4
Your song shall not be failed.
            
       C    /b       Am      /g
   And take off your thirsty boots
      F            G
   and stay for a while,
   C             /b         Am   /g
   Your feet are hot and weary,
   Dm           G  
   from a dusty mile,
       C      /b   Am            /g
   And maybe I can make you laugh,
       Dm    F     G    G7
   and maybe I can try,
        C         /b    Am    /g
   just looking for the evening,
   Dm              G  i        C
    and the morning in your eye.
            

*) Andersen's original has: "Will soon be hid in shame"