Words and music Bob Dylan
Released on John Wesley Harding (1967)
Tabbed by Eyolf Østrem
Capo 5th fret (sounding key C major)
The same four-chord progression premeates the whole song, played twice as an intro:
G Bm Am G
That’s about all there is to it.
G Bm Well, Frankie Lee and Judas Priest, Am G They were the best of friends. Bm So when Frankie Lee needed money one day, Am G Judas quickly pulled out a roll of tens Bm And placed them on a footstool Am G Just above the plotted plain, G Bm Sayin', "Take your pick, Frankie Boy, Am G My loss will be your gain." Well, Frankie Lee, he sat right down And put his fingers to his chin, But with the cold eyes of Judas on him, His head began to spin. "Would ya please not stare at me like that," he said, "It's just my foolish pride, But sometimes a man must be alone And this is no place to hide." Well, Judas, he just winked and said, "All right, I'll leave you here, But you'd better hurry up and choose Which of those bills you want, Before they all disappear." "I'm gonna start my pickin' right now, Just tell me where you'll be." Judas pointed down the road And said, "Eternity!" "Eternity?" said Frankie Lee, With a voice as cold as ice. "That's right," said Judas Priest, "Eternity, Though you might call it 'Paradise.'" "I don't call it anything," Said Frankie Lee with a smile. "All right," said Judas Priest, "I'll see you after a while." Well, Frankie Lee, he sat back down, Feelin' low and mean, When just then a passing stranger Burst upon the scene, Saying, "Are you Frankie Lee, the gambler, Whose father is deceased? Well, if you are, There's a fellow callin' you down the road And they say his name is Priest." "Oh, yes, he is my friend," Said Frankie Lee in fright, "I do recall him very well, In fact, he just left my sight." "Yes, that's the one," said the stranger, As quiet as a mouse, "Well, my message is, he's down the road, Stranded in a house." Well, Frankie Lee, he panicked, He dropped ev'rything and ran Until he came up to the spot Where Judas Priest did stand. "What kind of house is this," he said, "Where I have come to roam?" "It's not a house," said Judas Priest, "It's not a house . . . it's a home." Well, Frankie Lee, he trembled, He soon lost all control Over ev'rything which he had made While the mission bells did toll. He just stood there staring At that big house as bright as any sun, With four and twenty windows And a woman's face in ev'ry one. Well, up the stairs ran Frankie Lee With a soulful, bounding leap, And, foaming at the mouth, He began to make his midnight creep. For sixteen nights and days he raved, But on the seventeenth he burst Into the arms of Judas Priest, Which is where he died of thirst. No one tried to say a thing When they took him out in jest, Except, of course, the little neighbor boy Who carried him to rest. And he just walked along, alone, With his guilt so well concealed, And muttered underneath his breath, "Nothing is revealed." Well, the moral of the story, The moral of this song, Is simply that one should never be Where one does not belong. So when you see your neighbor carryin' somethin', Help him with his load, And don't go mistaking Paradise For that home across the road.