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Robbie Robertson
Robbie Robertson


Background information
Birth name Jaime Royal Robertson
Born July 5, 1943
Born place Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Origin Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Genre(s) Rock
Years active 1960—present
Label(s) Capitol Records
Warner Bros. Records
Geffen Records
Associated acts Bob Dylan
The Band
Ronnie Hawkins
John Hammond, Jr.
Website Website



Music World  →  Lyrics  →  R  →  Robbie Robertson  →  Albums  →  How to Become Clairvoyant

Robbie Robertson Album


How to Become Clairvoyant (04/05/2011)
04/05/2011
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Madame X
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Tango for Django
. . .


From the Chitlin' Circuit to the Peppermint Lounge
Been run off more than once for goin' underground
Where I met an old bluesman with a walking cane
He wore a stripe suit and used someone else's name

He said son I've seen it all
And it's not what you think
He said there's some tough choices to be made
Then he took a little drink
And I heard him say

I do not play no rock and roll
Would not be moved to sell my soul
The demons are out tonight
Rock you sinners
The demons are out tonight
Roll you sinners
Straight down the line

Passed an old church on my way back East
Heard a gospel choir singing of war and peace
I was deeply moved so I stepped inside
I just stood in the back where I could easily hide

A woman in a black robe stood up
And pointed me out
She said Hallelu Hallelu
Then she began to shout
And I heard her say

I do not play no rock and roll
Would not be moved to sell my soul
The demons are out tonight
Rock you sinners
The demons are out tonight
Roll you sinners
Straight down the line

Now he could croon a tune as good as anyone
And if he sings a song then that song's been sung
Some things have tradition some things shine like new
Some things you can't change no matter what you do

He said my friend I've done it all
Either for love or money
And if I laugh at your jokes
Then that means your jokes are funny
And one more thing

I do not play no rock and roll
Would not be moved to sell my soul
The demons are out tonight
Rock you sinners
The demons are out tonight
Roll you sinners
Straight down the line

. . .


We headed straight south in a sundown light
On highway 61 through the delta night
We shared the backroads with cardsharks and grifters
Tent show evangelists and Luke the Drifter

What is lost what is missing
What's been gone way too long

We had dreams when the night was young
We were believers when the night was young
We could change the world stop the war
Never seen nothing like this before
But that was back when the night was young

Sign reads God Bless America guns and ammo
I'm not sure that's what He means
Sign reads repent the end is near
I'm not sure that's what we need

Get your heart beating in the right direction
That's when you make a real connection

We had dreams when the night was young
We were believers when the night was young
We could change the world stop the war
Never seen nothing like this before
But that was back when the night was young

Now Andy Warhol's in the hotel lobby
He's waiting for the late night muse
But she won't be back before morning
She's gone downtown to hear some blues

Like the sun rising out of the sea
It's how you embrace the mystery

We had dreams when the night was young
We were believers when the night was young
We could change the world stop the war
Never seen nothing like this before
But that was way back when the night was young

. . .


Got a ticket on the mainline
I was stranded on the fault line
I got wasted on the moonshine
Too far gone

I was walking in the sundown
I was heading for the breakdown
When you're sleeping on the cold ground
Too far gone

There was a cloud hanging over me
Something just reached out and grabbed a hold of me

Inside of the belly of the whale
Outside they was beatin on the door
Somebody goin down tonight
I said boys he don't live here no more
He don't live here no more

I was riding on the night train
I been moving in the fast lane
I was only trying to kill the pain
Too far gone

I was running on a red light
Always looking for a street fight
I was higher than a lost kite
Too far gone

When you're waiting for the axe to drop
When you're hooked so bad you could not stop

Inside of the belly of the whale
Outside they was beatin on the door
Somebody goin down tonight
I said boys he don't live here no more
He don't live here no more

Got no one to blame but myself
They couldn't hear my distant cry for help

Inside of the belly of the whale
Outside they was beatin on the door
Somebody's goin down tonight
I said boys he don't live here no more
He don't live here no more

. . .


One man's trash is another mans treasure
One mans pain is another mans pleasure
play too hard play too rough
And someday someone's gonna call your bluff

Take a stroll off the deep end
On the boulevard of broken dreams
Took a stroll off the deep end

I was just trying to make
The right mistake the right mistake
I was only trying to make
The right mistake

Gotta change some old habits
Tryin to turn a new leaf
I gotta stop chasing rabbits
But I got hooked beyond belief

Let it go they told me
But I just couldn't hear the plea
Let it go they warned me

And I'm just tryin a make
The right mistake the right mistake
I was only trying to make
The right mistake

You could be the perfect stranger
You could be from Illinois
Come around here courting danger
Making all that noise

And you know I'll be there
Tell me when the deal goes down
And you know I'll be there

Cause I'm just tryin a make
The right mistake the right mistake
I was only trying to make
The right mistake
For: Thelonious Monk

. . .


the Earth keeps on shaking but I'm standing still
the chances I'm taking against my will
when we made it to the top we watched the fall couldn't stop
everything you leave behind catches up in another time

so just pull over to the side of the road
this is where i get off
this is where i move on

I know where I went wrong along the way
along the way

walking out on the boys ... was never the plan
we drifted off course couldn't strike up the band
we've been working the graveyard shift, wonder do you catch my drift
this was trouble in the making, but it's a risk well worth taking

this is where i get off
this ain't where i belong
somebody done me wrong along the way
along the way

. . .


I wonder where it all began
Was it in a place or in the heart
Was it outside in the pouring rain
In the darkness where the dreaming starts

If I end up begging like a dog
Does it make me any less than you
Should I stand here and be judged
When we already know the truth

There was a time when I was lost
Couldn't see the woods for the trees
How could I know how much it costs
Til I was on my knees

Fear of falling
Fear of falling
Fear of falling
Down in love again

Why don't we take it from the bottom
See what rises to the top
Sometimes you have to cut the cards
Just to find out what you got

She has a certain kind of thing
It's called the mystery of desire
Keeps pulling on my heartstring
I'm like a man on a wire

What does it mean to want so much
The way that I'm wanting you
Am I just setting myself up
To play the fool

Fear of falling
Fear of falling
Fear of falling
Down in love again

. . .


I come to town my work is done
Well I just got off the road
It's a long time since I been with someone
I called this lady so divine
I asked her and I asked her
If she'd like to come out sometime

We talked about some movie
And we laughed at ourselves
She had a way about her
Like no one else

But I could see clouds
When I looked in her eyes
And if she's somebody else's
She's not mine

When I left town my heart was on fire
I was New York bound
She left me so inspired
I wanted to reach her and I made a choice
But talking on the phone
I heard the distance in her voice

I want to take her over
Way across the Sea
I want to bring her over
To visit me

But maybe she thinks
I'm the fugitive kind
And if she's somebody else's
She's not mine

I wanted to hold her
One more time
But if she's somebody else's
She's not mine

. . .

Madame X

[No lyrics]

. . .


They say the axman's coming
In a long black car
They said the axman's coming
He plays a mean guitar

Well he come across the border
With a hatchet in his hand
They said who's that stranger
The one they call the axman

You got Duane and Stevie Ray
Brothers of the blade
Jimi James and RJ
All brothers of the blade

Now when he goes from town to town
He picks em up and lays em down
People come from miles around
Just to dig that crazy sound

I heard a guitar wailing
Til the break of dawn
They said the axman was here
Oh but now he's gone

You got T Bone and Link Wray
Brothers of the blade
Then there's Django and Elmore James
All brothers of the blade

Now when he goes from town to town
He picks em up and lays em down
People come from miles around
Just to dig that crazy sound

Play so low so sweet
Bring a tear to your eye
Chills run down to your feet
Make a grown man cry

One-eyed jacks King with the axe
Like Albert or Freddy
One-eyed jacks King with the axe
And of course BB was born ready

Now when he goes from town to town
He picks em up and lays em down
People come from miles around
Just to dig that crazy sound

. . .


The letter that I sent to you
Was it lost in the mail
Then tell me why
There's no reply

Where can she be tonight
As I lay here in the dark
I reach for you
I long for you

But you've gone
Like the wind
And I know
That you won't be back again

Pictures of days gone by
That you painted as a child
You gave to me
You saved for me

Where does she sleep tonight
Is she underneath a star
The healing grace
The secret place

That you've gone
Like the wind
And I know
That you won't be back again

Look down from your ivory tower
That's me standing in the mist
And I tried to hide
My broken pride

But you've gone
Like the wind
And I know
That you won't be back again

. . .


Benedictine, sister to Isis and the black Madonna
Mistress of magic, goddess of the Nile
She could read the stars knew the secrets of the dead
And could see what kind of madness
Was stirring round in your head

She said my birth sign is Scorpio
We eat ourselves up and burn ourselves out
So could somebody show me

How to become clairvoyant
To be one of the ones
Who can see around corners
And knows what's to come
How to become clairvoyant
That's what I want to know
So just tell me where to sign
And point me where to go

As it turns out Miss Muffett wasn't afraid of spiders at all
She slipped across the dance floor at the masquerade ball
They say she collects hearts the way Nero collected tears
And she don't get no older down through the years

Her lips are moving but she's not talking
Her hips are moving but she's not dancing
She just wants to know

How to become clairvoyant
To be one of the ones
Who can see around corners
And knows what's to come
How to become clairvoyant
That's what I want to know
Just tell me where to sign
And point me where to go

King poet the holy fool
Apostle of self-destruction
I tried it your way but I couldn't sleep
There was too much construction

In these strange times you wonder
What tomorrow might bring
If the fat lady sings

How to become clairvoyant
To be one of the ones
Who can see around corners
And knows what's to come
How to become clairvoyant
That's what I want to know
Just tell me where to sign
And point me where to go

. . .

Tango for Django

[No lyrics]

. . .


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