heartfelt early song by Bob Dylan — based on a poem by Lord Buckley
There was a man called Hezekiah Jones once
An’ he never had much except a farm an’ some land.
He ate what he raised. ‘T was in a cupboard
He kept there in the cupboard, what he called “for the rainy season”.
But this one he’d have somethin’ left over
He’d spend it an’ he’d buy books
An’ he’d read his books, kept there in the cupboard.
“Well he’s harmless enough i suppose
But well look at it,
He better put down them goddamn books
Readin’ ain’t no good for an ignorant n_____”.
Reverent Greene of the white men’s church came around that year
Knockin’ on doors, he knocked on Hezekiah’s door
He says, “Hezekiah you believe in the lord?”
Reverent says, “Hezekiah you believe in the church?’
Hezekiah says, “Well church is divided, ain’t they?
They can’t make up their minds, i can’t make up mine either.”
Reverent says, “Hezekiah you believe in that if a man is good, heaven is his last reward?”
Hezekiah says, “I’m good, i’m good, i’m as good as my neighbor.”
“You don’t believe in nothin”, says the white men’s preacher.
“Oh yes i do”, says Hezekiah
Not for the reward of heaven or the fear of hell’s fire.”
“But you don’t understand”, says the white men’s preacher
“There’s a lot of good ways for a man to be wicked”.
And they hung Hezekiah as high as a pigeon
White folks around said,
“Well he had it comin’, the son of a bitch never had no religion!”
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