Information

Joey is a song interpreted by Bob Dylan, released on the album Desire in 1976.

Joey lyrics

Born in Red Hook, Brooklyn in the year of who knows when
Opened up his eyes to the tune of an accordion
Always on the outside of whatever side there was
When they asked him why it had to be that way
Well he answered, "Just because"

Larry was the oldest, Joey was next to last
They called Joe 'Crazy' the baby they called 'Kid Blast'
Some say they lived off gamblin' and runnin' numbers too
It always seemed they got caught between the mob
And the men in blue

Joey, Joey, king of the streets, child of clay
Joey, Joey, what made them want to come and blow you away?

There was talk they killed their rivals, but the truth was far from that
No one ever knew for sure where they were really at
When they tried to strangle Larry, Joey almost hit the roof
He went out that night to seek revenge, thinkin' he was bulletproof

Then a war broke out at the break of dawn, it emptied out the streets
Joey and his brothers suffered terrible defeats
Till they ventured out behind the lines and took five prisoners
Stashed them away in a basement, called them amateurs

The hostages were tremblin' they heard a man exclaim
"Let's blow this place to kingdom come, let Con Edison take the blame"
But Joey stepped up and he raised his hand, said
"We're not those kind of men
It's peace and quiet that we need to go back to work again"

Joey, Joey, king of the streets, child of clay
Joey, Joey, what made them want to come and blow you away?

The police department hounded him, they called him Mr. Smith
They got him on conspiracy but they were never sure who with
"What time is it?" said the judge to Joey when they met
"Five to ten" said Joey judge says, "That's exactly what you'll get"

He did ten years in Attica, reading Nietzsche and Wilhelm Reich
They threw him in the hole one time for tryin' to stop a strike
His closest friends were black men 'cause they seemed to understand
What it's like to be in society with a shackle on your hand

They let him out in '71, he lost a little weight
But he dressed like Jimmy Cagney and I swear he did look great
He tried to find a way back into life he left behind
To the boss he said, "I have returned and now I want what's mine"

Joey, Joey, king of the streets, child of clay
Joey, Joey, what made them want to come and blow you away?

It was true that in his later years he would not carry a gun
"I'm around too many children," he'd say
"They should never know of one"
Yet he walked right into the clubhouse of his lifelong deadly foe
Emptied out the register, said, "tell'em it was Crazy Joe

One day they blew him down in a clam bar in New York
He could see it comin' through the door as he lifted up his fork
He pushed the table over to protect his family
Then he staggered out into the streets of Little Italy

Joey, Joey, king of the streets, child of clay
Joey, Joey, what made them want to come and blow you away?

Sister Jacqueline and Carmela and mother Mary all did weep
I heard his best friend Frankie say, "He ain't dead, he's just asleep"
Then I saw the old man's limousine head back towards the grave
I guess he had to say one last goodbye to the son
That he could not save

The sun turned cold over President Street
And the town of Brooklyn mourned
They said, "A mass in the old church near the house where he was born"
Someday if God's in heaven overlookin' His preserve
I know the men that shot him down will get what they deserve

Joey, Joey, king of the streets, child of clay
Joey, Joey, what made them want to come and blow you away?

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