‘It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue’ was written by Bob Dylan and featured on his fifth studio album Bringing It All Back Home, which was released in 1965. The song was recorded with Dylan’s acoustic guitar and harmonica and the only other instrumentation is William E. Lee’s playing bass guitar. Bob never released this as a single but others did, however the album went to #1 on the UK albums chart and it reached #6 on the Billboard 200. Dylan said that he was inspired to write this song from listening to Gene Vincent’s ‘Baby Blue’ and many people feel that Dylan was saying with this song that he was done with Folk music and moving on to Rock.
There is a lot going on in this song, an orphan has a gun, the sky is falling and a carpet is folding over you. It could be that the orphan with the gun represents and end of innocence and most of the time that a carpet folds over someone is because there is a dead body in it that needs to be moved. It starts out with Dylan telling his lover that she should pack her stuff and leave. No specific reason is given for this relationship breakup, but he seems to be genuinely worried about her, because he warms her about the gamblers on the highway and hopes that she will use her better sense when dealing with these characters.
Dylan tells her to, “Take what you have gathered from coincidence”, which is curious, as coincidence is defined as a remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances without an apparent causal connection. He wants her to maintain her memories of this relationship by taking anything that she feels will provide her solace or clarification. The next line says, “The empty handed painter from your streets, is drawing crazy patterns on your sheets.” Bob Dylan began drawing in the 1959 as another way of expressing himself and he may be the painter here. He might be empty handed because he was cleaned out in a divorce or separation, but since he still has his paints and uses his easel, he wants to express some of his pain to draw on her sheets, much like Van Gough did.
This song seems to change into a message of hope for the girl, as she is told to leave her stepping stones behind, most likely because she won’t be needing them anymore. She can forget all of the debt she accumulated as it will be dismissed. Her lover left and took all of his blankets, so she won’t need to worry about him coming back and she won’t have to pick up after him again. She is given some good advice, which is to strike a match and start a new life and the match may be her way of burning up her past.
You must leave, now take what you need
You think will last
But whatever you wish to keep
You better grab it fast
Yonder stands your orphan with his gun
Crying like a fire in the Sun
Look out baby, the saints are comin’ through
And it’s all over now, baby blue
The highway is for gamblers
Better use your sense
Take what you have gathered
The empty handed painter from your streets
Is drawing crazy patterns on your sheets
The sky too is fallin’ in over you
And it’s all over now, baby blue
Leave your stepping stones behind
There’s something that calls for you
Forget the debt you’ve left
That will not follow you
Your lover who has just walked through the door
Has taken all his blankets from the floor
The carpet too is foldin’ over you
And it’s all over now baby blue
Well, strike another match
Yeah, go start new, go start new
‘Cause it’s all over now, baby blue
Hey, hey, yeah
It’s all over, it’s all over now, baby blue
It’s all, it’s all over now, oh yeah
It’s all over now, all over now, baby blue
Written for Thursday Inspiration #112 Where Did Our Love Go.