Back to song list

Bob Dylan - Isis - Lyrics Meaning

This is the second song on Bob Dylan's 1976 album, Desire. Dylan has stated plainly in many interviews that the song is about divorce. As the song begins, Dylan is reflecting on his wedding day and then how abruptly the union fell apart. He immediately decides to set off for the wild wilderness, which seems to be inline with his reckless nature. He finds a town and meets a man who asks if he is looking for a lucrative adventure, to which Dylan immediately replies that he is indeed.

Dylan and the man head into the cold, wild canyons and eventually come to a site where they begin to dig. The dig ultimately yields nothing except for the death of Dylan's partner. As Dylan gets to the tomb and opens it, he sees that there is nothing inside and this resonates with him. He realizes that the old man simply wanted a friend to go on the journey with and that Dylan himself is like that empty tomb without some form of companionship. At this point, Dylan buries the old man and heads back to the warm arms of Isis. As Dylan rushes to see her, he ruminates on the intoxicating and maddening effect of love.

Meanings of other songs by Bob Dylan:
Like a Rolling Stone