If it keep on rainin', the levee gonna break
If it keep on rainin', the levee gonna break
Everybody saying this is a day only the Lord could make

Well, I worked on the levee, Mama, both night and day
I worked on the levee, Mama, both night and day
I got to the river and I threw my clothes away

Bob Dylan - The Levee's Gonna Break lyrics meaning

Meaning

This Dylan song is a derivative of When the Levee Breaks by Kansas Joe McCoy and his wife, Memphis Minnie, 1929. You may know the Led Zeppelin version from the album, Led Zeppelin IV. Dylan has often used an existing blues song as the basis of a new work. In this one, he uses the opening line of the original song, then takes it in a different direction.

Dylan uses a metaphor in his song; the levee is their marriage and the rain is their troubles.

In the early verses he sings of how long and how hard he's worked to honor his wedding vows to her.

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