Best listened to when stoned

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Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts


You lie on the bed with the one you love, sharing a joint and a bottle of red wine, listening to this epic ballad — when you’re stoned, the 8-minutes-and-51 seconds running time seems like it goes on forever, and your worries are over.


SONG NOTES: ‘Lily’ was recorded in December 1974 and is the second — and longest — track on side two of Bob Dylan’s No. 1 Billboard album ‘Blood on the Tracks,’ which was released on January 20, 1975.

The characters in the song — the Jack of Hearts, Lily, Rosemary, Big Jim and the Hanging Judge — “play with their life as if it were a game of chance,” write Philippe Margotin and Jean-Michel Guesdon in their book ‘Bob Dylan All the Songs.’ “Love is seen as comedy, life as a game of chance and justice is embodied in an alcoholic judge, imposing sentences with merciless severity.”