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Montague Street

Tangled Up In Blue / Blood On The Tracks/ 1975

I lived with them on Montague Street
In a basement down the stairs
There was music in the cafes at night
And revolution in the air
Montague Street is in Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn, New York City, just by the Brooklyn Bridge. It's the main drag of "The Heights" which has been, since the sixties at least, a rather staid upper middle class sort of place. There *are* cafes on Montague Street, but very little revolution has ever been in the air around there.

Was up there in July of this year and was really surprised to see it. I believe it used to be an in place for musicians some time ago, but today it's just a street full of restaurants. Can find practically any kind of food you crave for in a really short stretch of land ... :-)

[assume not New Orleans - There was snow all winter and no heat] :
It is, as already stated, in an upper middle class neighborhood in Brooklyn. But the neighborhood is still a liberal one, and in the 1960's there was much radical activity around there. I don't know, but it would seem likely that there were cafes, too. My mother was in the 1960's New York radical scene and she has said that the line about M St.- "There was music inthe cafes at night/And revolution in the air"- captures the spirit of those times better than any other from any musician. (Peter Dickson): (Linda Kaplan): (Peter Christian):
Montague Street, London is right across the street fron the British Museum - along the right side, as you face the entrance. Small, white brick residences and hotels, with black wrought iron fences and gates- very charming, very British. (adi):
An interesting sidelight is that Montague street ,London is where Sherlock Holmes took up residences when he moved to London ( before shifting to 221B Baker street )

Date: Tue, 9 Jan 1996 21:07:42 GMT
Subject: Tangled Up in Blue - Montague Street

I'm thinking of writing and posting something on 'Tangled Up in Blue' (concentrating mostly on the 'Blood on the Tracks' version), and I wonder if anyone knows if there is a Montague Street in New Orleans.

On my reading - in this version anyway - stanzas 3 (second half) to 6 all happen in or near New Orleans - the narrator finds the woman in a topless bar on his way home from his work as a fisherman, and then lives with her and her 'new' lover (some kind of menage a trois?) in the basement on Montague Street. A continued New Orleans setting would fit with the 'dealing with slaves' (white slaves/French Quarter). Also, Dylan refers to N.O. in 'Bob Dylan's New Orleans Rag', 'Brownsville Girl' (the French Quarter) and the outtake version of 'Idiot Wind' (the Mardi Gras) - not to mention 'House of the Rising Sun', of course ..

But is there a Montague Street in the city? If so, what associations does it have ('music in the air' - jazz? blues? cajun?).

Also, where is Delacroix exactly? Is it an N.O. port suburb, and, again, has it any associations?
Let me know, all you Louisiana Dylanophiles ....

Chris Rollason

Date: Tue, 9 Jan 1996 22:02:35 -0500
From: Greg Weston (gregwest@DELPHI.COM)
Subject: Re: Tangled Up in Blue - Montague Street

Montague Street is not in New Orleans. It is, I'm pretty sure, in Brooklyn Heights, in a neighborhood that evidently was a real hip place in the 1960's (at least according to my mother, who feels that line perfectly captures the era's mood).

(Stuff about Delacroix also....) Greg

Date: Tue, 9 Jan 1996 21:05:51 -0800
From: Thad Williamson (thwilliamson@IGC.APC.ORG)
Subject: Re: Tangled Up in Blue - Montague Street

You'll find Montague street in Brooklyn, NY I believe. There's one in Providence, RI too. and probably many other places beside.


From: Mark Landis (
Subject: Montague Street
Date: Sat, 25 Jan 1997 19:28:10 -0800

... Happened to be browsing through literary critic Afred Kazin's journals (A Lifetime Burning in Every Moment), when I chanced upon the following:

	We were radicals; our friends Richard and Felice Hofstadter on one side
of Montague Street, Richard and Eleanor Rovere, Bertram D. Wolfe and his
wife, Ella, on the other.....

	At 68 Montague Street, Bert Wolfe (an early leader of the American
Communist Party, long since expelled as a Lovestoneite, a right
deviationist), and his jolly wife Ella, covered a wall with photographs
of their old comrades and friends from many countries in the "movement"
(O holy word!).  The central photograph was of Lenin looking (it seemed
to me) at all the others with his usual disapproval of anyone not up to
his harsh standards.

Kazin's discussing the late 1930s-early 1940s, so there seems to be a
pre-1960s history of Montague Street as a locale with "revolution in the

In addition, a bit later, Kazin describes Montague street as having been
close to the harbor (i.e., the Brooklyn docks).  So is there perhaps
some connection between the narrator of Tangled Up in Blue living on
Montague Street and the narrator of Simple Twist of Fate who hunts for
his lover on the waterfront docks, carrying on his shoulder a parrot
that talks?

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Newsgroups: Subject: Montague Street and New York From: edward tittmann Date: 19 Nov 2001 07:57:56 -0800 Organization: I was just over in Brooklyn Heights this weekend, staying the night in a basement down the stair.... a classic new york basement apartment. walking around the next day and it struck me for the first time that maybe Montague Street (which is sort of the main drag in Brooklyn Heights) is the Montague STreet in TUIB. or is it from another city? this would bring TUIB into the group of "new york songs", that poeople were listing before. just to repeat that list and add some more: tangled up positively 4th street visions of johanna joey sara talkin new york hard times in new york and...?