Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts - interpretations

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by MisterBritt, Apr 4, 2006.

  1. MisterBritt

    MisterBritt Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Santa Fe, NM, USA
    There was an evening when I had a mild epiphany and thought I understood the lyrics of Bob Dylan's "Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts". However, I've only just now actually read them -- and I'm not too sure what to make of it. Anyone want to take a stab at their interpretation?

    To keep us on the same page, I've put a capital letter above each verse for reference (per below.)

    A) For starters, I'm not sure how literally to take Verse A. I take it this is set in New Orleans, and the festival refers to Mardi Gras?

    B) Is it the Jack of Hearts who has entered the cabaret? Does he want to be noticed in order to establish an alibi? Does "Set it up for everyone" mean to buy a round of drinks for the house? Or is this an established cue to trigger the whole "set up" of events? This is a "House of the Rising Sun" (as in wHOReS) establishment, right?

    C) By Lily looking for a third queen, it means she is looking for an accomplice?

    D) And from verse D, Big Jim is the proprietor?

    E) Rosemary is in cahoots with Lily. Having dyed her hair and slipped in unnoticed through the side entrance, she is the "Queen" to match Lily's pair? These two have a premeditated scheme to kill Big Jim? Somebody's got a gun; Rosemary has a knife.

    H) Is the drilling in the wall to create a diversion? Or are they simply drilling to rob Big Jim when he's killed?

    I) Is Rosemary sacrificing herself intentionally for Lily's sake. Were they playing cards to determine who would actually kill Big Jim? Was Big Jim shot by a revolver or stabbed by a knife?

    N) Did the boys dig a grave for Big Jim? Is that why they're waiting "on the ground" by the river?

    O) I'm not clear what the hanging judge is doing in all this. Is his presence to foreshadow and add further drama to the events? Or is he an accomplice too?

    P) Was it Lily who killed Big Jim? And the killing was pinned on Rosemary, who took the fall? Is the fall the boys were planning from the onset Rosemary's fall from the gallows?

    A

    The festival was over, the boys were all plannin' for a fall,
    The cabaret was quiet except for the drillin' in the wall.
    The curfew had been lifted and the gamblin' wheel shut down,
    Anyone with any sense had already left town.
    He was standin' in the doorway lookin' like the Jack of Hearts.

    B

    He moved across the mirrored room, "Set it up for everyone," he said,
    Then everyone commenced to do what they were doin' before he turned their heads.
    Then he walked up to a stranger and he asked him with a grin,
    "Could you kindly tell me, friend, what time the show begins?"
    Then he moved into the corner, face down like the Jack of Hearts.

    C

    Backstage the girls were playin' five-card stud by the stairs,
    Lily had two queens, she was hopin' for a third to match her pair.
    Outside the streets were fillin' up, the window was open wide,
    A gentle breeze was blowin', you could feel it from inside.
    Lily called another bet and drew up the Jack of Hearts.

    D

    Big Jim was no one's fool, he owned the town's only diamond mine,
    He made his usual entrance lookin' so dandy and so fine.
    With his bodyguards and silver cane and every hair in place,
    He took whatever he wanted to and he laid it all to waste.
    But his bodyguards and silver cane were no match for the Jack of Hearts.

    E

    Rosemary combed her hair and took a carriage into town,
    She slipped in through the side door lookin' like a queen without a crown.
    She fluttered her false eyelashes and whispered in his ear,
    "Sorry, darlin', that I'm late," but he didn't seem to hear.
    He was starin' into space over at the Jack of Hearts.

    F

    "I know I've seen that face before," Big Jim was thinkin' to himself,
    "Maybe down in Mexico or a picture up on somebody's shelf."
    But then the crowd began to stamp their feet and the house lights did dim
    And in the darkness of the room there was only Jim and him,
    Starin' at the butterfly who just drew the Jack of Hearts.

    G

    Lily was a princess, she was fair-skinned and precious as a child,
    She did whatever she had to do, she had that certain flash every time she smiled.
    She'd come away from a broken home, had lots of strange affairs
    With men in every walk of life which took her everywhere.
    But she'd never met anyone quite like the Jack of Hearts.

    H

    The hangin' judge came in unnoticed and was being wined and dined,
    The drillin' in the wall kept up but no one seemed to pay it any mind.
    It was known all around that Lily had Jim's ring
    And nothing would ever come between Lily and the king.
    No, nothin' ever would except maybe the Jack of Hearts.

    I

    Rosemary started drinkin' hard and seein' her reflection in the knife,
    She was tired of the attention, tired of playin' the role of Big Jim's wife.
    She had done a lot of bad things, even once tried suicide,
    Was lookin' to do just one good deed before she died.
    She was gazin' to the future, riding on the Jack of Hearts.

    J

    Lily washed her face, took her dress off and buried it away.
    "Has your luck run out?" she laughed at him, "Well, I guess you must
    have known it would someday.
    Be careful not to touch the wall, there's a brand-new coat of paint,
    I'm glad to see you're still alive, you're lookin' like a saint."
    Down the hallway footsteps were comin' for the Jack of Hearts.

    K

    The backstage manager was pacing all around by his chair.
    "There's something funny going on," he said, "I can just feel it in the air."
    He went to get the hangin' judge, but the hangin' judge was drunk,
    As the leading actor hurried by in the costume of a monk.
    There was no actor anywhere better than the Jack of Hearts.

    L

    Lily's arms were locked around the man that she dearly loved to touch,
    She forgot all about the man she couldn't stand who hounded her so much.
    "I've missed you so," she said to him, and he felt she was sincere,
    But just beyond the door he felt jealousy and fear.
    Just another night in the life of the Jack of Hearts.

    M

    No one knew the circumstance but they say that it happened pretty quick,
    The door to the dressing room burst open and a cold revolver clicked.
    And Big Jim was standin' there, ya couldn't say surprised,
    Rosemary right beside him, steady in her eyes.
    She was with Big Jim but she was leanin' to the Jack of Hearts.

    N

    Two doors down the boys finally made it through the wall
    And cleaned out the bank safe, it's said that they got off with quite a haul.
    In the darkness by the riverbed they waited on the ground
    For one more member who had business back in town.
    But they couldn't go no further without the Jack of Hearts.

    O

    The next day was hangin' day, the sky was overcast and black,
    Big Jim lay covered up, killed by a penknife in the back.
    And Rosemary on the gallows, she didn't even blink,
    The hangin' judge was sober, he hadn't had a drink.
    The only person on the scene missin' was the Jack of Hearts.

    P

    The cabaret was empty now, a sign said, "Closed for repair,"
    Lily had already taken all of the dye out of her hair.
    She was thinkin' 'bout her father, who she very rarely saw,
    Thinkin' 'bout Rosemary and thinkin' about the law.
    But, most of all she was thinkin' 'bout the Jack of Hearts.[/B]

    Copyright © 1974 Ram's Horn Music
     
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  2. quentincollins

    quentincollins Forum Word Nerd

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Where did verse L come from? It's not on my version (from Blood on the Tracks). Are you listening to a demo or a live version or something? :confused:
     
  3. Buzzz

    Buzzz Forum Resident

    Location:
    back here on Earth
    It's a metaphor for the Communist hearings.

    Oh no, wait, that was "Wigwam"...

    Honestly, I think it's just Bobby tellin' a story, a little seven-minute novella... maybe some rumination in there on how there's usually more going on than meets the eye in a given situation.
     
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  4. MikeP5877

    MikeP5877 Uh Huh

    Location:
    OH
    There was a book published in the early 80's called Voice Without Restraint that had a detailed analysis/interpretation of this song. I remember the author discussing that missing verse listed above. I really don't remember specifically what the author had to say...

    I think that missing verse might have been printed in the Lyrics book as well. We know that Dylan originally recorded the album in New York and then ended up re-recording most of the songs in Minnesota so that Verse L was probably part of the original recording, but not the Minnesota version. Never heard the New York version so I can't say for sure.

    It's a cool little 8 minute movie in song - one of the more lively tracks on an otherwise somber album. It has murder and a hanging though so it fits in well with the rest of that albums happiness :D
     
  5. Metralla

    Metralla Joined Jan 13, 2002

    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Indeed, and well-spotted. I've never heard or read that verse, and I've owned that album in various forms ever since it was first released.

    Good thread though. I hope you get some interesting contributions.
     
  6. Drifter

    Drifter AD survivor

    Location:
    Vancouver, BC, CA
    The verse is on the official Bob Dylan site: http://www.bobdylan.com/songs/lily.html
     
  7. Ed Bishop

    Ed Bishop Incredibly, I'm still here

    Of course it might not mean much of anything in particular...most of all to its author. Has he ever said anything about the song?

    :ed:
     
  8. Richard Feirstein

    Richard Feirstein New Member

    Location:
    Albany, NY
    If Bob ever says something about a song, don't believe him.

    Richard.
     
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  9. jpbarn

    jpbarn Forum Resident

    Location:
    Northern NJ
    That verse is in the original version of the LP, before it was recalled & had 5 tracks (including Lily...obviously) re-recorded. Very different sound...just acoustic guitar, no band/oompah feel, & in open tuning, like the other 4 tracks that were re-recorded. Sometimes I think I prefer it, other times I think it meanders somewhat.

    John
     
  10. jpmosu

    jpmosu a.k.a. Mr. Jones

    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    There's a recent book called *The Rose and the Thorn,* and it is a collection of essays devoted to individual "folk" songs, of which one is "Lily." The author is Wendy Lesser and she talks about her history with the song and how difficult it is to subject to a literary interpretation.

    But she does say that it was a great song to play when she used to dance and walk her fussy infant.

    I'd enjoy it on a similar level...Many Dylan songs don't work as traditional narratives--this is one of them.
     
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  11. lschwart

    lschwart Senior Member

    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    Here are my reflections on the song in answer to your questions. I think the song is a lot simpler and clearer than you're assuming, although it takes a little "dot-connecting" to sort out the story. Here's what it looks like to me:

    ++++++++++++++++++

    A)For starters, I'm not sure how literally to take Verse A. I take it this is set in New Orleans, and the festival refers to Mardi Gras?

    It's literal, as is the whole song, that is to say it's a story told more or less realistically, although it is peopled by generic types—characters familiar to us from hundred's of westerns and frontier ballads. Whatever significance it has derives from the literal narrative. For example, the story is a combination of two typical plots. One is the arrival of an old lover (the "Jack of Hearts" character) into a volatile situation (a love triangle between the richest man of the town—Big Jim—his mistress, Rosemary and a showgirl, perhaps a prostitute, named Lily with whom he's been "spending time"). In the course of the story, after the show, Jack goes back to see Lily, but so does Jim, who had earlier come into the saloon with Rosemary. Rosemary has been drinking and thinking about killing Jim for his infidelity, which seems to be happening right under her nose, and she goes back to the dressing room, too. There's a big confrontation, someone pulls a gun, and someone stabs Big Jim, probably, as the court later determines, Rosemary. It is probable, although the song is a little ambiguous about this, that the Jack of Hearts character knows all about the tensions of the situation and arrives there that day for the purpose of setting off a scene. This brings me to the other plot. There's a bank robbery going on that day, too. It involves drilling through the wall of the saloon and into the vault of a bank which is next door. "Jack" is a collaborator with the bank robbers and it looks as though he was sent into the saloon to create a diversion so that the others could get into the vault, grab the money, and get out of town. It's possible that Jack, who is the member for whom the others are waiting at the end—he had "business" back in town—only meant to see Lily. The fact that he looks sort of familiar to Jim suggests that he's knows what he's doing and that planned to start a fight between Jim and Lily in order to create the diversion. He may or may not have counted on Rosemary's intervention, but this works to his purposes anyway. They get off with quite a haul in the end, and Rosemary gets the gallows. Lily is left again to do whatever she has to do to make her way in life. She's tough, and on her own at the end, thinking about "Jack" (and perhaps what he signifies).

    The fact that the "Jack" character is never given a proper name suggests that we can think of the story is symbolic terms (this is what Lily is perhaps thinking about, in her way, at the end). He represents, perhaps, the disruptive, unpredictable nature of love or passion. It has a way, after all, of dropping into a situation and stirring things up. But he's also a man with a mission, and the brief chaos he creates aids in the robbery. The real interest of the song, I think is in the carefully and economically described details, the comic rhymes, and the general sardonic tone. I love this song. The little portraits of Lily and Rosemary are terrific. Dylan created a novelistic effect with just a few quick, deft strokes.

    It could be New Orleans, but there's nothing in the song that makes it necessarily so. It's a generic western frontier setting. There was a festival in the town just before the events of the song happen. The feeling of the day of the events is an "after the big party" feeling, most people had left town, folks are a little tired.
    The only thing I'm not sure of in the verse is the meaning of "planning for a fall." And I'm not sure exactly who "the boys" are.


    B) Is it the Jack of Hearts who has entered the cabaret?

    Yes.

    Does he want to be noticed in order to establish an alibi?

    Nothing indicates this necessarily.

    Does "Set it up for everyone" mean to buy a round of drinks for the house?

    Yes.

    Or is this an established cue to trigger the whole "set up" of events?

    No.

    This is a "House of the Rising Sun" (as in wHOReS) establishment, right?

    Not necessarily. It's a saloon, but such things were known to go on in such places. There's no necessary indication that either Lilly or Rosemary are prostitutes, but there are enough suggestions that imply this of Lilly, or at least they imply that she's turned to prostitution when she's had to. Right now, it seems she's more of a showgirl. I will say, however, that her (and Rosemary's) relationship with Big Jim certainly involves his money.

    C) By Lily looking for a third queen, it means she is looking for an accomplice?

    No. She's playing cards, although queens are good cards for reflecting a certain queenly force of personality in her. She's tough, though only partly in control of her life and circumstances. Her life also has an element of a gamble to it, so it all fleshes out her character and situation nicely.

    D) And from verse D, Big Jim is the proprietor?

    No. He's the richest guy in town (owns the diamond mine).

    E) Rosemary is in cahoots with Lily.

    No. She and Lily are rivals for Jim's affections.

    Having dyed her hair and slipped in unnoticed through the side entrance, she is the "Queen" to match Lily's pair? These two have a premeditated scheme to kill Big Jim? Somebody's got a gun; Rosemary has a knife.

    Not exactly. Lily knows the "Jack of Hearts," who comes back to see her after the show at the same time that Big Jim goes back to see her, there's a tense moment or two, we are meant to imagine, and then they are surprised by Rosemary. A fight breaks out, someone pulls a gun, Rosemary (probably) stabs Big Jim with a penknife.

    H) Is the drilling in the wall to create a diversion? Or are they simply drilling to rob Big Jim when he's killed?

    No. See above.

    I) Is Rosemary sacrificing herself intentionally for Lily's sake. Were they playing cards to determine who would actually kill Big Jim? Was Big Jim shot by a revolver or stabbed by a knife?

    No, none of that. She and Lily are rivals. She kills Jim out of jealousy, with a knife.

    N) Did the boys dig a grave for Big Jim? Is that why they're waiting "on the ground" by the river?

    No. They got away with the money in the vault and they're waiting for their partner. See above.

    O) I'm not clear what the hanging judge is doing in all this. Is his presence to foreshadow and add further drama to the events? Or is he an accomplice too?

    He's the town judge (another typical western character in this generic context). He's there at first for local color, then as the guy who sentences Rosemary to the gallows.

    P) Was it Lily who killed Big Jim? And the killing was pinned on Rosemary, who took the fall? Is the fall the boys were planning from the onset Rosemary's fall from the gallows?

    It is possible that Lily did the killing, but it's not likely given that we're told earlier that Rosemary had begun to drink and "see her reflection in the knife." She's unhappy and looking to get back at Jim for two-timing her, perhaps also for using her. Again, I'm not sure about the "planning for a fall" business, but I don't see how it can have anything to do with Rosemary's execution.

    +++++++++++++++++

    I hope that helps!

    L.
     
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  12. MerlinMacuser

    MerlinMacuser New Member In Memoriam

    Who said is was in New Orleans? I think it is a town in the American West somewhere. The anomalie is that Big Jim owns the town's only diamond mine....that would seem to place the setting either in Africa or Arkansas since there are very few diamond mines. I think that is just literary license...

    It's not a house of blue lights...it's a caberet, a gambling hall with a stage for showgirls. Lilly is playing cards has a pair of queens and looking for another to make 3-of-a-kind. No, they are not playing cards to see who will jump Big Jim.

    Yes, Jack is the stranger who comes into the caberet to have a drink and look for Lilly.

    The drilling in the wall is the gang, Jack's gang, breaking into the bank vault.

    They are waiting on the ground...just a phrase. I imagine them hiding in the riverbed, holding their horses by the reins and waiting for Jack.

    I think you are over-intrepreting these lyrics. It is a fairly simple, straight forward story told in elegantly simple verse and with no chorus.
     
  13. MisterBritt

    MisterBritt Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Santa Fe, NM, USA
    Thanks for the input. When I recently actually read the lyrics I was left scratching my head. These are some great interpretations. I got it into my mind that Lily and Rosemary were in cahoots.

    As far as the missing verse -- L below -- it's just what came up when I googled it. That has some interesting history too. Thanks one and all!

    P.S. In my mind, Rosemary has red hair. Maybe that line from "Tangled Up in Blue" about reconnecting with an red-headed old flame suggested a false connection in my mind about this tune. And hence, why I thought the festival was Mardi Gras, set in New Orleans: "So I drifted down to New Orleans/Where I happened to be employed ... "

    I don't think there's any connection, though. Two different songs. Subliminal.

    Funny, I always thought the words to "Tangled Up in Blue" that go "Split up on a dark sad night" were "Split up on the docks that night". It's interesting reading the lyrics. :)
     
  14. lschwart

    lschwart Senior Member

    Location:
    Richmond, VA

    Good call on the diamond mine! I was willing to imagine a late 19th Century N.O. setting--not the best, but I thought it might be possible--but you're right, it couldn't be! The detail also makes it clearly more an invented or mythic anyplace on the Western frontier, rather than an identifiable locale. A gold or silver mine would have been the more common choice, but diamond mine, fits Big Jim better (he's a kind of low-rent, frontier "Diamond Jim!")

    L.
     
  15. Mark

    Mark I Am Gort, Hear Me Roar Staff

    Just a thought on reading this that Dylan has only performed this song once....and no one apparently got it on tape, which is funny, considering that every Dylan show seems to be out there somewhere.
     
  16. Solaris

    Solaris a bullet in flight

    Location:
    New Orleans, LA
    FWIW, I'm from New Orleans and I've never thought this song had anything to do with this city. I always heard it as a wild west narrative, no deeper meaning at all, just an interesting story with some great imagery and wordplay.

    Jason
     
  17. MisterBritt

    MisterBritt Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Santa Fe, NM, USA
    Hmmm .... I'm still holding on to my interpretation of the diamond mine as the saloon, dance hall, call it what you will. I think it's just a metaphor for the only money-maker in a backwater town.

    It plays into the imagery, too. "He moved across the mirrored room" suggests a glitzy affair, the multi-faceted imagery of a diamond. But that's just me. I think Big Jim is a pimp.
     
  18. lschwart

    lschwart Senior Member

    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    I agree that the story is more or less what it is (and that its a wonderful story), but in the context of this album it does have some some thematic resonance. All the songs on the album (happy or not) are love songs, and this one tells this wonderful, clever and ultimately sad story of love, betrayal of love, manipulation of love and the disruptive power of passion. The things people will do when they're "riding on the Jack of Hearts!"

    I'd certainly want to avoid overreading it, but it does have considerable depth. I'm always right there with Lily at the end, thinking....

    L.
     
  19. lschwart

    lschwart Senior Member

    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    Technically speaking, that's possible, but the suggestion is too unclear to really work. There's nothing else in the song to indicate he owns the place. He certainly doesn't need to own it for us to make sense of anything else. Maybe nothing else in the town makes much money, but there's nothing to suggest that's the case either (there is a bank, after all, and all those people spending money in the saloon must be making it somehow--in the diamond mine, perhaps? Hard to imagine an entire economy based on a saloon).

    We do need to know that Big Jim is rich, and owning a diamond mine is, I think, just the thing that came to Dylan's mind for that. "Silver mine" would have fit the meter, but it's not quite so dandy and fine sounding, I suppose. I bet he liked the assonance of two long "i's." "Gold mine" doesn't fit the meter as well, and while Dylan is not above stretching a word to fit his rhythm, he usually does so only when he thinks he's getting something else he needs that makes it worth the stretch. Here something would have to compensate for the flatness of the sound and the bump in the rhythm.

    In other words, there's no way to argue that your reading is *wrong,* but the simpler possibility gets you everything you need without the slight strangeness or the lack of connection to other simple elements of the song.

    L.
     
  20. Guy E

    Guy E Senior Member

    Location:
    Antalya, Turkey
    I'm getting a headache. Can we establish a separate forum for these in-depth lyrical analysis?

    I'm gonna rock around the clock tonight, I'm gonna rock rock rock...
     
  21. MikeP5877

    MikeP5877 Uh Huh

    Location:
    OH
    I'm not from New Orleans, but I've always associated this song with the Wild West too.

    This is a great thread :thumbsup:
     
  22. MisterBritt

    MisterBritt Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Santa Fe, NM, USA
    Thanks for your thoughts. I am certainly interested in other's opinions and perspectives. But ... I think it might be an alternative to the expression, "that place is a gold mine." I mean, how many towns have a single diamond mine -- to where he would say this guy not only owned a diamond mine, but the one and only? Again, I think it's a metaphor for the cabaret.

    Further, the idea that Big Jim "took whatever he wanted to and he laid it all to waste" makes me think he's a pimp. I think the ladies occupation is clear; they do more than wait tables. They are indebted to him and trying to break free -- even if they have to commit murder to do so. I definately think Big Jim is engaged in vice, hence the bodyguards and silver cane.

    Interesting: You think they're breaking into a bank vault? I had thought they were breaking into an adjacent office in the cabaret where the safe is kept. I hadn't considered the boys were robbing a bank. I thought they were robbing this place.

    Just my thoughts. Thanks for your replies.

    D

    Big Jim was no one's fool, he owned the town's only diamond mine,
    He made his usual entrance lookin' so dandy and so fine.
    With his bodyguards and silver cane and every hair in place,
    He took whatever he wanted to and he laid it all to waste.
    But his bodyguards and silver cane were no match for the Jack of Hearts.
     
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  23. Metralla

    Metralla Joined Jan 13, 2002

    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    That was very good MisterBritt and I'm giving you full marks for opening up a new line of thinking for me.

    That's not right. It has to be "and a Colt revolver clicked".

    That's a weird turn of phrase. Although the subject's a bit far away (i.e. Jim) in the sentence, I read this as "studying her eyes".
     
  24. MisterBritt

    MisterBritt Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Santa Fe, NM, USA
    I hadn't noticed the line reads a cold revolver clicked.

    Well, if it is the revolver in the door knob, that would at least reduce one weapon, leaving just the penknife. On the other hand, if it is indeed a Colt revolver, as you suggest it must be, then who pulled the gun on whom?

    If Big Jim has left the bodyguards downstairs, is it because he has a gun or because he is confident he doesn't need protection?

    Or, if the printed lyrics are correct, there is no gun. Rosemary simply stabs Big Jim as she had planned to do all along. Maybe it's best left ambiguous that indeed, "No one knew the circumstance but they say that it happened pretty quick."
     
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  25. MisterBritt

    MisterBritt Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Santa Fe, NM, USA
    As I study the printed lyrics -- including the missing verse -- it now seems to me that it is Big Jim, with Rosemary at his side, who goes looking for the Jack of Hearts. It must be Big Jim who opens the door on the Jack of Hearts and Lily.

    I'm still open to the idea that Lily impersonated Rosemary and herself kills Big Jim. She has washed the stage make-up off, buried away her stage dress and is later washing the dye out of her hair.

    She's also clearly been thinking about not leaving fingerprints at the scene of the crime, as she admonishes the Jack of Hearts to be careful -- that there's a fresh coat of paint in her dressing room. To me it suggests she is trying to make herself invisable at this moment.

    Maybe it's nothing. But with such economy of lyrics, couldn't we suppose that it was Lily who stabbed Big Jim and made off through one of these previously mentioned side doors? Dovetailing into this idea, that's how Rosemary made her entrance.

    The Jack of Hearts calling out to "set it up for everyone" at the onset makes me think there's some collaboration here. Maybe that's not just a throw-away line, but rather is the first domino in a series of premeditated events. Also, Rosemary was looking like a queen without her crown; and we were informed that Lily was looking for a third queen to match her pair.

    Maybe the one good deed Rosemary is prepared to do, having previously failed her own suicide attempt, is to sacrifice herself by taking Lily's place at the gallows. Maybe she realizes she has nothing else going in her life anyway and this is her way out.

    In the end, it looks like Lily and the Jack of Hearts are the survivors. Maybe even it was the Jack of Hearts, waiting behind the door when the door revolver clicked open, who stabbed Big Jim. Maybe, since he was going to be on the lamb anyhow, he did that for Lily. Maybe Lily, impersonating Rosemary, did that to help Rosemary end her life. Or maybe Rosemary did that for Lily. In the final analysis, though, why would Lily be thinking about the law unless she was guilty?
     

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