With your pencil in your hand

from Bob Dylan – Ballad of a Thin Man Lyrics on Rap Genius

Meaning

Mr. Jones is probably a journalist, bringing a pencil and pad to take notes. His being a journalist is probably one of the reasons Mr. Jones needs to ask so many questions.

And this character profile is further proven true by the 2011 biopic, “I’m Not There”, the movie about Bob Dylan’s storied and oftentimes falsified life, wherein (during a song segment in which “Ballad of a Thin Man” plays) Mr Jones is portrayed as a journalist.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Ha1eqHDu_w

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