swing on


Español (Français)
¿Que quiere decir "Swing on to..."?

What does "Swing on to ..." mean?


I swung on to my old guitar,
Grabbed hold of a subway car,
And after a rocking, reeling, rolling ride,
I landed up on the downtown side;
Greenwich Village

I have read a lot of possible meanings but it still doesn't make sense to me

Thank you!!
  • TexTenn

    Senior Member
    Hola, walesa

    I should probably leave this for a younger forero to answer (one who's familiar with this poem/song), but here's what it looks like to me: The whole verse is intentionally scrambled, or "mixed up", for humor:

    It would be natural to say, "I grabbed hold of my old guitar,
    Swung onto a subway car...". (Hablando coloquialmente, "to grab hold of" = agarrar, y "to swing onto" algo quiere decir que uno lo monta rapidamente, quizás teniendo que balancearse un poco.) The writer has simply interchanged those two expressions. I think there's a play on "up" and "downtown", also--but someone who knows New York better than I do should comment on that.

    I decided to answer mostly in English*, since this is a poem that must be read aloud in the original language to capture its rhythm and humor. The author had fun writing it, I think--and don't worry, the lines as written are not supposed to make sense!

    *Si quisieras, con placer repetiré mis comentarios en español.


    Senior Member
    I agree with Tex that the whole verse is kind of playing with words. Swung on to my old guitar kind of give the image of swinging the guitar over his shoulder even though it is kind of an odd way to say it.


    Español (Français)
    Thank you!! very clear and useful answers, no more doubts

    by the way, if you like the song you can find it on bob dylan's very first album!!