In Scarlet Town where I was born
There's ivy leaf and silver thorn
The streets have names that you can't pronounce
Gold is down to a quarter an ounce

The music starts and the people sway
Everybody says, "Are you going my way?"
Uncle Tom still working for Uncle Bill
Scarlet Town is under the hill

Scarlet Town in the month of May
Sweet William on his deathbed lay
Mistress Mary by the side of the bed
Kissing his face, heaping prayers on his head

So brave, so true, so gentle is he
I'll weep for him as he'd weep for me
Little Boy Blue come blow your horn
In Scarlet Town where I was born

Scarlet Town in the hot noon hours
There's palm-leaf shadows and scattered flowers
Beggars crouching at the gate
Help comes but it comes too late

On marble slabs and in fields of stone
You make your humble wishes known
I touched the garment but the hem was torn
In Scarlet Town where I was born

In Scarlet Town the end is near
The seven wonders of the world are here
The evil and the good living side by side
All human forms seem glorified

Put your heart on a platter and see who'll bite
See who'll hold you and kiss you good night
There's walnut groves and maplewood
In Scarlet Town cryin' won't do no good

In Scarlet Town you fight your father's foes
Up on the hill a chilly wind blows
You fight 'em on high and you fight 'em down in
You fight 'em with whiskey, morphine and gin

You got legs that can drive men mad
A lot of things we didn't do that I wish we had
In Scarlet Town the sky is clear
You'll wish to God that you stayed right here

Set 'em up Joe, play Walking the Floor
Play it for my flat-chested junky whore
I'm staying up late, and I'm making amends
While the smile from Heaven descends

If love is a sin, then beauty is a crime
All things are beautiful in their time
The black and the white, the yellow and the brown
It's all right there for ya in Scarlet Town

Scarlet Town

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A lot of dismal prophetic imagery is laid down around the use of the word Scarlet and the items associated with the color. It is portrayed as bright red and a color often connected to force, passion, and heat. In the Roman Catholic Church, scarlet is the color worn by a cardinal, and is associated with the blood of Christ and the Christian martyrs, and with sacrifice.

Of course wikipedia notes Scarlet has been a color of power, wealth and luxury since ancient times. Scarlet dyes were first mentioned in 8th century BC, under the name Armenian Red, and they were described in Persian and Assyrian writings. The color was exported from Persia to Rome. During the Roman Empire, it was second in prestige only to the purple worn by the Emperors. Roman officers wore scarlet cloaks, and persons of high rank were referred to as the
coccinati, the people of red.

Then going to the Bible (where else), Isaiah speaks of sins, though like scarlet, turning white as snow. The last great book of the Bible, Revelation, which speaks truth of the end times, reveals a Great Harlot dressed in scarlet and purple riding upon a frightening scarlet beast. That chapter, cited below, explains much more about them.

As to the song Bob gives us, one could dice it apart to, hopefully, find a clever or close to an accurate meaning; but I think it’s important to look at the song as a whole. The deluge of the Harlot’s and Beast’s prophetic fulfillment is not just in Revelation with other parts of the New Testament, but also in the Tanakh, what many call the Old Testament but actually refers to the Hebrew Bible of the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings (Torah for Law, Nevi’im for Prophets, and Ketuvim for Writings; thus Tanakh for short). It’s all the living, written Word of God; Genesis to Revelation. In fact, did you know that most of the Bible, Genesis 12 to around Acts 10 was meant to be directed toward the nation of Israel till this mystery of gentile inclusion without Jewish exclusion was revealed? But I digress.

So, we live in intriguing times. The Bible is meant for us to view our world through and our personal lives through. The Bible is prophetic and it is convicting, as well as reassuring and comforting. It depends on who is reading.

More than all, the prophetic Word, the Bible, reveals Jesus for who He really is; the Son of God, and all He truly accomplished for us on the cross and through His resurrection. If you have never done so, put your trust in Him alone. Nothing else will justify you before God on That Day.
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Come, let’s consider your options,” says the Lord.
“Though your sins have stained you like the color red,
you can become white like snow;
though they are as easy to see as the color scarlet,
you can become white like wool.

Isaiah 1:18

Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke to me. “Come,” he said, “I will show you the condemnation and punishment of the great prostitute who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed sexual immorality and the earth’s inhabitants got drunk with the wine of her immorality.” So he carried me away in the Spirit to a wilderness, and there I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns. Now the woman was dressed in purple and scarlet clothing, and adorned with gold, precious stones, and pearls. She held in her hand a golden cup filled with detestable things and unclean things from her sexual immorality. On her forehead was written a name, a mystery: “Babylon the Great, the Mother of prostitutes and of the detestable things of the earth.” I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints and the blood of those who testified to Jesus. I was greatly astounded when I saw her. But the angel said to me, “Why are you astounded? I will interpret for you the mystery of the woman and of the beast with the seven heads and ten horns that carries her. The beast you saw was, and is not, but is about to come up from the abyss and then go to destruction. The inhabitants of the earth – all those whose names have not been written in the book of life since the foundation of the world – will be astounded when they see that the beast was, and is not, but is to come. (This requires a mind that has wisdom.) The seven heads are seven mountains the woman sits on. They are also seven kings: five have fallen; one is, and the other has not yet come, but whenever he does come, he must remain for only a brief time. The beast that was, and is not, is himself an eighth king and yet is one of the seven, and is going to destruction. The ten horns that you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but will receive ruling authority as kings with the beast for one hour. These kings have a single intent, and they will give their power and authority to the beast. They will make war with the Lamb, but the Lamb will conquer them, because he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those accompanying the Lamb are the called, chosen, and faithful.”

Then the angel said to me, “The waters you saw (where the prostitute is seated) are peoples, multitudes, nations, and languages. The ten horns that you saw, and the beast – these will hate the prostitute and make her desolate and naked. They will consume her flesh and burn her up with fire. For God has put into their minds to carry out his purpose by making a decision to give their royal power to the beast until the words of God are fulfilled. As for the woman you saw, she is the great city that has sovereignty over the kings of the earth.”

Revelation 17