“Born in Time” by Bob Dylan
Sunday night needs a nice, mellow version of this song which would later appear on Under the Red Sky.
Also, I’ve been compiling the songs I post here in a playlist on Spotify. Feel free to follow - the playlist is called Daily Dylan.
(Source: Spotify) (0 plays)
“Blowin’ in the Wind” by Bob Dylan
Today we remember the life and dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. via the lyrics of Bob Dylan. I know Dylan didn’t write this song about him, but it shares the dream.
Yes, how many years can a mountain exist (193 plays)
Before it’s washed to the sea ?
Yes, how many years can some people exist
Before they’re allowed to be free ?
Yes, how many times can a man turn his head
Pretending he just doesn’t see ?
The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind.
“Desolation Row” by Bob Dylan
I have to begin to try to explain Postmodern Literature to my class of high school sophomores tomorrow, and I think I might begin with this song. The jumbled-up images and allusions, the nonsense (and sometimes anti-sense), and the painfully mundane all occupying a hopeless landscape in which people struggle to find a scrap of meaning while pseudo-intellectuals recognize and mock the futility of their search.
Yeah, sixteen-year-olds should get this. Actually, it kinda reminds me of social media.
Now the moon is almost hidden (155 plays)
The stars are beginning to hide
The fortunetelling lady
Has even taken all her things inside
All except for Cain and Abel
And the hunchback of Notre Dame
Everybody is making love
Or else expecting rain
And the Good Samaritan, he’s dressing
He’s getting ready for the show
He’s going to the carnival tonight
On Desolation Row.
“Standing in the Doorway” by Bob Dylan
Those who question Dylan’s lyrical brilliance need to look at a simple song like this and the implications of something as mundane as standing in a doorway. The song is about a man who is caught in between - things moving too fast, then too slow; not sure whether to kill or kiss; riding the midnight train (a time which straddles both days). The unifying image that appears throughout is the man standing in the doorway - a man caught between inside and outside, between remembering and forgetting his former lover. (121 plays)
“Positively 4th Street” by Bob Dylan
Do you take me for such a fool?
I must have said this to a hundred students (amateur April Fools’ Day pranksters) today, and only a couple had any notion that I was quoting something (one actually asked if it was Shakespeare - don’t think Bob would be too upset with being mistaken for the bard) and only one recognized it as Dylan.
It appears as if I got some edumacatin’ to do. (156 plays)
“I Shall Be Released” by Bob Dylan
This song was originally released by The Band and this recording appeared on Dylan’s Greatest Hits Vol. II album; until then it was unreleased.
Also, today is Easter. Make of that what you will.
Standing next to me in this lonely crowd, (363 plays)
Is a man who swears he’s not to blame.
All day long I hear him shout so loud,
Crying out that he was framed.
I see my light come shining
From the west unto the east.
Any day now, any day now,
I shall be released.
“Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You” by Bob Dylan
Whenever I hear this song, I think of my thesis advisor and the stories he used to tell us stories about the poetry scene in Buffalo in the 70s. He’d tell us stories about Robert Creeley, Charles Olson, and Robert Duncan (all of whom taught at the University of Buffalo) and about how many recognizable poets (Gregory Corso, Amiri Baraka, and Jim Carroll) used to crash on his couch when they were in town. But the best story he ever told was about Bob Dylan on the Rolling Thunder Revue.
It begins with Dylan, Allen Ginsberg, and my advisor eating at some diner and planning a road trip to Toronto. After deciding this would be a good idea, someone recommended that they “Call O.J. and invite him.” I’m not sure exactly how the story ended (or if it’s even legal to reveal the ending), but even without O.J., the road trip seemed epic. The next day, Dylan and Ginsberg were back on tour, my advisor was back to teaching, and O.J. was back to running through airports. But eventually the phone would ring and Gary Snyder or Ted Berrigan or someone would be asking to crash on the couch.
(Source: Spotify) (0 plays)
“Long Ago, Far Away” by Bob Dylan
Dylan frames this song with an allusion of the crucifixion of Jesus and ends each verse with variations of the sarcastic lines “these things don’t happen / no more, nowadays”. The rest of the song is filled with various examples of inhumanity throughout the ages, revealing a pattern of violence, greed, and injustice. And while it seems like a doomsday condemnation of mankind, I prefer to look at it as a series of events which mankind has overcome and which people have turned into stories of courage and sacrifice in the face of tyranny. Regardless of their religious or political beliefs, people continue to fight and struggle and persevere. So if you’re in a position where you’re struggling, keep fighting and find inspiration in the stories of any number of people who have been there before you and gotten through.
(Source: Spotify) (0 plays)
“Outlaw Blues” by Bob Dylan
Yesterday, I had a tooth pulled because it was infected to the point where they could no longer save it. While it’s not black, hopefully it’s a sign of good luck.
I got my dark sunglasses (329 plays)
I got for good luck my black tooth
I got my dark sunglasses
I’m carryin’ for good luck my black tooth
Don’t ask me nothin’ about nothin’
I just might tell you the truth
“Clothes Line Saga” by Bob Dylan and the Band
Not everything Dylan does is political or brooding or filled with puzzling Surrealist lyrics. Sometimes he just tells a story of the events of the day. (125 plays)
“Every Grain of Sand” by Bob Dylan
For the last couple weeks, I’ve been listening to more of the 80s Dylan because it’s the era I know the least about. Every time this song comes on, it reminds me of Leonard Cohen (who, ironically, is often referred to as the Canadian Bob Dylan). At first I couldn’t place it, but eventually I figured out that it’s probably due to a combination of the religiously themed lyrics, the slower tempo, and the slicker production. All combine for a much different view of Dylan from his grittier Desire/Blood on the Tracks era, but eventually progressed to his more ethereal sounds on albums like Time Out of Mind. While not my favorite era, I’m coming to recognize its importance in the progression of Dylan’s sound.
In the time of my confession, in the hour of my deepest need (123 plays)
When the pool of tears beneath my feet flood every newborn seed
There’s a dying voice within me reaching out somewhere
Toiling in the danger and in the morals of despair.
Don’t have the inclination to look back on any mistake
Like Cain, I now behold this chain of events that I must break
In the fury of the moment I can see the master’s hand
In every leaf that trembles, in every grain of sand.
“Boots of Spanish Leather” by Bob Dylan
Oh, but if I had the stars from the darkest night
And the diamonds from the deepest ocean
I’d forsake them all for your sweet kiss
For that’s all I’m wishin’ to be ownin’
“Mozambique” by Bob Dylan
It’s an upbeat and playful song in the midst of the brooding and melancholy masses on Desire.
This, along with the title, convey a sense of a warmer climate - something sorely needed by those Tumblr folks expecting another snowstorm this late in March.
Because macalien was looking for it so I searched for it, but by the time I saw it and found it, someone else posted it, but then I listened to it a dozen times and remembered how great it is. So here it is.
Because Emmylou Harris on background vocals.
Also, the Mozambique thread on Tumblr is outstanding. Check out the amazing photography - breathtaking and heartbreaking.