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Friday, June 19, 2009

Have a great weekend

Comments (2)

"Nobody feels any pain"

One of the great first lines of any song, book, movie, poem, or play. You cannot say more to set a mood or a scene than that with just 4 words.

"Voice of a Generation"? Please.
That's selling him way short. This stuff will transcend the centuries if humans have that much time left. And whatever comes next will probably get it too.

I've heard musicians complain about the vocals, the guitar, the harmonica - especially the harmonica - but go right ahead. It doesn't matter.

If anything, the greatness is more obvious because it's not all dressed up in some slick package. A more traditional talented voice or great guitar playing would just be superfluous.

You don't want to distract from the song. And they are songs - he's not a poet. He's a composer and an original musician. There is a Bob Dylan style of phrasing that is as defined as Sinatra. You hear it everywhere in rock and roll and you never heard it before him.

But the lyrics. That's where Bob is on his own. Just remembering all his lyrics would take a great mind, but to write them? Genius. You take genius like this wherever you can find it. If somebody plays badminton with this level of genius you follow it.

In "Don't Look Back" he's banging out lyrics as fast as he can type. Not only is it not quiet in the room but Joan Baez is there singing a DIFFERENT song - while he's working!

But it doesn't matter. Bob is locked in and one of the great minds the world has ever seen, goes on typing out the words.

Here's what happens when an attempt is made at literal -- in this case via visual analogs -- interpretation of BD's lyrics:

Here's the antidote:

Note that "Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands" contains the lyric,
"and your streetcar visions." BD has always dwelt in a
polysemous universe, which has left his texts open to unusual
misinterpretation and abuse.

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