Artist: Bob Dylan
Song: Ballad of a Thin Man
Album: Highway 61 Revisted
Theme: Why’s It Called That?
“Mr. Tambourine Man” by Bob Dylan
I know I haven’t posted much music lately because I have been otherwise occupied. Currently, I’m trying to navigate the long-distance completion of my thesis and all of the paperwork involved. Additionally, I’ve been setting up a field trip (two actually) for most of the sophomore class to go see The Great Gatsby when it comes out which includes its own set of meaningless and redundant paperwork. Finally, I am trying to organize the end of the school year and figure out how I’m going to teach all of the material on the final exam that we had to hand in a month ago.
With all of this going on, I’m having a hard time remembering whether I’m the horse or the pony, trying to keep straight whether the I’s or T’s get crossed or dotted, and exactly which hoops I’m, supposed to jump through.
Simply, and in terms of Dylan, I’ve been feeling like I’m following the silliness and futility of the tambourine man every jingle jangle morning. Someday, these things will all be complete and I will look back on these days as necessary to the ends, but right now they’re just mean(s).
“Red River Shore” by Bob Dylan
An outtake from the Time Out of Mind sessions.
Well, I’m a stranger here in a strange land
But I know this is where I belong
I’ll ramble and gamble for the one I love
And the hills will give me a song
Though nothing looks familiar to me
I know I’ve stayed here before
Once, a thousand nights ago
With the girl from the Red River shore
“Lay, Lady, Lay” by Bob Dylan
This has always been a bit of an anomaly for me in the Dylan catalog. It’s always been like a lost and curious teenager trying to find its place. I’m 100% sure it’s because of the vocals. They are much deeper and don’t have the typical nasal wail that makes Dylan’s songs so identifiable. It was hard for me at first to believe it was Dylan singing at all until I heard the rest of Nashville Skyline and the song seemed to find its place for me. There, it made sense; there is some place for everyone.
“A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall” by Bob Dylan
It’s been a few days since I posted on here, causing some to ask “where have you been, my blue-eyed son?” Well, the answer to that is neither as interesting nor as exciting as the varied answers given by this song’s hero. Let’s just say that, like Dylan’s hero, there’s been a lot going on (or rather a lot that I’m trying to get done - mostly school-related stuff because of the change of marking periods) and, also like Dylan’s hero, I am persevering in the month of hard rains.
Ok, so I’m being overly dramatic. But isn’t that what the internet is for?
“Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream” by Bob Dylan
Thank you for your responses to yesterday’s question about what songs I should include in my lesson on Post-Modern Bob Dylan songs. I was already figuring on including “Desolation Row” and “Ballad of a Thin Man” and “Visions of Johanna” were already heading my list but it was good to see them confirmed. The hands down winner, though was “Subterranean Homesick Blues” (another song that was on my “probables” list), but the surprise was “Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream”, not because it was a rare suggestion, but because it was suggested at all, it wasn’t even on my list of possibilities, and because it fit so perfectly. Thank you, the-half-boy!
Oh, and also because it’s the source of dailydoseofdylan’s matriarch’s Tumblr name.
I was riding on the Mayflower
When I thought I spied some land
I yelled for Captain Arab
I have yuh understand
Who came running to the deck
Said, “Boys, forget the whale
Look on over yonder
Cut the engines
Change the sail
Haul on the bowline”
We sang that melody
Like all tough sailors do
When they are far away at sea.