Saturday, May 27, 2006

Left me blindly here to stand but still not sleeping

Hey, Mr Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I'm not sleepy and there is no place I'm going to
Hey, Mr Tambourine Man, play a song for me
In the jingle-jangle morning I'll come followin' you.

Though I know that evenin's empire has returned into sand
Vanished from my hand
Left me blindly here to stand but still not sleeping
My weariness amazes me, I'm branded on my feet
I have no one to meet
And the ancient empty street's too dead for dreaming.

Hey, Mr Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I'm not sleepy and there is no place I'm going to
Hey, Mr Tambourine Man, play a song for me
In the jingle-jangle morning I'll come followin' you.

Take me on a trip upon your magic swirlin' ship
My senses have been stripped, my hands can't feel to grip
My toes too numb to step, wait only for my boot heels
To be wanderin'
I'm ready to go anywhere, I'm ready for to fade
Into my own parade, cast your dancing spell my way
I promise to go under it.

Hey, Mr Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I'm not sleepy and there is no place I'm going to
Hey, Mr Tambourine Man, play a song for me
In the jingle-jangle morning I'll come followin' you.

Though you might hear laughin', spinnin' swingin' madly across the sun
It's not aimed at anyone, it's just escapin' on the run
And but for the sky there are no fences facin'
And if you hear vague traces of skippin' reels of rhyme
To your tambourine in time, it's just a ragged clown behind
I wouldn't pay it any mind, it's just a shadow you're
Seein' that he's chasing.

Hey, Mr Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I'm not sleepy and there is no place I'm going to
Hey, Mr Tambourine Man, play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning I'll come followin' you.

Then take me disappearin' through the smoke rings of my mind
Down the foggy ruins of time, far past the frozen leaves
The haunted, frightened trees, out to the windy beach
Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow
Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free
Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands
With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves
Let me forget about today until tomorrow.

Hey, Mr Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I'm not sleepy and there is no place I'm going to
Hey, Mr Tambourine Man, play a song for me
In the jingle-jangle morning I'll come followin' you.

**********************************************************

I guess everybody has those few songs that they can listen to over and over again, that evoke the same emotional response every time and never get stale or overplayed. This is one of those songs for me. But I wonder how legitimate a connection to a song can be if a song is about one thing to the singer, whether a drug trip or a road trip, a breakup or a death or the Pied Piper; but about something vaguely different to the listener. Can I truly relate to my favorite song if it's about LSD (say some) or a drug deal (say others) without having experienced either? Does the greater theme of loneliness and escape widen the song so that the literal interpretation isn't relevant? Or, does it matter at all? We've all wished for something that would make us forget about today until tomorrow, to take us far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow, to let us dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free with all those cares forgotten, at least until morning...

The depth and darkness of Dylan's imagery is so strong. Down the foggy ruins of time, far past the frozen leaves/ The haunted, frightened trees, out to the windy beach...
It seems incongruous that he recorded it the same year as the Beach Boy's "California Girls" and Sonny and Cher's infamous "I Got You Babe". I think he was on a different page, somewhat. Did they separate music into genres on the radio back then like they do now, with alternative rock here and pop there, or was it all mixed together? Would someone who loved the Monkees suddenly be subjected to the Beatles' Rubber Soul workings? I'll have to ask my dad sometime. Sometimes it seems like that's their most-ignored album, and it's my favorite. You can always hear earlier stuff on the golden oldies station ('I Wanna Hold Your Hand'; 'Hard Day's Night') and later stuff makes it on to the classic rock stations a lot, but you can't hear 'Norwegian Wood' or 'You Won't See Me' unless you own it. The whole record is like a transition piece. But this was supposed to be about Dylan, remember, Mara? Not about the Beatles. Even if he did influence them a bit then.

It's been a weird long week, staying at my parent's house, away from my own little family here. I'm glad to be back but my sleep cycle is all screwed up and it's one in the morning so I'm writing and listening to my best of Dylan CD for the third time through instead of walking Alice and going to bed. Maybe tomorrow I can write with something approaching coherency.

****Then take me disappearin' through the smoke rings of my mind******

5 comments:

Amanda said...

that's one of jordan's faves too...hell, dylan alone! I was tortured for a month straight when he was in his dylan phase!

Mara said...

Tortured? Why tortured?

Don can probably relate though-- I went through a Janis Joplin phase for weeks once.

JordanRivers said...

I think you can relate to any song, no matter what the artist means and you feel. Thats why I fell in love with Nirvana. Half the lyrics don't make since and thats ok because its also about the energy. Nirvana's songs had energy and passion and people used that to interpret the lyrics in their own way and meaning. Same with Dylan his masterful use of imagery causes your mind to travel to those places without you even realizing it. And for all those people who say Dylan can't sing.....I would kill for his voice. It can be soft, caressing, cold, harsh, and beautiful all at the same time. Dylan's amazing.

Benjamin said...

Yes, yes... I must agree


... with Amanda!


About the singing. Or some of it. Early Bobby D. had a gritty and powerful style. These days, however, he doesn't even to seem to be trying to enunciate or carry a tune or attempt to sing through anything but his nose. Some people say its a a masterstroke of artistic conceit. As if he's saying, "You people don't care about anything I have to say anymore, so why should I bother singing in a way that makes it understandable to you?"

I think that may be pushing it. He's old, he's tired. He doesn't give a damn.

But he's still America's greatest folk poet of the last century. "I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now." Words of wisdom that mean more to me with every passing second.

All the above is, as always, IMHO.

Mara said...

Well, the Dylan I was listening too was classic 1965 Dylan, not the most recent. Back when he was everything that Jordan described.