Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Music for our time

Neddie Jingo waxes poetic (oh, what a woefully inadequate description of what he does!) about evocative music from his childhood, the “Theme from Midnight Cowboy” most specifically, and his appreciation and awe at the wonder and power of it remind me of my feelings about what I was listening to yesterday (or the day before? Or every day? It’s stored in the ipod of my mind): the album “World Gone Wrong” by Mr. Dylan (released Oct 26, 1993)

A few years ago, before I’d heard of blogs, I had grown to have such powerful and intricate thoughts about so many Dylan albums that I thought I needed to expound on those thoughts, someday, somewhere, to elucidate those who did not know, and to share with those who did. Right here, right now (well, as much as I can get in during my lunch break, and more in the days to come), I will try to explain why I Love The Man and His Music (again, woefully inadequate to describe what I feel).

The collective impression of this album is the raw, pure emotion of life and love, through a filter of age and history. These covers of old songs, not one penned by Bob, are each a chapter in a sad, bitter, hopeful, solemn story of life in some distant past. In listening, no, inhabiting these songs, you are transported back to these places, these people: the grimy, ragged characters wending through their lives of pain and heartache, with glimpses of joy or the possibility of it.

(For more eloquent descriptions of this particular album, see the true believers’ comments on

By song:
World Gone Wrong I love the guitar on this song. More inspiration to learn how to play better. The voice begins with the pain of rejection, through pleading, and by the end to a proud, angry resignation – “No use to ask me, baby, ’cause I’ll never be back.” The words themselves are a template, classic lines of love gone wrong, but Bob’s interpretation brings you inside the jilted man’s heart.

Love Henry It’s a glimpse of a story, a brief camera pan through a humble cottage filled with desire and jealousy and murder. Strangely, it’s the impact on the off-camera “pretty little girl in Cornersville” that stays with me most.

Ragged & Dirty Here’s the wily tramp who wants whatever he can get from you, and his plea is so honest and plain that you just may give in. You know he’ll take whatever he wants and leave, and all you’ll have is the memory of his wilderness, that you could tame for only a moment. All in all, a fair trade.

Blood in My Eyes This man’s a step above “Ragged & Dirty:” he’s made some money and wants to spend it on a woman, but he’s not waiting around through dinner and drinks. I don’t know what the phrase “I got blood in my eyes for you, baby” means, but when he sings it, I know what he’s talking about.

. . . OK, I guess lunch is over. More later.


At 10:15 PM, Blogger Neddie said...

Hey, Momula:

Jason Chervokas has made a series of Podcasts that are absolutely the most wonderful thing any Dylan lover could want: He's exploring the roots music that preceded Dylan, all the stuff that Little Bobby Zimmerman soaked himself in on the road to reinventing himself as Bob Dylan. I listened to Episode One, "Bob Dylan's Old Weird America" on the very morning of the levee break after Katrina, and to hear the origin of the lyric "crash on the levee, mama, water's gonna overflow!" on that very morning was plenty Old and Weird for me.

Highly, HIGHLY recommended. Check it out:

At 9:56 PM, Blogger momula said...

Thanks for the tip, Neddie. I'm going right now to check it out.


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