The strength of nostalgia increases with age

It’s only been in my later years that I’ve succumbed to nostalgia. Being an optimistic and curious soul, I’ve mostly tended to look forward.

bob_dylanYesterday I had a rare bout of nostalgia. It was when I wrote about Bob Dylan being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. In July I picked out four Dylan songs in what I titled a Dylan-tastic week. While looking back to those posts, I noticed a broken video link for Mr, Tambourine Man. In fixing the broken link I listened to a number of Dylan songs, while reading along with the lyrics.

The nostalgia was being taken back to my late teenage years when society was evolving from the post war years, in a spirit of change, hope, and optimism. Bob Dylan was a voice of that change. His song lyrics gave voice to that change that most pop songs of the time didn’t. Hugely nostalgic for me.

Oh, and I happened while You Tubing to watch a fantastic video of Guy Martin racing Michael Dunlop in a 2014 Isle of Man Superbike TT race. My love of the TT is a whole other story. Anyway, here’s the Guy Martin video, all 17+ minutes.

Bob Dylan wins Nobel Prize for Literature: Truly Dylan-tastic

Bob Dylan has become the first songwriter to win a Nobel Prize for Literature. A truly worthy winner.

For a week in July this year this blog had a Dylan-tastic week. A song each day, and importantly the song lyrics. Below are his scribbled lyrics to ‘It an’t me babe’, which you can also see and hear sung HERE. [Click on images to expand}

bob-dylan-lyrics-to-it-aint-me-babe bob_dylan

A Dylan-tastic week of Bob Dylan songs: It Ain’t Me babe

I’ve posted three Bob Dylan songs so far. I hope you’ve enjoyed them. The previous song – Desolation Row – was more of a long balladeer’s story. This Dylan song – It Ain’t Me Babe, is both shorter, more tuneful, and a tad more upbeat. the song was recorded in June 1964, and appeared on the Dylan LP – Another Side of Bob Dylan.

The version on this video was recorded in 1965 at the Free Trade Hall in Manchester, England. As for earlier songs, the lyrics can be seen below the video.

Go ‘way from my window
Leave at your own chosen speed
I’m not the one you want, babe
I’m not the one you need
You say you’re lookin’ for someone
Who’s never weak but always strong
To protect you an’ defend you
Whether you are right or wrong
Someone to open each and every door
But it ain’t me, babe
No, no, no, it ain’t me babe
It ain’t me you’re lookin’ for, babe

Go lightly from the ledge, babe
Go lightly on the ground
I’m not the one you want, babe
I will only let your down
You say you’re lookin’ for someone
Who will promise never to part
Someone to close his eyes for you
Someone to close his heart
Someone who will die for you an’ more
But it ain’t me, babe
No, no, no, it ain’t me babe
It ain’t me you’re lookin’ for, babe

Go melt back in the night
Everything inside is made of stone
There’s nothing in here moving
An’ anyway I’m not alone
You say you’re looking for someone
Who’ll pick you up each time you fall
To gather flowers constantly
An’ to come each time you call
A lover for your life an’ nothing more
But it ain’t me, babe
No, no, no, it ain’t me, babe
It ain’t me you’re lookin’ for, babe

A Dylan-tastic week of Bob Dylan songs: Desolation Row

Stick with me here, please. You’ve, hopefully, listened to Don’t Think Twice It’s All Right and Mr Tambourine Man. Today’s Bob Dylan song could be more of a challenge, especially if you’re not ‘into’ Dylan. The song is Desolation Row. It’s over 11 minutes and has imaginative lyrics, which are shown below the video.

They’re selling postcards of the hanging
They’re painting the passports brown
The beauty parlor is filled with sailors
The circus is in town
Here comes the blind commissioner
They’ve got him in a trance
One hand is tied to the tight-rope walker
The other is in his pants
And the riot squad they’re restless
They need somewhere to go
As Lady and I look out tonight
From Desolation Row.

Continue reading

A Dylan-tastic week of Bob Dylan songs: Mr. Tambourine Man

I hope you enjoyed yesterday’s Bob Dylan song – Don’t Think Twice It’s All Right.

Today’s choice is Mr. Tambourine Man. While there’s a video version of the song Dylan singing at the Newport Folk Festival in 1964, I prefer is the plain audio version of Dylan singing live in Manchester in May 1965. As before, the lyrics follow the video.

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 following you

Though I know that evenings 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 following you

Continue reading

A Dylan-tastic week of Bob Dylan songs: Don’t Think Twice It’s All Right

It’s going to be a ‘Dylan-tastic’ week, with a Bob Dylan song every day. Here’s the first song, Don’t Think Twice It’s All Right. Written in 1962 and released in 1963, and on the LP The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan.

The Dylan songbook accompanied my late teenage years. I won’t prattle on about his influence on the culture of the time, other than to say the freshness of his music, originality of his lyrics, were the backdrop to an amazing period of change. While Dylan never wanted to be anyone’s hero. He is one of mine,

Here’s a couple of peerless lines from from this break-up song. Lyrics below the video.

Still I wish there was somethin’ you would do or say
To try and make me change my mind and stay

It ain’t no use to sit and wonder why, babe
If you dont know by now
An’ it ain’t no use to sit and wonder why, babe
It don’t matter anyhow

When your rooster crows at the break of dawn
Look out your window and I’ll be gone
You’re the reason I’m travelin’ along
Don’t think twice, it’s alright

Well, it ain’t no use in turnin’ on your light, babe
That light I never knowed
An’ it ain’t no use in turnin’ on your light, babe
I’m on the dark side of the road

Still I wish there was somethin’ you would do or say
To try and make me change my mind and stay
But we never did too much talkin’ anyway
So don’t think twice, it’s alright

It ain’t no use in callin’ out my name, gal
Like you never done before
It ain’t no use in callin’ out my name, gal
I can’t hear you any more

I’m a-thinkin’ and a-wonderin’ walkin down the road
I once loved a woman, a child I’m told
I gave her my heart but she wanted my soul
But don’t think twice, it’s alright

So I’m walkin’ down that long lonesome road, babe
Where I’m bound, I can’t tell
But goodbye’s too good a word, babe
So I’ll just say fare thee well

I ain’t sayin’ you treated me unkind
You could have done better but I don’t mind
You just kinda wasted my precious time
But don’t think twice, it’s alright

Must tell you about this article in The New Yorker magazine

Idly looking at a twitter feed I came across this,

TweetSo, I clicked on the link which led to this in The New Yorker magazine, Bob Dylan and the “Hot Hand”. The last part of the article is this – simply amazing,

When he was young and in the midst of that golden-era frenzy, Dylan was apt to dodge earnest questions about what led him to the music he made in the mid-sixties. “Mistake or not, what made you decide to go the rock-and-roll route?” Nat Hentoff asked him in a Playboy interview published in February, 1966.

Dylan: Carelessness. I lost my one true love. I started drinking. I wind up in Phoenix. I get a job as a Chinaman. I start working in a dime store, and move in with a thirteen-year-old girl. Then this big Mexican lady from Philadelphia comes in and burns the house down. I go down to Dallas. I get a job as a ‘before’ in a Charles Atlas ‘before and after’ ad. I move in with a delivery boy who can cook fantastic chili and hot dogs. Then this thirteen-year-old girl from Phoenix comes and burns the house down. The next thing I know I’m in Omaha. It’s so cold there, by this time I’m robbing my own bicycles and frying my own fish. I move in with a high school teacher who also does a little plumbing on the side, who ain’t much to look at, but who’s built a special kind of refrigerator that can turn newspaper unto lettuce. Everything’s going good until that delivery boy shows up and tries to knife me. Needless to say, he burned the house down, and I hit the road. The first guy that picked me up asked me if I wanted to be a star. What could I say?

Hentoff: And that’s how you became a rock-and-roll singer?

Dylan: No, that’s how I got tuberculosis.