Sunday, January 9, 2011

Dylan on a Sunday

I opened my Dylan playlist today like I would a fortune cookie. What would rise to the top in random mode? Would my faith in fortune cookies be bolstered by Bob's ability to name my reality? What was I hoping for? Something like "The Times, They are a Changing." Today, I would have even taken "Rainy Day Women." But no, I got "Cry Awhile."

I like this song. There are days when its good to hear that its someone else's time to cry.

I'm on the fringes of the night, fighting back tears that I can't control 
Some people they ain't human, they got no heart or soul 
Well, I'm crying to The Lord - I'm tryin' to be meek and mild 
Yes, I cried for you - now it's your turn, you can cry awhile 

Well, there's preachers in the pulpits and babies in the cribs 
I'm longin' for that sweet fat that sticks to your ribs 
I'm gonna buy me a barrel of whiskey - I'll die before I turn senile 
Well, I cried for you - now it's your turn, you can cry awhile 

Well, you bet on a horse and it ran on the wrong way 
I always said you'd be sorry and today could be the day 
I might need a good lawyer, could be your funeral, my trial 
Well, I cried for you, now it's your turn, you can cry awhile

Your funeral. My trial. I know the sentiment. But I wasn't willing for that to be today's fortune. So, I hit random again. Like a Rolling Stone? Ring Them Bells? Shake, Shake Momma? Nope. I got Most of the Time.

Now, this is absolutely one of the greatest Dylan tunes ever. It's easily one of my top two or three favorites. But its not the most uplifting song. Here Dylan's trying to convince himself he's over the woman he loved. Why he hardly thinks of her at all, "most of the time." Which is this sad song's way of saying "all of the time."

Most of the time my head is on straight
Most of the time I'm strong enough not to hate
I don't build up illusion 'til it makes me sick
I ain't afraid of confusion no matter how thick
I can smile in the face of mankind
Don't even remember what her lips felt like on mine
Most of the time.

OK, one more try to wrest a happy fortune from Dylan. Hit the random play again and get "When the Deal Goes Down." A touching song to be sure. But I was hoping for something more uplifting than death. Good thing I don't believe in fortune cookies.

So, I thought about changing artists, just for this Sunday, to come up with something a little brighter. Unfortunately, my itunes seems to be missing artists who are uplifting. This explains a lot. It made me think of the opening lines from the movie High Fidelity: 

"What came first? Music or the misery? We worry about kids playing with guns or some kind of violent videos where a culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands of songs, about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss. Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listen to pop music?"


Sara KB said...

If anybody ever listened to my "faves" playlist, they would think I've lived a pretty tragic life...and this is my chosen fortune cookie.

BTW, I'm glad Dylan on a Sunday is back, even on sad Sundays.

Unknown said...

Enjoyed your "Dylan on a Sunday"... my itunes is more to dance to because for me it's hard to listen to the words; I usually have to read it. I am enjoying your blogs.
Thanks, Mark!