Sunday, August 14, 2011

Dylan on a Sunday: Blood on the Tracks

Back to underwhelming demand, a little Dylan on a Sunday post. Truthfully, what started out as a one week idea, a modest one for even that, turned into something a lot more. Seems there's virtually no end to the kinds of posts you can write when you start with Dylan. You can even write posts on what its like to write about Dylan.

But this one's simple. A music one. I listened several times this week to Blood on the Tracks. I have said often that I like the later Dylan stuff the best. I'm not a big folkie. I would never listen to Peter, Paul, and Mary or Woody Guthrie. I'm fine that Dylan plugged in, happy even. And I think his smoke damaged pipes fit his music better these days, especially on Time Out of Mind. But I have to admit, I really like Blood on the Tracks. It's acoustic and has the big looping, sliding, whooping lyric style of the early Dylan. In fact, I think its kind of the height of his vocal "stylings" in this regard. When people are imitating Dylan, its Blood on the Tracks Dylan, especially in songs like Tangled Up in Blue and Simple Twist of Fate.

We've moved on here from the "movement" songs like "Blowin in the Wind," and "Masters of War." These are songs of love and loss and need. They resonate at a more personal level. And in this season of my life, that fit the bill this week.

My favorite track? Tough to beat Tangled Up in Blue, but this week I'll take Shelter from the Storm.

I was in another lifetime one of toil and blood
When blackness was a virtue and the road was full of mud
I came in from the wilderness a creature void of form
"Come in" she said
"I'll give you shelter from the storm".


In a little hilltop village they gambled for my clothes
I bargained for salvation and they gave me a lethal dose
I offered up my innocence and got repaid with scorn
"Come in" she said
"I'll give you shelter from the storm".

Well I'm living in a foreign country but I'm bound to cross the line
Beauty walks a razor's edge someday I'll make it mine
If I could only turn back the clock to when God and her were born
"Come in" she said
"I'll give you shelter from the storm".

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