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  1. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn.Devil.91.92.01.10.15 View Post
    Leonard Cohen would like to have a word.
    No argument from me

  2. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn.Devil.91.92.01.10.15 View Post
    Leonard Cohen would like to have a word.
    Everybody knows the fight was fixed

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Colorado
    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn.Devil.91.92.01.10.15 View Post
    Leonard Cohen would like to have a word.
    So, go ahead and hate on me. When I was in college 45 years ago, I kind of liked Dylan and his lyrics could sometimes seem profound based on my pharmaceutical status.

    I love 60's and 70's music still, so this is not a condemnation of the musical era. Dylan's lyrics often sound like random,non sequiter phrases. I don't think most of his songs are profound, have deep meaning, or even artistically evoke some mood.

    Sorry, that's my opinion.

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Undisclosed
    Quote Originally Posted by Nepos View Post
    Everybody knows the fight was fixed
    First he took Manhattan — then he took Berlin.
    “That’s just, like, your opinion, man.”

  5. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by MartyClark View Post
    So, go ahead and hate on me. When I was in college 45 years ago, I kind of liked Dylan and his lyrics could sometimes seem profound based on my pharmaceutical status.

    I love 60's and 70's music still, so this is not a condemnation of the musical era. Dylan's lyrics often sound like random,non sequiter phrases. I don't think most of his songs are profound, have deep meaning, or even artistically evoke some mood.

    Sorry, that's my opinion.
    No reason to apologize- art is subjective. But Dylan’s writing won him a Nobel Prize in Literature, ten Grammys, 100’s of college courses taught about his writing, 700 page books written about his lyrics (Lyrics: 1962-2012) and Rolling Stone to recently rank him the best song writer of all time. I think he’s doing a bit more than writing random, non-sequitur phrases.

    https://www.rollingstone.com/interactive/lists-100-greatest-songwriters/#bob-dylan
    Last edited by Skydog; 05-26-2021 at 11:46 PM.

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Washington, D.C.

    Mr. Market

    Quote Originally Posted by Skydog View Post
    No reason to apologize- art is subjective. But Dylan’s writing won him a Nobel Prize in Literature, ten Grammys, 100’s of college courses taught about his writing, 700 page books written about his lyrics (Lyrics: 1962-2012) and Rolling Stone to recently rank him the best song writer of all time. I think he’s doing a bit more than writing random, non-sequitur phrases.

    https://www.rollingstone.com/interac...ers/#bob-dylan
    The market agrees with you, as Dylan sold his catalog of songs for $300 million. https://www.theguardian.com/business...niversal-music

  7. #47

    Dylan’s humor

    Unless you’re a big Dylan fan, this will be way, way tl;dr. I hope, though, some of you are big Dylan fans, as I’m hoping to pick your brains/memories here.

    I am not a Dylan expert, just a lifelong fan. For the past 5-10 years, I have commented to a few friends that I find him a very funny guy. Very, very funny, often. So when he was awarded the Nobel in Literature in 2016, I wrote friends that I understood the controversy — songwriting isn’t lit, etc. — and wasn’t sure, one way or the other, whether he “deserved” a Nobel. But I thought maybe he deserves the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Seems funnier, often more intelligently so, than at least a few of the recipients since its inception. (Not naming names, don’t want to start that argument here.)

    I’m confident many of his longtime fans have noticed his humor. Piece in Monday’s NYT [5/24/21] called him “Our Most Underappreciated Comic.”

    I’m gathering lots of examples, and wonder if you could help my “research.” Below are a few of the examples I’ve been collecting, randomly from memory, grouped under tentative categories. Happy to have you remind me of other examples. Maybe someone could add a category, or perhaps rename one of my categories.


    Irony

    “Drifter’s Escape” - Punchline: “And while everybody knelt to pray/the drifter did escape.” Dylan regularly writes about injustice, of course, sometimes eloquently. That’s what he does in this story-song, in this case ending with God’s judgment on the jury's judgment.

    “Black Diamond Bay” - Woman, who's already mistaken the Greek for the Soviet Ambassador, ignores the Do Not Disturb sign [a joke itself], desperately cries “There’s danger near” to the Greek, just then hanging himself from the chandelier.


    Playful

    Often whole songs, I guess earlier in his career, as he’s gradually gotten darker and darker. I won’t list any of them; I’m sure you’ll know some. I will only comment that Dylan’s second “Dream” song, “Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream,” is a fun/funny song ...

    ... but 180 degrees from his first dream song, “Bob Dylan’s Dream.” That first dream song is a doleful rumination by a young Dylan on his life just 5-6 years earlier. He’d left Minnesota, landed in New York, and already knew he’d left childhood friends behind, forever. As I get older, I do think about the sweet memories of middle school friendships. Dylan’s final stanzas:

    How many a year has passed and gone
    And many a gamble has been lost and won
    And many a road taken by many a first friend
    And each one I've never seen again

    I wish, I wish, I wish in vain
    That we could sit simply in that room again
    Ten thousand dollars at the drop of a hat
    I'd give it all gladly if our lives could be like that


    Critical

    Often highlighting pretentiousness, dilettantism, etc.

    Pretentiousness — “Love Minus Zero/No Limit “ — In a lovely paean to his lover, Dylan throws in a substantive detour with an “image” stanza, about a country doctor rambling at midnight over creaky bridges. Then immediately a jolting second detour within the stanza: “Bankers’ nieces seek perfection/Expecting all the gifts that wise men bring.” Just hilarious — to me. It’s not a lighthearted line; it has a pretty sharp edge to it, every word and image. Who? Bankers’ nieces. Seeking what? Perfection. Why not, it’s their right. Expecting gifts, all the gifts. From whom? Wise men. The wise men? Is that what bankers’ nieces would expect? Who knows? I suppose one could argue that the country doctor rambling at midnight isn’t a detour, as it sets up the final stanza, about howling wind, lover as raven with a broken wing. Maybe those bankers’ nieces aren’t a detour, either? A counterpoint to his lover, who “speaks softly” and is “true, like ice, like fire”?

    Dilettantism — The back cover of the album “John Wesley Harding,” a hilarious short story about “Frank.” — Presumably the three kings are Dylan-interpreters [Ha, like I’m trying to do here...], with whom a still-young Dylan was already feuding and fed up. The three have come to Frank, the “key” to this new Dylan album, to ask him to “open it up for us.” Then Frank suddenly opens his eyes “wide as a tiger,” asking, “And just how far would you like to go in?” The king-Dylanologists, unnerved, respond nervously: “Not too far but just far enough so’s we can say that we’ve been there.”


    Guffaw

    Idiot Wind — In the intro to this grim, venomous song — nothing funny about it whatsoever — the hilarious punch line, “She inherited a million bucks/And when she died it came to me/I can’t help it if I’m [just the barest hint of a pause for effect] lucky.” This hang-dog “don’t blame me just ‘cause I got lucky” should be the opening to a tongue-in-cheek tale. But instead Dylan shifts gears drastically. It’s the strangest use of humor in all his work, at least that I can recall. I laugh every time I hear “can’t help it if I’m lucky,” even though I know everything that follows is hard, bitter.

    Talkin’ World War III Blues — Lonely, “I called up the operator of time/Just to hear a voice of some kind/‘When you hear the beep it will be three o'clock’/She said that for over an hour/An’ I hung up”

    [same song] — Steals a Cadillac: “I got into the driver's seat/And I drove down 42nd Street/In my Cadillac/Good car to drive/After a war.” After a war. What’s that kind of wit called? “Quick”?

    “John Wesley Harding” back cover again (it’s a gem) — The three kings have crawled into Frank’s house. Frank is pissed. The second king, but first to rise, nervously asks: “Where’s the better half, Frank?


    Rhyming — Literally hundreds of examples. His rhyming skills are oft-admired and analyzed. Here I’m claiming some of the rhymes exemplify Dylan’s humor.

    “Tombstone Blues” — Probably my favorite rhyming humor example: Rhyming, a stanza apart, “boys in” with “poison.” In this song, Dylan employs an aaab rhyming schema. So:

    The hysterical bride in the penny arcade
    Screaming she moans, "I've just been made."
    Then sends out for the doctor who pulls down the shade
    And says, "My advice is to not let boys in."

    Now the medicine man comes and he shuffles inside
    He walks with a swagger and he says to the bride
    "Stop all this weeping, swallow your pride.
    You will not die, it's not poison."

    “Thunder on the Mountain” — Here Dylan uses aabb rhyming, including: “some tough sons of bitches ... my army from the orphanages.”


    Help?

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    I'd tell ya, but then I'd have to kill ya
    Got no further than "songwriting isn't lit". It's every bit as much literature as poetry. And I'd argue more difficult (to compose), powerful, and far-reaching.

  9. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by dudog84 View Post
    Got no further than "songwriting isn't lit". It's every bit as much literature as poetry. And I'd argue more difficult (to compose), powerful, and far-reaching.
    Just so you understand, it is not my position that "songwriting isn't lit." You needn't read the entire tl/dr post -- just a couple of sentences beyond where you stopped -- to discover that I think Dylan's songwriting is brilliant. My point was that my extended post would not be about whether he deserved the Nobel, but why I think he deserves the Mark Twain. Unless your perspective is that anyone who even in passing mentions the controversy about the Nobel is an untrustworthy correspondent??

    So ... I am hoping to persuade you to read a few more sentences, and maybe more, as you may be able to help me think through Dylan's humor-through-poetry. Unless, again, you think considering Dylan-as-humorist is unworthy of the difficulty of his compositions, their far-reaching power.

    Or, in Dylanese ...

    Dear Landlord
    Please, don't dismiss my case

    I'm not about to argue
    I'm not about to move to no other place

    Now, each of us has his own special gift
    And you know this was meant to be true
    And if you don't underestimate me
    I won't underestimate you
    Last edited by gumbomoop; 05-27-2021 at 03:10 PM.

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