Home Uncategorized Bob Dylan's "Blood On The Tracks", Part 3: The Scandalous Affairs of...

Bob Dylan's "Blood On The Tracks", Part 3: The Scandalous Affairs of Poets


When you think about it you'll realize very few lyricists are well read enough to make reference to other poets in their own lyrics and make it sound so natural, so appropriate. Only Paul Simon immediately comes to mind when he wrote in "The Dangling Conversation", "And you read your Emily Dickinson and I my Robert Frost". In one of his songs from "Blood on the Tracks", however, Bob Dylan equals Simon, poet for poet. Let's keep going:

You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go: In complete contrast to the venom that was "Idiot Wind" this song is wistful and loving. It's as if Dylan is saying simply in his own inimitable way, "We should be together but you're leaving and I will be alone when you do". The most powerful image in the song is the reference to the poet Verlaine and Rimbaud (Sample lyric: "Situations have ended sad. Relationships have all been bad. scenes to this affair ").

The soap opera referred to was a torrid, volatile relationship between Frenchman Paul Verlaine and the much younger Jean Rimbaud, who Victor Hugo once described as "an infant Shakespeare". The elder Verlaine was already married to a young wife who was pregnant when the two poets met. The two men began a scandalous affair, subsequently moving to London where they later broke up. Verlaine returned to Paris but missed the younger man and promptly invited the younger Rimbaud to a Brussels Hotel. The reunion went poorly, marked by arguments and alcohol. Finally Verlaine bought a revolver and ammunition and shot Rimbaud in a drunken rage, one shot missing, the other wounding a wrist (when Dylan sings in the very first verse "I've been shooting in the dark too long" he might have been referring to this incident). Verlaine was arrested and, despite the withdrawal of charges by Rimbaud, sentenced to two years in prison. Dylan is comparing the previous loves of his life to the volcanic ill-fated passion that exists between the two men. Then he declares that his current love completely out-shadows all the previous ones. How much more lyrical power can you concentrate into so few words? That's why Dylan is Dylan.

Meet Me in the Morning: Standard twelve bar blues. In this simple but heartfelt tune Dylan and the subject of the song have been separated. He has been morose since her departure (Sample Lyric: "They say the darkest hour is right before the dawn. Now he is imploring his love to join him for a new morning, not only of the day but hopefully for their relationship.

Source by Garrett Sawyer


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