Saturday, April 4, 2009


Several years ago, a young man who was playing old Bob Dylan songs in a local park asked me the name of my favorite Dylan album. He expressed surprised when I said without hesitation, "Love and Theft."

In 2001, I looked forward to September 11 because that was day that the first copies of "Love and Theft" were going to be available. Sometime that afternoon, reeling from what had happened that morning, I went out to buy my copy of "Love and Theft." The store was quieter than usual, but the young clerk looked calm and had a smile on his face. I went home and put the CD in the CD player and was startled to hear Bob Dylan singing in a raspy voice:

Tweedle-dee Dum and Tweedle-dee Dee
They're throwing knives into the tree
Two big bags of dead man's bones
Got their noses to the grindstones

Living in the land of Nod
Trustin' their fate to the Hands of God
They pass by so silently
Tweedle-dee Dum and Tweedle-dee Dee

I listened all the way through the CD to the last song which ended with:

Sugar Baby, get on down the line
You ain't got no sense, no how
You went years without me
Might as well keep going now

I played it over and over again that day. I haven't listened to it all the way through for a long time. "Mississippi" is the song that made the deepest impression on me:

Every step of the way we walk the line
Your days are numbered, so are mine
Time is pilin' up, we struggle and we scrape
We're all boxed in, nowhere to escape


But my heart is not weary, it's light and it's free

With the appearance of BOB DYLAN LYRICS: 1962-2001 in bookstores in 2004, it seemed that "Sugar Baby" might stand as Bob Dylan's last published song, but then came the CD titled MODERN TIMES in August of 2006. On April 28, another CD is going to be released. It's called TOGETHER THROUGH LIFE.

Again I'm reminded of my artist friend's words from sometime in the late 1980s. He died of ALS in June of 1991. From his heart, he wrote to me, "We're all in this together." The last time I heard his voice, it was almost impossible to understand what he was saying, but his laughter was as it always was. Pure joy. Pure love of life!

1 comment:

R.L. Bourges said...

I'll have to see if the médiathèque has a copy of that Dylan record. It's a discovery for me. Merci beaucoup, am.

'We're all in this together' - sums it up, doesn't it?

I hadn't noticed the Alfredo Molano quote on your sidebar before. It's wonderful, specially coming from the person who wrote it. (Strange: I just googled up some excellent interviews with him in French and in Spanish, but not a one in English? Though in English, you get his book and a reference to your blog!)

Remember that corny title in the Reader's Digest? 'Laughter the best medicine'? Corny, yes, but true.

With these inspirational words, I leave you to a healthy and pleasant Sunday. :-)