Tag Archives: Tangled Up In Blue

Out Into the Blue

In madness, the warped mind twists and snakes upwards towards the light,
Yet remains forevermore in a dark and sickly night.
There I was, though with a memory that knew not where to start,
In this forest, black and ominous, that keeps you and I apart.
Running through the smothering haze of murky, poisoned fumes,
Where the trees cover a pallid sky and the end always looms,
I heard the voices shouting screaming cursing me for I,
I never knew the warmth that rested in a lover’s eye.
And though my dreams had offered once a chance I would be saved,
Now I felt my dreams would only haunt me to the grave.
All I’ve ever wanted is to run out into the blue,
And laugh and sing with all the rest but most of all see you.
See you and give you what the world could never give to me,
To love and dance and shine for everyone we’d ever see.
But I can’t seem to run away, this forest holds me close,
That sickly sweet and slithering comfort for which I am the host.
There’s something reassuring when you cannot run away,
The knowledge that tomorrow is no different than today.
But still I wonder, still I wonder, if there was a way,
Would I take the leap of faith or like all else just pass away?

It seemed like years I had been stumbling around here in the dark,
In this forest, in this prison ship I could never disembark.
When suddenly my eyesight left me, no it was just light,
Light that blinded me; I had forgotten day could follow night.
Behind me rose the towering trees, sentinels of the dusk,
But before me lay a sight I didn’t believe that I could trust.
A river, soft and mellow, meandering quietly through the day,
And far across the turquoise water, I saw the angels lay.
I was enveloped with a wonder known only to children’s minds,
By what miracle had I been brought here, only of my kind.
As I was watching ancestral spirits praying to the dawn,
A voice that seemed to come from me began to sing a song.
I heard of riches imagination would never dare to dream,
And lands where all the peoples would bow down just to me.
Then another voice said “It’s a lie” and doubt began to creep,
Inside my mind like nightmares do when children try to sleep.
Perhaps it was too good to be true, would all this wealth and power,
Really bring me happiness during my final hour?
So there I lay, a battlefield of cold lust and self-doubt,
Beside this river whose turquoise water seemed the only offer out.

But lo, what sound could wake me from this troubled reverie?
A new voice and a new song now were drifting on the breeze.
I couldn’t place the origin nor could I hear the words,
But there was something in the tune that I had never before heard.
It held a warmth and kindness, enough to soothe a troubled soul,
It didn’t need cold logic and it didn’t demand control.
Nor too were doubt and mistrust tones that echoed through my brain,
Those hallmarks of the mind which has embraced the insane.
Instead there was a nakedness and honesty inside,
The song which never claimed to have anything to hide.
Soon the river’s waters began to ripple and then she came,
Sailing in a boat with room for two, and one spot still remained.
I felt my heart begin to race, “Was this the chance I sought?
Salvation from the loneliness that clouds my every thought?”
The other voices began to sense a changing deep inside,
And soon they tried to warn me of the dangers of the ride.
“That boat will bring you nowhere, if you think that you’re trapped now,
Just imagine how hard life will be with no friends but the clouds.”
But the deceit could not be hidden from their poisonous words,
While in your song the purity of love was all I heard.

The boat pulled up along the shore, you beckoned me aboard,
That face that held a beauty I had so long adored.
Maybe all the doubts are true, but for what I desire most,
If in some universe there is a chance, I stepped off of the coast.
Into the boat and silence was the only sound I heard,
The voices that had plagued me had vanished without a word.
I looked at her, she looked at me, we pushed off from the shore,
With no doubts now that life could change and love last evermore.

Bob Dylan: The Top Ten Songs

File:Bob Dylan in November 1963.jpg

If you come to this blog with any regularity, it will soon become evident that I love Bob Dylan. The ultimate counterculture icon, the master poet, Dylan wrote the book on writing your own book. Following are my picks for the top ten Bob Dylan songs.

10. Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door: Covered many times but equaled by none, my one quarrel with this song is it’s over before it’s even begun. Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door has a timeless quality seemingly given by Heaven itself.

9. Not Dark Yet: A masterpiece of later-era Dylan, Not Dark Yet is a beautiful musing on life and death and the meeting of the two. The fatalist refrain, along with producer Daniel Lanois’ haunting arrangement, give this song a great power and help it rank up with Dylan’s early classics.

8. Blowin’ In the Wind: No surpirse here, Blowin’ In the Wind put Dylan on the map and in one fell swoop positioned him to be spokesman of a generation. “The Freeweheelin’ Bob Dylan” is a remarkable leap forward from his eponymous debut album, and he would never look back.

7. Like A Rolling Stone: This song reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100. There’s a fact which will never cease to amaze and sadden me. Imagine a six minute long, highly erudite put-down being one of the top singles in today’s America. Neither can I.

6. Positively 4th Street: Speaking of highly erudite put-down songs, Positively 4th Street is surely one of the meanest pop songs ever recorded. Dylan, it might be said, did not bid a fond farewell to his former comrades in the folk movement.

5. Tangled Up In Blue: Ostensibly about Dylan’s marital breakdown, Tangled Up In Blue is a non-linear whirlwind of imagery and metaphors that speaks to more than just a singular event.

4. It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue: Dylan’s farewell to the folk revival is sad? Critical? Melancholy? Hopeful? Perhaps it is all those things. What can’t be denied is that this song stands as yet another towering achievement in Dylan’s repertoire of lyrical mastery.

3. The Times They Are A-Changin’: The ultimate protest anthem. If this song doesn’t make you want to go out and fight for change, nothing will.

2. Mr. Tambourine Man: Turned into the foremost song of folk-rock by The Byrds, Dylan’s original version of Mr. Tambourine Man contains three extra verses of lyrical beauty. If you haven’t heard it, your to-do list just got one item bigger.

1. Desolation Row: Perhaps no song has so entranced me as did Desolation Row. The first time I heard it, I proceeded to play it on repeat for upwards of four hours. It gave me chills, despite the fact that the lyrics were as oblique and eccentric as any Dylan ever wrote. All I know is when I die, I hope they send me to Desolation Row.

(Warning: Insultingly obvious statement follows) Well, that’s the list. Leave any thoughts or comments or anything else anywhere you want. Preferably in the comments section though. Get stuffed!