Okay, so I’ll get the Dylan out of the way and start with two Dylan songs that perhaps you don’t know and then we can move on to other stuff that perhaps you don’t know, or if you do, you have some thoughts on it. Here, is the List of the Moment, Volume 6. I warn you, there are themes here and two artists are mentioned twice, but hey, they’re on the list and we must be honest, if nothing else, for what would we be if not honest here… s.r.p.
“It’s All Over Now Baby Blue” by Bob Dylan – Seems appropriate to the moment, especially if you have the live bootleg version in which he talks about “modern-day Goliaths.” The lyrics bear out the message and the mournful tune of the song seems to bear out a warning to us.
The carpet too is moving under you…
but it’s all over now, baby blue
Whether or not the song was intended as a political piece or not, Dylan would likely deny it and he ought to know, the song still rings with the political and from Dylan’s preface at this one show, it would seem to bear out what he says originally.
All that said… – I have it on good authority that the song is primarily about, on the surface, a break up, and more than that, about the end of a phase of Dylan’s own life, both of which make good sense. And, more, Dylan is notoriously apolitical and the lyrics also bear out what my sources tell me – that this is about moving from one phase to another. However you interpret, listen and check it out because it’s one of his finest ever. To me, this song is most likely about the end of a phase in Dylan’s life but hey, that’s my own interpretation and I think there are so many interpretations of Dylan’s songs that it’s hard to say which is right or wrong. Personally, I (perhaps foolishly) trust Dylan when he says that this song is not political… but this could be just my own naivte.
“One More Weekend” by Bob Dylan – How can you not love this song? It’s obvious what it’s about, or it is to me anyway, and you’d have to be rather thick to not ‘get it’ but who knows. It could just be my filthy mind. Either way, here is one of Dylan’s best songs (but aren’t they all – I mean, how in god’s name do you choose a favorite Dylan song? I have so many. I can’t choose and I pretty much know them all quite well. Still, this one ranks and if you think Dylan is “just a folk singer” then you need to revise that and listen to some of his other work, especially his more recent work.
Comin’ and goin’ like a rabbit in the wood
I’m happy just to see you darlin’ lookin’ so good
One more weekend… one more weekend with you.
“Why’d Ya Do It” by Marianne Faithful – I put this on for my dear friend who had never heard this song before (a sin in itself). And yes, it’s an embittered and nasty song, but who hasn’t been there? I mean, haven’t we all had that not so great break-up and while some are amicable or end in the final account amicably, they often go through a tough period. But this song is more about infidelity and it sounds like, staying together, which is interesting in itself. Not many can do such a thing, and if she did manage to pull it off, then I’m not sure if I should say “bully for her” or “oh, shit.” Either way, I’ve never heard a revenge song done so well. So if you’re in the midst of an evil break-up and happen to be a woman, then check this one out. It’s on Broken English, I believe, which is a pretty good album.
“Bled White” by Elliott Smith – What a sin that he committed suicide, or the rumor, or investigation, or whatever that it may have been a murder. (I heard this recently and am no longer sure what to believe – it’s thrown me off balance). To my mind, Smith committed suicide, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. I love this song for it’s contradictions in some ways. It starts in an almost uplifting way and then proceeds into a “don’t you dare disturb me… don’t complicate my piece of mind” and “But I’m not fucked not quite…” leaving us to wonder what the song is really about. I think I know, but then I change my mind. Okay, so a theme going here in this week’s list, i admit, two Dylan and two Elliott Smiths — Sorry about that, but they’re on the list!!
“Say Yes” by Elliot Smith – how can you say No when listening to this song? All I want to do is say Yes Yes Yes, to whatever the question may be. Maybe it’s my maternal instinct coming out. Maybe it’s just a love of any man who would so pleadingly and earnestly, or seemingly earnestly, ask the question or plead “Say yes…” – it makes me want to say “yes” as if there is so much more depending on this than what may seem obvious or on the surface and in this way, I want to just say yes because it would offer some kind of sanctuary or salvation – or so it would seem and so it feels to me.
“In a Funny Way” by Mercury Rev – Talk about love and optimism and a bit of confusion, which is what love is, after all, then this song has to be about those things. I can’t decide if it’s about friendship, admiration, love, or what. It seems to be a fair amount about fascination and that to me is fascinating in and of itself. I like that the singer is able to put into words what he finds so fascinating about this woman, and in a way that is so beautiful. The fact that Laurel Canyon used it didn’t hurt because it helped me visualize it more and I actually liked this film. All in all a good group and a good song.
“Kiss Me On The Bus” by The Replacements – Have i put this on the List before? I don’t think so, though it’s a favorite and is on this week’s list. I can’t think of many songs that are so full of such raw sexual desire, so absolutely unhidden, and just totally out there. But then, we are talking about The Replacements, not known for their subtlety. All in all, a great group, who I’ve made no secret of loving (and Alex Chilton and Big Star and Paul Westerberg.)
But this song appeals, as I said, because of it’s raw desire and maybe that’s just how we’ve all felt at some time with someone we do not know – “kiss me, on the bus…” with someone we don’t know. I dunno. I can’t speak for anyone else. I think so many people have felt this way – I’ve heard as much: that people pass in the street and see each other as “potential” so why not then “on the bus?”
If you know how I felt now
you wouldn’t ask so adult now
hurry hurry, here comes my stop…
It may be juvenile but hey, what’s wrong with that. In fact, I see everything right with that.
“We Walk the Same Line” by Everything but the Girl – An uplifting song and one that, during a certain time in my life, I certainly needed to hear. I remember a good friend of mine had been hit by a car, was in a coma, and not recoverable in any way that was going to be (according to our sources) meaningful. And what I remember is going to the hospital almost every day, going to work the next day, being dead tired, getting up and starting all over again. And then I remember my friend, Melissa, who had a key to my place and who had not heard from me, came up to check on me and found me passed out. I was asleep on my bed in my suit with my computer next to me, just out from fatigue. She put this song on the boom box, and it meant the world to me. It meant someone understood as much as they could and sometimes that’s all you need. So if you ask me what that song is about, to me, it’s about someone understanding in ways that are curious and odd yet still understanding regardless. I can think of few things better than that in this life. Everything on this album is worth having and the album is Amplified Heart.
Another curious list, I do know, and perhaps gentler (a kinder gentler list?), but one that is, as ever, honest and heartfelt.
Looking forward to your comments and thoughts.
Thanks for listening.