Thursday, October 13, 2016

Bob Dylan, Nobel Prize and "Sad eyed lady of the lowlands"


Bob Dylan was presented the Nobel Prize in Literature today.  

Who would have believed that when he came on the scene singing "Blowing in the wind"? 

Dylan was really a great lyricist and many of his songs are just as fresh as ever.   He is indeed one of the greatest songwriters of the last 60 years.

Scott Johnson captured it this way:   
"He somehow absorbed the folk, rock, country and blues traditions as a precocious young man growing up in Hibbing, Minnesota, and then recapitulated them in his own voice many times over while adding a twist of modernist poetry to the mix."
I can't pick one Dylan song.  However, there is no doubt that Joan Baez and Peter, Paul & Mary are the best at interpreting Dylan songs.   The Byrds are good too!

Many years ago, Joan Baez released "Any Day Now", a must album for anyone who loves Dylan songs.

"Sad eyed of the lowlands" is very long but wonderful.  It's more like a long poem rather than a pop song.

"Song facts" quotes Dylan saying that this was one of his best songs.   I agree for sure about this being one of Dylan's best songs.






"With your mercury mouth in the missionary times,
And your eyes like smoke and your prayers like rhymes,
And your silver cross, and your voice like chimes,
Oh, who do they think could bury you? 
With your pockets well protected at last, 
And your streetcar visions which you place on the grass, 
And your flesh like silk, and your face like glass,
Who could they get to ever carry you? Sad-eyed lady of the lowlands,
Where the sad-eyed prophet says that no man comes,
My warehouse eyes, my Arabian drums,
Should I put them by your gate, Or, sad-eyed lady, should I wait?
With your sheets like metal and your belt like lace,
And your deck of cards missing the jack and the ace,
And your basement clothes and your hollow face,
Who among them can think he could outguess you?
With your silhouette when the sunlight dimsInto your eyes 
where the moonlight swims,And your match-book songs and your gypsy hymns,
Who among them would try to impress you?
Sad-eyed lady of the lowlands,Where the sad-eyed prophet says 
that no man comes,My warehouse eyes, my Arabian drums,
Should I leave them by your gate,Or, sad-eyed lady, should I wait?
The kings of Tyrus with their convict list
Are waiting in line for their geranium kiss,
And you wouldn't know it would happen like this,
But who among them really wants just to kiss you?
With your childhood flames on your midnight rug,
And your Spanish manners and your mother's drugs,
And your cowboy mouth and your curfew plugs,
Who among them do you think could resist you?
Sad-eyed lady of the lowlands,Where the sad-eyed prophet says that no man comes,My warehouse eyes, my Arabian drums,
Should I leave them by your gate,Or, sad-eyed lady, should I wait?
Oh, the farmers and the businessmen, they all did decide
To show you where the dead angels were that they used to hide.
But why did they pick you to sympathize with their side?
Oh, how could they ever mistake you?
They wished you'd accepted the blame for the farm,
But with the sea at your feet and the phony false alarm,
And with the child of a hoodlum wrapped up in your arms,
How could they ever have persuade you?Sad-eyed lady of the lowlands,
Where the sad-eyed prophet says that no man comes,
My warehouse eyes, my Arabian drums,Should I leave them by your gate,
Or, sad-eyed lady, should I wait?
With your sheet-metal memory of Cannery Row,
And your magazine-husband who one day just had to go,
And your gentleness now, which you just can't help but show,
Who among them do you think would employ you?
Now you stand with your thief, you're on his parole
With your holy medallion in your fingers now that hold,
And your saintlike face and your ghostlike soul,
Oh, who among them ciould ever think he could destroy you?
Sad-eyed lady of the lowlands,
Where the sad-eyed prophet says that no man comes,
My warehouse eyes, my Arabian drums,
Should I leave them by your gate, Or, sad-eyed lady, should I wait?....."



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