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View Diary: Books Go Boom!   Bob Dylan's Birthday: Are Rock Lyrics Poetry? (243 comments)

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  •  Thanks for an interesting comment. I went and (1+ / 0-)
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    Monsieur Georges

    found the Charlie Pierce post you mentioned. The man claims there are five or six better Dylan songs than Like a Rolling Stone. Firstly, that's heresy; secondly, he has some very good choices. I was particularly impressed by the one I'd never heard, an alternate Blind Willie McTell.

    As for the song Highway 61, when I started this diary, I was planning to include three verses from each of two more songs off that album: Highway 61 and Desolation Row. Aside form the fact that I didn't have time to do that, if I had the diary would have been more than twice as long, and a lot less people would have read it. I'm very pleased with how it worked out - turning up so much in one song, and being rescued and all.

    The opening verse of Highway 61 is perhaps my favorite verse in rock. Perfect pithy storytelling, scary hilarious, and a bucket of cold water thrown on all that's sacred. It is three times as effective if you were brought up on the bible or the Torah.

    Someone who was Dylan's bandleader for years - the guy who translated what Dylan did so the band could try to keep up with him - said that you had to watch Dylan's hands very carefully, and just hang on, as it might well be the only take you got.

    "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

    by Brecht on Sat May 25, 2013 at 08:24:58 PM PDT

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    •  It really is brilliant. I love that he pivots (3+ / 0-)

      the whole thing rhythmically on the "but" at the end of the middle line, which is the only one that isn't end-stopped and that there's no much meaning condensed into that single "but." And, yeah, 16 years of Catholic education with plenty of theology & comparative religion in college definitely adds something to the effect.

      "If you don't read the newspapers, you're uninformed. If you do read the newspapers, you're misinformed." -- M. Twain

      by Oliver St John Gogarty on Sat May 25, 2013 at 08:55:15 PM PDT

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