Tuesday, January 29, 2008

O the Bob Dylanses

Last week Brian and I saw I'm Not There, the film based on the many personae of Bob Dylan. It was an excellent film that anyone could appreciate, as it studies the many personalities we all inhabit in one life time. They all give part of the truth, but none tell it in entirety. As a Dylan fan, I got many of the jokes and lyric references, but it truly is a study of who one individual is, and that various perspectives on a person never reveal the whole person. Sadly, a couple days later, the talented Heath Ledger died, but I imagine most people are tired of hearing about this. Let me merely say it moves me when anyone my age dies, and it's sad when I consider that person a talented artist, though I do not pretend that I ever knew him in any real way. Just a fan.
May the circle of life continue, cheesy though it is. I myself have inhabited a new role in my life: I am an aunt. My brother-in-law and his wife have a new baby boy. Unfortunately, he was born six weeks early after his mother was hospitalized Thursday due to high blood pressure and protein levels. He was born Saturday via emergency C-section, and his mother is in pain recovering, but doing fine. The little one has had a tough time: yesterday his lung collapsed and he had some work done. Though he's a bit small, and a bit weak, it looks as though he's going to make a full recovery. Despite concern, Brian and I are ecstatic to have a nephew. Some of you who know how I feel about babies might be a bit sceptical, but let me iterate how excited I am to spoil and love a baby that I don't have to take care of on a daily basis.

To bring a little world perspective and philosophy to this stuff, I've decided to list my Top 5 Bob Dylan songs, in no particular order:

1. With God on Our Side

This song contributed more to my personal religious and moral beliefs than any other. I recall the exact moment I heard it (at my crappy office job nearly a decade ago) and realized my most basic moral standpoint on politics and organized religion. I hope everyone, no matter their beliefs, can take something from such simple words.

2. Boots of Spanish Leather

I tend to really respect love songs with sad endings for some reason, I find them empowering. I listened to this song a lot at a time when I made one of the best decisions of my life. Oh, and I also heard a lot of Weezer's "The World has Turned and Left Me Here." Hooray for heartache and the sobering wisdom that follows.

3. Tangled Up in Blue

Off my favorite Dylan record, Blood on the Tracks, this is a love story--an entire love story from first look to the afterthoughts of the crumbling relationship. I hope Brian does not take it too personally that I love divorce albums. Check out Paul Simon's Graceland.

4. Like a Rolling Stone

You can never go home again. I don't even no where my home is. Like in "Masters of War," no one does bitter better than Dylan, but that's because he adds insight and wisdom to an otherwise complicated situation. If you can get through his mumbling, the lyrics are great.

5. The Times They Are A-Changin'

This title track is the third on this list from this album, yet I'd never say it was my favorite Dylan ablum. It's more that the songs on Dylan's early records work so well as individual poems, while his later work uses entire albums to tell a story. This is the classic that grabbed me back when I heard the Simon & Garfunkel cover during the end credits of The Wonder Years. What more can I say? The world we live in is cyclical. We can only try our best, just like every generation before us.


Maggie said...

Favorite Bob Dylan Lyrics/Quotes:

1. "The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind."--cliche I know, but I still stop and think when I hear that line.

2. "You play with my world like it's your little toy. You put a gun in my hand and you hide from my eyes."--"Masters of War": greatest. protest. song. ever.

3. "You might say that I'm young, you might say I'm unlearned, but there's one thing I know, even Jesus would never forgive what you do."--let me reiterate: greatest. protest. song. ever.

4. "A poem is a naked person....some people say that I am a poet."

5. "Yesterday's just a memory, tomorrow is never what it's supposed to be and I need you."--"Don't Fall Apart On Me Tonight" Incredibly profound. Incredibly depressing.

ET said...

Top 5 favorite movies (yes, it's even harder than the top 10!)

1) Magnolia
2) Playing By Heart
3) I Heart Huckabees
4) Pieces of April
5) Home for the Holidays

(there is no room for all the sci-fi that i like)

Taylor said...

I thought of you after I saw that movie - wasn't Cate Blanchette UNbelieveable. Simply amazing. I see that you are perhaps more a fan of the "Protest singer" Dylan. While I do enjoy that "side" of Dylan, I have to say, the more I see him as a genuine rock & roll singer, the better I like him. But then, you did enjoy folk in general, at least more than me. I am honestly surprised, Meg that you have only one song from the "rock" era.

My top five would HAVE to include Visions of Johanna, one of the greatest songs ever, ever, ever. Gosh, now you've got me thinking... I might have to get back to you on this one.