Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Went To See The Gypsy

Sitting here at the airport waiting to catch a plane, listening to Bob Dylan's New Morning album of 1970. Some called the album lightweight when it came out, but I think it has a lot of very fine songs, and a sweet sound with plenty to take away.

So I'm sitting here listening to Went To See The Gypsy, which many people say was about an encounter with Elvis, reading this meaning into lines like, "He did it in Las Vegas and he can do it here." The last two nights I've been staying at the Hilton, Elvis' stomping ground out here. Elvis paid annual homage to his fans here in the Mecca of Decadence during the month of August.

I personally love the chord structures and kinetic keyboard playfulness in the music even apart from the lyrics themselves. It's musically interesting with the building in of organ chords overlaying the tune, and the squirelly way the guitar gets a-pickin' as the song picks up.

The song describes an incident in "a little Minnesota town" and this, too, fits my mood today as I wait for the next flight to bring me home to my own little Minnesota town.

I didn't see Elvis or his ghost while I was here the past two days, but he did leave a lot of fingerprints.

Went To See The Gypsy

Went to see the gypsy
Stayin’ in a big hotel
He smiled when he saw me coming
And he said, “Well, well, well”
His room was dark and crowded
Lights were low and dim
“How are you?” he said to me
I said it back to him

I went down to the lobby
To make a small call out
A pretty dancing girl was there
And she began to shout
“Go on back to see the gypsy
He can move you from the rear
Drive you from your fear
Bring you through the mirror
He did it in Las Vegas
And he can do it here”

Outside the lights were shining
On the river of tears
I watched them from the distance
With music in my ears

I went back to see the gypsy
It was nearly early dawn
The gypsy’s door was open wide
But the gypsy was gone
And that pretty dancing girl
She could not be found
So I watched that sun come rising
From that little Minnesota town

Copyright © 1970 by Big Sky Music; renewed 1998 by Big Sky Music

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