Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Long and Wasted Years -- Another Dylan Lament

Tonight Bob Dylan will be performing live at the Orpheum in Minneapolis. It will be the first of three nights home here in his home state. Based on reviews from his recent shows in Denver, Oakland and Seattle, Dylan fans will be treated to another round of great music. The playlist may not be significantly altered from last year's Americanarama tour, but the faithful have much to look forward.

Here are a few extracts from recent reviews at BobLinks.com:

Don't You Dare Miss It! 11/1/14.
~Bob Storch, Denver show review

People showed up for a concert last night.
But instead of a concert, they were treated to an epic Performance - as Bob Dylan and his band (mostly Bob) wowed the audience with a tight, epic show at the Paramount Theater in Oakland.
~James Strohecker review

Three shows in, this tour is about digging the subtleties, rather than expecting any big song surprises. Once again, Bob is challenging his fans to hear him in a new way. Not as a greatest hits act, but as a current artist proudly performing his later work.
~Steve Rostkoski, Seattle shows

Dylan continues to perform a mixed set featuring a few songs from each period of his long career, and at least five songs from his last studio album Tempest, including Duquesne Whistle, Pay In Blood, Early Roman Kings, Scarlet Town and Long and Wasted Years.

Long and Wasted Years is the fourth cut on side A of Tempest. It follows Narrow Way, a lithe uptempo piece that is easy to get right into. What striking about Long and Wasted Years is the recurring waterfall cycle that serves as the musical accompaniment. It's like a perpetual motion machine, except fluid, continuously tumbling down the rocks, a gentle cascade that washes everything away again and again.

In some ways, though in a completely different manner, it is similar to We're Going Wrong by Cream, a powerful ungirding cycle of building emotion with no real resolution. Perhaps, we can even take the fourth movement of Tschaikovsy's Sixth Symphony as yet another variation of the emotional trauma that music can stir in the heart. The effect is of a slow ebbing away of hope, with no strength to resist the inevitable.

When Tempest came out I found myself moved by this song, especially the musical accompaniment that forms its backdrop. In the context of tonight's concert, I would very much be interested in hearing how it is performed.

Here are the lyrics, courtesy Metrolyrics as I did not see them on the BobDylan.com website this morning.

Long and Wasted Years

it's been such a long long time
since we loved each other when our hearts were true
one time, for one brief day, i was the man for you

last night i heard you talkin' in your sleep
saying things you shouldn't say, oh baby
you just may have to go to jail someday

is there a place we can go, is there anybody we can see?
it's the same for you as it is for me

i ain't seen my family in twenty years
that ain't easy to understand, they may be dead by now
i lost track of 'em after they lost their land

shake it up baby, twist and shout
you know what it's all about
what you doing out there in the sun anyway?
don't you know, the sun can burn your brains right out

my enemy crashed into the dust
stopped dead in his tracks and he lost his lust
he was run down hard and he broke apart
he died in shame, he had an iron heart

i wear dark glasses to cover my eyes
there are secrets in em that i can't disguise
come back baby
if i hurt your feelings, i apologize

two trains running side by side, forty miles wide
down the eastern line
you don't have to go, i just came to you because you're a friend of mine

i think that when my back was turned,
the whole world behind me burned
it's been a while,
since we walked down that long, long aisle

we cried on a cold and frosty morn,
we cried because our souls were torn
so much for tears
so much for these long and wasted years.

* * * *

If you make it to the Orpheum I'll look forward to hearing what you thought of the show.

Meantime, let it roll.

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