Thursday, October 1, 2020

Dylan Lines for Our Covid Times

This spring I was planning to write about the song "The Groom's Still Waiting at the Altar" because sometime in the past year I saw another "Top 50 Dylan Songs" and this song was on that list. That intrigued me because I have seen seemingly dozens of Top Dylan Songs lists and can't ever recall this tune from Shot of Love being included. It is, however, a real rocker and does indeed have a nice intensity. 

Last night when I was reading through the lyrics at the Bob Dylan site, I noticed that the words there did not match the lyrics as I remembered them (the ones implanted in my head from countless listenings.) So I went and played the song while reading the lyrics there. Sure enough, he twiddled some lines in several of the choruses. 

Ironically, what threw me off from writing about the song earlier this year was this lline here: 
Put your hand on my head babe, do I have a temperature?

It's a pandemic type of line. All over the world there are places where people are taking monitoring other peoples' temps. My brother-in-law said they measured the temperatures on his forehead before he could go into the market, (or was it a school where he taught) in Thailand.

This led to me assembling some other lines for our Covid times. 

The song title "Things Have Changed" can certainly be applied to 2020. Especially these lines from the chorus: People are crazy, times are strange

Speaking of change, the chorus of this classic is still relevant: The times, they are a-changin'

The title of his 2003 film was Masked and Anonymous. Was it a prophecy?

Then there's this line from "Visions of Johanna" that applies to the lockdown and especially it's impact on people who were traveling this spring and couldn't get home.

We sit here stranded, though we’re all doin’ our best to deny it.

The Apocalyptic "All Along the Watchtower" begins with a nod to our strange times:
“There must be some way out of here,” said the joker to the thief
“There’s too much confusion, I can’t get no relief

From that same album (John Wesley Harding) we have yet another relevant song. With so many people being laid off, there have no doubt been many appeals like this one:
Dear landlord
Please don’t dismiss my case I’m not about to argue I’m not about to move to no other place

On Love and Theft the song "Sugar Baby" has a line that is totally relevant here:
You always got to be prepared but you never know for what

Life can sometimes hit you like a roundhouse right. You really don't see it coming.

The opening stanza from that same song has always be a favorite, and also applies.
I got my back to the sun ’cause the light is too intense I can see what everybody in the world is up against You can’t turn back—you can’t come back, sometimes we push too far One day you’ll open up your eyes and you’ll see where we are

Are you a snowbird who goes South for the winter? This is a warning from "Slow Train Coming":
You could die down here and be just another accident statistic.

This may be out of context but it applies, as well. 
I can make it all match up, I can hold my own
I can deal with the situation right down to the bone
I can survive, I can endure...
Most of the time

How about you?

OK, that's enough. Most of these are off the cuff. Have you had any lines especially jump to mind this year? 

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