Author Archives: TonyAttwood

She’s my baby: a Dylan song and a hit for the Wilburys. The meaning and the music

By Tony Attwood Every member of the Wilburys is credited with co-writing this song which was the opening of Volume 3 and the first single hit for the band from the album. It is listed as a Dylan composition on … Continue reading

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Shake Shake Mama: How Dylan’s song leads us a merry dance of non-meaning.

by Tony Attwood Shake Shake Mama, from Together through life, is a classic variant blues song for which the lyrics were written by Bob Dylan and Robert Hunter (of Grateful Dead fame), the music being credited to Bob Dylan.   … Continue reading

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1989: Bob Dylan stalked by the darkness

By Tony Attwood 1989 for Bob Dylan was the year of visiting dark places both real and imagined.  A year of getting stuck in the mud.  A year of dreams, wherein reality fades in and out until finally it can’t … Continue reading

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Wilbury’s Seven Deadly Sins: the music, the meaning, the craving for something better

by Tony Attwood Seven Deadly Sins is one of the songs on Travelling Wilburys Vol 3 that has the sound and feel of being a Dylan song.  Indeed the video (below) makes this quite clear in the way that it … Continue reading

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Charles Swinburne, Wallace Stevens, And The Jack Of Hearts

By Larry Fyffe In a poker game called ‘poetry’, French Symbolists card-holders turn the rules of the Romantic Transcendentalist players upside down: the Queen of Spades is topped by the Jack of Arts. In other words, the organic works of … Continue reading

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Bye and bye: Dylan quotes Shakespeare, finds Billie Holliday and has a new chord to play with.

by Tony Attwood It seems to me there are two explanations here.  Either I don’t quite see the point of Bye and Bye beyond it being a chance to quote some Shakespeare, sing a bit of a Billie Holliday song, … Continue reading

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The Never-Ending Art Of Becoming: Bob Dylan And Paul Verlaine

The Never-Ending Art Of Becoming: Bob Dylan And Paul Verlaine By Larry Fyffe Astounding the number of people, including critics of popular music, who listen to the lyrics of Bob Dylan’s songs, and then assert, and with pride of the … Continue reading

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Bob Dylan And Arthur Rimbaud

Bob  Dylan And Arthur Rimbaud By Larry Fyffe In the sunlight, able to roam the organic countryside in his youth, Bob Dylan’s naturally drawn to the poetry of the Romantic nature poets, i.e., Robert Burns: “Well my heart’s in the … Continue reading

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Bob Dylan in 1987/8. Three different but connected triumphs but then along came the Wilburys

By Tony Attwood This article was originally just about 1987 but on 13 May 2017 was re-written to take in 1988 as well, and answer the (very justifiable question) about the dating of songs around the time of Political World … Continue reading

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Bob Dylan and Rebellion of the Devil

By Larry Fyffe The feeling of angst and loneliness wrought by a society of spectator-consumers, with its ‘hollow men’, and its culture of tiresome repetition, TS Eliot captures through the images he uses in his poetry: “In the room the … Continue reading

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Lonesome Day Blues: the meanings behind the Bob Dylan song

by Tony Attwood This 12 bar blues variation comes from Love and Theft, and was played 159 times on stage between 2001 to 2016.  Clearly Bob enjoyed it, as he always does with these blues variations. In relation to this … Continue reading

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The Pain in the Window

By Larry Fyffe An individual can peer through the windows of his or her house, as if these glassed constructions were its eyes, and observe outside natural forces, and people, from which one is sheltered. The structure of these man-made objects, … Continue reading

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Air/Wind Symbolism in the song lyrics of Bob Dylan

By Larry Fyffe In the poems containing William Blake’s personal mythology, Air/Wind represents the breath of life within the individual, the vitalistic spirit, tangled up in an unbalanced state along with three other elements: Water (power), Fire (emotion), and Earth … Continue reading

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“I’m your teenage prayer”. What are Bob Dylan and the guys playing at?

By Tony Attwood I have often talked with friends about the fact that none of us knows what goes on in the parts of the world around us which are out of our normal vision.  You might have an idea … Continue reading

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Mother Earth And Bob Dylan

By Larry Fyffe As far as PreRomantic poet William Blake was concerned, the essential elements composing the Universe  (earth, air, water, and fire), poetically speaking, are unbalanced within the human psyche: “Does the spring hide its joy When buds and blossoms … Continue reading

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Bob Dylan in 1986: Experiment, experiment, experiment, genius, ignore

By Tony Attwood Going back over the songs of 1986 and re-reading my reviews has been very frustrating, as the links I provided to the two highlights of the year are now broken.  The songs in question are Rock em Dead and To … Continue reading

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Bob Dylan: Symbolism Of Fire

By Larry Fyffe Poet William Blake transforms the ‘element’ of fire into metaphor, into a symbol, for the physical sexual urge, and for the mental drive of the artistic imagination that is derived therefrom: “Tyger, tyger, burning bright In the … Continue reading

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Dreamin of you: the Dylan song created between Mississippi and Not Dark Yet.

by Tony Attwood Given that in the months before writing Dreamin of you Dylan wrote Mississippi and in the months after wrote Not Dark Yet there is a good reason to listen to this song. It comes from a period when Bob was … Continue reading

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Bob Dylan Confronts Gothicism In The Ruins Of Your Balcony

By Larry Fyffe The influence of so-called ‘highbrow’ poetry on the mainline music industry’s production of popular music, including rock ‘n roll, significantly increases with the emergence of Bob Dylan on the scene. The quality of song lyrics offered to … Continue reading

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Visions of Johanna: The Old Crow Medicine Show version of Dylan’s masterpiece has me in tears.

By Tony Attwood I’m quite fast at writing articles and adverts, which is what I mostly do for a living.  I’m fairly fast at non-fiction books too.   But novels… that’s where I slow down.  I’ve had three novels published, … Continue reading

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