Author Archives: TonyAttwood

Bob Dylan’s Messiah: Songs Of Light And Darkness

  By Larry Fyffe Though an orthodox Christian awaiting the future return of the Messiah, Romantic poet Samuel Coleridge finds temporary relief from worldly pain – a saviour and messianic fervour in opium: Weave a circle round him thrice And … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

“Dress it up, Better have it all”: Dylan’s incomprehensible song transcribed.

By Tony Attwood “Dress It Up, Better Have It All” (seemingly known originally just as “Better have it all”) is one of those songs that vanished for many a long year, yet were known about by having been on a … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Bob Dylan and William Yeats: Heaven blazing in my head

By Larry Fyffe The poems of William Blake and Percy Shelley influence William Yeats, a Modernist latter-day Romantic poet. Within the electric song lyrics of Bob Dylan, howl the ghosts of William Yeats’ Symbolist poetics: All perform their tragic play … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“All you have to do is dream”. Bob Dylan gets a bit skittish.

By Tony Attwood The first thing to say is that this is not a review of “All I have to do is dream” which was written by Boudleaux Bryant  and recorded by the Everly Brothers.  But just because it is … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Making a liar out of me: Bob Dylan talks directly to his fans

by Tony Attwood In this article the lyrics are taken from those provided in the excellent “Expecting Rain” with a few very minor changes of my own.   A new song by Dylan – or better said, the release of a … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

More on TS Eliot, Walt Whitman, Percy Shelley, and Bob Dylan

  By Larry Fyffe Many of the song lyrics of Bob Dylan reveal the influences of poets TS Eliot, Walt Whitman, and Percy Shelley: When Bob Dylan read a bit of TS Eliot’s ‘Wasteland’ on the air, he introduced the … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Silent Weekend: Bob Dylan confuses the publishers as he tackles narcissism and psychological projection

By Tony Attwood In once sense “Silent Weekend” is quite remarkable, for it is just about the only rock song that I know which deals with narcissism and emotional abuse. The “silent treatment” that the song refers to is usually … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Why do so many musicians rate Dylan as the most influential musician in their lives?

With Dylan, there’s no pinning him down. by Tony Attwood In a rather interesting piece of pop and rock research the American news and culture website Quartz collected data from the AllMusic site on 53,630 artists, of which about 25,600 were … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Bob Dylan’s “Minstrel Boy”: a Basement Tape song or new for the gig?

By Tony Attwood “Minstrel Boy” is an extraordinary Dylan song that really doesn’t sound like a Dylan composition.  Indeed if I were to hear it without any knowledge of the song, I don’t think I’d guess it was Dylan at … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Bob Dylan goes fishing. “Don’t ya tell Henry”

By Tony Attwood Quite why the wonderful people at Sony Music, Columbia Music and BobDylan.com collectively chose to put the “alternate version” of “Don’t ya tell Henry” on The Bootleg Series 11 is something that I’ve never been that sure … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dylan’s “Baby won’t you be my baby”: from parental restrictions to the end of the world

by Tony Attwood One of the great things about writing reviews of some of the more obscure Dylan songs from the Basement Tapes era is the tracing back of the influences playing on Bob’s mind as he quickly made up … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Bob Dylan And The Beat Poetry Of Vachel Lindsay

  by Larry Fyffe The spoken Romantic ‘Beat Poetry’ of Vachel Lindsay, a social conservative who thinks of America as a decadent Babylon, presents black Africans and American ‘Indians’ as ‘noble savages’ from another world. He contrasts the ideals that … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Bob Dylan’s ultimate message: there is nothing you can do, nothing will be changed.

By Tony Attwood I was writing recently about lines from Bob Dylan which are taken from within his songs (ie not titles or opening lines) and which really have moved me. And pondering whether I could take this any further … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments

Get your rocks off: the origins, the meanings and the future of Bob Dylan’s song

By Tony Attwood When discussing “Times they are a changing” with a journalist from Melody Maker magazine Dylan is reported to have said that the song was “about the person who doesn’t take you seriously but expects you to take him … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Bob Dylan And Bottichelli, DaVinci, Delacroix, Duchamp, Picasso, And Van Gogh

Bob Dylan And Bottichelli, DaVinci, Delacroix, Duchamp, Picasso, And Van Gogh by Larry Fyffe As well as songs, poems, short stories, novels, and movies, Bob Dylan draws upon paintings in a number of his Freudian Surrealistic song lyrics: Inside the … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Bob Dylan Introduces American Gothic To Folk Rock

  by Larry Fyffe There are English Romantic stories that idealise real or fabled characters from past history, like Robin Hood, who stands up for equity and justice in a society controlled by an aristocracy. Romantic Transcendentalists look back to … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Crash on the Levee (Down in the Flood): unpicking the message in Bob Dylan’s song

by Tony Attwood There are two versions of this song recorded: the Basement Tapes version (from 1967 and re-issued in 1975), and the Greatest Hits version in 1971. It was first played in concert in March 1995, and played off … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Six of Bob Dylan’s greatest internal lines: words from inside the poet’s thoughts

By Tony Attwood Let me confess, with this article I am really stepping out into a strange world – or perhaps better said I am offering up access to the strange world that I sometimes inhabit.  A world of lines … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Untangling Bob Dylan’s two versions of “Santa Fe”

  By Tony Attwood Updated 30 September to clarify the issue of the two versions of Santa Fe on the bootleg series. The first time we knew that there was more to Santa Fe than the version that appeared on … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Bob Dylan And Damon Runyon: Lily, Rosemary, And The Jack Of Hearts And Other Songs (Part II)

  by Larry Fyffe Bob Dylan likes to mix up the medicine, to really, really mix up the music medicine. There’s the Symbolist poem: In short, is a Flower, Rosemary Or Lily, dead or alive, worth The excrement of one … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment