Author Archives: TonyAttwood

From the trail of the buffalo to Bob Dylan’s “Cuban Missile Crisis”. The meanderings of the poet

By Tony Attwood “The Buffalo Skinners” (also known as “On the trail of of the buffalo) is one of the most popular of all the American traditional songs.  It has been widely sung, widely recorded, and like everything in the … Continue reading

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Dylan Disguises Himself As Ezekiel (Part III)

  By Larry Fyffe “Rosemary, Lily, And The Jack Of Hearts” is a song-play, a time-warped allegory by the word-alchemist Bob Dylan – starring the Jack of Hearts as ‘Ezekiel’; Rosemary as ‘Aholah’; Lily as ‘Aholibah’; and Big Jim as … Continue reading

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Train a travellin. A forgotten masterpiece as the young Bob Dylan changes direction

By Tony Attwood In 1962, having written “Hard Rain’s a gonna fall”, “Hollis Brown”, “Blowing in the Wind”, “Dont think twice” and in fact a grand total of 27 songs (and that really was in this year alone) Bob Dylan … Continue reading

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Bob Dylan Disguises Himself As Ezekiel (Part II)

  By Larry Fyffe “Lily, Rosemary, And The Jack Of Hearts” is easily interpreted as a modern allegory that depicts the historical journey of the Jewish people: The festival was over, the boys were all planning for a fall The … Continue reading

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I’d hate to be you on that dreadful day: Bob Dylan gets the ship ready via Dives and Lazarus

by Tony Attwood This is one of the songs from the Whitmark demos, which Dylan procured from the 16th century English tradition of folk songs and which eventually he turned into, “When the ship comes in”.  By the time of … Continue reading

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Bob Dylan Disguises Himself As Ezekiel (Part I)

  By Larry Fyffe Through analogy, allegory, and symbolism, Bob Dylan updates the story of the Jews and Israel in “Lily, Rosemary, And The Jack of Hearts”. With his gold and silver mines, wise King Solomon, represented by the King … Continue reading

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What’s so wrong with Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changing”?

by Tony Attwood For almost ten years after playing “Times they are a changin” at the Albert Hall in London in 1965, Dylan dropped the song from his set list.  Since then, apart from a handful of pauses each lasting … Continue reading

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Dylan referenced authors (other than American, British, Irish and French)

You may also find these indexes useful… American poets and writers to whom Dylan pays tribute: an index British and French writers In reference to Bob Dylan’s song lyrics By Larry Fyffe Bob Dylan songs often crunch past and present … Continue reading

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Mixed up confusion: Bob Dylan’s first rock n roll record from 1962

by Tony Attwood You might also like to see  Mixed up Confusion: Bob Dylan and Gnosticism  * * * * * “Mixed up confusion” comes from the what seems to have been a one off set of recording sessions in October … Continue reading

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Hebrew Gnosticism In Bob Dylan’s Song Lyrics

  By Larry Fyffe Allegorical and analogical Hebrew Gnosticism, with its emphasis on the power of words, has roots in the Book of Proverbs of the Old Testament. According to Gnosticism, from an Unknowable God of Light emanates fragmented pairs … Continue reading

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Long Time Gone: Bob Dylan’s tribute to Maggie Walker that became a prelude to Shelter from the Storm

By Tony Attwood During 1962 Bob Dylan went meandering around folk and blues music composing a whole variety of songs as he explored possibilities at every level, before finally arriving at Hard Rain.  Hard Rain doesn’t exist within all these … Continue reading

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The Stranger In Bob Dylan’s ‘I And I’

  by Larry Fyffe Frederich Nietzsche criticizes Judeo-Christian for its ‘slave morality’; for its messenger prophets who put prospects for a better life off into the distant future, whether here on Earth or somewhere in an otherworldly Heaven. Western Gnosticism, … Continue reading

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Long Ago Far Away: When Bob Dylan shouted out against man’s inhumanity

by Tony Attwood This song, which appears on the Whitmark demos bootleg is another from that huge outpouring of songs that ran up to the composition of the absolute masterpiece that is “Hard Rain”.  And indeed we can hear in … Continue reading

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British and French writers In reference to Bob Dylan’s song lyrics

You may also be interested in American poets and writers to whom Dylan pays tribute: an index By Larry Fyffe Bob Dylan songs often crunch past and present and future time into a singularity. To give listeners a linear time perspective … Continue reading

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Ain’t gonna grieve by Bob Dylan. A curious twist before the masterpiece.

By Tony Attwood Looking back at the early songs that Dylan recorded claiming himself as composer it is amazing to think how he jumped from genre to genre and how he moved from songs that clearly are adaptations from older … Continue reading

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American poets and writers to whom Dylan pays tribute: an index

 by Larry Fyffe Introduction  Bob Dylan’s songs often crunch past and present and future time into a singularity. To give listeners a linear time perspective on America poets or writers that Dylan actually or seemingly alludes to in his lyrics, … Continue reading

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The top ten Dylan songs: our readers’ personal choices

By Tony Attwood I recently wrote a little piece about people’s top ten Dylan songs, and it drew a number of replies, with some readers kindly providing their own top tens). There were a few choices in there (and you … Continue reading

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There’s A Slow Train Coming: Bob Dylan

by Larry Fyffe The song lyrics of Bob Dylan are often taken by listeners and music critics to be those of a dyed-in-the-wool apocalyptic visionary. Some of these listeners and critics accept the words of the Bible as the be-all … Continue reading

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Those ambiguous Dylan lines I’ve half forgotten which stay with me forever

By Tony Attwood I was reading an article in the New Yorker about individual lines from Dylan’s songs, and how they don’t so much become part of who and what you are, but are just there within you. Lyrics that … Continue reading

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The Gospel Of Bob Dylan

The Gospel Of Bob Dylan by Larry Fyffe Bob Dylan has always been critical of orthodox thinking by anyone including those who religiously follow folk, or blues, or rocknroll, as being the ultimate in terms of music. That gospel music … Continue reading

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