By Larry Fyffe
Diana (Artemis) is the mythological Goddess of the Moon, and the Hunt; the cypress tree and the deer are sacred to her; she has a gentle side and a dark side – turns a Peeping Tom into a stag, and his own hounds tear him apart. The goddess who carries a bow and quiver of arrows is the offspring of Olympian Zeus (Jupiter) and Leto, a Titan. Diana’s the twin sister of Apollo, the Olympian God of the Sun and Music.
To the modern Romantic poets, she represents independence and freedom imagined to exist in the countryside as contrasted to the prison-like life of the city:
My heart's in the Highlands, my heart is not here My heart's in the Highlands, a-chasing the deer Chasing the wild-deer, following the roe My heart's in the Highlands, wherever I go (Robert Burns: My Heart's In The Highlands)
Singer/songwriter Bob Dylan humorously messes with the ancient mythology:
Well, my heart's in the Highland, gentle and fair Honeysuckle blooming in the wildwood air Bluebells blazing where the Aberdeen waters flow Well, my heart's in the Highland I'm gonna go there when I feel good enough to go .... Well, my heart's in the Highland with the horses and hounds Way up in the border country, far from the the towns With the twang of the arrow, and a snap of the bow My heart's in the Highland Can't see any other way to go (Bob Dylan: Highland)
In the mythology of the Greeks and Romans, there be Giants as well as Titans and Olympians. Related to the Giants be the invulnerable twin brothers Otus and Ephialtes; in one version thereof, they draw lots to determine which Olympian goddess they’ll chase down. Though the loser is upset, it’s after the virgin Diana they go. She transforms herself into a pretty female deer, and the brothers kill themselves with one another’s spears that they throw at the animal; the milk-white hind jumps quickly out of the way.
The following song has some re-routed roots that nevertheless trail all the way back to the Otus/Ephialtes/Diana mythological tale above:
My pretty baby, she's looking around She's wearing a multi-thousand dollar gown Tweedle-Dee is a lowdown, sorry old man Tweedle -Dum he'll stab you where you stand "I've had enough of your company" Said Tweedle Dum to Tweedle Dee (Bob Dylan: Tweedle Dee Tweedle Dum)
Likewise, the following song lyrics can be interpreted as a further reworking of the same myth; it involves a father and his son instead of twin brothers, and a black nightingale instead of a white deer. The ancient mythologies themselves get all mixed up together over time; for example, Dionysus, God of the Vine, is usually, but not always, considered the son of Zeus, and the mortal princess Semele:
They shaved her head She was torn between Jupiter and Apollo A messenger arrived with a black nightingale I seen her on the stairs, and I couldn't help but follow Follow her down past the fountain where they lifted her veil (Bob Dylan: Changing Of The Guards)
The father of the aforementioned twin brothers be the Olympian God of the Sea – Poseidon (Neptune). He’s mentioned in the song lyrics below; Nero’s a Roman emperor:
Praise be to Nero's Neptune, the Titanic sails at dawn Everybody's shouting, "Which side are you on?" (Bob Dylan: Desolation Row)
Don’t expect Bob Dylan to straighten matters out for you.
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