Bob Dylan And Fearful Symmetry (Part X)

By Larry Fyffe

Poet William Blake presents his readers with a rather dark Existentialist point of view – bound we be in Poe-like chains of circumstance – even before the experience of adulthood has a chance to cloud up the innocent sunshine days of childhood:

My mother groaned, my father wept
Into this dangerous world l leapt
Helpless, naked, piping loud
Like a fiend hid in a cloud
Struggling in my father's hands
Striving against my swaddling bands
Bound and weary, I thought it best
To sulk upon my mother's breast
(William Blake: Infant Sorrow)

Akin to the sentiment expressed in the following song lyrics:

If I had some education
To give me a decent start
I might have been a doctor or
A master in the arts
But I used my hands for stealing
When I was very young
And they locked me down in jailhouse cells
And that's how my life begun
(Bob Dylan: The Ballad Of Donald White)

Less serious other artists be as they attempt to lighten up the sorrows that exist in the human condition by cooking up a batch of dark humour – as pointed to by Jochen Markhorst:

I took me a wife 'bout five years ago
We got one kid, he's just about four
He gets up at the table, and slaps his ma
Rubs flashes in my hair, says:"ain't you my pa?"
Runs string beans up my nose
Sticks potatoes in my head
(Chris Bouchillon: New Talking Blues)

Likewise dark-humouredly done so in the song lyrics quoted below:

She said that all the railroad men
Just drink up your blood like wine
And I said, "Oh, I didn't know that
But then again there's only one I met
And he just smoked my eyelids
And punched my cigarette"
(Bob Dylan: Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again)

There be these lines as well:

Mama's in the pantry, preparing to eat
Sister's in the kitchen, a-fixing for the feast
Papa's in the cellar, a-mixing up the hops
Brother's at the window, a-watching for the cops
(Chris Bouchillon: New Talking Blues)

Echoed in the song lyrics below:

Johnny's in the basement
Mixing up the medicine
I'm on the pavement
Thinking about the government
(Bob Dylan: Subterranean Homesick Blues)

In these ones too:

Well I rung the fallout shelter bell
And I leaned my head, and I gave a yell
"Give me a string bean, I'm a hungry man"
A shotgun fired, and away I ran
(Bob Dylan: Talking World War III Blues)

Poet William Blake never has to worry about the Atomic Bomb:

Go away, you Bomb, get away, go away
Fast, right now, fast, quick, you get me sick
My good gal don't like you none
And the kids on my corner are scared of you
(Michael Montecossa : Go Away You Bomb ~ Dylan/Montecossa)

Untold Dylan

This is article 1,967 on this site.   You can find indexes to series linked under the image of Dylan at the top of the page and some relating to recent series on the home page.

Although no one gets paid for writing, publishing or editing Untold Dylan, it does cost us money to keep the site afloat, safe from hackers, n’er-do-wells etc.  We never ask for donations, and we try to survive on the income from our advertisers, so if you enjoy Untold Dylan, and you’ve got an ad blocker, could I beg you to turn it off while here. I’m not asking you to click on ads for the sake of it, but at least allow us to add one more to the number of people who see the full page including the adverts.   Thanks.

As for the writing, Untold Dylan is written by people who want to write for Untold Dylan.  We welcome articles, contributions and ideas from all our readers.  Although no one gets paid, if you are published here, your work will be read by a fairly large number of people across the world, ranging from fans to academics.  If you have an idea, or a finished piece send it as a Word file to Tony@schools.co.uk with a note saying that it is for publication on Untold Dylan.

We also have a very lively discussion group “Untold Dylan” on Facebook with around 8500 active members. Just type the phrase “Untold Dylan” in, on your Facebook page or follow this link    And because we don’t do political debates on our Facebook group there is a separate group for debating Bob Dylan’s politics – Icicles Hanging Down

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.