Can Bob Be Saved (Part V): Door Is Not Just A Four Letter Word

By Larry Fyffe

Singer/singwriter Bob Dylan makes use of the word ‘door’ as a rhyme in at least twenty of his songs.

Including in the following one about a “Peeping Tom”:

Standing on your window, honey
Yes, I've been here before
Feeling so harmless
I'm looking at your second door
(Bob Dylan: Temporary Like Achilles)

The alliterative song lyrics below take a poke at the Deconstructionists who claim that a word, whose meaning depends upon its relation to other words, can never adequately describe that which the word signifies – feelings of ‘lust’ and ‘love’, for example:

Searching for my double, looking for
Complete evaporation to the core
Though I tried, and failed at finding the door
I must have thought that there was nothing more
Absurd than that love is just a four letter word
(Love Is Just A Four Letter Word ~ Bob Dylan)

As Edgar Poe shows, as the Bible shows, and as Bob Dylan shows, the  word ‘door’, as well as being easy to rhyme, signifies the separation, and, at the same time, the connection between the physical and spiritual aspects of the human being –‘door’ be more than just a four letter word.

Accompanied by music, written or spoken words in their context, as Dylan demonstrates, can come close enough to expressing what they signify – as the hyperbolic verse below illustrates:

If not for you
Babe, I couldn't even find the door
Couldn't even see the floor
(Bob Dylan: If Not For You)

Bluesmen are particularly fond of the metonymic door – employed to depict the physical side of human nature.

Expressed with sadness in the lyrics below:

Don't drive this wolf from your door
Oh, have mercy darling
If God forgive me
I won't let you make me howl no more
(Howling Wolf: The Wolf Is At Your Door)

Upbeat in the lyrics of the song below:

The call of the wild is
Forever at my door
Wants to fly like an eagle
While being chained to the floor
(Bob Dylan: You Changed My Life)

Then down again in the following:

Well, the sun went down on me a long time ago
I've had to pull back from the door
I wish I could have spent every hour of my life
With the girl from the Red River shore
(Bob Dylan: Red River Shore)

Humorously expressed in the following:

I even got a hole in her bedroom floor
I got twenty-nine ways to make it to my baby's door
But if she needs me bad, I can find about two or three more
(Willie Dixon: Twenty-Nine Ways)

And very sorrowfully emoted in the Poe-like verse beneath:

Forgetful heart
Like a walking shadow in my brain
All night long
I lay awake, and listen to the sound of pain
The door has closed forevermore
If indeed there ever was a door
(Bob Dylan: Forgetful Heart ~ Dylan/Hunter)

Untold Dylan

We now have over 2000 articles 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.

1 Response to Can Bob Be Saved (Part V): Door Is Not Just A Four Letter Word

  1. Larry fyffe says:

    You Changed My Life is on “Vimeo”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *