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)

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