by Tony Attwood
Getting on for five years ago I wrote a little piece in which I tried to highlight a few of Bob’s great lines which were not the ones that everyone would immediately know.
Most of my choices were lines that every Dylan fan would surely know, but three of them were lines that although the avid connoisseur would identify at once, not everyone would. Furthermore they are lines which, although we might be able to explain them, are still lines that can make us (or perhaps I should just say, “can make me”) stop what I am doing and think.
And then think some more.
Here are the three I found in that earlier article.
- My patron saint is a-fighting with a ghost
- Everyone is wearing a disguise
- There’s a black Mercedes rollin’ through the combat zone
The point is not just that they are a trifle obscure in the sense that there will be many Dylan fans who can’t place these lines at once, but also they have that level of enigma that I really love about a lot of Dylan’s work.
Lines such as “There must be some way out of here said the joker to the thief” have that enigma as well, but we are so used to such lines that the initial impact has long since gone. They have now become part of the vocabulary. But where we can find lines that have slipped through the net of general consciousness, such lines can give us a further pause for thought.
Two suggestions that were given in the earlier article about this very much met my criteria of enigma and not being a line that maybe not every Dylan fan knows were