Bob Dylan Approximately

By Larry Fyffe

Immersed singer/songwriter/musician is Bob Dylan in the Jungian sea of songs and literary works from the days of yore, including the Holy Bible.

Beneath there be a somewhat sorrowful song:

We carried you in our arms 
On Independence Day
And now you'd cast us all aside
And put us on our way
(Bob Dylan: Tears Of Rage ~ Dylan/Manuel)

The following somewhat happier song reverses the theme of a loved one gone away; it’s takes a while, but the tears of the patient and faithful lover dry up:

He picked her up all in his arms
And kisses gave her one, two, and three
Saying weep no more, my own true love
I am your long lost John Riley
(Joan Baez: John Riley ~ traditional)


However, it’s an unfulfilled hope for happier days that’s expressed in the song below:

There's a man on the cross, and He's been crucified 
You know who He is, and you know why He died
When you gonna wake up, when you gonna wake up
When you gonna wake up, and strengthen the things 
that remain
(Bob Dylan: When You Gonna Wake Up)


Referring to the demanding message that follows –  from the Holy Bible:

Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things
That are shaken, as of things that are made
That those things which cannot be shaken may remain
(Hebrews 12: 27)

Difficult it be for earth-bound humans to decide which way to turn during life’s journey; the message in the lyrics below can easily be construed as ironic:

Shake the dust off of your feet, don't look back
Nothing now can hold you down, nothing that you lack
Temptation's not an easy thing, Adam given the Devil reign
Because he sinned, I got no choice, it run in my vein
(Bob Dylan: Pressing On)

Whether or not the above song is a ringing endorsement of the biblical quote beneath by a songwriter with a Jewish background, I’ll leave it for the listener/reader to decide:

And whosoever shall not receive you
Nor hear your words
When ye depart out of that house or city
Shake off the dust of your feet
(Matthew 10:14)

A poetic reference worth mentioning once again much to the chagrin of Eyolf Ostem:

With your silhouette when the sunlight dims
Into your eyes where the moonlight swims
(Bob Dylan: Sad-Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands)

To wit, uncovered by Untold:

You want clear spectacles: your eyes are dim
Turn inside out, and turn your eyes within
Your sins like motes in the sun do swim
(Edward Taylor: The Accusation Of The Inward Man)

What else?

You can read about the writers who kindly contribute to Untold Dylan in our About the Authors page.   And you can keep an eye on our current series by checking the listings on the home page

You’ll also find, at the top of this page, and index to some of our series established over the years.  Series we are currently running include

  • The art work of Bob Dylan’s albums
  • The Never Ending Tour year by year with recordings
  • Beautiful Obscurity – the unexpected covers
  • All Directions at Once

You’ll find links to all of them on the home page of this site

If you have an article or an idea for an article which could be published on Untold Dylan, please do write to with the details – or indeed the article itself.

We also have a very lively discussion group “Untold Dylan” on Facebook with getting on for 10,000 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

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