Bob Dylan And Thomas Hardy (Part III)

Bob Dylan and Thomas Hardy Part I

Bob Dylan and Thomas Hardy Part II

by Larry Fyffe

In a Victorian novel about love and lust, the times they are a-changing. “Under The Greenwood Tree” by Thomas Hardy involves a schoolmistress and three suitors – a rich landowner, a vicar, and a musician; she ends up marrying the musician, the story, though less bleak, reminds of the poem below:

That I could think there trembled through
His happy good-night air
Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew
And I was unaware

(Thomas Hardy: The Darkling Thrush)

Ends the novel:

"Tippiwit! Swe-e-et! ki-ki-ki! Come hither, come hither, come hither!"
"O, 'tis the nightingale", murmured she, and thought of a secret 
she would never tell

(Thomas Hardy: Under The Greenwood Tree)

Bringing the novel back home to:

Not a word was spoke between us, there was little risk involved
Everything up to that point had been left unresolved
Try to imagine a place where it's always safe and warm
"Come in", she said, "I'll give you shelter from the storm"

Hardy’s long story crafted around the following song of yore:

Under the greenwood tree
Who loves to lie with me
And tune his merry note
Unto the sweet bird's throat
Come hither, come hither, come hither
Here shall he see no enemy
But winter and rough weather

(Donovan: Under The Greenwood Tree ~ Shakespeare, "As You Like It")

Bringing it all back home again:

And I try to harmonize with songs
The lonesome sparrow sings
(Bob Dylan: Gates Of Eden)

Thomas Hardy’s novel “Far From The Madding Crowd” concerns the beautiful Bathsheba Everdene  who inherits a farm. She has three suitors – a reliable farmhand; a gambling soldier; and a reserved, well-to-do landowner:

Next came the question of the evening. Would Miss Everdene sing to them the song she always sang so charmingly -‘The Banks Of Allan Water’ – before they went home?

(Thomas Hardy: Far From The Madding Crowd)

So go some of the the lyrics thereof:
Fairest of them all
For his bride, a soldier sought her
And a winning tongue had he ....
On the banks of Allan water
When the winter snow fell fast
Still was seen the miller's daughter
Chilling blew the blast

(Adelina Patti: On The Banks Of Allan Water ~ traditional/Lewis)

The song above mentioned by Thomas Hardy in the novel reflects in the lyrics below:

If you go when the snowflakes fall
When the rivers freeze, and summer ends
Please see for me she's wearing a coat so warm
To keep her from the howling wind
 (Bob Dylan: Girl From The North Country)

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