Previously in our Happy Birthday series…
- Bob – it’s not quite your birthday but…
- Happy Birthday Bob – Part 2. From Filip Łobodziński
- Happy Birthday Bob Part 3 – from Aaron Galbraith
By Paul Robert Thomas
To commemorate Bob’s 80th birthday, I have just finished the promo video of the radio mix of our song “Bob Dylan – Our Prodigal Son” that a number of people, including Michael Gray likes
The song title Our Prodigal Son is of course from the Bible (Luke 15), a book Dylan himself has heavily drawn from during his career.
The song starts by mentioning twins, or duality, Dylan is ‘Dylan the artist’ when he has to be, as he has said, and is Robert as many say he likes to be called, the family man. The Biblical parable is about 2 brothers and “Prodigal” means being wastefully extravagant. In this story the man’s son recklessly and wastefully spends his inheritance. In fact after he has been given his inheritance by his father he goes off and wastes it all but his father (God) welcomes him back into the fold with open arms.
In the context of this famous parable, the prodigal son has also come to mean someone who is spiritually lost and someone who has returned after an absence. One of the main precepts running through the Bible is that God wants us to repent, and if you know or have watched the documentary, Eat The Document, the last scene features a tired and perhaps high Dylan in the back of a limousine in 66 saying to the camera, saying to us, ‘I’m sorry for all that I’ve done and I hope to remedy it soon’! After this Dylan would withdraw from the public gaze for some years.
Anyway, that’s something that the song is about that I also tried to capture Dylan’s career journey from then to now.
But, going back to Bowling Alley Blues we, ‘Les Paul’s’ (The Paul’s) have now found time to start working on more part Dylan written lyrics and have just finished what was originally 2 sets of lyrics called “Bowling Alley Blues” that we have split into 2 sets of lyrics, the 1st we have named “Sugar Daddy Blues” (the 2nd to be called ‘Phone Operator Blues’ will hopefully be one of the next to be recorded)
Sugar Daddy Blues
I got your letter today I’m glad you say you’re doing fine I see you still got your habit I’m so glad to hear it isn’t mine I read your name in the papers again Says you’re going out with Mister-so-and-so So the news is out and you can’t pretend In case you didn’t know You didn’t want me You said that I was poor Says your sugar daddy feeds your need Says ‘You’ll never want for more’ Says ‘You’ll never want for more’ Sugar daddy blues Maybe tomorrow morning You’ll wake up and find That your sweet sugar daddy got fed up And has gone and left you behind Oh why wait for tomorrow When you can find this out today? Here read the paper, he’s gone back to his wife All that glitters wasn’t gold, you’re wasting your life You’re wasting your life If you want babe, I’ll take you back I’ll give you all I got to give Just remove all that lipstick and make-up And you can really start to live Then you can really, really start to live, yeah Sugar daddy blues Sugar daddy blues You got them Sugar daddy blues Oh why wait for tomorrow When you can find this out today? Here read the paper, he’s gone back to his wife All that glitters wasn’t gold, you’re wasting your time All that glitters wasn’t gold, you’re wasting your life
Lyrics: Bob Dylan/Paul Robert Thomas; Music: Paul Odiase
Originally shown as Bowling Alley Blues
P.S. the idea for the song lyrics came to me as I suddenly realized that Dylan will soon be 80 and I had last seen him perform at Hyde Park in London a couple of years ago on the same bill as Neil Young and I thought he looked frail and it made me realize that he will be sorely missed when he passes on! Some people have criticized me for daring to think about the possibility that Dylan won’t be with us some time in the future but that is life, sadly we are all born to die!
More information can be found at https://www.paullyrics.com/album/its-burning-love-coming-soon/sugar-daddy-blues.
There is more on Untold readers’ work finishing off Bob Dylan songs on “Showcase”