Bob Dylan: Cooking Up More Mythologies (Part IV)

Bob Dylan: Cooking Up More Mythologies part 1

Bob Dylan: Cooking Up More Mythologies (Part II)

Bob Dylan: Cooking Up More Mythologies (Part III)


by Latte Fyffe

Sexually wanton Lilith be not only a southern queen, she’s a spectre that haunts the hoped-for Promised Land in the west – America.

Translated as ‘screech owl’ in the Holy Bible, the name “Lilith” can be shortened to “Lily”.

In the song lyrics below, she is more the independent, vengeful  owl-type than a pretty flower:

I have to stand my trial, I had to make my plea
They placed me in the witness box, and commenced on me
Although she swore my life, deprived me of my rest
Still I love my Flora, the Lily of the West
(Bob Dylan: Lily Of The West ~ traditional,

The Lily, in the lyrics directly above, be more like Big Jim’s gal, and quite unlike the faithful Rosemary (in the aforementioned allegorical masterpiece “Lily, Rosemary, And The Jack Of Hearts”).

Considering the faces from ‘Lily Of The West’ as being re-arranged, Big Jim’s wife may well have taken the ‘fall’ for Lily’s killing of ‘Diamond’ Jim (a King Solomon archetype), and she’s the one who gets hanged.

An aside: interestingly, actress Lillian Russell marries two-timing composer Edward Solomon.

A western winged avenger-queen makes an appearance in the song quoted beneath – she’s a dark angel, a Lilith from a modern-day Babylonian hell:

The motorcycle black Madonna
Two-wheeled gypsy queen
And her silver-studded phantom cause
The gray-flannel dwarf to scream
(Bob Dylan: Gates Of Eden)

In the song lyrics below, there are characters featured similar to the wealthy Big Jim and the husband-thieving Lily (Lilith) – she calls herself Lil, but everyone knows her as Nancy:

Handy Dandy, he's got a stick in his hand
And a pocket full of money
He says, "Darling, tell me the truth
How much time I got?"
She says, "You got all the time in the world, honey"
Handy Dandy, Handy Dandy
He's got that clear crystal fountain
He's got that soft silky skin
He's got that fortress on the mountain
With no doors, no windows, no thieves can break in
(Bob Dylan: Handy Dandy)



  1. The traditional The Lily of the West’s “a man of high degree”, by association, brings to mind:

    So that her highborn kinsman came
    And bore her away from me
    (Edgar Allan Poe: Annabel Lee)

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