Bob Dylan: Cooking Up More Mythologies (Part V)

By Larry Fyffe

Lilith is represented in a number of mythological sources as the sexually wanton first wife of Adam in the Garden of Eden; she’s not drawn from Adam’s rib, but from the dust just like he is; demands equality.

The black-skinned Queen Sheba of Ethiopia is portrayed that way some of the time but not all the time.

King Solomon’s son Rehoboam becomes the ruler of Judah, the southern part of the once united Kingdom of Israel; Jehovah’s not happy with big daddy Solomon bedding so many foreign  (‘strange’) women; consequently, the Almighty causes the Northern Kingdom to separate in order to punish the wayward King.

Disregarding that the son is actually helping along His plans to  punish Solomon, the Hebrew God’s somewhat upset with Rehoboam for letting all the gold be stolen from Jerusalem by the leader of an invading Egyptian army (the leader in league with the ruler of the Northern Kingdom where erected are idols of the Golden Calf for people to worship):

And he took away the treasures of the house of the Lord
And the treasures of the King's house; he even took away all
And he took away all the shields of gold which Solomon
had made
(1Kings 14: 26)

Could well that there’s an allegorical reference to the Bible story in the song lyrics below:

Two doors down the boys finally made it through the wall
And cleaned out the bank safe; it's said they got off with
quite a haul
(Bob Dylan: Lily, Rosemary, And The Jack Of Hearts)

According to Rastafarians – another son of Solomon, he  born of the Queen of Sheba, becomes the ruler of Ethiopia.

Sheba, she's alluded to perhaps in the song lyrics beneath:
Been along time since a strange woman has slept in my bed
Look how sweet she sleeps, how free must be her dreams
In another lifetime, she must have owned the world, or been faithfully wed
To some righteous king who wrote psalms beside moonlight streams
(Bob Dylan: I And I)

 

Bringing it all back home to:

Draw me, we will run after thee
The king hath brought me into his chambers
We will be glad and rejoice in thee
We will remember thy love more than wine
The upright love thee
(Song Of Solomon 1:4)

For sure, the singer/songwriter/musician Bob Dylan likes to mix-up mythologies – does it with laughter, and he does it with tears.

In the following song lyrics, the songwriter parodies the waitress as a modern Queen Sheba, and the narrator likewise as King Solomon:

Then she says, "I know you're an artist, draw
a picture of me"
I said, "I would if I could, but I don't do sketches
from memory"
"Well", she says, "I'm right here in front of you, or haven't
you looked?"
(Bob Dylan: Highland)


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