- Bob Dylan: Cooking Up More Mythologies part 1
- Bob Dylan: Cooking Up More Mythologies (Part II)
- Bob Dylan: Cooking Up More Mythologies (Part III)
- Bob Dylan: Cooking Up More Mythologies (Part IV)
- Bob Dylan: Cooking Up More Mythologies (Part V)
- Bob Dylan: Cooking Up More Mythologies (Part VI)
by Larry Fyffe
As woman’s role in society changes, so changes the depiction of the Lilith archetype by writers and artists.
Christian and Jewish writers tend to hold on to the view that Lilith’s an evil ‘screech owl’ who seeks revenge on humankind by disrupting Adam’s rightful place as the boss in the relationship that he has with Eve – even before the submissive rib-created Eve upsets the apple cart herself in the paradise of Eden.
In a Gothic Romantic poem, the shape-shifting Lilith, under the guise of beautiful Geraldine, deceives, and then seduces Christabel who’s saving herself for her boyfriend.
In that poem quoted below, Lady Geraldine casts a witch’s spell on the innocent girl so she’s unable to remember what happened:
And the lady's eyes, they shrunk in her head Each shrunk up to serpent's eyes And with somewhat malice, and more of dread At Christabel she looked askance (Samuel Taylor Coleridge: Christabel)
In the following song, the narrator sure ain’t a-looking for a screech-type of woman nor one with serpent’s eyes:
Covenant woman got a contract with the Lord Way up yonder, great will be her reward Covenant woman, shining like a morning star I know I can trust you stay the way you are (Bob Dylan: Covenant Woman)
In the song above, there’s a cynical caveat – no sure promise is made to the woman that she’ll be delivered to a paradise on earth, but rather it will be one up yonder in the heavens above after she’s gone.
The narrator tells the female ‘stranger’, that he’s got a covenant of his own, and because of it, he’s still waiting to be delivered to the Promised Land:
I just got to thank you once again For making your prayers Unto heaven for me And to you, always, grateful I will forever be (Bob Dylan: Covenant Woman)
And so it could be said in the song lyrics beneath – figuratively the Hebrew God be the groom:
West of the Jordan, east of the Rock of Gibraltar I see the burning of the stage Curtain rising on a new age See the groom still waiting at the altar (Bob Dylan: The Groom's Still Waiting At The Altar)
Could be this time the shape-shifting Lilith shows up in the figure of Claudette:
What can I say about Claudette Ain't seen her since January She could be respectively married Or running a whorehouse in Buenos Aires (Bob Dylan: The Groom's Still Waiting At The Altar)
Perhaps this Lilith’s run off with the man in the long black coat:
Tell me tall man Where would you like to be overthrown In Jerusalem or Argentina (Bob Dylan: Angelina)
The singer/songwriter is difficult to nail down in one place.