Bob Dylan And The Dylavinci Code (Part XIV)

by Larry Fyffe

A list of the earlier articles in this series appears at the foot of this page.

Deciphered from the Dylavinci Code (uncovered in song lyrics) reveals that  singer/songwriter Bob Dylan, shape-shifts into the form of Jesus; the risen Christ now with the sepulcher of Mary Magdalene, enclosed in the Great Sphinx of Egypt.

Dylan-as-Jesus has memories of Roman soldiers outside, of the two angels inside, and meeting Mary in the rock-covered tomb on Skull Hill near the walls of Jerusalem:

The palace of mirrors where dog soldiers are reflected
The endless road, and the wailing of chimes
The empty rooms where her memory is protected
Where the angles' voices whisper to the souls of previous times
(Bob Dylan: Changing Of The Guards)

The Egyptian tomb echoes with the voices of Israfel and Orpheus singing in a background choir:

It was many and many a year ago
In a kingdom by the sea
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love, and be loved by me
(Edgar Allan Poe: Annabel Lee)

The ‘undead’ mummified body of the beloved maiden of Jesus at first appears to be “beyond communication”, but Magdalene shows that she is still in love with Him; she envisions Christ as the golden-haired Sun-God Apollo.

The good shepherd grieves for what he has done, and Jesus lies down beside Mary in the coffin:

She wakes him up forty-eight hours later, the sun is breaking
Near the broken chains, the mountain laurel, and rolling rocks
She begs to know what measures he now will be taking
He's pulling her down, and she's clutching on to his long 
golden locks

(Bob Dylan: Changing Of The Guards)

The Code broken reveals that Christ is determined to make amends for the terrible sin He has committed by murdering the only one he ever loved because He supposed her a whore.

Alas, considering that’s He’s perfect’ Jesus still does not think Mary is good enough for her to be His bride:

All through the summers, into January
I've been visiting morgues, and monasteries
Looking for the necessary body parts
Limbs and livers, and brains and hearts
I'll bring someone back to life, it's what I wanna do
I wanna create my own version of you
(Bob Dylan: My Own Version Of You)

The revelations of the Dylavinci Code provide no happy ending – Mary Magdalene’s forgotten, sealed up in the walls of the Great Sphinx forever.

In the song lyrics below, Mary is called Claudette, about whom Dylan-as-Jesus says he “ain’t seen’er since January”:

Don't know what I can say about Claudette that 
    wouldn't come back to haunt me
Finally had to give her up 'bout the time she began to want me
But I know God has mercy on them who are slandered and humiliated
I'd a-done anything for that woman if she'd only 
     made me feel obligated
(Bob Dylan: The Groom's Still Waiting At The Altar)


  1. The official lyrics of My Own Version Of You say: ” I’ll bring someone to life” not “back to life”.
    Maybe God is ashamed of creating humans and wants to try again to create us as better beings this time around. But I think that this song shows naivete of our own attempts to change humans. In my opinion we are beyond help. Some people can of course change themselves but as a whole humanity has not changed for the better since Homer times and we are the same savages we were in the times of the Troyan war, despite the layers of education and religious beliefs. This is just a kind of clothes or a mask we put on to hide our true nature. People are like a wolf in sheep’s clothing and the only thing we really can do is to create an environment where wolf is not hungry and it will not eat a sheep because it doesn’t need to.

  2. *correction (Thanks):
    “….bring someone to life….”

    “He knew how to bring’em on back to life” is from Red River Shore

  3. Could be that akin to William Blake, Dylan takes a circular, a recurrent, view of micro- and macro- history where things seem to progress for a time only to anologically fall apart – as surely as warm spring turns into cold winter ….

    while Christianity envisions a spiralling line where everything will eventually turn out just dandy and sun-filled.

    On the micro-level, Dylan’s vision might be considered ‘dark’; yet realistic – one thing for sure, we, as individuals, all end up dead.

  4. Under Christian dogma, Adam and Eve and their offspring were locked out of Eden, and became mortal because of their sinful nature (Jerome as construed by Augustine).

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