By Larry Fyffe
The reality of mournful death marches into the flowery pastures of the American NeoTranscendentalist Romantic poem quoted beneath:
When lilacs last in the dooryard bloomed And the great star early drooped in the western sky in the night I mourned, and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring (Walt Whitman: When Lilacs Last In The Dooryard Bloomed)
So too in the song lyrics quoted below:
There's a far and distant river Where the roses are in bloom A sweetheart who is waiting there for me And it's there I pray you take me I've been faithful, don't forsake me I'll be with her when the roses bloom again (Billy Bragg: When The Roses Bloom Again ~ Cobb/Edwards)
A dreamland sentimentality, burlesqued in the following lines:
You belong to me, baby, without a doubt Don't forsake me, baby, don't sell me out Don't keep me knocking about From Mexico toTibet True love, true love, true love tends to forget (Bob Dylan: True Love Tends To Forget)
In the song beneath, the lover’s not dead, but she ups and departs in search of a better life:
Oh, I thought I heard that steamboat whistle a-blow And she blowed like she never blowed before .... I'm afraid my little lover's on that boat And it will take her to the Lord knows where (Shirkey & Harper: Steamboat Man)
The chance of love best seized quickly, it seems:
I can hear that whistle blowing I see that station master, too If there's a poor boy on the street Then let him have my seat 'Cause tonight, I'll be staying here with you (Bob Dylan: Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You)
Parody abounds around a love that’s supposed to be everlasting – lovers reunited after death:
I was going down the river to my little cottage home The revenue men were waiting there for me I was coming up the hill When they caught me with the still I'll be with you when the roses bloom again When the roses bloom again beside the river And the robin redbreast sings his melody
(Shirkey & Harper: When The Roses Bloom Again For The Bootlegger)
Yes, indeed, he loves her still:
Oh, I see by the angel beside me That love has a reason to shine You're the one I adore Come over here, and give me more Then, Winterlude, this dude thinks you're fine Winterlude, my little apple Winterlude, by the corn in the field
(Bob Dylan: Winterlude)
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