Bob Dylan: Bring Me My Boots Of Burning Gold

by Larry Fyffe

As more and more people move from small towns to big cities, the particular style of “blues” music changes, but the melancholic sentiment oft-expressed therein remains:

Now, tell you, mama, now, I'm sure gonna leave this town
Now, tell you, mama, now, I'm sure gonna leave this town
'Cause I been in trouble ever since I set my suitcase down
(Ishman Bracey: Leaving Town Blues)

As demonstrated in the lyrics of the country-rock song beneath:

City's just a jungle, more games to play
Trapped in the heart of it, trying to get away
I was raised in the country, I been working in town
I been in trouble ever since I set my suitcase down
(Bob Dylan: Mississippi)

Melancholic lyrics are retained even with an upbeat country-style of music:

Well, I never felt more like running away
But why should I go
'Cause I couldn't stay
Without you
You got me singing the blues

(Guy Mitchell: Singing The Blues ~ Melvin Endsley)

Brought down a peg is the sentiment expressed in the following lyrics with its country-sounding music:

If you'd see me this way
You'd come back, and you'd stay
Oh, how could you refuse
I've been living the blues
Every night without you
(Bob Dylan: Living The Blues)

The upbeat country-style music accompanying the lyrics beneath creates a feeling of contentment; the singer too happy in his unhappiness.

Sometimes I think about leaving
Doing a little bumming around
Throw my bills out the window
Catch me a train to another town
But I go back to working
I got to buy my kids a brand new pair of shoes
I drink a little bit of beer that evening
Sing a little bit of these workingman blues
(Merle Haggard: Workingman Blues)

Melancholic the music, and somewhat desperate the sound be in the lyrics below:

Meet me at the bottom, don't lag behind
Bring me my boots and shoes
You can hang back or fight your best on the front line
Sing a little bit of these workingman blues
(Bob Dylan: Workingman's Blues, no. 2)

Next there’s fast-moving music with the dark humour of them “talking blues”:

Mama's in the pantry, preparing to eat
Sister's in the kitchen, a-fixing for the feast
Papa's in the cellar, a-mixing up the hops
Brother's at the window a-watching for the cops
(Chris Bouchillon: New Talking Blues)

That’s a-heared in the following song:

Johnny's in the basement, mixing up the medicine
I'm on the pavement, thinking about the government
The man in the trench coat, badge out, laid off
Says he's got a bad cough, wants to get paid off
(Bob Dylan: Subterranean Homesick Blues)

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