Bob Dylan And Doo-Wha

By Larry Fyffe

She came down the aisle
Wearing a smile
A vision of loveliness
I uttered a sigh
Whispered goodbye
Goodbye to my happiness
(Patty Page: I Went To Your Wedding ~ JM Robinson)

Patti Smith, like Patty Page, follows the footpath blazed by Patsy Montana and Bonnie Lou (the two latter female stage names chosen because they ‘sound country’).

Bonnie ventures farther than Patsy, and steps into rocknroll “doo-wha”:

I want you badly
You're driving me madly
(Bonnie Lou: I Want You ~ Burton)

The doo-wha revamped in the following song lyrics:

I want you, I want you
I want you so bad
(Bob Dylan: I Want You)

Bonnie’s namesake mentioned as a nod perhaps thereto in the lyrics beneath.

The hollow-dwelling narrator sinks into a bottle:

Patty gone to Laredo
But she be back soon
Left Jamaica this morning
On a boat "Bonnie Lou"
(Bob Dylan: Patty Gone To Laredo)

(A recording of Patty’s gone to Laredo can be found at 4 min 45 sec on this video)




Unlikely known to Bob Dylan when he sings “Patty Gone To Laredo” is that the “Bonnie Lou” be a NS fishing boat that burned and sank; certainly the song has nothing to  do with its replacement the “Bonnie Lou ll” being lost in a storm along with its crew,  since the latter sinking happened after the time “Patty Gone To Laredo” was made.






We have to start over, our life to renew

The men are fishing in Heaven

From the Bonnie Lou Two

(Isle Aux Morts Boys: The Bonnie Lou II ~ Henneberry/Clark )






Likewise, it’s unlikely that the Patty Hearst saga has anything to do with Dylan’s fragmented, “stream of consciousness” lyrics.


More befitting of Dylan be Poe-like sorrowful songs about deserted towns, winged demons and angels.


And ghost-like many-headed creatures re-incarnated in the tall-timber nests of days gone by:





Born in ‘Liz Texas timber

Up where the eagles fly

Then makes him tell in never

But she don’t cry

(Bob Dylan: Patty Gone To Laredo)




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