Bob Dylan: On the Way Home (Part V and VI)

by Larry Fyffe

The cryptic signs ‘penny’ and ‘day’ pop up in the following song lyrics:

You go in the field
You work all day
Way after night
But you get no pay
Promised some meat
A little bucket of lard
It's hard to be a renter on Penny's farm
(Bently Brothers: Back On Penny's Farm ~ traditional, et al)

Harks back to the song lyrics below:

'Tis the song, the sigh of the weary
Hard times, hard times, come again no more
Many a days you have lingered all around my cabin door
Hard times, come again no more
(Bob Dylan: Hard Times Come Around No More ~ Stephen Foster)

Bringing to mind:

Pretty maids all in a row lined up
Outside my cabin door
I've never wanted any of them wanting me
Except the girl from the Red River Shore
(Bob Dylan: Red River Shore)

And moreso in:

No, I ain't gonna work for Maggie's brother no more
Well, he hands you a nickel, he hands you a dime
And he asks you with a grin if you're having a good time
And he fines you every time you slam the door
(Bob Dylan: Maggie's Farm)

It’s pretty obvious that the cryptic clues from the movie “Now And Forever” found in Bob Dylan’s songs above – ‘day’ and ‘penny’ – lead down the path to Mary Magdalene’s “brother disciple”, John, and to the Day of the Pentecost.

Says he, if ye do not believe in Jesus as the Lamb of God, doomed ye shall be.

A sentiment endorsed in the song lyrics below; the narrator could well be John the Apostle, but certainly not Jesus Himself:

They say you looking for someone
Who's never weak but always strong
To protect you and defend you
Whether you are right or wrong
Someone to open each and every door ....
Someone to die for you and more
But it ain't me, babe
(Bob Dylan: It Ain't Me)

Brother John, if not misidentified,  gets to live for quite some time; dies of natural causes:

I John, who also am your brother
And companion in tribulation
And in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ
Was in the isle that is called Patmos
For the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ
(Revelation 1:9)

Bringing to mind Long Island:

Well, it's up in the morning trying to find a job of work
You can stand in one place till your feet begin to hurt
If you've got a lot of money, you can make yourself merry
If you only got a nickel, it's the Staten Island Ferry
And it's hard times in the city, living in New York Town
(Bob Dylan: Hard Times In New York Town)

Bob Dylan: On The Way Homeward (Part VI)

In the movie mentioned below, Jerry’s gal sacrifices her own reputation to save that of the father of Penny (Penelope) as seen through his daughter’s eyes:

Jerry: "I heard the news --
The big sacrifice scene with Penny"
(Gary Cooper: Now And Forever)

In the song lyrics beneath, depicted is a day in the hectic life of a modern Ulysses on the way home to faithful wife Penelope:

I read the news today, oh boy
About a lucky man who made the grade
(Beatles: A Day In The Life ~ Lennon/McCartney)

In the following song lyrics, sea-voyager John “Ulysses” Lennon is crucified after being falsely accused of bragging that the Beatles are bigger than Jesus:

I heard the news today, oh boy
They hauled your ship on the shore
(Bob Dylan: Roll On John)

In the above-mentioned movie, Shirley Temple plays the part of Penny, an innocent child who has faith in human goodness.

In the song lyrics below, such a bright outlook darkened:

Now the chimney is rotten
And the wallpaper's torn
The garden in the back
Won't grow no more corn

(Was Brothers: Shirley Temple (Mr Alice) Doesn’t Live Here Anymore – Bob Dylan et al)

Darkened, as presented in the next song lyrics:

Where are the men I use to sport with
What has become of my beautiful town
Wolf, my old friend, even you don't know me
This must be the end, my house is tumbled down

(Bob Dylan: Kaatskill Serenade ~ Bromburg)


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