Bob Dylan Pawns His Watch (Parts XV and XVI)

Bob Dylan Pawns His Watch (Part XV)

by Larry Fyffe

A number of “Dylanologists” claim that the singer/songwriter/musician only makes meaningful references to Roman/Greek mythology later on in his career.

Not true.

The narrator in the following song, applauds Neptune, the God of the Sea, brother to thundering Zeus (Apollo’s dad) and brother to Pluto, the dark King of the Underworld: the Big Three gods in the days of Roman Emperor Nero.

Easy to get the message in the following song lyrics without any Decoder Ring.

Can’t be much clearer that Apollo calls on uncle Neptune to warn the now-in-power followers of Christianity ~ that they better smarten up; start to appreciate the yellow-haired, blue-eyed Sun-God … or else!

Neptune sinks the ‘unsinkable’ Titanic.

Marks the score on the sandy shore ~ Neptune -1: Jehovah -O.

Praise be to Nero's Neptune
The Titanic sails at dawn
And everybody's shouting 
"Which side are you on?"
(Bob Dylan: Desolation Row)

The shining Olympian foretells that there’s gonna be a war in Heaven, in Hell, and on Earth.

Decoded, the song below makes it as plain as day that Apollo is rising in order to rescue his “bride” from organized religion.

At first Apollo admonishes the followers of the Judeo-Christian religion ~ they’re like the  relatives of the drowned victims from the Titanic that his uncle sinks; they blame the whole thing on the Devil and Beelzebub, but are sure that most of the dead can look forward to a wonderful Afterlife:

There are no mistakes in life some people say
And it's true sometimes you can see it that way
But people don't live or die, people just float
She's gone with the man in the long black coat

Later, Apollo points out with a smile that he can’t die because he’s eternal, ~ the Sun shines down from above on the Titanic; there’s no gangplank made big enough for him to get on board:

I went down to the river, but I just missed the boat
She's gone with the man in the long black coat
(Man In The Long Black Coat)

So who’s side are you on anyway?

Bob Dylan Pawns His Watch (Part XVI)

By Larry Fyffe

Apollo leaves an encoded message concerning the harm that ‘Christian guilt’ can do.

The early Dylan song quoted below reveals that guilty desire does not work out that well, even in the land of the Olympian gods.

Apollo’s virginal sister Artemis (Mona) is well respected by the son of Phaedra’s husband.

The son rejects the sexual advances of Aphrodite who, when angry, can be scorpion-like. She makes Phaedra fall in love with her husband’s son. Phaedra offers herself to him, but he rejects her advances too.

To cover up her guilty behaviour, Phaedra tells her husband that his son raped her.

Needless to say, all hell breaks loose:

Well, Phaedra with her looking glass
Spreads her legs upon the grass
She gets all messed up, then she faints
That's 'cause she's so obvious, and you ain't
(Bob Dylan: I Wanna Be Your Lover)

Below, the author thereof, influenced by the Puritan creed, fears the ever-present Lord of the Flies, the harbinger of Death.

There’s no way for her to really know if she’s part of God’s Elect; as a consequence, she feels guilty:

I heard a fly buzz when I died
The stillness in the room
Was like the stillness in the air
Between the heaves of storm
(Emily Dickinson: I Heard A Fly Buzz)

Not the bright god Apollo of ancient Greek/Roman mythology though, protected as he is by a shield emblazoned with the golden bough of Immortality.

No fears has he of ever boarding a Titanic heading for an iceberg.

No fears has he of being ferried aross the River Acheron.

Apparently, Emily’s not so lucky; for some reason, she doesn’t meet with God’s approval.

Apollo leaves a message to that effect, encrypted in the following song lyrics:

She went with the man 
In the long black coat
(Bob Dylan: Man In The Long Black Coat)

As we’ve observed, never-ending Apollo can make mistakes, even get physically injured by someone, or punished by his father Zeus, but he cannot die.

Beelzebub be damned.

What Apollo’s really doing in the song beneath is going down over the horizon for a brief spell after which he’ll return:

I'm closing the book
On the pages, and the text
And I don't really care
O-o-o-o, what happens next
I'm just going
I'm going
I'm gone
(Bob Dylan: Going, Going, Gone)

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