By Tony Attwood
Let me confess, with this article I am really stepping out into a strange world – or perhaps better said I am offering up access to the strange world that I sometimes inhabit. A world of lines and quotes that I carry around with me. Often forgetting them for years and years until one day a situation is there and one of these lines pops into my head.
And of course because I am a Dylan fan, a lot of these lines are Dylan lines. Not all, but a lot.
But not, let me stress, any old Dylan lines. And not just Dylan lines I remember. But lines that seem to carry a special connotation.
Now when I started writing this little piece I thought I’d just make a list of such lines, but at once I found there were too many. So I started to invent some rules. I would exclude certain types of Dylan lines. Therefore I WON’T have
- Dylan lines that open a song
- Dylan lines that close a song
- Multiple lines – each must be just one line from a song
- Dylan lines that just sound good but actually can’t be made to mean anything at all.
Thus I started to look in my head for single lines that occur within songs that mean something to me and which seem to have stayed in my brain.
Now maybe this living with lines of songs and poems and indeed literature is something that just inflicts people like me who live their lives in words, reading, studying and writing. I don’t really know, but I hope you can see where I am going.
A little while ago when we had a little discussion about “Mississippi” several readers of this site presented lines came out of that song – one in particular seems to be retained by many people who know Dylan’s work…