By Larry Fyffe
The satirical essays that Mark Twin writes in regard to the Judeo-Christian Bible influence song lyrics of Bob Dylan. Twain makes note of God’s all-too-human flaws – not unlike the Demiurge conjured up by the Gnostics – God’s selfish and vindictive; jealous with mood swings that often leads to anger. Sometimes He’s just downright nasty to his earthly creations as demonstrated in the way He sets them up for a Fall. Not only that, He’s still not satisfied and goes after them in the Great Beyond:
(Mark Twain: Letters From Earth)
Even beyond the grave, Heaven or Hell, it’s a-gonna be.
The Almighty Deity starts out by kicking Adam and his partner out of earthly Paradise for their eating of the tree of good and evil:
(Bob Dylan: Talking World War III Blues)
The story comes from the Holy Bible:
(Genesis 3: 22, 24)
After being that unkind, God reveals that He still has a bit of a mean streak left in Him:
(Bob Dylan: Highway 61 Revisited)
The story above Dylan also takes from the Bible:
(Genesis 22: 2)
The loveliest and the best
(Matthew 27: 45, 46)
Covering an ironically and ambiguously worded song by Kris Kristofferson, who studied the poetry of mystic William Blake, Bob Dylan sings about a ‘Son of Man’ who is killed (as are Gandhi and King, Jr.) while God, as Almighty as He is supposed to be, just looks down – notwithstanding that some claim Jesus said He’s the Son of God while others claim that indeed He is.
In any event, nothing is delivered:
(Matthew 27: 41, 42, 43)
But Jesus never says that He is the Son Of God:
My God, they killed him
(Bob Dylan: They Killed Him – original by Kristofferson)
Neither Mark Twain nor Bob Dylan accept the dogma of orthodox religion. Simply put – because no matter what saith the Holy Bible, the story never ends:
(Bob Dylan: With God On Our Side)
What else is on the site
1: 500 reviews of Dylan songs. There is an index to these in alphabetical order on the home page, and an index to the songs in the order they were written in the Chronology Pages.
2: The Chronology. We’ve taken the songs we can find recordings of and put them in the order they were written (as far as possible) not in the order they appeared on albums. The chronology is more or less complete and is now linked to all the reviews on the site. We have also produced overviews of Dylan’s work year by year. The index to the chronologies is here.
3: Bob Dylan’s themes. We publish a wide range of articles about Bob Dylan and his compositions. There is an index here.
4: The Discussion Group We now have a discussion group “Untold Dylan” on Facebook. Just type the phrase “Untold Dylan” in, on your Facebook page or follow this link
5: Bob Dylan’s creativity. We’re fascinated in taking the study of Dylan’s creative approach further. The index is in Dylan’s Creativity.
And please do note The Bob Dylan Project, which lists every Dylan song in alphabetical order, and has links to licensed recordings and performances by Dylan and by other artists, is starting to link back to our reviews