By Larry Fyffe
Dylanologists who are followers of conventional Christian beliefs twist the lyrics of certain songs by Bob Dylan to make them ‘fit in’; however, when listened to without the encumbrance of standard religious doctrines, the lyrics tend to reveal a mystical, a ‘gnostic’ search for ‘wisdom’ – a wisdom that is garnered by lucky ones through knowledge of ancient religions and mythologies.
Thinkers like Emanuel Swedenborg, Pyotre Ouspensky, and Carl Jung account for a Universe in which God appears to dance with the Devil by linking up microcosmic aspects thereof with the microcosmic.
Akin to Frederich Nietzsche and William Yeats, and even in a song that’s written especially for children, singer/songwriter Bob Dylan presents images on the microcosmic level of an individual who copes with a life, a life that, according to some mystics, recurs over and over again for all eternity – a cosmological view that’s unlike the main form of Christainity that envisions a life linear, ending in a permanent ‘afterlife’:
Accordingly, such mystics express, in unique spiritual visions, a love for life, and a coping with dark situations in which one finds him or herself by kicking up their boot heels rather than settling for a life of utter drudgery in the land of the living dead – a better life in some external hereafter is a mirage; what’s in one’s head is what matters:
(Bob Dylan: Wiggle, Wiggle)
In short, fear not life – dance with Satan who dresses in satin and silk:
(Bob Dylan: Wiggle, Wiggle)
An Australian Rolling Stone-influenced bar band clean up the lyrics of one of their songs called ‘Everybody Wiggle’, written by John Fields, and put it out on a record suitable for children:
Wiggle to this song
(The Cockroaches: Get Ready To Wiggle)
Through many a dark hour, I’ve been thinking about this due to the recurring rhymes in the two songs; their themes both appear to be a wild Dionysiac search for ‘gnostic’ wisdom with the end rhymes ‘long/wrong/strong’ suggesting a macroscopic connection with The Cockroaches, an archetypal coincidence, for sure:
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