by Larry Fyffe
Previously in this series:
- Dylan and Rudyard Kipling appears here (Part 1)
- I Don’t Believe You: Bob Dylan And Rudyard Kipling (Part II)
The Victorian perspective of poet and writer Rudyard Kipling has a lasting influence on Western culture:
If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs, and blaming it on you If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you But make allowance for their doubting too .... .... you'll be a man, my son
(Rudyard Kipling: If)
Bob Dylan grows up in days when men are depicted as men; women as women:
Trust yourself Trust yourself to do the things that only you know best Trust yourself Trust yourself to do what's right, and not be second-guessed
The rhythmical waves of Kipling’s ideal values ripple yet through the song lyrics of singer/songwriter Bob Dylan:
Of all of them blackfaced crew The finest man I knew Was our regimental 'bhisti', Gunga Din He was Din, Din, Din You limpin', lump o' brick-dust, Gunga Din
(Rudyard Kipling: Gunga Din)
Bob Dylan adds the name of a latter-day member – Roger McGuinn of the Byrds:
Clouds so swift, and the rain fallin' in Gonna see a movie called 'Gunga Din' Pack up your money, pull up your tent, McGuinn You ain't goin' nowhere
And film actor Anthony Quinn:
When Quinn the Eskimo gets here Everybody's gonna doze Come all without, come all within You'll not see nothin' like the mighty Quinn
Other lines by the disillusioned Victorian poet have already been mentioned:
We have done with hope and honour; we are lost to love and truth We are dropping down the ladder rung by rung And the measure of our torment is the measure of our youth God help us, for we knew the worst too young
(Rudyard Kipling: Gentlemen-Rankers)
Kipling knows his Keats:
More happy love! more happy, happy love! For ever warm and still to be enjoyed For ever panting, and forever young All breathing passion from above
(John Keats: Ode On A Grecian Urn)
And Dylan his Keats, and his Kipling:
May you build a ladder to the stars And climb on every rung May you stay May you stay forever young ... May you grow up to be righteous May you grow up to be strong May you always know the truth An see the lights surrounding you
Kipling alludes to a nursery rhyme:
We're poor little lambs who've lost our way Baa! baa! baa! We're little black sheep who've gone astray Baa-aa-aa! Gentlemen-rankers out on the spree Damned from here to eternity
(Rudyard Kipling: Gentlemen-Rankers)
Baa, baa, black sheep Have you any wool? Yes sir, yes sir Three bags full
(Nursery rhyme: Baa Baa Black Sheep)
And Dylan too:
And the mountains are filled with lost sheep Ring them bells for the blind and the deaf Ring them bells for all of us who are left Ring them bells for the chosen few
Whether the sheep are Jewish or Calvinist, we’re not sure!
In the burlesque adventure movie ‘Gunga Din’, based on Kipling’s poem by the same name, the water-bearer Gunga Din (Sam Jaffe) dies a hero’s death – saves Sergeant Cutter, played by Cary Grant.
What else is on the site
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