By Aaron Galbraith with a footnote from Tony
They eventually released the YouTube video for the Dylan/Savoretti track Touchy Situation,
Here are my take on the lyrics (with help from my wife on a few places i couldn’t work out!)
I'd like to find out what places she's been What's behind her locked door Oh better yet, know if I'm out or I'm in If the elevator still runs to the top floor Perhaps she would say She was a student of hope And I'm dangling from the end Of a disintegrating rope But I don't wish to spark off Her outraged imagination I don't wish to get into any double edged conversation It's a touchy situation Woah-oh-oh, yes It's a touchy situation Oh-oh-oh yeah Someday I'll find out What I'm now afraid to ask And I'll discover what lies there Beneath the door mats Perhaps she would say That I'm just deathly afraid To see her make the same mistake that I made And it might lead to Some sweet revelation She knows I hate Meaningless conversation It's a touchy situation Woah-oh-oh, yes It's a touchy situation Oh-oh-oh yeah I said, "Are you doing well baby?" She says, "Go ask your father" I said, "Give me yes, no, or maybe" She says, "Why should I bother?" I said... She says... I said, "oh..." I'll ask you tomorrow I'll ask you tomorrow If I could only break the code of her fears I could expose the secrets to the river of her tears Rattle her senses Until she's pouring forthtears Before she'd exercise Those powers of manipulation It's a touchy situation It's a touchy situation It's a touchy situation Woah-oh-oh It's a touchy situation Woah-oh-oh It's a touchy situation It's a touchy situation It's a touchy situation
Footnote from Tony:
I must say I was a little unsure about this song at first, feeling that we were hearing something (in terms of lyrics) that Dylan would have changed and manipulated (as we know happens from the notebooks we have seen and the early versions of songs that have survived) and that had he stayed with it he would have knocked it around.
But then that “middle 8” comes along
I said, “Are you doing well baby?”
She says, “Go ask your father”
I said, “Give me yes, no, or maybe”
She says, “Why should I bother?”
I said, “oh…”
and I am suddenly totally in love with the piece. Yes I am still sure the master songwriter in Dylan would have manipulated some of it, and I am not sure that as a songwriter he would have got that fantastic power out of the music at this point – but he would have got something amazing for those lines, of that I am certain.
The line “go ask your father” – implying (to me, and of course as always this is just my view) that the lady in the song is saying, “you are doing to me what your father has done to your mother” or even “what your father has done to you”, is fantastic. It comes out of the blue – or at least I was not ready for it, and the musical line and the orchestration are, for me, just right at that point.
“Why should I bother?” is the absolute final put down, goodbye line in a love affair – the opposite end of farewells from “It’s all over now baby blue.” It is far far stronger than “It ain’t me babe”; we are in the Positively 4th Street world at this point, or Ballad in Plain D, but now from the woman’s point of view.
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