For those who are familiar with Bob Dylan's song-smithing, you will recall that the line is from "My Back Pages" - written in 1964. It first appeared on the album "Another Side of Bob Dylan" though Dylan never performed it live until 1988.
What does the line mean? "Ah but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now"? There have been different interpretations. To me it's Dylan looking back on earlier times, earlier songs and saying that he is not as certain of things as he once was. Previously he was the voice of a generation - seen as a protest singer - but now he's entering a new phase in which the world is a forest of complexity. He is not saying that angry protesting is wrong, just that it's not as straightforward as it once appeared.
Another of my favourite songwriters is the Californian - Jackson Browne. Here he is with Joan Osborne, revisiting "My Back Pages" and breathing new life into it in 2008. Together they approach the lyrics with reverence and awareness of their almost mystical reach, paying homage not just to Bob Dylan but to the lines themselves:-
Earworms are pests. Like dandelion (which I love) difficult to eradicate. Luckily, I somehow, early on in my life, managed to find the off switch. Earplugs for the brain.ReplyDelete
That Dylan line is intriguing, and your interpretation more intricate than mine. I just see it as recognizing that when we were young some of us thought we knew it all; as life and time marches on we realize how little we know. Eventually we'll turn into Socrates who knew that he knows nothing at all.
Your interpretation of the line is perhaps better articulated than mine but essentially we are on exactly the same wavelength.Delete
I agree with Ursula. I remember when my youngest son was in his middle teens and thought he knew it all.....trying to explain that he didn't ! I am still learning in my 70s !!ReplyDelete
(I had a lot of Dylan's music in my youth...the LPs must be still around somewhere but nothing to play them on)
Didn't we all think we knew it all when we were young? I am pleased to learn you were a Dylan fan Frances.Delete
Universal Soldier by Donovan and Eve of Destruction by Barry McGuire were great protest songs from the sixties. I have seen them both playing live and Donovan walked passed me in Bantry. He lives in Mallow. Mallow yellow🎤.ReplyDelete
"They call me Mallow Yallow...quite rightly"Delete
P.S. "Universal Soldier" was written by the Native American singer - Buffy Sainte-Marie.
She sounds like Dolly Parton.Delete
I love the warbling effect in Buffy's singing voice. The very first time I ever came to Sheffield was to see her in concert at The City Hall.Delete
i don't remember thinking i knew it all but i do remember thinking i was incapable of making a mistake on the road!ReplyDelete
Yeah. Many young drivers suffer from over-confidence.Delete
Now that's more disciplined.ReplyDelete
Now may I have my catapult back please Mr Dunham? I promise not to scrawl "HENDRIX IS GOD!" in the boys' toilets again.Delete
Thank you, Mr. P.ReplyDelete
I sat and watched the lyrics go by as I listened to each note and you have reminded me that Bob Dylan was (and is, I am sure) far more than we deserved and exactly what we needed. I kneel at his poetry desk.
It's so good to hear that song from the lips of Joanne Osborne and Jackson Browne - both very talented songwriters themselves. They really "feel" the words.Delete
I'm terribly prone to earworms and I hate it! It's especially bad when I'm under stress and it's almost always a song I don't like much to begin with. I wish I knew of some method to stop them!ReplyDelete
Drink half a bottle of Jack Daniels. That should expunge the earworms.Delete
Since I joined a choir I have ear worms all the time that often drive me crazy. I wake up in the middle of the night singing along to them!ReplyDelete
I hope your choir doesn't sing "The Birdy Song" ADDY!Delete
You are talking about some of my favorites here YP. I have always loved that line by Dylan and I agree with it totally. Much of my youth was spent working hard to provide for my children and be a good parent. I think in retirement we get a little of that time back to be young in our own way.ReplyDelete
That's a lovely and original way of looking at the line Bonnie.Delete
Such a timely post, especially the part about "not saying that angry protesting is wrong, just that it's not as straightforward as it once appeared." We're seeing angry protests in the states and some of them, I fear, are backfiring. The world is indeed complex.ReplyDelete
Trump is engineering reality so that the truth is usurped.Delete