Sunday, March 1, 2009

Simple Explanation

"I don't care about economy, I don't care about astronomy, 
But it sure do bother me to see my loved ones turning into puppets,
There's a slow, slow train comin' up around the bend."

Album-Slow Train Coming
Song- Slow Train

A few weeks ago I was driving around after work just clearing my mind. Slow Train came up on one of my weekly installments of mixtapes (cds) I make. The song is so relative on many levels. Of course vital lines elude to globalization and the wealthy diplomats, politicians, business men and royal families controlling the masses, especially the average citizen of the world. However, I believe the lines above are the best insight Dylan has ever given about his opinions and beliefs on his impact and legacy handed to him from the 1960's on. Simply put yet so in depth.
Many journalists, artists, educators and audiophiles obsess over the prophet like commentary Dylan has provided his whole career. Not many more guilty than myself. I ponder the question, " Is Dylan that intellectual in his analysis of current events? " I also ponder how aware he is of the specifics of events and situations that Dylan has been noted to be a spokesman for. 
I've starting to firmly believe that Dylan was not a genius for his commentary on life due to his knowledge, however the ability to observe and simplify human conditions. Over his career he's blown away many by philosophizing everyday occurrences into exceptional poetry and imagery. 
"I don't care about economy". Dylan eluding to the idea he's not educated on economics & social sciences ?
"I don't care about astronomy". Dylan eluding to the idea he's not educated in science?
"But it sure do bother me to see my loved ones turning into puppets" Dylan's loved ones are the human interaction and philosophical banter among souls.
"There's a slow, slow train comin' up around the bend" Dylan's new phrase confirming the Times Are A' Changin' ... Again.
Is this Dylan's explanation of his severed relationship in the 60's with the media ? Finally stating that he's no expert and poetically explains what he observes in basic human nature?

Very few times in Dylan's career has he explicitly stated the meanings of his songs, in addition very few times its been easy to pinpoint the exact event, person or social issue his songs are about. I consider two tracks "Masters of War" and "Tangled Up In Blue". "Masters of War" trancends generations and will forever. Dylan never confirms a specific country, war or conflict during the song. Instead the commentary can be generally understood to describe any imperialistic notions of the past present and future. He is the outward conscience of the masses who feel disgusted, confused, disillusioned and effected by the war. 
"Tangled Up In Blue" is a classic example in which Dylan seems to be writing exclusively about a romance. However, I think the romance involves actually divorcing his past and moving forward to with a new love interest possibly identified as the next era of experimentation. It may also be a reflection of the transition from folk icon to rock icon.

I'm not assuming that Dylan is ignorant and oblivious to history. I'm assuming he is more interested in discussing points of view as a storyteller rather than discussing the timelines and outcomes of instances he has observed. 

1 comment:

  1. Yes. And its not as if he's giving answers, its just an open thought or three, something to be discussed in the coffee houses and bus stations.