Monday, June 8, 2009

Ringing True

Time passes slowly up here in the mountains,
We sit beside bridges and walk beside fountains,
Catch the wild fishes that float through the stream,
Time passes slowly when you're lost in a dream.

Time Passes Slowly - New Morning - 1970

I'm not usually one for flowery language that illustrates the setting - in music or literature - but with Dylan it all flows so naturally and contributes seamlessly to the picture of the song. In this case, that picture is a masterpiece as Dylan uses a bare bones arrangement to weave a powerful theme of love lost (what else with Dylan).

And who hasn't felt time passing slowly when they're searching for love, lost in a dream or living in the mountains?

The album sort of hits me as a Blonde on Blonde meets Nashville Skyline, but perhaps I'm giving it to much credit. Though I will contend it gets lost in the shuffle when talking about the great Dylan albums.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Same Old Rat Race

Insanity is smashing up against my soul
You can say I was on anything but a roll

If I had a conscience, well I just might blow my top

What would I do with it anyway

Maybe take it to the pawn shop

Highlands - Time Out of Mind - 1997

Although Dylan's career, in the qualitative sense, was revived in the early 90's with Good as I Been to You and World Gone Wrong both full of beautiful covers of traditional folk songs, this album really cemented Dylan's comeback and provided a kind of roadmap for his future endeavors.

In that vein these lyrics draw on my very favorite thing about Dylan. His talent for introspection. He's just wondering around the earth examining the world, looking for meaning and happiness, just like all of us - he just does it in the most beautiful and poetic way ever created. I can't imagine how much he was hurting writing this.

Highlands is over 16 minutes long but worth a full listen.