After an inadvertent break for Passover - I'll blame the wine and leave it at that - my first thought on starting the week was to roll with a song that just keeps popping up on my shuffles. Actually, a bunch of Dylan stuff has been bubbling to the top of shuffles, but this song has played more than once and it got me thinking.
It's pretty likely the former Bob Zimmerman did not have a seder, considering he gave up on Judaism years ago, but this tale of Captain Kid checking out the New World just before Columbus rolled up made me think of the Exodus despite its complete lack of a real link. The search, for salvation in both cases, comes through for me though, even with the lack of biblical references in the lyrics. Really, "Highway 61" would have been a better pick. Forget that, though, here's a slightly less obvious track that I've grown to like a lot more most of the time.
The other thing I really dig about "Bob Dylan's 115th Dream" is the way it starts - a studio misstep, and everybody sounds too stoned to really care. I'm only mentioning that part because it's April 20, and some will wonder why I didn't post "Rainy Day Woman #12 and 35." The simple answer, for anybody who listens to the words, is that it's not about drugs. At all.
If the 60s had really been successful, you'd have smiling, large-bearded Ginsbergian religious-looking figures davening to "It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)." Instead, everybody cashed in and only a phrase or two has continued in the popular lexicon, and that phrase is used about as much as the word lexicon. No shame, considering money is what makes things happen, but the words of that track are at least as useful as anything in a Passover Haggadah, if not the entire Bible itself.
Alas, here we are, a better nation and world, despite a lot of the American Enlightenment's failure, and I'm willing to bet that most people 29 years and younger currently alive haven't even heard these songs, or the albums they come from. You don't have to love it, but you should at least know it. Then again, that bit of bitterness comes from a guy who loves everything about Passover from the story to the wine to the screaming about who does and does not find gafilte fish jelly completely disgusting, so do whatever you want.
Buy Bringing It All Back Home from Shockhound.
(For the record, those versions of "Rainy Day Woman" and "It's Alright Ma" are not the album versions, and totally worth checking out if you didn't do so already.)