Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist
poliphilo

A Conversation About Dylan's New Album

A: Another bunch of doggerel songs! Bloody hell! Why can't he write lyrics that make sense? 

B: But the dislocations are the whole point. He's doing collage. He approaches his subject like a Cubist- from all angles at once.

A: You're sure he's not just being lazy? I mean, does he never edit himself? 

B:  The guy's released 35 albums and never stops touring. Lazy is the last thing he is.

A: So you're happy with songs that maunder on for 15 minutes like the one about the Titanic?  One of the critics said it reminded him of McGonagall's Tay Bridge Disaster.  A real writer would have cut the thing down to a quarter of the length.

B: But it's a broadsheet ballad. It's meant to sound like McGonagall. That's just the effect he's aiming at.

A: You mean he's deliberately churning out sentimental piffle? 

B: Yes. But it isn't piffle. Not really. He's writing words for music, not the page. Put the words and the music together and they work. 

A: It's still awfully long.

B: A big boat deserves a big song. Besides traditional ballads are like that. It's called story-telling. 

A:. But don't you get tired of all the doom and gloom? It's not the Cold War any longer. Banging on about the apocalypse is so last century .

B:  Hey, that's Bob's subject. Always has been. Might just as well condemn Jane Austen for always writing about spinster ladies. 

A: I do.

B: So why'd you buy the freaking album then?

A:  'Cause I love him

B:  Even though?

A:  Even though. 

B:  Why all the griping?

A: A man's gotta wrestle with his angels.

B: Now you sound like him. 

A: I wish.....

B: So what's your favourite song then?

A: Scarlet Town. Has to be. 

B: Mine too. Love the line about the "flat-chested junkie whore." Course none of it makes much sense...

A: But what a glorious tune...
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