Friday, November 09, 2007

She does it proud

I love my partner dearly, and we are coming up to ten happy years together, but I have to go off into my den if I want to crank up Dylan and play him (nearly peer group, and he always said what I wanted to say). If I tell her to listen to the lyrics it doesn't work, as she can't stand his voice and delivery (she's a singer). I point to Hendrix singing "All Along the Watchtower"...which she loves, and even Dylan does it that way now...but she didn't know he wrote that.

So when KT Tunstall came on at the end of a mostly drearily retro folky Dylan tribute tv programme - and blew the audience away with the first two tracks of Blood On The Tracks - I wanted to share it. Didn't have video recording access. On YouTube now you can see her doing the first track (did anyone record the follow up of "Simple Twist Of Fate" - please post it!) You can glimpse a clip at the BBC on the link above. Oh, and I liked Robyn Hitchcock doing Visions of Johanna, too. No disrespect to the folkies (I loved you once...)

YouTube has her doing it on Jules Holland's show, but you get the drift. Who else does write lyrics anything like this? Read this, maybe, but listen to KT's delivery at the same time...

Early one mornin' the sun was shinin',
I was layin' in bed
Wond'rin' if she'd changed at all
If her hair was still red.
Her folks they said our lives together
Sure was gonna be rough
They never did like Mama's homemade dress
Papa's bankbook wasn't big enough.
And I was standin' on the side of the road
Rain fallin' on my shoes
Heading out for the East Coast
Lord knows I've paid some dues gettin' through,
Tangled up in blue.

She was married when we first met
Soon to be divorced
I helped her out of a jam, I guess,
But I used a little too much force.
We drove that car as far as we could
Abandoned it out West
Split up on a dark sad night
Both agreeing it was best.
She turned around to look at me
As I was walkin' away
I heard her say over my shoulder,
"We'll meet again someday on the avenue,"
Tangled up in blue.

I had a job in the great north woods
Working as a cook for a spell
But I never did like it all that much
And one day the ax just fell.
So I drifted down to New Orleans
Where I happened to be employed
Workin' for a while on a fishin' boat
Right outside of Delacroix.
But all the while I was alone
The past was close behind,
I seen a lot of women
But she never escaped my mind, and I just grew
Tangled up in blue.

She was workin' in a topless place
And I stopped in for a beer,
I just kept lookin' at the side of her face
In the spotlight so clear.
And later on as the crowd thinned out
I's just about to do the same,
She was standing there in back of my chair
Said to me, "Don't I know your name?"
I muttered somethin' underneath my breath,
She studied the lines on my face.
I must admit I felt a little uneasy
When she bent down to tie the laces of my shoe,
Tangled up in blue.

She lit a burner on the stove and offered me a pipe
"I thought you'd never say hello," she said
"You look like the silent type."
Then she opened up a book of poems
And handed it to me
Written by an Italian poet
From the thirteenth century.
And every one of them words rang true
And glowed like burnin' coal
Pourin' off of every page
Like it was written in my soul from me to you,
Tangled up in blue.

I lived with them on Montague Street
In a basement down the stairs,
There was music in the cafes at night
And revolution in the air.
Then he started into dealing with slaves
And something inside of him died.
She had to sell everything she owned
And froze up inside.
And when finally the bottom fell out
I became withdrawn,
The only thing I knew how to do
Was to keep on keepin' on like a bird that flew,
Tangled up in blue.

So now I'm goin' back again,
I got to get to her somehow.
All the people we used to know
They're an illusion to me now.
Some are mathematicians
Some are carpenter's wives.
Don't know how it all got started,
I don't know what they're doin' with their lives.
But me, I'm still on the road
Headin' for another joint
We always did feel the same,
We just saw it from a different point of view,
Tangled up in blue.
Copyright © 1974 Ram's Horn Music

Lord knows, I've paid some dues, getting through... (yeah, I was going through the break up of a long term relationship at the time, too) Duh

All the people we used to know, they're an illusion to me now. Some are mathematicians, some are carpenter's wives. I don't know how it all got started, I don't know what they're doin' with their lives. But me, I'm still on the road headin' for another joint. We always did feel the same, We just saw it from a different point of view...

Go score Blood On the Tracks and listen to the stripped down, original version, of Tangled Up In Blue..

My Desert Island Dylan (can I take Blonde on Blonde, with me too, please? And maybe Planet Waves, and uh, oh well, fuck it...)

This lyric alone kept me going all these years:

The only thing I knew how to do
Was to keep on keepin' on
like a bird that flew

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