Sunday, June 22, 2008

Late Night at the Cafe

Okay, this is the new Bob Dylan. Something has happened. Here's one of our favorites - we've been playing it since Columbus, but this performance from just six days ago in Bergamo is outstanding. Here's High Water from June 16, 2008:

High water risin' - risin' night and day
All the gold and silver are being stolen away
Big Joe Turner lookin' East and West
From the dark room of his mind
He made it to Kansas City
Twelfth Street and Vine
Nothing standing there
High water everywhere

High water risin', the shacks are slidin' down
Folks lose their possessions - folks are leaving town
Bertha Mason shook it - broke it
Then she hung it on a wall
Says, "You're dancin' with whom they tell you to
Or you don't dance at all."
It's tough out there
High water everywhere

I got a cravin' love for blazing speed
Got a hopped up Mustang Ford
Jump into the wagon, love, throw your panties overboard
I can write you poems, make a strong man lose his mind
I'm no pig without a wig
I hope you treat me kind
Things are breakin' up out there
High water everywhere

High water risin', six inches 'bove my head
Coffins droppin' in the street
Like balloons made out of lead
Water pourin' into Vicksburg, don't know what I'm going to do
"Don't reach out for me," she said
"Can't you see I'm drownin' too?"
It's rough out there
High water everywhere

Well, George Lewis told the Englishman, the Italian and the Jew
"You can't open your mind, boys
To every conceivable point of view."
They got Charles Darwin trapped out there on Highway Five
Judge says to the High Sheriff,
"I want him dead or alive
Either one, I don't care."
High Water everywhere

The Cuckoo is a pretty bird, she warbles as she flies
I'm preachin' the Word of God
I'm puttin' out your eyes
I asked Fat Nancy for something to eat, she said, "Take it off the shelf -
As great as you are a man,
You'll never be greater than yourself."
I told her I didn't really care
High water everywhere

I'm getting' up in the morning - I believe I'll dust my broom
Keeping away from the women
I'm givin' 'em lots of room
Thunder rolling over Clarksdale, everything is looking blue
I just can't be happy, love
Unless you're happy too
It's bad out there
High water everywhere

B. Dylan 2001

BB NOTE: We've also put up a great performance of Like A Rolling Stone over at All Along the Watchtower. One of the things that is difficult to explain about Dylan is that he is a master of phrasing. He can change the meaning of his own songs by how he phrases, by how he emphasizes and de-emphasizes words, by the rhythm, and by his expressiveness in the song. This particular performance in Liverpool, illustrates his ability to phrase his works with energy and take a song that is considered the #1 Rock Song of All Time by Rolling Stone Magazine and reinvent it all over again. It's frustrating for those who come to a Dylan Concert to hear the old hits from the foggy 60s - but for those of us of a new generation, it's all new.

One day we'll post the worst of Bob Dylan. But as we learned in his autobiography, sometimes when he's bad, he means it.

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