Happy Birthday, Bob!

Ohhhh sweet, lovely Bob Dylan.

Man of mystery, spinning lyrics as a tailor of song, twisting threads of words, creating color and pattern where there was none, and at last landing us back where we started, ears seared. May he live long.

I have liked Bob for a few years now, having been introduced to him through an old flame. Though at this juncture, I do have a confession to make. I did not like Dylan at first. I know. I had a tough time with the gravel in his voice, the density of his lyrics; I lacked the patience to let his songs grow on me slowly, unused to the lack of hooks and production. It's true, I was a music neophyte. But, well, gosh. The things we do for love, eh? I couldn't let that boy from yesteryear know that I hadn't at least attempted to memorize his works, so listen I did. And yay for me. The boy and I separated and moved on, but Bob and me? Well, that had a little more staying power.

His birthday was called to my attention by this interesting New York Times article about not only Bob's birthday, but the birthdays of many musical greats this year. Be sure to check it out!

And now I leave you with the music and lyrics to my favorite (or at least one of them) Dylan song. From his 1965 album Bringing It All Back Home, "Mr. Tambourine Man." To this day I can not get enough of that last verse... ahhh to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free, silhouetted by the sea...

Mr. Tambourine Man

Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me, I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to. Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me, In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come followin’ you.

Though I know that evening’s empire has returned into sand, Vanished from my hand, Left me blindly here to stand but still not sleeping; My weariness amazes me, I’m branded on my feet, I have no one to meet, And the ancient empty street’s too dead for dreaming.

Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me, I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to. Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me, In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come followin’ you.

Take me on a trip upon your magic swirlin’ ship, My senses have been stripped, my hands can’t feel to grip, My toes too numb to step, Wait only for my boot heels to be wanderin’ I’m ready to go anywhere, I’m ready for to fade, Into my own parade, cast your dancing spell my way, I promise to go under it.

Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me, I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to. Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me, In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come followin’ you.

Though you might hear laughin’, spinnin’, swingin’ madly across the sun, It’s not aimed at anyone, it’s just escapin’ on the run, And but for the sky there are no fences facin’. And if you hear vague traces of skippin’ reels of rhyme, To your tambourine in time, it’s just a ragged clown behind I wouldn’t pay it any mind, It’s just a shadow you’re seein’ that he’s chasing.

Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me, I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to. Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me, In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come followin’ you.

Then take me disappearin’ through the smoke rings of my mind, Down the foggy ruins of time, far past the frozen leaves, The haunted, frightened trees, out to the windy beach, Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow. Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free, Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands, With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves, Let me forget about today until tomorrow.

Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me, I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to. Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me, In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come followin’ you.