Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series, “Bob Dylan Week” where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore music from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!
Bob Dylan: The Stories Behind Some Of His Greatest Songs
‘Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door'(1973)
‘Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door'(1973) What does it mean?: Written for the film Pat Garrett And Billy The Kid and said to be inspired by the relationship between the two lead characters (“Mama put my guns in the ground/ I can’t shoot them anymore”). Dylan made a cameo in the film.
‘Highway 61 Revisited'(1965)
‘Highway 61 Revisited'(1965) What does it mean?: Dylan said it was inspired by Robert Johnson, the legendary blues singer who was said to have sold his soul to the devil at the crossroads of Highway 61 and Highway 49.
‘It Ain’t Me, Babe'(1964)
‘It Ain’t Me, Babe'(1964) What does it mean?: Speculation has been rife that this was simply about a one sided relationship or about his terse connection to the folk movement. Most agree that Dylan’s talking about the fact that at the time he reluctantly took the mantle of a figurehead for his generation (“It ain’t me you’re looking for”).
‘Sad Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands’ (1966)
‘Sad Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands’ (1966)What does it mean?: Said to be about his wife at the time Sara Lownds. On the song ‘Sara’ recorded much later Dylan sings: “Staying up for nights in the Chelsea Hotel, writing ‘Sad Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands’ for you”.
‘Joey’ (1976) What does it mean?: The song was about notorious mobster Joey Gallo. It was criticized at the time for its romantic take on the more violent elements of the gangster’s life.
I’m a Dylan fan from way back yonder. I once read an interview, maybe thirty years back, that he gave. The writer was doing his best to make Dylan into some musical God, but Bob wasn’t buying it. Bob cut the guy off and said, ( not quoting) “I write songs, I dream up lyrics that go with the music. There is no deep mystical meaning in my songs and I am not here to change the world. Knocking on Heavens Door is one of my favorites, as was the movie. PS, my grandson Johnathan looks like Dylan did in the 60s, and he plays acoustic guitar. Who knew.
LikeLiked by 1 person