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Monday, November 22, 2010

Still Hateful, Still Hopeful

Finished two courses-on-the-road, 48 lectures of The Teaching Company's "Comparative Religion" and "Buddhism" CDs. And I didn't even have to write a paper or take a final exam! (I learned about the "Big Vehicle" -- Mahayana -- while driving my little vehicle.)

But at semester's end, so to speak, I was at a loss as to what to feed my CD player. Aha, the Dylan "Witmark Demos" that arrived a couple weeks ago but I hadn't really listened to yet-- I know all those songs --most all of them -- anyway.

Well, this is major nostalgia and confirmation that Dylan was a genius from Day 1. And these raw versions remind me of what my mother said when I made her listen to them when they were first released.

"Why, he sounds just like Robert Frost reading his own poetry," she said. Pretty astute. My mom would have been 87 today, had she lived past 1970. Alas, she (and JFK) never got to get old, like me and both Bob's.

But today I enjoyed howling along in the car, to the other side of the valley like a coyote (not that kind, the doggy wolfish kind), to "A Hard Rain's A Gonna Fall". Then the next track, "The Death of Emmett Till," kinda somber and not so sing-along-able, made me recall the brief news item I heard on CNN while I was flossing my teeth this morning.

Hate crimes continue, the news reported, with very unattractive statistics. In light of this, some of the old stuff on the Dylan discs sounds as fresh and timely as it did nearly 50 years ago (OMG!) when my mother was only 40.

"This song is just a reminder to remind your fellow man...That this kind of thing
still lives today...But if all us folks that thinks alike, if we gave all we
could give...We could make this great land of ours a greater place to live
. --Death of Emmett Till, Bob Dylan

Hope continues too.

I mean to say Happy Thanksgiving, but I'll save that until Thursday.

1 comment:

sybil law said...

Dylan is freaking awesome (so is Frost, for that matter), but he was one of my top 5 worst concerts. Maybe he was having a bad night.