Thursday, November 23, 2006

Bob Dylan's Modern Times

As well as being a great listen, the lyrics for Bob Dylan's new album 'Modern Times' are riddled with biblical allusions/imagery and religious themes in a broadly Judaeo-Christian mold. Here's some examples of the most striking ones (full lyrics can be found here).

Song: Spirit on the water

Spirit on the water
Darkness on the face of the deep
I keep thinking about you baby I can't hardly sleep

I wanna be with you in paradise
And it seems so unfair
I can't go to paradise no more
I killed a man back there

Song: Nettie Moore

I'm the oldest son of a crazy man,
I'm in a cowboy band
Got a pile of sins to pay for and I ain't got time to hide
Well, the world of research has gone berserk
Too much paperwork
Albert's in the graveyard, Frankie's raising hell
I'm beginning to believe what the scriptures tell
Today I'll stand in faith and raise
The voice of praise
The sun is strong, I'm standing in the light
I wish to God that it were night

Song: Thunder on the Mountain

Thunder on the mountain, and there's fires on the moon
A ruckus in the alley and the sun will be here soon
Today's the day, gonna grab my trombone and blow
Well, there's hot stuff here and it's everywhere I go

Thunder on the mountain rolling to the ground
Gonna get up in the morning walk the hard road down
Some sweet day I'll stand beside my king
I wouldn't betray your love or any other thing

Song: When the Deal goes Down

Through the darkness on the pathways of life
Each invisible prayer is like a cloud in the air

Song: Beyond the Horizon

It's dark and it's dreary
I've been pleading in vain
I'm wounded, I'm weary
My repentance is plain

Song: The Levee's Gonna Break

I can't stop here I ain't ready to unload
I can't stop here I ain't ready to unload
Riches and salvation can be waiting behind the next bend in the road

Put on your cat clothes, mama, put on your evening dress
Put on your cat clothes, mama, put on your evening dress
Few more years of hard work, then there'll be a 1,000 years of happiness

Song: Ain't Talkin'

They say prayer has the power to heal,
So pray for me, mother
In the human heart an evil spirit can dwell
I am a-tryin' to love my neighbor and do good unto others
But oh, mother, things ain't going well

I practice a faith that's been long abandoned
Ain't no altars on this long and lonesome road

As I walked out in the mystic garden
On a hot summer day, a hot summer lawn
Excuse me, ma'am, I beg your pardon
There's no one here, the gardener is gone

Ain't talkin', just walkin'
Up the road, around the bend.
Heart burnin', still yearnin'
In the last outback at the world's end.

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