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FAREWELL ANGELINA


Related threads:
Lyr/Chords Req: Farewell Angelina (Bob Dylan) (11)
Lyr/Chords Req: Farewell Angelina (Bob Dylan) (3)
Lyr/Chords Req: Farewell Angelina (Bob Dylan) (25)
Lyr Req: Farewell Angelina (Bob Dylan) (7)


GUEST,hippie 16 Jun 02 - 06:29 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 16 Jun 02 - 07:21 PM
GUEST,hippie 16 Jun 02 - 07:22 PM
toadfrog 16 Jun 02 - 07:29 PM
Susanne (skw) 16 Jun 02 - 08:30 PM
Amos 16 Jun 02 - 08:39 PM
hobbitwoman 16 Jun 02 - 10:08 PM
GUEST,T-Tone 16 Jun 02 - 11:33 PM
Little Hawk 17 Jun 02 - 12:10 AM
Little Hawk 17 Jun 02 - 12:27 AM
GUEST,hippie 17 Jun 02 - 12:52 AM
Hrothgar 17 Jun 02 - 05:25 AM
KingBrilliant 17 Jun 02 - 06:15 AM
Pied Piper 17 Jun 02 - 07:58 AM
little john cameron 17 Jun 02 - 09:07 AM
Amos 17 Jun 02 - 09:50 AM
alinact 17 Jun 02 - 10:20 AM
Little Hawk 17 Jun 02 - 10:38 AM
GUEST,vixen @ work 17 Jun 02 - 10:49 AM
Big Tim 17 Jun 02 - 11:06 AM
GUEST,The Jester 17 Jun 02 - 12:24 PM
Little Hawk 17 Jun 02 - 03:19 PM
Art Thieme 17 Jun 02 - 04:14 PM
Little Hawk 17 Jun 02 - 04:49 PM
Art Thieme 17 Jun 02 - 08:48 PM
Big John 17 Jun 02 - 09:07 PM
CarolC 17 Jun 02 - 09:36 PM
Little Hawk 17 Jun 02 - 10:25 PM
GUEST,Aurore 11 Feb 09 - 05:03 AM
Leadfingers 11 Feb 09 - 07:34 AM
GUEST,Callie 11 Feb 09 - 12:45 PM
GUEST,mg 11 Feb 09 - 08:04 PM
Peter T. 12 Feb 09 - 01:26 AM
GUEST,Paddy 12 Feb 09 - 04:51 AM
banjoman 12 Feb 09 - 05:55 AM
Fran 12 Feb 09 - 01:02 PM
GUEST,Oz Childs 12 Nov 09 - 01:02 AM
Barbara 12 Nov 09 - 01:22 AM
Dave Hanson 12 Nov 09 - 02:31 AM
ard mhacha 12 Nov 09 - 06:10 AM
GUEST 04 Sep 10 - 11:43 AM
GUEST,Elinaanela 16 Apr 11 - 02:24 PM
Jim McLean 16 Apr 11 - 03:10 PM
Suegorgeous 16 Apr 11 - 06:36 PM
Mo the caller 17 Apr 11 - 02:59 AM
David C. Carter 17 Apr 11 - 04:37 AM
GUEST,Johnmc 17 Apr 11 - 11:02 AM
Keith A of Hertford 17 Apr 11 - 12:04 PM
GUEST,biff 17 Apr 11 - 06:47 PM
Art Thieme 17 Apr 11 - 08:31 PM
GUEST,ticket seller 18 Apr 11 - 09:13 AM
GUEST,biff 18 Apr 11 - 05:52 PM
GUEST,me 30 Oct 11 - 01:06 AM
GUEST 07 Feb 12 - 02:24 AM
Bonzo3legs 07 Feb 12 - 05:44 AM
Little Hawk 07 Feb 12 - 08:05 AM
Tim Leaning 07 Feb 12 - 08:42 AM
GUEST,Don Wise 07 Feb 12 - 09:16 AM
GUEST,Calum 07 Feb 12 - 09:26 AM
Little Hawk 07 Feb 12 - 09:48 AM
GUEST,999 07 Feb 12 - 10:01 AM
GUEST,999 07 Feb 12 - 10:25 AM
Little Hawk 07 Feb 12 - 10:38 AM
GUEST,Johnmc 07 Feb 12 - 11:20 AM
GUEST 10 May 12 - 10:32 PM
Arkie 11 May 12 - 04:22 PM
GUEST 25 Jun 12 - 09:29 PM
GUEST,Glynis 02 Aug 16 - 05:16 PM
FreddyHeadey 24 Oct 16 - 05:03 PM
Steve Shaw 24 Oct 16 - 06:03 PM
Andrez 24 Oct 16 - 06:59 PM
Steve Shaw 24 Oct 16 - 07:37 PM
GUEST 24 Oct 16 - 08:18 PM
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Subject: Farewell Angelina
From: GUEST,hippie
Date: 16 Jun 02 - 06:29 PM

Could someone please explain the meaning of this Bob Dylan song to me? There are references to cards but i'm a little lost.


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Subject: RE: Farewell Angelina
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Jun 02 - 07:21 PM

Don't worry about it. Sounds like he overdosed.


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Subject: RE: Farewell Angelina
From: GUEST,hippie
Date: 16 Jun 02 - 07:22 PM

either that or it has some really deep meaning


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Subject: RE: Farewell Angelina
From: toadfrog
Date: 16 Jun 02 - 07:29 PM

Deep meanings are the ones no one ever understands. Profundity and comprehensibility shall never be reconciled!


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Subject: RE: Farewell Angelina
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 16 Jun 02 - 08:30 PM

I've always suspected it was his way of letting a former girlfriend know she was no longer wanted, in suitably dramatic fashion. I like the song, though. There is a chance it is indeed full of profound meaning ...


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Subject: RE: Farewell Angelina
From: Amos
Date: 16 Jun 02 - 08:39 PM

It is possible the reason he used such colorful images is he thought they would communicate better than trying to reduce them to semantic propositions; so it is pretty much up to you to impose meaning wherever you feel its needed in them, but I would hesitate to say he put any in there to dig around trying to excavate it. None that would sound good in ordinary English, anyway.

A


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Subject: RE: Farewell Angelina
From: hobbitwoman
Date: 16 Jun 02 - 10:08 PM

I've always loved the song, even if I never could figure out what it meant. But that's the way it is for me with most of Mr. Dylan's songs. And at the risk of inciting a riot, I've always thought they sound a lot better when Joan Baez is singing them. But that's just my personal opinion.

Annie


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Subject: RE: Farewell Angelina
From: GUEST,T-Tone
Date: 16 Jun 02 - 11:33 PM

Right on Amos! The song is full of enigmatic analogies that reflect the tenor of the times when it was written - the turbulant sixties. The query from guest hippie misses the point. Every work of art does not have to have a linear kind of narrative. The best pieces allow the listener, reader, or viewer to engage their own imaginations. The tone of this song is kind of an admission that some situations are helpless to certain resolutions. That sometimes the best answer is to say "I can't do anything about this" so instead I'll write a song. And in this case a song that captures complexities that the medium can allow for and maybe shine some light on. Beautiful song. One of his best.


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Subject: Lyr Add: FAREWELL ANGELINA (Bob Dylan)
From: Little Hawk
Date: 17 Jun 02 - 12:10 AM

They sound absolutely great when Baez sings them...and absolutely great when Bob does...but completely different. That's what is so cool about it. I love 'em both ways.

This song became one of Baez' anthems, and deservedly so. No recording of Bob doing it surfaced (officially, that is) until the Bootleg Series in the 90's as far as I recall.

It's a truly great piece of poetry.

Farewell Angelina The bells of the crown
Are being stolen by bandits
I must follow the sound
The triangle tingles
And the trumpets play slow
Farewell Angelina
The sky is on fire
And I must go.

There's no need for anger
There's no need for blame
There's nothing to prove
Ev'rything's still the same
Just a table standing empty
By the edge of the sea
Farewell Angelina
The sky is trembling
And I must leave.

The jacks and queens
Have forsaked the courtyard
Fifty-two gypsies
Now file past the guards
In the space where the deuce
And the ace once ran wild
Farewell Angelina
The sky is folding
I'll see you in a while.

See the cross-eyed pirates sitting
Perched in the sun
Shooting tin cans
With a sawed-off shotgun
And the neighbors they clap
And they cheer with each blast
Farewell Angelina
The sky's changing color
And I must leave fast.

King Kong, little elves
On the rooftoops they dance
Valentino-type tangos
While the make-up man's hands
Shut the eyes of the dead
Not to embarrass anyone
Farewell Angelina
The sky is embarrassed
And I must be gone.

The machine guns are roaring
The puppets heave rocks
The fiends nail time bombs
To the hands of the clocks
Call me any name you like
I will never deny it
Farewell Angelina
The sky is erupting
I must go where it's quiet.

Absolutely gorgeous poetry, with a few unforgettable phrases... What does it mean. Well, a whole lot of things, and none of them exclusively. Dylan often writes using what I call universal images...and this song is full of them. Such images do not have one literal meaning, but link symbolically to many different levels of meaning, and take the listener to whichever level is relevant to that listener. If the listener is incapable of understanding anything other than literal meanings, they don't take him very far...

This song is about the end of something..or of many things. The complete and final end...of a dream, a relationship, a fantasy, a personal or national philosophy, an expectation, a cultural or political or economic age...you name it. It has the feeling (as do so many of Dylan's songs...of a final catastrophic collapse, an apocalypse...whether on a personal or on a larger level.

Throughout the song there are images of the sacred and the profane, in stark contrast to one another...the "bells of the crown" (sacred) are "being stolen by bandits". Does that not say something to you about society or even religion or politics? No? Okay let's try something else.

He follows the sound of what is sacred. The sound is now all that's left, but he follows it. "The sky is on fire" Sounds like an apocalypse to me...

"There's no need for anger, no need for blame" Correct. That is a great spiritual truth, and a great statement. All that was sacred and certain has fallen, and the table is now empty, and the sky is trembling (great fear in people's hearts)...but to cast anger and blame would be of absolutely no avail under such conditions.

The 3rd verse uses playing card images in a very interesting way as symbols, but it is not about playing cards in any literal sense. It is about the departure or demise of the old authority figures and the privileged few, as gypsies (the homeless, the wanderers, the castoffs of society) march through the empty courtyards where the royalty once held sway. And "the sky is folding"...the old hand has been played, found wanting, and is folding...in other words, it's over and done.

There is a lot of allusion to war and chaos in this song, and the "cross-eyed pirates" in the 4rth verse are those who thoughtlessly resort to violence and destruction, because they are too primitive to know what else to do when an old order collapses around them. The neighbours (Joe Ordinary Public?) are equally primitive...they clap and cheer as the shots are fired. (those shots could just as well be nuclear missiles as shotguns). There is much the same feeling in this song as in "Hard Rain's A-gonna Fall" although the style of delivery is gentler by far. The sky's changing colour...yeah, nuclear war can have that effect on the sky all right.

The next verse offers up a truly devastating image. King Kong and the little elves dance madly on the rooftops (open insanity in the midst of disaster), "while the makeup man's hands close the eyes of the dead, not to embarrass anyone"!!! Does that not sound like the ultimate exposure of social hypocrisy? People can die, they can die by the millions...but let's make sure no one is embarrassed...we'll put makeup on the corpses and carefully shut their eyes. Think about the 6 O'Clock News, and how it sanitizes reality for you every day, and reports what is "saleable" (for a brief time) while ignoring what is not.

But...the sky IS embarrassed. The sky is God, the sky is the eye of Truth, and the sky is not fooled.

The last scene returns to scenes of warfare, rock throwing, time bombs...(it's happening like that right now in the Middle East).

A messenger brought you all this. He did it instinctively, not be calculation. Poetry like this is not preplanned, it just happens. He gave voice to what what was not publicly spoken.

Call him any name you like, he will never deny it (cos it makes no difference what you call him anyway...). The sky is erupting, and it's time for him to leave, to go "where it's quiet".

And where is that? Maybe beyond this life. Maybe into Spirit. Maybe just to a peaceful place on this Earth...if one can be found.

And Angelina...she is Bob's eternal muse, she is the Queen of Heaven, she is every man's beloved, and every child's mother, she is whatever female archetype you could care to name. Or she is Bob's last girlfriend at the time, but to say that she is that alone would be trivial.

That's part of what the song is about, and it's about other things too. You could say it's about the end of a relationship if you want to. Do with it what you will. It works for me.

- LH


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Subject: RE: Farewell Angelina
From: Little Hawk
Date: 17 Jun 02 - 12:27 AM

Now Spaw will log on and say "What have ya been smokin', Hawk?!?" or something like that...

Yeah, sure, Spaw. You know more than you let on, and I know it. Either that, or you're a total dumbass! :-)

- LH


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Subject: RE: Farewell Angelina
From: GUEST,hippie
Date: 17 Jun 02 - 12:52 AM

i love it regardless of it's meaning. I love the way it sounds. But T-Tone I feel you should always try to understand a song before you learn so that you can do it justice. And if I hadn't asked the question none of you would've gotten in to a discussion about it. Thanks everyone for your input. Peace!


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Subject: RE: Farewell Angelina
From: Hrothgar
Date: 17 Jun 02 - 05:25 AM

Somewhere in the depths I have a memory that relates it to the Spanish Civil War. Can't document that, though.

Can somebody in America ask Dylan?


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Subject: RE: Farewell Angelina
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 17 Jun 02 - 06:15 AM

Its all image and flavour isn't it? For some reason I always get the impression of a cowardly exit - or maybe a withdrawal from reality - just get on with it, I'm off.
Certainly its a song that means many different things, depends who's listening.
Little Hawk - thanks for giving us that stupendous interpretation. I kind of feel I've been missing out on most of it until reading that.....

KRis


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Subject: RE: Farewell Angelina
From: Pied Piper
Date: 17 Jun 02 - 07:58 AM

Mr Hawk; spot on. I wish I could have explained it so well. The great thing about this and other Dylan songs is that he can get all this and more into a few lines. As with a lot of his songs there is a resonance with traditional folk song. Come to think of it the other apocalyptic song you mention "Hard Rain" is very influenced by "Lord Randel" and its variants. All the best PP.


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Subject: RE: Farewell Angelina
From: little john cameron
Date: 17 Jun 02 - 09:07 AM

Well done LH.How aboot a run doon oan "Desolation Row" next?ljc


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Subject: RE: Farewell Angelina
From: Amos
Date: 17 Jun 02 - 09:50 AM

Geez, Hawk, that's not what I think it means at all. I think it reflects the relationship between certain eternal verities, the starts and ends of all cycles in life and time, and the strange kind of angst that modern Americans arrive at when they start contemplating nutritional values and the nature of food chains while standing in line holding on to two eight-year-olds at the Dairy Queen.

But I guess I am adding more interpretation into it than you did.

A


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Subject: RE: Farewell Angelina
From: alinact
Date: 17 Jun 02 - 10:20 AM

Little Hawk

I feel like I've just read a long lost Immanuel Velikovsky theory.

Allan


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Subject: RE: Farewell Angelina
From: Little Hawk
Date: 17 Jun 02 - 10:38 AM

Amos - Yeah, well it means most of that too, except from where you used the word "nutritional"... :-)

Allan - I know exactly what you mean. :-) (again)

- LH


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Subject: RE: Farewell Angelina
From: GUEST,vixen @ work
Date: 17 Jun 02 - 10:49 AM

Anybody heard Tim O'Brien's version on Red on Blond? I fell in love with the song all over again.

V


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Subject: RE: Farewell Angelina
From: Big Tim
Date: 17 Jun 02 - 11:06 AM

LH strikes again. Well done wee man and thanks. ljc: re Desolation Row - don't encourage him!


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Subject: RE: Farewell Angelina
From: GUEST,The Jester
Date: 17 Jun 02 - 12:24 PM

Oo ee prity scary.


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Subject: RE: Farewell Angelina
From: Little Hawk
Date: 17 Jun 02 - 03:19 PM

Thanks, people. I think I did explain Desolation Row once on here at some point way back when...?

Hey, Amos, actually your Dairy Queen analogy is a good one. I didn't read it thoughtfully enough the first around. I'll go along with the whole thing...

- LH


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Subject: RE: Farewell Angelina
From: Art Thieme
Date: 17 Jun 02 - 04:14 PM

I always thought that Bob Dylan was a luckier person than was Stan Rogers.

I say the because when Stan did his songs, the presentation was so "good" that it could never be topped. Stan Rogers NAILED IT every time he sang a song pretty much. Dylan, on the other hand, as we all know, had a less easy-to-listen-to voice. Like strong single malt scotch, he is an acquired taste. His renditions were often wonderful and emotional. But they were very rarely "pretty". Such is life. But I'd bet this is one reason why more folks try to sing, and have recorded/covered, Dylan's songs than Rogers songs. Hell, anyone can do 'em better'n Bob !

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Farewell Angelina
From: Little Hawk
Date: 17 Jun 02 - 04:49 PM

You're right about Stan Rogers, Art. His performances were absolutely topnotch, and WHAT a voice! This is also generally true of Joan Baez, whether or not you like her style, and of Buffy Sainte-Marie too...they nail it every time in live performance.

Dylan is more unpredictable, although he can be awfully good at times (and just plain awful at others...).

However, I think his songs have quite a bit more to chew on in them than what Stan wrote...but there's no use really in comparisons, because they are so completely different in almost every way.

There's a grain of truth in saying that people cover Dylan songs because they can do them...but the real reason so many cover him is the incredible universality and scope of his lyrics. There's something there for almost everyone.

Stan Rogers wrote wonderfully, but in a narrower bandwith, so to speak.

- LH


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Subject: RE: Farewell Angelina
From: Art Thieme
Date: 17 Jun 02 - 08:48 PM

LH---right on.

Art


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Subject: RE: Farewell Angelina
From: Big John
Date: 17 Jun 02 - 09:07 PM

So who is this Robert Zimmerframe guy? I love to sing Leonard Coen's "Last Year's Man" but nobody wants to hear it. That's probably because of the depth of poetic mystery found in all of his songs. (Nothing to do with my crap singing, of course.) Perhaps Little Hawk could explain that song for me.


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Subject: RE: Farewell Angelina
From: CarolC
Date: 17 Jun 02 - 09:36 PM

I guess sometimes songs are like inkblot tests, LH. About a year ago, flattop gave me his interpretation of this song. He said he thought it was about a man who wasn't taking a nice woman's feelings very seriously, and he was making excuses about it.

I couldn't get any meaning from the lyrics at all, so I told him I thought he was probably much better at interpreting Dylan than me.


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Subject: RE: Farewell Angelina
From: Little Hawk
Date: 17 Jun 02 - 10:25 PM

Carol - Yes, it could mean that too, actually. It could mean exactly that. I think flattop gave it that interpretation because that was the aspect most relevant to his own life. I tend to often look at social and spiritual issues, so I see those aspects where another might see something else. The song works well in either case. That's what's so fascinating about Dylan's writing, and it's because he uses universal symbols so naturally. They're like basic geometry...they show up everywhere.

I don't for a moment think that Dylan deliberately preplans any of this multi-layered stuff...it just happens naturally when he writes. Some people call that genius. I call it divine inspiration, and it's what is at the heart of all great art, and great science too.

- LH


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Subject: RE: Farewell Angelina
From: GUEST,Aurore
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 05:03 AM

I think the song is a christian reference to the doomed love of christ (the singer) for the soul of the world or humanity (angelina) No I'm not a christian myself I am a Wiccan so this is not a preach :) Here is my take on it.

The song is a riddle. It asks who the singer is and who he is singing to.

Verse 1

The bells of the crown being stolen by bandits. - Which crown has bells on? Only a jesters cap not a kings crown. So whats been stolen? Laughter I think. Hapiness. The trumpets playing slow and the trianlge tingling are basicly the rest of the world carrying on as normal watching this theft and doing nothing about it, not even understanding that it matters.

The fiery sky is apocalyptic all the way through and means in my view a mushroom cloud shaped ending.

Verse 2. No need for blame or anger - because thats not what the Singer was looking for. nothing to prove and evetything still being the same means that nothing has changed. Nothing has been learnt.

The table standing empty by the edge of the sea. What is a table for? originally? Well to eat at. Its an invitation to share food and friendship and trust, even love. The table is empty. The invitation was made. No one accepted it. The edge of the sea means extremity i think. The last hope. The trembling sky reinforces this.

The jacks and the queens have forsake the courtyard. Jacks and queens are leaders. Kind of. There is no king. If there was a king he was a jester since his jesters crown lost its belles earlier. The courtyard isnt a courtyard its a COURT yard. The royal court. No one is in charge in other words and the place is a madhouse. The fifty two gypsies is the whole of humanity. 52 for the all the cards in the deck (all the weeks of the year too) - theyre gypsies because they have no home, no one is leading them and they dont know where theyre going. They file past the guards though, so they dont have the gypsies freedom. They lost that. As the next phrase shows. The ace and the deuce (the lowest) once ran wild - were free. but not anymore.

The sky is folding - its another card reference. folding means to quit - to give up. The sky = god giving up on humanity. farewell angelina = christ saying goodbye to the soul of humanity - the implication is that despite everything the soul is beautiful and he loves it but neither can do anything to stop whats going to happen.

A cross eyed pirate perched in the sun. Cross eyed because he cant see what he is doing. A pirate = classicly have an eye patch. Ok means he cant be cross eyed but in this case its a reinforcement. cross eyed and one eyed, cant see well and cant see straight. And he has a sawn off shotgun that he is using to blow away anything near him while the rest of the world watches and cheers despite the stupidity and futility of the exercise. The sky is getting worse and the Singer has to go fast. who wouldnt.

King king and the little elves - the highest and the lowest. Everyone in other words again. All of humanity, dance on roofops. pointless and dangerous and insane, while the makeup men hide the corpses so everyone else can pretend there isnt a problem. But the sky - God - can see the problem and is ashamed. also its turning red and its not just because of the blushing.

The last verse is outright war, and an insane one. The pupets us, fighting. pupetts because were being used and have no idea what were doing or why were fighting. The fiends are demons. Time bombs to the hands of the clock - the end of the world, the apocalypse, and thats why its demons doing the nailing.

call me any name you like, i will never deny it. Means 2 things. First its the point of the song. a riddle. it asks 'who am I? that is singing?' it also means that he is expecting to be insulted and abused but he doesnt blame us for it. He is sad.

Then farewell again, this time for the last time because the sky has really gone this time, and I'm pretty sure its mushroom clouds everywhere at this point. He must go where its quiet - back to heaven, and Angelina, our collective soul, the only beauty left is the one who is going to die, not him. He tried to save her but she didnt come to the table which is still empty back in verse 3.


Thats what i think anyway :)

Aurore


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Subject: RE: Farewell Angelina
From: Leadfingers
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 07:34 AM

I have long been of the opinion that Bob Dylan started pushing the envelope on his 'Modern Poetry' to see how far he could go before the critics said he was writing very clever gibberish .
However , this NEVER happened , they continued working out all sorts of intricate meanings to his songs , so he gave up the game and went back to writing 'proper' songs again .


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Subject: RE: Farewell Angelina
From: GUEST,Callie
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 12:45 PM

this is one of the first "pop" songs I learnt. I was 12 and taking guitar lessons in the early 80s and my guitar teacher was an enlightened fellow who taught me about Neil Young, (imagine explaining "every junkie's like a setting sun" to a 12 yr old! Kids were more innocent in those days - or maybe I was just more innocent!), Dylan, David Bowie and more

his explanation of "Farewell Angelina" was that there had been a nuclear explosion and the world was ending. The sky is on fire. The sky is embarrassed etc. I've never questioned that reading!

Show of Hands did a nice version recently-ish.


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Subject: RE: Farewell Angelina
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 08:04 PM

I think it was on the same record as Saigon Bride wasn't it? I always associate it with him going to Vietnam..mg


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Subject: RE: Farewell Angelina
From: Peter T.
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 01:26 AM

Like a lot of Dylan's lyrics, this one is a mess, but as Little Hawk says, evocative. Why the guy couldn't spend another two minutes making the thing grammatical ("forsaked?"), and getting rid of the clunky rhythms, is so exasperating.

And how many years did it take him to get rid of all that cute pseudo-Rimbaud stuff, King Kong and playing cards and pirates and the edge of the sea? (not to mention other standard fillers like -- I must be going.....)?

But as sung, it is magnificent..... (I always hated Joan Baez' version, so to hear his on the bootleg was great).

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Farewell Angelina
From: GUEST,Paddy
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 04:51 AM

No one has mentioned that the melody is a Scottish traditonal song call Fareweel tae Tarwathie.


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Subject: RE: Farewell Angelina
From: banjoman
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 05:55 AM

A great song and I still have my old 45 of Joan Baez singing it although the words are slightly different in some places to those listed here. Still it dosn't alterthe song in any great way


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Subject: RE: Farewell Angelina
From: Fran
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 01:02 PM

I loved Derek Bimstone's vesion of this


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Subject: RE: Farewell Angelina
From: GUEST,Oz Childs
Date: 12 Nov 09 - 01:02 AM

One of Dylan's greatest songs,and it means nothing at all, and yet everything, because it describes a dream that anyone with Dylan's background might have had -- of a jester with bells (which were stolen), of a deck of cards left defenseless when the leaders surrendered, of fiends nailing time bombs to the hands of the clocks.

Like a few other songs of that era, it will survive precisely because it is not limited to the politics of the era, and people will find meaning in it a century after it was written. Like Blake's "Tyger, Tyger", and in a way, like a lot of Alice in Wonderland.


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Subject: RE: Farewell Angelina
From: Barbara
Date: 12 Nov 09 - 01:22 AM

Rani Arbo and Daisy Mayhem do a really amazing -- and different interpretation of this song. On her CD Big Old Life. You can hear a clip here: Rani Arbo
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Farewell Angelina
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 12 Nov 09 - 02:31 AM

That was bloody awful, a fine song diminished just to be different.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Farewell Angelina
From: ard mhacha
Date: 12 Nov 09 - 06:10 AM

Joan at her best, brilliant.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmWRnbxACH0


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Subject: RE: Farewell Angelina
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Sep 10 - 11:43 AM

There is though something else - the sound. In every verse there is a different picture of a part from a somewhat big city, much like the one in "The nutscracker", inhabited by all kinds of magical creatures. But there's also the sound, of course. Verse 1: bells; follow the sound; triangle tingles, trumpets play. V 2: the sea; trembling. V 3: file past the guards; ran wild. V 4: shooting tin cans; clap; cheer; blast. V 5: King Kong and the elves dance tangos. V 6: the machine guns are roaring; heave rocks; clocks; erupting. Can you imagine all the noise, it's like a blast - all kinds of noise just surround you and bring you down. The sounds come with such aggretion that you probably won't be able to stay on your feet - it is a madhouse indeed. And finally, "i must go where it's quiet". If you remember the triptych by Hieronymus Bosch "The Garden of eartly delights" you can find many similarities - the Garden on Earth is noisy, crouded, aggresive etc. and the Garden of Eden is a place "where it's quiet".

Empousa


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Subject: RE: Farewell Angelina
From: GUEST,Elinaanela
Date: 16 Apr 11 - 02:24 PM

My dad gave me Angelina as my middle name in 1966. What a heavy load!


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Subject: RE: Farewell Angelina
From: Jim McLean
Date: 16 Apr 11 - 03:10 PM

Listen to the song here, written about 150 years ago Farewell


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Subject: RE: Farewell Angelina
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 16 Apr 11 - 06:36 PM

Peter T - "forsaken" wouldn't have scanned so well.

I've always liked this song because of the rich pictures and strong images it evokes.


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Subject: RE: Farewell Angelina
From: Mo the caller
Date: 17 Apr 11 - 02:59 AM

It has echoes of WH Auden's poem 'Oh What is that Sound'. click and scroll down


Was that the one that was about the Spanish Civil War?


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Subject: RE: Farewell Angelina
From: David C. Carter
Date: 17 Apr 11 - 04:37 AM

I don't know why, but this song always conjures up an image of a black and white Salvador Dali painting.

A lot of his songs bring colors to mind.

Anyway,havig said that,I shall be seeing the doc first thing Monday morning!


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Subject: RE: Farewell Angelina
From: GUEST,Johnmc
Date: 17 Apr 11 - 11:02 AM

Have just listened to Celtic Connections Dylan concert. Some decent performances but not one anywhere as good as the original (and I mean the vocals !)


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Subject: RE: Farewell Angelina
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 17 Apr 11 - 12:04 PM

Thanks for the old song jim.
I never knew it.
The judy Collins version there, with whale song, was a spine tingler.


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Subject: RE: Farewell Angelina
From: GUEST,biff
Date: 17 Apr 11 - 06:47 PM

just a table standing empty/by the edge of the sea

great surrealist line there


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Subject: RE: Farewell Angelina
From: Art Thieme
Date: 17 Apr 11 - 08:31 PM

Uh, Biff, I'm thinking there is nothing surreal there at all. It's pure realism---and it concerns Joan and Bob going their separate ways.


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Subject: RE: Farewell Angelina
From: GUEST,ticket seller
Date: 18 Apr 11 - 09:13 AM

Thankyou for this fascinating thread about one of the great anthemic songs of my youth. I like the Baez version best but love it in general. I used to use it sometimes as a General Studies 6th Form lesson - trying to get to the bottom of its meaning...
I always suspected I lacked sufficient general knowledge really to understand it.
I would LOVE to know Dylan's analysis but will no doubt never get that - still its sound and imagery will haunt me for ever.
Thanks again!


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Subject: RE: Farewell Angelina
From: GUEST,biff
Date: 18 Apr 11 - 05:52 PM

Uh, Art, refer also to Blonde on Blonde lyric "you know it balances on your head just like a mattress balances on a bottle of wine." Same deft appropriation of surrealist imagist aesthetic married to a modernist rock lyric. Obviously you haven't checked out your Dali or Magritte. Joan and Bob?????don't see a point to point correspondence in your analysis. But, hey, if it works for you at least you're digging it.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning: Farewell Angelina
From: GUEST,me
Date: 30 Oct 11 - 01:06 AM

It's always struck me as expressing the feelings of the draftees who fled to Canada rather than fight in an unjust war in Vietnam.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning: Farewell Angelina
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Feb 12 - 02:24 AM

I think Aurore did a good in depth analysis. I wondered if the bells of The Crown might be the bells from the palace (belonging to The Crown) stolen with no one to stop them, from the highest in the land (ie anarchy reigns) plus bells were used in times of danger (no more warnings wil be possible) or at times of rejoicing (there will be no more occasions for this.)I dont want to disect every word but I like what I sing to have some meaning and all these images have helped me make sufficient sense tp sing it AND I love the tune.Thanks


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning: Farewell Angelina
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 07 Feb 12 - 05:44 AM

Of course they might just be words that rhyme!!


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning: Farewell Angelina
From: Little Hawk
Date: 07 Feb 12 - 08:05 AM

You hate Joan Baez' version of this song, Peter T????????

Well, my good sir, I suggest that your seconds meet with my seconds and we shall arrange to settle this matter of honour with utmost despatch at some location to be decided upon by both parties!

Pistols or swords? ;-D


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning: Farewell Angelina
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 07 Feb 12 - 08:42 AM


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning: Farewell Angelina
From: GUEST,Don Wise
Date: 07 Feb 12 - 09:16 AM

I vaguely recall someone saying that "Farewell Angelina" is Dali, or perhaps Magritte, put to music so, if you understand surrealism.........(I don't)


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning: Farewell Angelina
From: GUEST,Calum
Date: 07 Feb 12 - 09:26 AM

I think a lot of Dylan's songs written around this period are simply songs about the people he was involved with and the changes in relationships that happened as he went from a nobody to a major star.

The bells of the crown is the inheritance of folk music he received as a young man and the bandits are the exploiters of the music industry.

As an aside, having watched people grow from talented young performers into polished music industry professionals, it's pretty easy to discern a lot of the intelligent cynicism behind a lot of his lyrics from this period.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning: Farewell Angelina
From: Little Hawk
Date: 07 Feb 12 - 09:48 AM

Well put, Calum.

I think virtually all of Dylan's songs are basically a snapshot of how he was feeling on the day he wrote the song. They are a series of images that carry the strongest feelings that were moving through him at that moment. His gift is that he just goes with the images as they arise spontaneously and he doesn't intellectually question the process. He doesn't second guess himself. That results in very evocative and powerful writing that doesn't follow the usual "rules" laid down in rigid and literal minds which are not in the least concerned with responding to the feelings in the song, but insist on analyzing everything to death like counting how many Angels can sit on the head of a pin.

Because Dylan's lyrics arise directly out of the many (and sometimes quite contradictory) feelings that are going through him when he writes the songs, they connect to many different things that are happening both in his life and around him...so they work on many levels simultaneously.

I think your interpretation is a good one, and it relates to at least two of those levels...personal relationships and the music business impacting the folk music.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning: Farewell Angelina
From: GUEST,999
Date: 07 Feb 12 - 10:01 AM

One of THE versions I've ever heard is by Tim O'Brien. Likely on Youtube.


I heard someone in response to a question about one of his songs say that if you have to ask, you won't understand the answer. Art is a different way of knowing. Holds true in all the arts, imo.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning: Farewell Angelina
From: GUEST,999
Date: 07 Feb 12 - 10:25 AM

The following is a brief quote from an article about Gardner's Multiple Intelligences:

"Bruner identified three major classes of knowing: iconic, enactive, and symbolic (Bruner, et al., 1967). Iconic was linked to the ways of knowing central to the visual and spatial arts; enactive knowing framed the wisdom of movement, kinesthetic action, and dance; and symbolic represented the realm of reason and reductive logic (Samples, 1992). Schools have depended primarily on the symbolic and have measured intelligence in terms of achievement in this realm."


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning: Farewell Angelina
From: Little Hawk
Date: 07 Feb 12 - 10:38 AM

Aha! Yes, that's important. Words are just symbols for things that are beyond the abilities of words to truly express...though they attempt to express it, of course. A symbol is a signpost that points toward the truth...but the truth is what we really want and what we seek.

To experience inner feeling is to experience truth in a direct way. You then come up with words (symbols) so you can talk about that inner feeling to someone else, but only direct experience of the feeling will bring it home to you. To sing is to channel inner feeling. The words become the outer symbols that contain the energy, but without the feeling to animate them the words would be meaningless.

The music directly channels the feeling, as does the voice and the rythm. The words are a step removed from all that. They are mental symbols added after the fact.

This society is overly concerned with mental symbols, and needs to get in touch more with the powerful underlying reality out of which the mental symbols arise. Logic and talk and calculation won't get you there. Inner feeling and direct experience of reality will.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning: Farewell Angelina
From: GUEST,Johnmc
Date: 07 Feb 12 - 11:20 AM

Somewhere in the dark recesses I had a notion there was a Dali painting, and there is:

A TABLE IN FRONT OF THE SEA - Homage to Sati

Don't know what this adds, mind you.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning: Farewell Angelina
From: GUEST
Date: 10 May 12 - 10:32 PM

i think it's about the Holocaust


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning: Farewell Angelina
From: Arkie
Date: 11 May 12 - 04:22 PM

So many moments of insight here, I am reluctant to add another comment, but I did not see any reference to the meaning of the name Angelina. The meaning of the name may or may not be relevant, but the name has been related to "messenger", "messenger of God", "angel", and "little angel".


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning: Farewell Angelina
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Jun 12 - 09:29 PM

The song was from the time of the Vietnam war and soldiers were drafted and "stolen by bandits" you may say when they got back anti-war folk called them names and soldiers didn't always get warm welcome.


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning: Farewell Angelina
From: GUEST,Glynis
Date: 02 Aug 16 - 05:16 PM

I always thought this was about a civil war!


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning: Farewell Angelina
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 24 Oct 16 - 05:03 PM

There is a reasonable (to me) stab at an explanation here
http://bob-dylan.org.uk/archives/1746#comment-311867 

Sam the Sham says:

This might be my favourite Dylan song and I think I owe it to everyone to explain what the song means.

"Farewell Angelina – Essentially the beginning of a goodbye love letter from the dead.
The bells of the crown – The bells are a metaphor for a reason to start a war but bells are also musical which ties into the next sentence.
Are being stolen by bandits – Again the reason for war. The bandits are the other side who started the war.
I must follow the sound – The sound is of a funeral march
The triangle tingles – A musical reference to a funeral march
And the trumpet play slow – A musical reference to a funeral march
Farewell Angelina –
The sky is on fire – The war is starting
And I must go

There's no need for anger -Let's enjoy our final time together
There's no need for blame – The decision wasn't up to me. Let's not fight during my last moments with you
There's nothing to prove – We know we love each other. We don't need to say it
Everything's still the same – At this point in time, nothing has chanced
Just a table standing empty – However our future metaphorical table is empty. Because he will be dying.
By the edge of the sea – The sea represents time as well as the fact the war is over in Europe where he takes a ship
Farewell Angelina –
The sky is trembling – The personification of his feeling onto the sky
And I must leave – But this is his duty

The jacks and queens -metaphor for politicians
Have forsaken the courtyard – the are making the decisions. Forsake is a negative word
Fifty-two gypsies Now file past the guards – cards are a metaphor for gambling. We can assume the soldiers are the gypsies practicing in front of the gards
In the space where the deuce And the ace once ran wild. He is saying in the past the card game of choice was Ace and Deuce Wild. What he is saying is gambling has always taken place here.
Farewell Angelina –
The sky is folding – Again personification of the sky with a another card metaphor when he uses the word folding. Folding is the disbelief that the sky is in or god for the horror.
I'll see you in a while – This is likely in reference to that he will see her in heaven.

See the cross-eyed pirates sitting – Dylan is establishing that people at home are pirates a negative connotation
Perched in the sun – To them the war is bliss
Shooting tin cans – Essentially they are enjoying war. We saw people excited in WWI for the prospect of war
With a sawed-off shotgun – A sawed off shot gun would show their low class.
And the neighbors they clap – Again excitement for war
And they cheer with each blast – People at home love war
Farewell Angelina
The sky's changing color – A new somber mood
And I must leave fast – He just left

King Kong, little elves – We all have an image in our head how king kong is being attacked by planes etc on a building.
On the rooftops they dance – King Kong is on a rooftop they are all dancing a euphimism for fighting
Valentino-type tangos – This is another dance metaphor for fighting.
While the make-up man's hands -hand to hand combat
Shut the eyes of the dead – One of Dylan's best lyrics ever. What Dylan is saying here is that people are dying in war but he feels bad for the dead. He wants to shut their eyes so they are not embarrassed to have died for such a useless purpose.
Not to embarrass anyone – The dead would be embarrassed if they saw this.
Farewell Angelina –
The sky is embarrassed – God and everyone is embarrassed
And I must be gone – He is already there so this means he knows he will die.

The camouflaged parrot, he flutters from fear -camouflage is a metaphor for someone in the army. Typically people in the army wear camouflage gear.
A parrot repeats what is told of them. Therefore army soldiers are camouflaged parrots according to Dylan.
When something he doesn't know about suddenly appears – The parrot is the guy singing the song. Someone appears out of nowhere. AKA some enemy soldiers appears
What cannot be imitated perfect must die – His training wasn't perfect and he will die here
Farewell Angelina, the sky is flooding over and I must go where it is dry – Could be a reference to blood and getting out of the battle. Basically his corporal will take him out and he is in the hospital. Or sky flooding over could be the fact the sky is getting darker and he is getting closer to death.

The machine guns are roaring – battle continues
The puppets heave rocks – Before they were parrots who repeat now the soldiers are puppets controlled by higher powers. Rocks can be grenades or bombs.
The fiends nail time bombs – A time bomb would be in reference to the length of time to die
To the hands of the clocks -I think Dylan is saying that the soldiers are clocks AKA they have a lifespan. Also I think a clock could be in reference to a tombstone.
Call me any name you like – His lover can say anything to him now
I will never deny it – He can't defend himself because he is dead.
Farewell Angelina –
The sky is erupting – War is terrible
I must go where it's quiet – Rest in Peace


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning: Farewell Angelina
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 24 Oct 16 - 06:03 PM

Oh God, don't you just LOVE those threads that try to "explain" song lyrics! I can't do links, but there's a classic one here (probably a lot more than one, but this is one of my favourites). Search for "Help: Bright Blue Rose" on Mudcat!


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning: Farewell Angelina
From: Andrez
Date: 24 Oct 16 - 06:59 PM

Chaos theory talks about 'points of view' as opposed to 'viewing point'. Applied here this suggests there is no right or wrong interpretation as our views are essentially a function of our own values and beliefs contextualised more broadly in the world we have experienced and live in presently. The combined impact of these elements determine the stance we take in relation to the 'meaning' of any given song.

Personally, I like Little Hawks analysis above and certainly enjoyed the diversity and mystery arising from the Bright Blue Rose discussion: thread.cfm?threadid=16284

Cheers,

Andrez


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning: Farewell Angelina
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 24 Oct 16 - 07:37 PM

Well his analysis is an attempt to explain something using words that he doesn't think he can really explain in words. There's something that doesn't really work for me there.

Words are a totally human invention. Clumsy, approximate and strained in turn, at times. Ninety percent of poetry, Shakespeare and song lyrics just don't do it for me at all (the other ten percent is pure, spun gold - I'm not that much of a philistine). I was force-fed Wordsworth at school and I think he was so up his own bum that he had very little to say to real human beings. Jesus, how easily conditioned we are.

Music is a different kettle of fish. Music can't really complement words other than being a vehicle for them. Music as a language (wrong word as it happens) is totally alien to words. It's a different emotional phenomenon. Words can't describe what music does to us. Once you free music from the constraint of verbal description, you've liberated it forever. If you listen to Bach, Beethoven or Mozart and say that you find bits of it happy, sad, gloomy, regal, portentous, whatever, you're denying the music its real channel of communication to you. Once you let it have its own way of getting to you without the need for the banality of words to describe it, well your reward won't be in heaven, your reward will BE heaven. Works for me anyway!


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Subject: RE: Help: Meaning: Farewell Angelina
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Oct 16 - 08:18 PM

or both.


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