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Dodgy Lyrics?

GUEST,Tunesmith 26 Nov 11 - 03:23 PM
Paul Burke 26 Nov 11 - 03:41 PM
Mysha 26 Nov 11 - 04:24 PM
Jeri 26 Nov 11 - 04:40 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 26 Nov 11 - 04:47 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 26 Nov 11 - 04:52 PM
GUEST,Yorkshire Clarkey 27 Nov 11 - 04:01 AM
GUEST,matt milton 27 Nov 11 - 04:24 AM
GUEST,matt milton 27 Nov 11 - 04:31 AM
MGM·Lion 27 Nov 11 - 05:17 AM
Young Buchan 27 Nov 11 - 05:50 AM
Bonzo3legs 27 Nov 11 - 07:29 AM
GUEST 27 Nov 11 - 08:37 AM
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Subject: Dodgy Lyrics?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 26 Nov 11 - 03:23 PM

I was thinking about "Blowin' in the Wind" recently, and it occurred to me that the following two lines need a bit of explanation.

"How many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?"

I did a bit of surfing to see how these lyrics were being intepreted, and interestingly, most explanations that I came across avoided tackling this section of the song.
One person said that it related to the dove that Noah sent out in the Bible to see if the flood has diminished and dry land existed.
But as the dove finds dry land - or evidence of it - pretty quickly it doesn't fit in with the rest of the question asked in the song.

I took it to be the white dove of peace but why is a bird sailing on the seas - and not flying through the skies?
I quick explanation could be that the bird of peace is likened to a ship ploughing a violent sea and trying to find a safe, peaceful landfall.
But that seems rather strained.


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Subject: RE: Dodgy Lyrics?
From: Paul Burke
Date: 26 Nov 11 - 03:41 PM

Doves (and their demotic cousins, pigeons) sleep by choice on rock ledges, trees, buildings, columbariae, dovecotes, or any other place safely out of the reach of predators. Sand would be a matter of desperation, and probably fatal (there's good eating on them birds). They aren't seabirds and they don't migrate, though homing pigeons can of course undertake long flights to get back to where they once belonged.

Which reminds me of a friend who once sang "King of Rome", starting..

"In the West End of Derby there lived a wicked man..."

I pointed her error out- it's not a "wicked" man, it's a "wicker" man.


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Subject: RE: Dodgy Lyrics?
From: Mysha
Date: 26 Nov 11 - 04:24 PM

Hi,

I take the white dove to be peace, the seas to be all the conflicts of the world, and sleeping in the sand to be the absence of danger.

How many wars will it take before the ideal of peace becomes reality.


(I think you'll find it's actually a "workin'" man.)

Bye,
                                                                Mysha


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Subject: RE: Dodgy Lyrics?
From: Jeri
Date: 26 Nov 11 - 04:40 PM

I hope Paul Burke was trying to be funny (?).

I agree with Mysha. I think all of the questions are ones that could be answered "too many".


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Subject: RE: Dodgy Lyrics?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 26 Nov 11 - 04:47 PM

Yes, but why is the dove sailing and not flying?
And, why is the dove a "she" and not an "it"?

I wouldn't be surprised if Bob "settled" on those two lines but would have really likes to have found something better.


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Subject: RE: Dodgy Lyrics?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 26 Nov 11 - 04:52 PM

Here's another couple of lines from Tom Paxton's "I Can't Help Wonder where I'm Bound" that sounds "odd".

"Nail your shoes to the kitchen floor
Lace them up and bar the door"

I feel that the door should be barred first!

Indeed, I have an image of the narrator of the song nailing his shoes to the floor, and then finding that he can't reach the door to bar it.


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Subject: RE: Dodgy Lyrics?
From: GUEST,Yorkshire Clarkey
Date: 27 Nov 11 - 04:01 AM

The Dylan lyric extract is interesting because I've heard those lyrics hundreds of times - and probably sung them on dozens of occasions - without raising the questions that Tunesmith has.
Very interesting - and bit worrying!


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Subject: RE: Dodgy Lyrics?
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 27 Nov 11 - 04:24 AM

Personally I always thought "Blowin in the wind" was drivel from a lyric point of view. Not one of Bob's best by a long way.

almost none of its tropes add up. It's definitely the work of a very young man, shall we say. Biblical influences, definitely. All those rhetorical questions are very New Testament Jesusy.

The repeated "Yes" in that song at the start of verses annoys me. The line "how many ears must one man have" is terrible. He rhymes the word "exist" with, er, "exist".

But it resonates with people, despite the lyrics being a bit crap. The general message, which comes across, and which clearly is a powerful one to thousands of listeners, is something like this: how much longer can all this injustice go on? The answer may well be: forever, unless you do something about it.

I understand the line "the answer is blowin' in the wind" to mean that change is contingent and up for grabs right now (the 60s). And it could go either way.

Me, I prefer Bob when he's writing mischeivous, spiteful or surreal lyrics. "it's all over now Baby Blue"; "Leopardskin Pillbox Hat"; "Highyway 61" are all great pieces of writing. His protest stuff always strikes me as a bit clunky and laboured.


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Subject: RE: Dodgy Lyrics?
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 27 Nov 11 - 04:31 AM

Come to think of it, the line about banning cannon balls is pretty rubbish too.


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Subject: RE: Dodgy Lyrics?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 27 Nov 11 - 05:17 AM

Good when protesting about something specific ~~ I think far away his best song was Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll; but got rather carried away by the striking but imprecise "poetic" image when doing his sort of "things are all horrible let's fix them" 'protests' like BITW. Good tune tho.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Dodgy Lyrics?
From: Young Buchan
Date: 27 Nov 11 - 05:50 AM

But Ground Doves, like a number of birds, help maintain the quality of their feathers by throwing up sand onto their wings and backs, then shaking it off again. In doing so they create a hollowing out in the sand. I'm sure Mr Dylan thought that they were actually preparing a nest when he observed this behaviour on one of his many well attested bird-watching trips (Chronicles pp12, 15, 27-33 and chapters 8-11 passim)to the beach - or as, he called it, the windy beach far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow.


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Subject: RE: Dodgy Lyrics?
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 27 Nov 11 - 07:29 AM

It's just nonsense surely???


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Subject: RE: Dodgy Lyrics?
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Nov 11 - 08:37 AM

The ants are my friends,
They're blowing in the wind.


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