Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Absolutely Sweet Marie

Marie vanishes,
Leaves Bob beating his trumpet
In a traffic jam.

"Absolutely Sweet Marie" is another one of those up-tempo songs on "Blonde on Blonde" that turns out to be a real bummer. The singer suffered through traffic jams, illness, hatred, a prison sentences, the delivery of half-a-dozen horses, a drunk Iranian guy and other bad company as well as one omniscient riverboat captain, only to discover that Marie stood him up. I know that the song contains the famous line, "To live outside the law you must be honest," as well as the images of the "yellow railroad" and the handing out of addresses to "bad company," but what sticks with me are what sound to me like references to an unresolved hard-on. He's beating on his trumpet and he has a fever in his pocket. I understand and I sympathize. Meanwhile, here is Dylan playing the song in concert in Dubuque with stage divers and dancers apparently selected at random from nearby barns. Dylan looks surprisingly unperturbed.





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