Monday, January 26, 2015

Buckets of Rain

Everything she does
He adores, but she brings him
Buckets of sadness.

This sweet, short heartbreaker of a song closes the miserable and gloomy masterpiece of an album "Blood on the Tracks" from 1975. Taken with a big dose of real life, it's supposed to chronicle in a reasonably abstract form the breakdown of Bob Dylan's marriage to his wife Sara. Whether that's the inspiration behind the album is the listener's choice as far as I'm concerned. Dylan has disavowed that notion, but he's an unreliable narrator at the best of times considering that it's his private life and he's not crazy about discussing it. One of his sons has said that indeed this is a series of references to the private lives of his parents. I prefer to leach out the details and focus on the words, which are sad, angry, confused and bitter much of the time. In "Buckets of Rain," you get the idea that everything about the woman he's singing to makes him happy, and he even gets into how he likes the cool way she looks at him, likes her smile and her fingertips and lips, etc., but as he says baldly, "Everything about you is bringing me misery." Then there's the genius conclusion of the song:

Life is sad, life is a bust
All you can do is do what you must
You do what you must do and you do it well.
I do it for you, honey baby can't you tell?





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