Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Caribbean Wind

Tropical leftist
Embarks on doomed romance with
Bob, preaching gospel.

This 1981 song didn't make the final cut of "Shot of Love," and was released four years later on the "Biograph" anthology. "Caribbean Wind" is another one of those Dylan songs that is heavy on the imagery and symbolism, sometimes at the cost of clarity and plot. Where do I get that the woman was a leftist? I don't know. I concluded that it was unlikely that she and her brothers would be getting shot at in the jungle by gunmen on an embassy roof in the late 1970's if they weren't leftists, particularly if the backstory takes place in Brazil, as the lyrics suggest. In brief:

1. She's the rose of Sharon from paradise lost, from a seven-hilled city near a cross (Rio de Janeiro?). He's playing a concert and preaching about Jesus in Miami in a theater of "divine comedy." She tells him her brothers were killed in a jungle by a guy dancing on the roof of an embassy.
2. Did she use him? It's possible.
3. Chorus: Caribbean winds blow from Nassau to Mexico, fanning flames in the furnace of desire. Ships of liberty on iron waves are bold and free, but apparently are bringing everything that's close to Bob close to the fire.
4. She says a mutual friend has their best interest in mind, but it seems that however well connected he is, she has him in a trap because he's in her debt for some reason.
5. They meet in a church on a hot day. She tells him he can't do something about whatever he's thinking.
6. Bob's in Atlantic City. It's cold out. He hears someone calling him "daddy," but there's no one there. The news reports are full of stories about famines and earthquakes.
7. He contemplates whether he should have married her.

Choose your own adventure!



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