Sunday, February 1, 2015


Good job, heartbreaker.
You weren't happy until
You walked out on me.

Here's a standard jilted-lover lament led by Bob Dylan on the first Traveling Wilburys album from 1988. I remember the summer this came out because I had my first job, as a busboy and dishwasher at the Village Cheese Shop in Haddonfield, New Jersey. I worked with an allegedly cocaine-addled, hostile cook and country-western songwriter, ass to ass in a tiny kitchen, with the radio always tune to 94.1 FM, WYSP Philadelphia, the classic rock station. The debut of the Traveling Wilburys was a hot event for rock n' roll fans. It was a super group comprising George Harrison, Jeff Lynne of the Electric Light Orchestra, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and Roy Orbison. I can't remember if we first heard these songs on 94.1 or 93.3. WMMR, but I do remember that this and all the other songs were on all summer. To prevent illegal taping and distribution, the DJs would speak quickly at various points during the song, sullying the delivery and frustrating bootleggers. I fell in love with the album, and have always come back to it. "Congratuations" isn't one of the tracks that the record company and radio stations pumped as heavily as others, but it's a great song.

Here are the things for which Bob wishes his former lover congratulations:

1. Breaking my heart.
2. Tearing it all apart.
3. Leaving me in need.
4. Bringing me down.
5. Leaving me sorrow bound.
6. Getting a good deal.
7. How good you must feel.
8. Making me wait.
9. Making it too late.
10. Coming out on top.
11. Never knowing when to stop.

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