Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Drifter's Escape

Drifter goes on trial.
He's probably not guilty
So God lets him go.

More people know Bob Dylan's epic songs. Not as many people have heard the crystalline pleasure of his short ones. "Drifter's Escape" is a minimal, perplexing AND amazing track from the 1967 album "John Wesley Harding." It's the story of a hobo who falls into the clutches of the law, and seems to be heading for some rough justice at their hands. God has other plans, and intervenes on behalf of the drifter. The music is simple, spare and intense.

- Authorities take drifter from the courtroom. He's going to be executed. He doesn't know what he did to deserve this.
- The judge seems to sympathize, despite his sentence. The crowd wants blood, as does the jury.
- An attendant and his nurse sympathize as well, and wish the jury would hush. Lightning strikes. The people in their religious gullibility kneel and pray. The drifter knows an exit when one presents itself.



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