Monday, August 17, 2015

Senor (Tales of Yankee Power)

Where are we going?
What are we doing? Bob asks.
Senor doesn't say.

"Senor (Tales of Yankee Power)" has long been a fan favorite. The song came out in 1978 on the album "Street-Legal," and captures, at least to me, this kind of weary post-Vietnam malaise and disillusionment with America -- at least in the title. The rest of the song is more mysterious and obscure. What's really going on? I don't know. I've attacked the song from a few different angles for the haiku, but didn't get anywhere, and I'm unwilling to spelunk in the depths of Dylanology in search of an answer. Whether Senor means god or just some guy, I don't know. Here's what else is going on in this song:

- Are we going to Lincoln County Road or Armageddon? Either way, I think I've been here before. Could this be true, senor?
- Where is she? How long is our trip going to take? How long must I watch the door? (I guess the high school literature class key would say that this is a reference to love and death and how long do we have in this world.)
- What's going on and where -- Upper deck: wicked wind blowing. Her neck: iron cross hanging. Vacant lot: marching band. Also in the vacant lot: her telling me, "forget me not."
- I see a painted wagon (pioneers?) and smell a dragon's tail (heroin?). I'm getting impatient. I need someone to contact in this strange place.
- I had to strip and kneel. Before that happened, I saw a bunch of fools on a train. They were beset by magnetic force. I also saw a gypsy with a broken flag and a flashing ring, and he was telling me that I wasn't dreaming.
- Some unidentified party's hearts as hard as leather. Meanwhile, I need to get it together. Give me a minute, here, senor.
- This whole damned place makes no sense. I'm going to overturn the tables and disconnect the cables. What are we waiting for? (Is this a statement of suicide?)

1 comment:

  1. Well Robert a fine three line summary and detailed analysis. When you want to listen to all the great versions come inside Bob Dylan's Music Box and relax