Monday, August 17, 2015

She's Your Lover Now

Guy's ex is trouble.
Why should he deal with her when
She has a new man?

I've seen some positive words written for "She's Your Lover Now," which Bob Dylan intended for release on "Blonde on Blonde" in 1966, but dropped from the album after he and his Nashville studio musicians spent multiple takes on the project without getting it right. I don't quite feel as positive about the song as others do. Songs like this sound like Dylan knew he had stumbled on a great idea with "Like a Rolling Stone," and he wanted to get that sound to work again. But what seems strong and fresh on "Rolling Stone" sounds a little more flabby and rambling here. The lyrics too sound more like a pastiche of Dylan than Dylan himself, relying on atmosphere, vinegar, and occasional symbols that don't quite do themselves justice. The song stayed in the can until 1991 when it was released on the first volume of the Bootleg Series.

The three verses of "She's Your Lover Now":
1. I was in pain because you left me. I destroyed everything I had, and that just made the pawnbroker laugh and the landlord cry. Why did you do it to me? And you think I should remember something that you want to tell me that you forgot to say? As for you, fella, I see you're with her now, so you deal with her if you're lovers now.
2. Now we're going to work out our problems like we were in court or in binding arbitration, I guess. Meanwhile, I never tried to change you, and you could always have just walked out if you wanted. What is it with forgive and forget? Why do you ask me to do that? And your guy here keeps asking me to pass him the ashtrays, and keeps saying everything twice. Why do you praise her every time she opens her mouth?
3. I never asked you to be faithful. You should have left if you wanted to leave. Some nonsense about castle stairs and trips to El Paso and San Francisco that he can't remember. Meanwhile, this new lover finds he has nothing to say so Bob goads him, and suggests that it won't be long until the woman in question is standing on the bar wearing a fish head and carrying a harpoon and wearing a fake beard, and that it's up to him to stop this transformation into Captain Ahab or whatever it is that she's trying to be.

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