Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Chimes of Freedom

The chimes of freedom
Flash for the world's losers
And make lots of noise.

"Chimes of Freedom" was a big hit in short form for the Byrds, and that's the version that most people know. Bob Dylan's recording, for 1964's "Another Side of Bob Dylan," is a denser affair, and one of the first to slide into the realm of the surreal where was to pay rent for the next two or three years. It's a haunting song, and the repetition of the slow, spare melody skirts the border between hypnotic and annoying, but the end product is undeniably a strong, intelligent work. Now, how do the chimes flash and toll? I suspect they reflect like while they're banging around.

And for whom are they flashing and clanging and banging?

1. Warriors whose strength is not to fight.
2. Refugees on unarmed road of flight.
3. Underdog soldier at night. 4. Rebel.
5. Rake.
6. Luckless.
7. Abandoned.
8. Forsaked.
9. Outcast.
10. Burnt at stake.
11. Gentle.
12. Kind.
13. Guardians.
14. Protectors of mind.
15. Unpawned, derivative painter.
16. Tongues with no place for their thoughts.
17. Deaf.
18. Blind.
19. Mute.
20. Mistreated.
21. Single mother.
22. Mistitled prostitute.
23. Misdemeanor outlaw.
24. Chased.
25. Cheated.
26. Searching.
27. Unharmful, gentle prisoners.
28. Aching with terminal wounds.
29. Countless confused.
30. Countless misused.
31. Countless accused.
32. Countless strung outs.
33. Worse.
34. Hung-up people.

Here is a version by Bob and Joan Baez at Bill Clinton's inauguration in 1992.

1 comment:

  1. 3 lines to describe one of the greatest songs of all time. Not really, Robert has done it again. Read enough? Then come inside Bob Dylan's Music Box and listen to all the great versions now.