Saturday, July 18, 2015

Narrow Way

Heaven's a hard climb,
So if I get tired, Jesus,
Come down and see me.

I didn't realize quite how Biblical this song was until the Genius website helpfully pointed it out. I got the impression that "Narrow Way," which appears on the 2012 album "Tempest," was an old codger telling a younger woman that she'll need to slow down a bit and give some of herself if she wants to put up with him and his old codger ways. Maybe that's so, but these 11 verses contain a ton more besides. Here's what I more or less lifted from Genius:

I'm gonna walk across the desert 'til I'm in my right mind (Exodus of the Jews)
I won't even think about what I left behind (Sodom and Gomorrah)
Nothing back there anyway that I can call my own
Go back home, leave me alone
It's a long road, it's a long and narrow way (Book of Matthew - Walk the straight and narrow)
If I can't work up to you, you'll surely have to work down to me someday (God meets you halfway if you meet him halfway)

I saw you drinking from an empty cup (Last Supper)
I saw you buried and I saw you dug up (This one's obvious)

You went and lost your lovely head
For a drink of wine and a crust of bread (Last Supper again)

Your father left you, your mother too
Even death has washed its hands of you (Resurrection)

You got too many lovers wailing at the wall (Wailing wall)
About a thousand tongues, I couldn't count them all (Martin Luther hymn: Oh dass ich tausend Zungen haette: If I had a thousand tongues)
Yesterday I could've thrown them all in the sea
Today, even one, may be too much for me

Been dark all night but now it's dawn
The moving finger is moving on (Apparently from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam)

The old haiku that I wrote was this:

I'm tired and old.
If you want to be with me,
You'll have to slow down.

Clearly it was time to change it. (Interestingly, the song from which Dylan borrows his chorus is "You'll Work Down to Me Someday" by the Mississippi Sheiks, and in that case, he singer DEFINITELY is addressing a woman.)

1 comment:

  1. Hello there Robert, Thank you for posting this analysis of a song from Bob Dylan's Music Box: Come and join us inside and listen to every song composed, recorded or performed by Bob Dylan, plus all the great covers streaming on YouTube, Spotify, Deezer and SoundCloud plus so much more... including this link.