It was the song, It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding), that first convinced me this man, Mr. Dylan, is a genius. I remember walking to work one winter morning in 2005, I was a young, eager investment banker wearily growing discontent of the world. I was searching for something new, and just throwing things against the wall, and hoping something would stick. I was 26. I was walking to work and the sun was just breaking. It was cold outside. I was looking, listening to new songs, trying to find. It was downtown Toronto, and I was headed towards this huge office tower I used to work in. People in dress were all around me, scrambling, passing, being passed, like bee's heading to their nest. I had just downloaded some Dylan songs and 'It's alright ma, (I'm only bleeding)' was blaring on my earphones. While I was seeing the world outside me, I had this Dylan song playin in me, a smattering of twangy guitar chords and lyrics yearning for something. Seemingly, that same thing I was yearning for. I was trying to make sense of the words and images, feeling them out. For some reason, I was really taking to them.
"Cultivate their flowers just to be... nothing more than something they invest in"
When I heard that particular verse, it stung all over. The song was so rich and full. When I got to work, I missed my first morning meeting because I had downloaded the lyrics to this song, and I was too busy drooling all over them. I was marvelled, mesmorized, manhandled, hijacked, lost, jealous, happy... found. It took me months of listening, chewing, and pulling apart to match an interpretation of the song with the feeling I got listening to it. A mystery, really, that so much could be spewed so clearly and poetically, at such a young age from this punk kid from the 60's. So much of the things I thought of the world, or was trying to piece together was there, being shouted , and shared so freely. It still gives me shivers.
Anyways, I wanted to share this video that I found on youtube of this song, posted by "Bumdog". Credits end the video of its creators. They also inserted a brief intro by Jay-Z, I think.
The video is great, though it is very different from the images that come to mind for me, when I hear the song. Images tend to make poetry too literal.. too one- dimensional. Idenfying or associating images with lyric, I find creates an imperfection in everything that is true about the magic the song intended. Sometimes the images just seem wrong, for example, the Kurt Cobain image when Dylan says, "he not busy being born, is busy dying". But it is strange, because it does apply to Kurt Cobain, but not because Kurt was busy dying, rather because he was arguably constantly in a state of becoming, and free through an attempted transcendence of death. But it shows up on the "busy dying", and ruins that idea. A lot of examples of things like that, but the reason I am posting the video, is because I feel the song itself is so rich, that this video may give people who are hearing the song for the first time a spring board of images to get themselves at least a lickful of flavour.
Regardless, this song is the first reason I am putting forth that Bob Dylan deserves a Nobel Prize in Literature. Please, please, add your own reasons and storys.