Saturday, April 16, 2016

It's All Right, Ma, I'm Only Bleeding by Bob Dylan


  1. It’s All Right, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding) by Bob Dylan

    Darkness at the break of noon
    Shadows even the silver spoon
    The handmade blade, the child’s balloon
    Eclipses both the sun and moon
    To understand you know too soon
    There is no sense in trying

    As pointed threats, they bluff with scorn
    Suicide remarks are torn
    From the fool’s gold mouthpiece the hollow horn
    Plays wasted words, proves to warn
    That he not busy being born is busy dying

    Temptation’s page flies out the door
    You follow find yourself at war
    Watch waterfalls of pity roar
    You feel to moan but unlike before
    You discover that you’d just be one more
    Person crying

    So don’t fear, if you hear
    A foreign sound to your ear
    It’s all right, Ma, I’m only sighing

    As some warn victory, some downfall
    Private reasons great or small
    Can be seen in the eyes of those that call
    To make all that should be killed to crawl
    While others say don’t hate nothing at all
    Except hatred

    Disillusioned words like bullets bark
    As human gods aim for their mark
    Make everything from toy guns that spark
    To flesh-colored Christs that glow in the dark
    It’s easy to see without looking too far
    That not much is really sacred

    While preachers preach of evil fates
    Teachers teach that knowledge waits
    Can lead to hundred-dollar plates
    Goodness hides behind its gates
    But even the president of the United States
    Sometimes must have to stand naked

    And though the rules of the road have been lodged
    It’s only people’s games, that you got to dodge
    And it’s all right, Ma, I can make it

    Advertising signs they con
    You into thinking you’re the one
    That can do what’s never been done
    That can win what’s never been won
    Meantime life outside goes on
    All around you

    You lose yourself, you reappear
    You suddenly find you got nothing to fear
    Alone you stand with nobody near
    When a trembling distant voice unclears
    Startles your sleeping ears to hear
    That somebody thinks they really found you

    A question in your eyes is lit
    Yet you know there is no answer fit
    To satisfy, insure you not to quit
    To keep it in your mind and not forget
    That it is not he or she or them or it
    That you belong to

    Although the masters, make the rules
    For the wise men, and the fools
    I got nothing, Ma, to live up to

    For them that must bow down to authority
    That they do not respect in any degree
    Who despise their jobs, their destinies
    Speak jealously of them that are free
    Cultivate what to do to be
    Nothing more than something they invest in

    While some on principles baptized
    To strict party platform ties
    Social clubs in drag disguise
    Outsiders they can freely criticize
    Tell nothing except who to idolize
    And say God bless him

    While one who sings with his tongue on fire
    Gargles in the rat race choir
    Bent out of shape from society’s pliers
    Cares not to come up any higher
    But rather get you down in the hole
    That he’s in

    But I mean no harm, nor put fault
    On anyone living in a vault
    But it’s all right, Ma, if I can’t please him

    Old lady judges watch people in pairs
    Limited in sex they dare
    To tell fake morals, insult and stare
    While money doesn’t talk, it swears
    Obscenity who really cares
    Propaganda all is phony

    While them that defend what they cannot see
    With killer’s pride, security
    It blows the minds most bitterly
    For them that think death’s honesty
    Won’t fall upon them naturally
    Life sometimes must get lonely

    My eyes collide head-on with stuffed
    Graveyards, false gods, I scuff
    At pettiness which plays so rough
    Walk upside-down inside handcuffs
    Kick my legs to crash it off
    Say all right, I have had enough, what else can you show me

    And if my thought-dreams, could be seen
    They’d probably put my head, in a guillotine
    But it’s all right, Ma, it’s life and life only

  2. Merle Taber sent this to me:

    From Writer's Almanac in case you haven't seen it.

    Today is the 75th birthday of Bob Dylan. Born Robert Zimmerman in Duluth, Minnesota (1941), he grew up in the nearby mining town of Hibbing, just off Highway 61, the road that ran all the way up from New Orleans and inspired the name of his sixth album, Highway 61 Revisited (1965). He got his first guitar at the age of 14, and joined his first rock and roll band in high school. After he graduated, he moved down to Minneapolis and studied art at the University of Minnesota. He kept up with his music, but he soon left rock behind in favor of folk. He later said: "I knew that when I got into folk music, it was more of a serious type of thing. The songs are filled with more despair, more sadness, more triumph, more faith in the supernatural, much deeper feelings."
    He would often perform at a coffeehouse, the Ten O'clock Scholar, in the Dinkytown neighborhood near campus. He left Dinkytown for New York because he wanted to meet his idol, Woody Guthrie. Guthrie was hospitalized with Huntington's disease, and Dylan visited him often. He also became the new darling of Greenwich Village's folk community. He released his first album - called simply Bob Dylan - in 1962. In 1963, he became romantically involved with fellow folk singer Joan Baez, who was already famous in the protest movement. He wrote some of her biggest hits, and she gave him a built-in audience at her shows. By 1964, he was playing 200 concerts a year.

    By the mid-1960s, he'd gone electric, forsaking folk and returning to his rock roots. His fans were shocked; they booed him at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965. Since then, he has dabbled in country, blues, jazz, and spirituals too. His lyrics evolved away from protest songs, and he drew inspiration from literary giants like Arthur Rimbaud, John Keats, and Dylan Thomas - the inspiration for his name change. His were the first rock lyrics to be viewed as literature, and they are sometimes studied as poetry in college classrooms. In the liner notes for his second studio album, Freewheelin' (1963), he acknowledged that the line between lyrics and poetry is sometimes blurry: "Anything I can sing, I call a song. Anything I can't sing, I call a poem."

    In 1966, a motorcycle accident forced him into seclusion for nine months. When he returned to the spotlight, his new work was mellower. In 1979, he announced that he was a born-again Christian, and his gospel album Slow Train Coming was a commercial hit. It also earned him his first Grammy Award. Bruce Springsteen gave the speech to induct Dylan into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ten years later, in 1989. Springsteen said, "Bob freed the mind the way Elvis freed the body [...] He invented a new way a pop singer could sound, broke through the limitations of what a recording artist could achieve, and changed the face of rock and roll forever."

    It was recently reported that Amazon.comis planning a new hour-long drama series for its video streaming service. Called Time Out of Mind after Dylan's 1997 album, the series will be set in the 1960s and '70s, and will be based on lyrics, characters, and scenarios from the full catalog of Dylan's more than 600 songs. And the producers of the famous Coachella music festival in Indio, California, have announced that Dylan will appear at a three-day mega-festival this fall. The festival also features Neil Young, Roger Waters, Paul McCartney, and the Rolling Stones.