It’s All Right, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding) by Bob DylanDarkness at the break of noonShadows even the silver spoonThe handmade blade, the child’s balloonEclipses both the sun and moonTo understand you know too soonThere is no sense in tryingAs pointed threats, they bluff with scornSuicide remarks are tornFrom the fool’s gold mouthpiece the hollow hornPlays wasted words, proves to warnThat he not busy being born is busy dyingTemptation’s page flies out the doorYou follow find yourself at warWatch waterfalls of pity roarYou feel to moan but unlike beforeYou discover that you’d just be one morePerson cryingSo don’t fear, if you hearA foreign sound to your earIt’s all right, Ma, I’m only sighingAs some warn victory, some downfallPrivate reasons great or smallCan be seen in the eyes of those that callTo make all that should be killed to crawlWhile others say don’t hate nothing at allExcept hatredDisillusioned words like bullets barkAs human gods aim for their markMake everything from toy guns that sparkTo flesh-colored Christs that glow in the darkIt’s easy to see without looking too farThat not much is really sacredWhile preachers preach of evil fatesTeachers teach that knowledge waitsCan lead to hundred-dollar platesGoodness hides behind its gatesBut even the president of the United StatesSometimes must have to stand nakedAnd though the rules of the road have been lodgedIt’s only people’s games, that you got to dodgeAnd it’s all right, Ma, I can make itAdvertising signs they conYou into thinking you’re the oneThat can do what’s never been doneThat can win what’s never been wonMeantime life outside goes onAll around youYou lose yourself, you reappearYou suddenly find you got nothing to fearAlone you stand with nobody nearWhen a trembling distant voice unclearsStartles your sleeping ears to hearThat somebody thinks they really found youA question in your eyes is litYet you know there is no answer fitTo satisfy, insure you not to quitTo keep it in your mind and not forgetThat it is not he or she or them or itThat you belong toAlthough the masters, make the rulesFor the wise men, and the foolsI got nothing, Ma, to live up toFor them that must bow down to authorityThat they do not respect in any degreeWho despise their jobs, their destiniesSpeak jealously of them that are freeCultivate what to do to beNothing more than something they invest inWhile some on principles baptizedTo strict party platform tiesSocial clubs in drag disguiseOutsiders they can freely criticizeTell nothing except who to idolizeAnd say God bless himWhile one who sings with his tongue on fireGargles in the rat race choirBent out of shape from society’s pliersCares not to come up any higherBut rather get you down in the holeThat he’s inBut I mean no harm, nor put faultOn anyone living in a vaultBut it’s all right, Ma, if I can’t please himOld lady judges watch people in pairsLimited in sex they dareTo tell fake morals, insult and stareWhile money doesn’t talk, it swearsObscenity who really caresPropaganda all is phonyWhile them that defend what they cannot seeWith killer’s pride, securityIt blows the minds most bitterlyFor them that think death’s honestyWon’t fall upon them naturallyLife sometimes must get lonelyMy eyes collide head-on with stuffedGraveyards, false gods, I scuffAt pettiness which plays so roughWalk upside-down inside handcuffsKick my legs to crash it offSay all right, I have had enough, what else can you show meAnd if my thought-dreams, could be seenThey’d probably put my head, in a guillotineBut it’s all right, Ma, it’s life and life only
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.