Bob Dylan turned 75 yesterday. Spotify and I are honoring him this morning, playing one masterpiece (When I Paint My…) after another. Just now, up came Mr. Tambourine Man*. I felt myself driving through Pittsburgh’s Liberty Tubes with the music as loud as it could get in a Corvair, singing and dreaming; hoping for a fraction of the vision and gift he offered us.
I’m five years and three days younger. He belongs to me. He spoke to me then and he still does. Then it was hope and there’s lots of that to this day. Today, though, it’s tempered with the knowledge and experience gained in the 51 years lived since the song appeared on Bringin’ It All Back Home. All the dreams and disappointment, the innocence and the learning, the love and the pain. It’s all here:
Then take me disappearin’ through the smoke rings of my mind
Down the foggy ruins of time, far past the frozen leaves
The haunted, frightened trees, out to the windy beach
Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow
Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free
Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands
With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves
Let me forget about today until tomorrow
More than the brilliant political songs that became anthems for all of us, this one remains in my heart. Happy birthday Bob.
*Played 15 million times on Spotify alone…