Bob Dylan Awarded Nobel Prize– this has brought joy into my heart.
It is of course controversial (I wonder what V.S.Naipaul thinks? His reaction to Nigeria’s Wole Soyinka winning the prize in 1986 was that the Nobel Committee was “pissing on literature from a great height”.) – how can a songwriter win a prize for literature? Bob Dylan has sold over 100 million records (Wikipedia says)- would he have sold as many books were he a poet tout court? Can you just read his words, or must you have the whole thing- the electric guitars, the harmonica, the voice? I don’t know; I’m just asking.
However, the news has brought joy into my heart; as has Bob.
On the same theme – words and music v. words or music – I came across this in an old notebook (so perhaps I wrote it 6 or 7 years ago) and thought it worth tarting up. I am putting it here because I wrote it to a tune (White City– The Pogues) and I don’t know if it works on the page, or spoken. I shall try it out when I get the chance – perhaps at the Lime Bar on Sunday afternoon, or at the Jam Session next Wednesday; or both.
Remember when we met?
You were skinny called me pet
I was working on the busy Christmas mail
You were trouble that was sure
But then I was immature
Just a Classics student trying not to fail
You said let’s get out of here
I was halfway through my beer
I was drinking with the gang from my old school
But we ran into the night
And beneath the Christmas lights
I kissed you, though I knew myself a fool
You looked into my eyes
Ran your fingers up my thighs
I wondered how to sneak you in the house
But you whistled for a cab
Crying you pick up the tab
I could have turned back but I didn’t have the nous
You said take us to the Ritz
I had four and fifty fits
My student grant di’n’t stretch to taxi fares
But I went along of course-
I wanted sexual intercourse-
And besides you made me feel a millionaire
When you asked for pink champagne
You were messing with my brain
They kicked us out when we couldn’t pay the bill
We ran laughing down the street
Life had never been so sweet
I kept wondering if you were on the pill
We stayed out all night long
I thought you could do no wrong
We danced and drank until it really hurt
But you made a mighty fuss
On the five o’clock night-bus
When I tried to put my hand inside your shirt
Things carried on that way
All the Christmas holiday
You’d lead me on but never let me play
Though I never popped your cork,
Like the Grand Old Duke of York
I was up and down to see you every day
Then I went back to Ancient Greek
Wrote you letters twice a week
I kept that up for just about a year
I didn’t mind that much
That you never got in touch
I just spent the whole year crying in my beer
And now we meet by chance
At this boring dinner dance
And I’ll tell you now the reason for this rhyme
For just one look in your eyes
And I find to my surprise
That my feelings hadn’t changed in all that time
At once things seem the same
Like you’re seventeen again
You twist me round your finger in a flash
You tell me of your life
As an ordinary housewife
(Though thrice-divorced you’ll have another bash)
But what I want to know
Before I have to go
And I ask you this down on my bended knee
In the time ‘tween now and then
You’ve had fifty other men
Why then did you draw the line at me?
More about Bob.
BBC News October 13th – Bob Dylan Wins Nobel Prize For Literature : “Dylan – who took his stage name from the poet Dylan Thomas…”. Doh! The lazy idiots. Haven’t we known, for about 45 years, that that is not true? BBC News- how can you trust them?
Besides, had we named himself after Dylan T, surely he would have called himself Bob Thomas. If his hero was Walt Whitman, he would have called himself Bob Whitman, not Bob Walt. Bob Betjeman, not Bob John; Bob Larkin, not Bob Philip; Bob Byron, not Bob Lord. It’s obvious, isn’t it?
Although, of course, you can never be sure about anything with Bob…