Bob Dylan Nobel Prize

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 idiotsHaven’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…