Response to left on green only (Reply #7)
Sun May 6, 2012, 02:38 PM
DutchLiberal (5,744 posts)
14. Fascinating interpretation
The thought that the song could be about something else than a woman never even occurred to me. Of course there are a zillion interpretations for almost all Dylan songs. That's one of the reasons he's so appealing to me: you can talk on and on about it and never get tired of it. Every listening can give you new insights and make you notice new aspects of a song.
I've read interpretations that explained the song was really about Joan Baez, citing some references from the song that fit perfectly with Baez's life. The "magazine husband, who one day just had to go", "your thief, you're on his parole" and "the baby of the hoodlum wrapped in your arms" supposedly referred to her husband David Harris, who got national media attention because he refused military induction and served time in prison because of it, during which his son was born. However, the "magazine husband" has also been said to refer to Hans Lownds, a magazine photographer and Sara's first husband. So you can really go all different directions with the same lyrics.
I like to ponder on the lyrics, too, but I'm not obsessed by figuring them out. I don't have to know what they mean exactly, I just enjoy the beautiful imagery Dylan invokes. Trying ti figure it out is pointless anyway. The only one who knows is Dylan and he's not telling. Even the reference in 'Sara' could be fake; it wouldn't be the first time he tried to pull our legs.
Though it is always interesting to read other people's interpretations; they always give me new appreciation of the depth of Dylan's work. I've read fascinating explanations of 'Changing of the Guards', but there are not 2 which are alike and all of them are equally plausible. Maybe it was never meant to "mean" anything, but he was just going for what sounded best? Fascinating song nonetheless.
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