Watching the River Flow

In March 1971, Bob Dylan entered the studio searching for a new sound after the pastoral feel of his previous album New Morning. The song “Watching the River Flow” was the single that emerged from those sessions: This recording session was produced by Leon Russell, a former studio musician who had achieved renown for leadingContinue reading “Watching the River Flow”

Time Passes Slowly

In 1940, the German philosopher and critic Walter Benjamin wrote a piece called “On the Concept of History” as he was trying to escape from Vichy France. Within the essay, Benjamin shares a rhyme that was written in the midst of France’s July Revolution of 1830, when it was reported that people had shot atContinue reading “Time Passes Slowly”

Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands

“This is the best song I ever wrote.” So said Bob Dylan with evident pride about “Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands” to journalist Robert Shelton in a Denver hotel room during an impromptu performance on March 12, 1966. Dylan was showing off the song and a few others (including “Positively Van Gogh” covered previously onContinue reading “Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands”

It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry

Arguably the best song title in Bob Dylan’s catalog, “It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry” off of 1965’s Highway 61 Revisited tells about the back and forth of sexual frustration between a couple.   The narrator starts things off: Well, I ride on a mailtrain, babyCan’t buy a thrill TheContinue reading “It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry”