Saturday, June 10, 2006

Farewell Angelina

Sometimes I fail to write because I feel I have nothing to say. The mystery of this is a paradox - it's usually that I've too much on my mind. Too much roiling around for me too put it down clearly, so I remain silent. Often that's when I substitute song lyrics or poems, sometimes they speak for me, sometimes it's just because the song's a favorite.

Yesterday I watched No Direction Home, the Scorsese documentary on Dylan that aired on PBS last fall. If you haven't seen it and care about music even just a little, I can't recommend it enough. Bob Dylan has been a presence in my life since I was old enough to perceive sound. I hadn't quite realized how ingrained in my psyche his music is until I saw it. I don't listen to him much anymore, and that's a real shame. There are worlds to explore... "Where have you been, my blue-eyed son?"

Put him on the list of rare artists whose work causes me to do my own. It's immediate, like a spark in a gas tank. And my God, that face of his. He wins and breaks my heart, all in the space of a minute.

It's strange, for some reason I couldn't stop thinking of Johnny Depp as I watched young Bob Dylan and his antics.

For now, here's one of so many I love; it fits the mood I'm in:

Farewell Angelina
The bells of the crown
Are being stolen by bandits
I must follow the sound
The triangle tingles
And the trumpet play slow
Farewell Angelina
The sky is on fire
And I must go.

There's no need for anger
There's no need for blame
There's nothing to prove
Ev'rything's still the same
Just a table standing empty
By the edge of the sea
Farewell Angelina
The sky is trembling
And I must leave.

The jacks and queens
Have forsaked the courtyard
Fifty-two gypsies
Now file past the guards
In the space where the deuce
And the ace once ran wild
Farewell Angelina
The sky is folding
I'll see you in a while.

See the cross-eyed pirates sitting
Perched in the sun
Shooting tin cans
With a sawed-off shotgun
And the neighbors they clap
And they cheer with each blast
Farewell Angelina
The sky's changing color
And I must leave fast.

King Kong, little elves
On the rooftoops they dance
Valentino-type tangos
While the make-up man's hands
Shut the eyes of the dead
Not to embarrass anyone
Farewell Angelina
The sky is embarrassed
And I must be gone.

The machine guns are roaring
The puppets heave rocks
The fiends nail time bombs
To the hands of the clocks
Call me any name you like
I will never deny it
Farewell Angelina
The sky is erupting
I must go where it's quiet.

Bob Dylan
Copyright © 1965

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sparking gas tanks are very easily done out on Highway 61.