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PostPosted: Wed September 30th, 2009, 04:07 GMT 

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What to say about this song! Simply a masterpiece. It's one of those songs non dylan fans know and most are into. What arrangements ahave been your favorites over the years? Comments Dates? MEZ


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PostPosted: Wed September 30th, 2009, 04:42 GMT 
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Location: Maybe it isn't a tour, maybe he's just lost.
More than any other song in his catalog this is one he can't seem to ever finish. The album version is great; I like the Real Live version too. I love the lyric variations; the song arises out of his painting lessons and it is like a canvas that shifts every time the light strikes it differently. The narrative fractures and tears time asunder.

"Tangled Up in Blue" is one of the clearest examples of Dylan's attempts to write "multi-dimensional" songs which defied a fixed notion of time and space. Dylan was influenced by his recent study of painting and the Cubist school of artists, who sought to incorporate multiple perspectives within a single plane of view. In a 1978 interview Dylan explained this style of songwriting: "What's different about it is that there's a code in the lyrics, and there's also no sense of time. There's no respect for it. You've got yesterday, today and tomorrow all in the same room, and there's very little you can't imagine not happening." - wiki

Early one mornin' the sun was shinin',
I was layin' in bed
Wond'rin' if she'd changed at all
If her hair was still red.
Her folks they said our lives together
Sure was gonna be rough
They never did like Mama's homemade dress
Papa's bankbook wasn't big enough.
And I was standin' on the side of the road
Rain fallin' on my shoes
Heading out for the East Coast
Lord knows I've paid some dues gettin' through,
Tangled up in blue.

She was married when we first met
Soon to be divorced
I helped her out of a jam, I guess,
But I used a little too much force.
We drove that car as far as we could
Abandoned it out West
Split up on a dark sad night
Both agreeing it was best.
She turned around to look at me
As I was walkin' away
I heard her say over my shoulder,
"We'll meet again someday on the avenue,"
Tangled up in blue.

I had a job in the great north woods
Working as a cook for a spell
But I never did like it all that much
And one day the ax just fell.
So I drifted down to New Orleans
Where I happened to be employed
Workin' for a while on a fishin' boat
Right outside of Delacroix.
But all the while I was alone
The past was close behind,
I seen a lot of women
But she never escaped my mind, and I just grew
Tangled up in blue.

She was workin' in a topless place
And I stopped in for a beer,
I just kept lookin' at the side of her face
In the spotlight so clear.
And later on as the crowd thinned out
I's just about to do the same,
She was standing there in back of my chair
Said to me, "Don't I know your name?"
I muttered somethin' underneath my breath,
She studied the lines on my face.
I must admit I felt a little uneasy
When she bent down to tie the laces of my shoe,
Tangled up in blue.


Those lines, about feeling uneasy when the topless woman kneels down to... "tie the laces of my shoe" :shock: :lol: are among my favorite.

She lit a burner on the stove and offered me a pipe
"I thought you'd never say hello," she said
"You look like the silent type."
Then she opened up a book of poems
And handed it to me
Written by an Italian poet
From the thirteenth century.
And every one of them words rang true
And glowed like burnin' coal
Pourin' off of every page
Like it was written in my soul from me to you,
Tangled up in blue.


Then he's back at the topless dancer's place and they get high and they must be smoking something potent because the words jump off the page of a book of 13th Century Italian poetry. And then time... explodes.

I lived with them on Montague Street
In a basement down the stairs,
There was music in the cafes at night
And revolution in the air.
Then he started into dealing with slaves
And something inside of him died.
She had to sell everything she owned
And froze up inside.
And when finally the bottom fell out
I became withdrawn,
The only thing I knew how to do
Was to keep on keepin' on like a bird that flew,
Tangled up in blue.


This verse is maybe the greatest verse Dylan ever wrote. It has one foot in the 1760s and the other in the 1960s. Slave traders, drug dealers, talk of revolution, Greenwich Village coffeehouses....

So now I'm goin' back again,
I got to get to her somehow.
All the people we used to know
They're an illusion to me now.
Some are mathematicians
Some are carpenter's wives.
Don't know how it all got started,
I don't know what they're doin' with their lives.
But me, I'm still on the road
Headin' for another joint
We always did feel the same,
We just saw it from a different point of view,
Tangled up in blue.


WHO IS this guy??? What an odd tale of violence, escape from the law, odd jobs and topless dancers, time travel... Zowie! :lol:


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PostPosted: Wed September 30th, 2009, 07:04 GMT 

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For me, the album version says it all.

Re-reading the lyrics after a long time today, I notice for the first time a faint similarity to Kerouac's 'On the Road'. Both are about a frantic series of events apparently strung together for no reason other than to "keep on keepin' on" ('Where we going man', Sal asked Dean at one point, and the latter answered 'I don't know but we gotta go'). In any case, the words "me I'm still on the road" necessarily bring to mind the song 'on the road again' and the book that inspired it.


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PostPosted: Wed September 30th, 2009, 09:28 GMT 

Joined: Sun May 10th, 2009, 09:40 GMT
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Without the second to last verse, the official version is quite logical.
I've always wondered who is this other guy there.
If time goes forward this can't be her first? husband or did he survive?
So from where does he appear?


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PostPosted: Wed September 30th, 2009, 10:54 GMT 

Joined: Thu April 9th, 2009, 11:10 GMT
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For me the NY sessions version is my favourite, by far, in terms of delivery and arrangement.

but the changing of the 1st and 2nd person does change the song quite a lot. It becomes a story, not a sort of confessional thing...but then flips again.

confused!


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PostPosted: Wed September 30th, 2009, 11:16 GMT 

Joined: Wed November 26th, 2008, 17:25 GMT
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One of my favourites. I think the Blood On The Tracks version is the best, but the simple acoustic one from the Rolling Thunder Revue from 1975 works very well as well.


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PostPosted: Wed September 30th, 2009, 13:03 GMT 
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Any version from the Larry/Charlie era (98-02).

For a latter day Larry/Charlie performance, Sunrise Florida is my favourite.

I didn't like the Rothbury version at first, but now i'm really into it 8)

Ive been trying to work out what he's been singing on this line for a few years...
She was working in tropicana, i stopped in for a beer,
i told her i was ....blank......
She said i could stay right here

Can anyone help me out?


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PostPosted: Wed September 30th, 2009, 13:10 GMT 
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I know its a bit obvious but
"he was always in a hurry, to busy or too stoned
and everthing that she ever planned just, er, had to be postponed"
is wonderfully honest, very hard not to take this as talking about himself to some degree...


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PostPosted: Wed September 30th, 2009, 14:30 GMT 
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There have been days where I played Tangled Up In Blue on repeat for hours on end while working around the house. If I go away and come back, it’s all right. I’ll just pick it up wherever it’s at.

The order of the verses really doesn’t matter, they could just as well be re-arranged or you could jump in, in the middle of the song, and it would still be the same song. I have noticed though towards the end it increases slightly in tempo and volume, this is not noticed very much until it reaches the end and repeats back to the beginning.

It’s rich in imagery. It provokes interesting images and thoughts and it does this as good as any Dylan song. I don’t think this is because of any ambiguity or vagueness in the lyrics that your mind tries to make clear, like with some songs. The words are not vague or ambiguous. There’s something else, I think it’s the fact that all the details are not given. So you fill in your own details. For example when she bends down to tie the laces of my shoe, though it is not said, I may very well choose to think she is topless.


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PostPosted: Wed September 30th, 2009, 14:53 GMT 
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slimtimslide wrote:
I know its a bit obvious but
"he was always in a hurry, to busy or too stoned
and everthing that she ever planned just, er, had to be postponed"
is wonderfully honest, very hard not to take this as talking about himself to some degree...
Is the version about working in LA loading baggage onto a plane? I love it.


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PostPosted: Wed September 30th, 2009, 16:06 GMT 

Joined: Tue September 29th, 2009, 15:29 GMT
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I'm partial to the '78 version with the Biblical lyrics from Charlotte (?).


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PostPosted: Wed September 30th, 2009, 16:29 GMT 
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grwarrington wrote:

Ive been trying to work out what he's been singing on this line for a few years...
She was working in tropicana, i stopped in for a beer,
i told her i was ....blank......
She said i could stay right here

Can anyone help me out?


Told her I was going all the way to Atlanta.


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PostPosted: Wed September 30th, 2009, 17:09 GMT 

Joined: Fri March 6th, 2009, 01:56 GMT
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The book of poems is most likely La Vita Nuova by Dante Alighieri... What's interesting is that Dante at this time wrote almost exclusively about the love of his life, his muse Beatrice Portinari.

Through his poems (and the commentaries that accompany them) he builds an account of his life and love, beginning at his first sighting of her and ending with her death. He said that his intention was to write of her "that which has never been written of any woman".

I think that you can draw parallels between Dante and Dylan at this stage of his life... The death of his relationship with his muse, his inner torment, his fixation on songs of love and all the pain that it brings, his interest in time and our perception of it...

What do you guys think?

p.s what a fantastic song.


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PostPosted: Wed September 30th, 2009, 17:19 GMT 
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Didn't he also use "poet from the 15th century" in the past? Who could that be? And then there are the biblical references that replace the poet from the 1978 versions.


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PostPosted: Wed September 30th, 2009, 17:28 GMT 

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Hmmm... It seems that in an interview from 78 he said it was Plutarch but he says "is that him?" so he may mean Petrarch... That would make more sense haha


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PostPosted: Wed September 30th, 2009, 17:35 GMT 

Joined: Fri March 6th, 2009, 01:56 GMT
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carnap wrote:
There’s something else, I think it’s the fact that all the details are not given. So you fill in your own details. For example when she bends down to tie the laces of my shoe, though it is not said, I may very well choose to think she is topless.


Perhaps he is getting a 'private' dance when she "bends down to tie the laces of his shoes".

Huh huh, *wink wink* *nudge nudge* *chortle chortle*

I'll get my coat.

EDIT: wait, weren't some of the alternate lyrics "I could feel the heat and the pulse of her"? She must have been a prize winning, pedigree bitch...

I'll get my hat.

EDIT THE SECOND: grwarrington has just reminded me of the much fabled "told her she could climb my ladder, she said we could do it right here" lyric...

I'll get my scarf... Sure is cold out there...


Last edited by conal0102 on Wed September 30th, 2009, 17:43 GMT, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed September 30th, 2009, 17:39 GMT 
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Ah thanks for that!

I thought he was singing "told her i was gonna climb a ladder" for about a year :lol:


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PostPosted: Wed September 30th, 2009, 17:41 GMT 
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conal0102 wrote:
carnap wrote:
There’s something else, I think it’s the fact that all the details are not given. So you fill in your own details. For example when she bends down to tie the laces of my shoe, though it is not said, I may very well choose to think she is topless.


Perhaps he is getting a 'private' dance when she "bends down to tie the laces of his shoes".

Huh huh, *wink wink* *nudge nudge* *chortle chortle*

I'll get my coat.

EDIT: wait, weren't some of the alternate lyrics "I could feel the heat and the pulse of her"? She must have been a prize winning, pedigree bitch...

I'll get my hat.

And why was he looking at the side of her face, if she was TOPLESS!!!!


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PostPosted: Wed September 30th, 2009, 17:44 GMT 

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Dylans an ass man he was looking at her cheeks

Oh and I enjoy the 78 renditions but you could also do alot worse than 05/21/1998 and 06/17/1998 if your into the NET


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PostPosted: Wed September 30th, 2009, 20:10 GMT 
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I agree all about the lyrics but nobody's mentioned the irresistible melody - hum it beneath your breath and people will inevitably ask 'What's that?'.


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PostPosted: Wed September 30th, 2009, 21:07 GMT 
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the bit abput the 'topless place'. In the thread about sarah, did it not mention that she worked for playboy in some bar - could this be what he is describing?


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PostPosted: Thu October 1st, 2009, 01:13 GMT 
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Location: Maybe it isn't a tour, maybe he's just lost.
gibsona07 wrote:
the bit abput the 'topless place'. In the thread about sarah, did it not mention that she worked for playboy in some bar - could this be what he is describing?


Um... no. :roll:


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PostPosted: Thu October 1st, 2009, 02:00 GMT 
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It's a pleasant thought though. About maybe the best part of the whole song.
:)


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PostPosted: Thu October 1st, 2009, 03:10 GMT 

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Stunningly good song.

My favorite version lately is Wantagh '99 (check it out on youtube), largely because of the unique (so far as I can find) delivery on "and we drove that car as far as we could."


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PostPosted: Thu October 1st, 2009, 23:34 GMT 

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His masterpiece. It's the song everything else is judged against. For me, his career is either before Tangled or after. it's profoundly an American song. The song travels across time in the States. And like so much of the best American art, the song is heavily romantic conjuring memories of lost loves, distant places, and the people that we used to know. In the context of Bob's life, I've always heard the song as a song about the 60's a tumultuous decade that brought great loves and great losses. It's also a song of brilliant specificity. The places we go are so vivid, it's a song you enjoy falling into again and again. But beyond that, the song is stunning in its malleability, its adaptation, shaped by time, just as the story itself is.
It's also a song that is perfect only as a song. Dylan's most original melody reflects the journey so dramatically that one cannot live without the other. As the verse progresses there is always that progression building in the narrative as well, knowing inevitably we are building to the chorus, those three abrupt chords of Tangled Up In Blue that shift the narrative completely, like the shifts in perspective, subject, and emotion, moving us into another joint to start all over again.
There are two women that haunt the song for me, and he & I seem to change often. In a sense, who this song is about is extraneous for me, but what remains are the emotional details, how each place & time draw us deeper into his web of experience until all we can do is simply listen to it marvelously unfold and feel it all over again. The listener of the song is just as integral as the singer to the song's purpose just as the oldest folk songs are.

So now I'm goin' back again,
I got to get to her somehow.
All the people we used to know
They're an illusion to me now.
Some are mathematicians
Some are doctors' wives.
Don't know how it all got started,
I don't know what they're doin' with their lives.
But me, I'm still on the road
Headin' for another joint
We always did feel the same,
We just saw it from a different point of view,
Tangled up in blue.

It is because of that transitory state of being the song lives in that the song has only gotten better as the years have grown. As is the artist Bob Dylan, it is a song perpetually in the act of process. It is a song that only lives in performance. It has grown along with its singer. I've loved all of the many incarnations, some more than others, and have never disliked hearing it unlike some of the other warhorses.
In recent years, I think the song has been given a grand new energy. It's as world weary & ravaged now now as it's characters have always been and in that the song has a new-found life. I think Stu and Denny have only captured the elusiveness of the song's melody here and there but when they have, Bob responds with performance. It certainly has not happened as often as Charlie/ Larry, but they had a different Tangled Up & a different Bob.

But in recent years, I've gone to this one from 2005 more than any. As strong a performance from Bob and the band as any I've heard of the song and currently is my favorite. The last verse is easily the best part and Bob's piano playing and singing here is as mysteriously and beautifully expressive as the song always has been.

Rotterdam Netherlands
October 28 2005

http://www.sendspace.com/file/xurywk


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