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PostPosted: Sun December 17th, 2017, 12:25 GMT 
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I have no idea where or how to find the quote, but I am certain I heard or read Dylan specifically saying that the title referred to the Joni Mitchell record, not that long after release. Of course it doesn't have to do so anymore.

I wonder if any other songwriter had the, presumably deliberate, cheek to let a terrible line like "keep on keeping on like a bird that flew" remain in a song beyond the most basic home demo - it is a terrible line, about as bad as could be, but in allowing it to remain he's almost taking the piss out of himself (and us) - like a badly made B movie, it is so bad it is great. But it really does suck,

I've always gone for the New York studio session myself - pretty much the only time he's openly admitted smoking dope, and there's quite a bit of dope in that song one way or another.


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PostPosted: Tue December 19th, 2017, 05:38 GMT 

Joined: Wed May 31st, 2017, 00:56 GMT
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Just listened to a version he did with the Grateful Dead, I was surprised by how good it was. The pace the Dead set kind of force Dylan to keep up with them, which I imagine wasn't easy for him in '87 but they all did a great job. I have to collect the good performances from those dates and put 'em all together, 'cause I doubt they'll be releasing another Dylan and the Dead album anytime soon.


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PostPosted: Tue December 19th, 2017, 06:44 GMT 
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It's a masterpiece (of course). I love the New York versions too as someone else had mentioned loving them.
This evening I heard my favorite live version to date of it: Chicago, 10/18/78.
INCREDIBLE. I got chills up my spine from hearing it.


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PostPosted: Tue December 19th, 2017, 07:35 GMT 
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slimtimslide wrote:
I have no idea where or how to find the quote, but I am certain I heard or read Dylan specifically saying that the title referred to the Joni Mitchell record, not that long after release. Of course it doesn't have to do so anymore.

I wonder if any other songwriter had the, presumably deliberate, cheek to let a terrible line like "keep on keeping on like a bird that flew" remain in a song beyond the most basic home demo - it is a terrible line, about as bad as could be, but in allowing it to remain he's almost taking the piss out of himself (and us) - like a badly made B movie, it is so bad it is great. But it really does suck,

I've always gone for the New York studio session myself - pretty much the only time he's openly admitted smoking dope, and there's quite a bit of dope in that song one way or another.


Sorry Tim, I disagree - it's a beautifully evocative line. Birds are characterized by their flight, so Dylan is here underlining the narrator's almost mindless drive to be himself and keep moving through circumstance. That he then has the bird flying through blue (sky) seals the bitter-sweet metaphor of the song's genius motif: being simultaneously tied up and liberated by the blues....

The line has also always been a kind of callback for me to another of his 'doomed affair' song lyrics - "are birds free from the chains of the skyway?". Yeah so that's one of his most shite songs but hey...

Or maybe you are right and it is just ubercheese on toast, dunno.


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PostPosted: Wed December 20th, 2017, 23:00 GMT 

Joined: Wed May 31st, 2017, 00:56 GMT
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"Keep on keeping on like a bird that flew/ Tangled Up in Blue" is a great line! And I liked McG's interpretation of it, the fact that there's constant forward motion despite setbacks. The bird keeps flying even if it struggles sometimes, much like the man himself at various parts of his career.

I played this for my girlfriend after we had seen him back in 2016, he played it live but of course it was altered pretty heavily. It still was great, but I had to show her the album version since she never heard it before. That particular line stuck out to me that night.


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