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PostPosted: Tue October 27th, 2009, 19:28 GMT 
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Yeah the chorus is shit but who really cares when there are lyrics like these in the verses.


Standing on the waters casting your bread
While the eyes of the idol with the iron head are glowing.
Distant ships sailing into the mist,
You were born with a snake in both of your fists while a hurricane was blowing.
Freedom just around the corner for you
But with the truth so far off, what good will it do



Well, the Book of Leviticus and Deuteronomy,
The law of the jungle and the sea are your only teachers.
In the smoke of the twilight on a milk-white steed,
Michelangelo indeed could've carved out your features


It's a shadowy world, skies are slippery gray,
A woman just gave birth to a prince today and dressed him in scarlet.
He'll put the priest in his pocket, put the blade to the heat,
Take the motherless children off the street
And place them at the feet of a harlot


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PostPosted: Tue October 27th, 2009, 19:41 GMT 
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The Mighty Monkey Of Mim wrote:
The men of Sodom demanded that Lot send out the men of his party to be engaged sexually. Lot offered instead his virgin daughters to the Sodomites, but they refused. LJ, surely you've seen enough old movies with subtler hints at homoeroticism than that...how explicit does it need to be?


The men of Sodom demanded that Lot send out them men so they could rape them. If you look at the text, Lot offers his virgin daughter in marriage and is refused. The emphasis is clearly on rape and adultery. If you look between the lines you'll see that there's nothing written there.[/quote]
I don't see where that distinction is made and I don't think it makes any sense, since he's offering the only two daughters to a mob of many men, young and old. They can't all marry them. Is there some other passage I should be looking at?

But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter:
and they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.
And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him,
and said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly.
Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing...


I was under the impression that the scholarly debate on this issue is over the meaning of the "know" here, with those who wish to de-emphasize the homosexual angle saying that it simply means they wanted to interrogate (not have sex with) the strangers and thus were committing the sin of inhospitality. But this doesn't wash, because it doesn't make sense that Lot would respond by offering his virgin daughters if this were the case, and also because a parallel story in Judges 19 (about a Levite and his concubine visiting Gibeah) employs the same device and similar language but is somewhat less ambiguous.

And as Andy pointed out, you've got to be in some pretty serious denial to think that homosexual rape wouldn't carry an additional repugnance beyond that (not always) carried by heterosexual rape.[/quote]

"To know" clearly means "to have sex" but the 'crime" involved here is RAPE, not homosexuality.

When you say "carry an additional repugnance" you're being absurd in that you're taking a position that raping a person of the same sex is actually believed to be LESS repugnant in the eyes of God. There's no basis for that anywhere but in your imagination.

Further, in Ezekiel 16:48-50, God lists the reasons for the destruction of the cities:

As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, your sister Sodom and her daughters never did what you and your daughters have done. "'Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.

The "detestable things" is a reference to pagan religious rituals of the time.

Again -- this is not any sort of Biblical sanction of homosexuality (though there's a cogent argument that can be made for that). It is simply NOT true that homosexuality is one of the things that Sodom & Gomorrah were being punished for.


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PostPosted: Tue October 27th, 2009, 19:43 GMT 
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blind_boy_grunt wrote:
Well, the Book of Leviticus and Deuteronomy,
The law of the jungle and the sea are your only teachers.
In the smoke of the twilight on a milk-white steed,
Michelangelo indeed could've carved out your features[/i]


In the light of the discussion we have had about homophobia this verse might is also intersting.

Religious people seeking for arguments to back up their point of view will often quote Leviticus 18:22 - "Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind; such is an abomination".

At the end of the verse we find Michelangelo. It's debatable but I think most of us will agree that with this verse Dylan suggests that Michelangelo is a great sculptur and he might even be suggesting that only a sculpture of Michelangelo's stature would be skilled enough to carve out the features of whomever the 'Jokerman' is supposed to be.
Now, while I'm not really a fan of retro-active determination of people's sexual orientation, I do think that there are ample arguments to suggest that Michelangelo has had romantic and probably even sexual relations with men.
If you want to you can even go as far as to claim that he was indeed a homosexual, but as I said: retro-active, cross-cultural determination of someone's sexual orientation based on fragmentary knowledge hardly ever goes beyong conjecture.

Isn't it a bit odd that you would take the book of Leviticus as one of your only teachers but that you would also take some pride in having a sexually ambiguous person like Michelangelo as the sculptur of your image?

I admit, maybe a bit far fetched and anyway not of great importance.


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PostPosted: Wed October 28th, 2009, 01:54 GMT 

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Long Johnny wrote:
"To know" clearly means "to have sex" but the 'crime" involved here is RAPE, not homosexuality.

When you say "carry an additional repugnance" you're being absurd in that you're taking a position that raping a person of the same sex is actually believed to be LESS repugnant in the eyes of God. There's no basis for that anywhere but in your imagination.

Not is, was. And not necessarily in the eyes of God (if there is one) but in the eyes of (some of) the story's historically prevailing readers/interpreters.

Let's not forget that women were in many ways seen as PROPERTY rather than autonomous beings of equal standing. I'm not sure you can say that the barriers being violated by a man raping a woman would have been considered the same barriers being violated by a man raping a fellow man. In one case he might be seen as giving in to natural urges, in the other to unnatural ones. He might also be seen more as damaging someone else's goods, harming her father's prospects of marrying her off profitably or infringing upon her husband's conjugal rights, than violating the sanctity of her person.

But in any case, Lot has no indication that his daughters will be any better treated by the Sodomites than his male guests, so under your interpretation I don't see his motivation in offering them up as a preferred alternative. I gather this is where the value placed on hospitality might be raised again; maybe it really was important enough that Lot would rather send his daughters out to be raped than his guests, I don't know...

Quote:
Further, in Ezekiel 16:48-50, God lists the reasons for the destruction of the cities:

As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, your sister Sodom and her daughters never did what you and your daughters have done. "'Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.

The "detestable things" is a reference to pagan religious rituals of the time.

Again -- this is not any sort of Biblical sanction of homosexuality (though there's a cogent argument that can be made for that). It is simply NOT true that homosexuality is one of the things that Sodom & Gomorrah were being punished for.

There are a number of cases in the Bible where the continuity is less than perfect, owing to the fact that it's actually comprised of many disparate documents that don't necessarily share the same origin and authorship. Different stories seek to emphasize different points, and employ selected details to that effect. We're dealing with multiple retellings of what may or may not be fictional events from multiple points of view; even in the event of outright contradiction (which I don't think is present in this case, since the meaning of destestable things is not clearly specified and could practically include whatever you wanted to read into it) I don't think you can use one to negate another.

But I think you have diverted the conversation away from my original point, which was never that homosexuality was the sole or even primary reason for the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. It was that homosexual acts are a characteristic that has been traditionally associated with the inhabitants of those cities and to ignore that connotation without good reason when examining an allusion to the story in another work is specious. As to whether it was Dylan's intent to evoke this connotation or another I obviously cannot know, but only speculate.


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PostPosted: Mon December 14th, 2009, 04:03 GMT 

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This song has always sorta been around for me as one of my faves from that period, but it suddenly just "hit" me recently and now I can't stop playing it. I don't think I had paid much attention to the beauty of the lyrics before, but the verses are incredibly well written - and i love performance. Great great track.


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PostPosted: Mon December 14th, 2009, 05:40 GMT 
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andy1983 wrote:
I see that those who praise don't wish to adress the issue of the potental homophobia in this song ...

Come on now andy, don't get like rc (the residental homosexual who hates religion) at the NEP and start obsessing !
registeredtovote wrote:
For me, its another bad pun, in a song made of bad puns. It is a kind of put down, but I think it comes from the position of someone searching for ways to fit in words references and meaning, rather than anything serious.

Early in his career Bobby said...'my songs don't mean nothing, there just words I put together.'Don't know if he ever updated that statement !

I think registeredtovote hits the nail on the head, I just wouldn't call them bad puns !


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PostPosted: Mon December 14th, 2009, 15:43 GMT 
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This was the opening song for the show I saw in April 1994. He did an incredible performance and I was lucky enough to be standing front row before Bob's mic stand. I love the song and the video he did at the time was pretty cool as well.

But then again, from Slow Train to the present, has Bob done anything that wasn't incredible?


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PostPosted: Mon December 14th, 2009, 15:45 GMT 
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Untrodden Path wrote:
But then again, from Slow Train to the present, has Bob done anything that wasn't incredible?


You claim to be such a fan and you've never heard "Property of Jesus"????

You, sir, are a fraud!


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PostPosted: Mon December 14th, 2009, 15:52 GMT 
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I LOVE Property of Jesus... seriously, I think only Bob could ever write something like that. No one, no songwriter, no right-wing evangelical wacko-kook (or whatever) could have ever come up with that song. As incredible as many of his other songs may be, this is so "out there" even for Dylan. Honestly, when I hear it, I don't know if this is heart-felt born-again Bob or some form of self caricature... but I have laughed out loud several times while listening to it through the years and on more than one occassion joined in singing it with him...

but never with my wife in the car with me. :lol:


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PostPosted: Mon December 14th, 2009, 17:20 GMT 
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Ain't it just like a Bobsong to play tricks when yer tryin' to be so quiet;
As we sit standin' while we all do our best to deny it.


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PostPosted: Mon December 14th, 2009, 18:08 GMT 
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Untrodden Path wrote:
I LOVE Property of Jesus... seriously, I think only Bob could ever write something like that. No one, no songwriter, no right-wing evangelical wacko-kook (or whatever) could have ever come up with that song. As incredible as many of his other songs may be, this is so "out there" even for Dylan. Honestly, when I hear it, I don't know if this is heart-felt born-again Bob or some form of self caricature... but I have laughed out loud several times while listening to it through the years and on more than one occassion joined in singing it with him...

but never with my wife in the car with me. :lol:


It's the use of the word "chump" in a religious-tinged song that cracks me up!


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PostPosted: Wed May 27th, 2015, 07:15 GMT 
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The Letterman version is the best version of Jokerman ever committed to tape. End of discussion. You can go ahead and close this thread now. Also: Bob should team up with that band and only play with them.
My work here is done.


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PostPosted: Wed May 27th, 2015, 07:53 GMT 

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Anr Bjotk wrote:
The Letterman version is the best version of Jokerman ever committed to tape. End of discussion. You can go ahead and close this thread now. Also: Bob should team up with that band and only play with them.
My work here is done.


I find it hard to disagree. There, I'm contrary, so I changed it!


Last edited by Mickvet on Wed May 27th, 2015, 07:57 GMT, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed May 27th, 2015, 07:55 GMT 
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Mickvet wrote:
Anr Bjotk wrote:
The Letterman version is the best version of Jokerman ever committed to tape. End of discussion. You can go ahead and close this thread now. Also: Bob should team up with that band and only play with them.
My work here is done.


I find it hard to disagree, and I'm a contrary git.


No, you're not.


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PostPosted: Thu May 28th, 2015, 02:15 GMT 
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The Letterman version has grown on me. Dylan really tears into those lyrics likes it's soon to be his last breath.


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PostPosted: Thu May 28th, 2015, 03:08 GMT 
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I only first listened to the Letterman performances a week or two ago, but immediately found them brilliant. Not just Jokerman, but License to Kill as well are both riveting. Infidels really could have been a killer album. Sadly it fell victim to poor choices in the studio...


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PostPosted: Thu May 28th, 2015, 13:55 GMT 
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I actually like the '84 tour versions of Jokerman better than the Letterman performance. Only this song; License To Kill and Don't Start me Talkin are excellent on Letterman. But Jokerman doesn't do as well with the garage band treatment IMO. Minority opinion, and I still think the album version outshines the rest.


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PostPosted: Thu May 28th, 2015, 14:47 GMT 
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ApocalypseKurtz wrote:
I actually like the '84 tour versions of Jokerman better than the Letterman performance. Only this song; License To Kill and Don't Start me Talkin are excellent on Letterman. But Jokerman doesn't do as well with the garage band treatment IMO. Minority opinion, and I still think the album version outshines the rest.


I am a huge fan of infidels. Like Street legal, I think it is hugely underrated on this board. I don't think Letterman's Jokerman version is superior or inferior to the studio track. It just is. The fact remains, it is a great song! Infidels is choc-block full of great songs, perhaps not produced to everyone's liking, but they are still great songs. Neighbourhood Bully, to my ears, just gets better every time I hear it and I've heard it an awful lot, whilst it seems the majority on here think it should be put in the Dylan no-go zone.

There are hundreds if not thousands of examples how Dylan treats his songs like elastic in concert, to the point unless you are hard-core Dylan fan, you might not even recognise. That's what makes his music so enriching are the various incarnations of his own songs. The Letterman Jokerman version is just another spoke in the Jokerman wheel. I can't even count how many spokes I adore of Visions of Johanna wheel. That's what makes much of the Dylan's music feel so circular and all-encompassing.


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PostPosted: Thu May 28th, 2015, 17:22 GMT 
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ApocalypseKurtz wrote:
I actually like the '84 tour versions of Jokerman better than the Letterman performance. Only this song; License To Kill and Don't Start me Talkin are excellent on Letterman. But Jokerman doesn't do as well with the garage band treatment IMO. Minority opinion, and I still think the album version outshines the rest.


Which versions/dates are you speaking of here? How can you not recognize the powerhouse rendition on Letterman? When he howls "birds flying high by the light of the moon, whoooaaaahhhwoooa, joookermaaan!"


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PostPosted: Thu May 28th, 2015, 18:15 GMT 
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IO Farm wrote:
ApocalypseKurtz wrote:
I actually like the '84 tour versions of Jokerman better than the Letterman performance. Only this song; License To Kill and Don't Start me Talkin are excellent on Letterman. But Jokerman doesn't do as well with the garage band treatment IMO. Minority opinion, and I still think the album version outshines the rest.


I am a huge fan of infidels. Like Street legal, I think it is hugely underrated on this board. I don't think Letterman's Jokerman version is superior or inferior to the studio track. It just is. The fact remains, it is a great song! Infidels is choc-block full of great songs, perhaps not produced to everyone's liking, but they are still great songs. Neighbourhood Bully, to my ears, just gets better every time I hear it and I've heard it an awful lot, whilst it seems the majority on here think it should be put in the Dylan no-go zone.

There are hundreds if not thousands of examples how Dylan treats his songs like elastic in concert, to the point unless you are hard-core Dylan fan, you might not even recognise. That's what makes his music so enriching are the various incarnations of his own songs. The Letterman Jokerman version is just another spoke in the Jokerman wheel. I can't even count how many spokes I adore of Visions of Johanna wheel. That's what makes much of the Dylan's music feel so circular and all-encompassing.


Cheers mate.


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PostPosted: Thu May 28th, 2015, 18:24 GMT 
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Anr Bjotk wrote:
ApocalypseKurtz wrote:
I actually like the '84 tour versions of Jokerman better than the Letterman performance. Only this song; License To Kill and Don't Start me Talkin are excellent on Letterman. But Jokerman doesn't do as well with the garage band treatment IMO. Minority opinion, and I still think the album version outshines the rest.


Which versions/dates are you speaking of here? How can you not recognize the powerhouse rendition on Letterman? When he howls "birds flying high by the light of the moon, whoooaaaahhhwoooa, joookermaaan!"


On Letterman the band kind of clangs along in a rudimentary backing rhythm. Bob is powerful but a bit off key at times. As I said earlier, the punk/garage band works spectacularly with the other 2 songs but doesn't match the complexity of the words or the chords of 'Jokerman.'

I'm really not a fan of the 1984 tour in general, there might exist better ones but here's one I could quickly find online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_ncUHjBS6Y

The full professional band, with organ and proper lead guitar, helps this song, whereas it could be argued it would hinder 'Don't Start Me Talkin'. I think 'License to Kill' is great either way.

Also he cut at least 1 verse out in the Letterman performance (no nightsticks, water cannons, teargas or padlocks). Maybe the last verse as well. I forget now.


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PostPosted: Thu May 28th, 2015, 18:41 GMT 
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I'll take the original studio alternate over any of them...it's just gorgeous. Too bad about the hiss, one day I'm sure we'll get a pristine version from the bootleg series.


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PostPosted: Fri May 29th, 2015, 10:29 GMT 
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Until this song Dylan's voice irritated me and his lyrics didn't connect. It wasn't a considered opinion about him but a synesthesic response. For some reason Jokerman struck a chord.

For some reason I connected it to a musician I was in the throes of beginning a relationship with.
On revisiting the lyrics printed above it strikes me now how prophetic it was.

Ah life :?


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PostPosted: Sat May 30th, 2015, 02:18 GMT 
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who is jokerman? Jesus, the devil, maybe Dylan himself..

what a great music Video, as well. I remember back in the day MTV would play it sometimes late at night but cut the last verse and video short :evil:


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PostPosted: Sat May 30th, 2015, 03:23 GMT 

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This version from 03 is my favorite:

https://youtube.com/watch?list=PL2EF770 ... HuhdgBWvLY


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