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 Post subject: Track Talk 287 Dignity
PostPosted: Sun November 13th, 2011, 00:54 GMT 

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1pNEhVcumU

Fat man lookin’ in a blade of steel
Thin man lookin’ at his last meal
Hollow man lookin’ in a cottonfield
For dignity

Wise man lookin’ in a blade of grass
Young man lookin’ in the shadows that pass
Poor man lookin’ through painted glass
For dignity

Somebody got murdered on New Year’s Eve
Somebody said dignity was the first to leave
I went into the city, went into the town
Went into the land of the midnight sun

Searchin’ high, searchin’ low
Searchin’ everywhere I know
Askin’ the cops wherever I go
Have you seen dignity?

Blind man breakin’ out of a trance
Puts both his hands in the pockets of chance
Hopin’ to find one circumstance
Of dignity

I went to the wedding of Mary Lou
She said, “I don’t want nobody see me talkin’ to you”
Said she could get killed if she told me what she knew
About dignity

I went down where the vultures feed
I would’ve gone deeper, but there wasn’t any need
Heard the tongues of angels and the tongues of men
Wasn’t any difference to me

Chilly wind sharp as a razor blade
House on fire, debts unpaid
Gonna stand at the window, gonna ask the maid
Have you seen dignity?

Drinkin’ man listens to the voice he hears
In a crowded room full of covered-up mirrors
Lookin’ into the lost forgotten years
For dignity

Met Prince Phillip at the home of the blues
Said he’d give me information if his name wasn’t used
He wanted money up front, said he was abused
By dignity

Footprints runnin’ ’cross the silver sand
Steps goin’ down into tattoo land
I met the sons of darkness and the sons of light
In the bordertowns of despair

Got no place to fade, got no coat
I’m on the rollin’ river in a jerkin’ boat
Tryin’ to read a note somebody wrote
About dignity

Sick man lookin’ for the doctor’s cure
Lookin’ at his hands for the lines that were
And into every masterpiece of literature
For dignity

Englishman stranded in the blackheart wind
Combin’ his hair back, his future looks thin
Bites the bullet and he looks within
For dignity

Someone showed me a picture and I just laughed
Dignity never been photographed
I went into the red, went into the black
Into the valley of dry bone dreams

So many roads, so much at stake
So many dead ends, I’m at the edge of the lake
Sometimes I wonder what it’s gonna take
To find dignity

Probably Dylan's last 80's gem, this song was apparently inspired by the tragic death of 'Pistol' Pete Maravich, one of the greatest basketball players in history. This is one of those great Dylan songs where every time you hear it, it's as if it were the first time and every word always rings true. It's always been elusive to Bob in terms of performance though. It was left off of Oh Mercy because it never coalesced into anything to be approved for the album. It was released after being re-mixed on Greatest Hits Vol. 3 and became his only 90's hit up to that point. He played it on MTV Unplugged and for myself, it was the highlight of the show.
From there, the band picked it up and rolled it out on the 1995 tour where it finally reached its pinnacle IMO. Finally giving it the rock treatment brought it out of Bob's head and into a cathartic reality.
Clinton Heylin has suggested that Brixton from that year is the definitive performance, but I disagree.
Much much more sinister, playful and most of all rocking!:

Brussels Belgium
March 23 1995
http://www.sendspace.com/file/lh1ct7

How do we feel about Dignity????


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PostPosted: Sun November 13th, 2011, 01:01 GMT 
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^
Great choice. That might be the best NET version. There's also an electric one at Rochester 2004, where he shouts out a goofy "HaHA!" after "Someone showed me a picture and I just laughed".


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PostPosted: Sun November 13th, 2011, 03:14 GMT 
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Great song... the Brussels choice is excellent as is the Rochester. I liked both of the MTV Unplugged although the officially released version, to my ears, was on an entirely different plane from the other... sometimes that happens, I guess. Would love to see it back in the setlists but I have a feeling we won't be hearing this one again.


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PostPosted: Sun November 13th, 2011, 04:06 GMT 

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Nice pick Marker. Love the live Belgium version! As far as official versions I prefer MTV Unplugged over the studio cut. MEZ


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PostPosted: Sun November 13th, 2011, 04:17 GMT 
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Mez wrote:
Nice pick Marker. Love the live Belgium version! As far as official versions I prefer MTV Unplugged over the studio cut. MEZ


The Mez is correct!


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PostPosted: Sun November 13th, 2011, 04:18 GMT 
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i'm not gaga about this song


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PostPosted: Sun November 13th, 2011, 09:54 GMT 
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:) I'd love to hear a version of Dignity by Lady Gaga!

A wonderful song, that Brussels performance is great.


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PostPosted: Sun November 13th, 2011, 11:56 GMT 
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tellmemomma1966 wrote:
i'm not gaga about this song
You're an absolute mystery


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PostPosted: Sun November 13th, 2011, 12:13 GMT 
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What a gem! I think it might be the best song Dylan has recorded since 1984.


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PostPosted: Sun November 13th, 2011, 12:17 GMT 
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Untrodden Path wrote:
tellmemomma1966 wrote:
i'm not gaga about this song
You're an absolute mystery

it's alright but to be honest i don't like it as much as things like ring them bells, most of the time, etc


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PostPosted: Sun November 13th, 2011, 12:38 GMT 

Joined: Thu May 26th, 2011, 12:54 GMT
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great song
my fav performance is from hamburg 17 oct 2003
http://www.sendspace.com/file/mffv6d


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PostPosted: Sun November 13th, 2011, 12:52 GMT 
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Untrodden Path wrote:
tellmemomma1966 wrote:
i'm not gaga about this song
You're an absolute mystery

tellmemomma1966 wrote:
it's alright but to be honest i don't like it as much as things like ring them bells, most of the time, etc
Both great songs. No argument here.


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PostPosted: Sun November 13th, 2011, 12:55 GMT 
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8)


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PostPosted: Sun November 13th, 2011, 13:17 GMT 
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The released bluesy version is pretty "meh" for me.

The TTS Piano Demo shows some potential, though. Shame it's cut-off.


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PostPosted: Sun November 13th, 2011, 13:46 GMT 
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How many studio versions of this song have come out?


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PostPosted: Sun November 13th, 2011, 16:33 GMT 
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I love this song because I love songs about dignity... and I'm not afraid to say that.

I can honestly say that I have never heard a song about dignity that I haven't loved.


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PostPosted: Sun November 13th, 2011, 18:54 GMT 
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There's something wrong with the tempo of this song. And the lyrics are a little melodramatic.


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PostPosted: Sun November 13th, 2011, 23:26 GMT 
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Winston Watson had this one down... and tempo never seemed to be a problem when he was driving the beat.


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PostPosted: Mon November 14th, 2011, 01:43 GMT 
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Year. 2000
Where. Frankfurt
Schubert 4 mic. recording!

check it out!


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PostPosted: Mon November 14th, 2011, 01:54 GMT 
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Love this one. I like Unplugged and Rochester '04 best. That lone 2009 one in Hannover was dire.


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PostPosted: Mon November 14th, 2011, 02:15 GMT 
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Roving Gambler wrote:
That lone 2009 one in Hannover was dire.
I had forgotten about that one... probably because there is little worth remembering in 2009.

In fact, I can't remember anything worth remembering in 2009...


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PostPosted: Mon November 14th, 2011, 17:49 GMT 
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This track is excellent. The bouncy TTS version takes the cake and the MTV version is the cat's PJs as well.


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PostPosted: Mon November 14th, 2011, 18:20 GMT 
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Untrodden Path wrote:
Roving Gambler wrote:
That lone 2009 one in Hannover was dire.
I had forgotten about that one... probably because there is little worth remembering in 2009.

In fact, I can't remember anything worth remembering in 2009...

Nah, the Fall leg welcoming Charlie back was great, and some of the early European shows had some nice variety and committed performances (Stockholm 3-23 is a great show with a rare, well done "One More Cup of Coffee").


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PostPosted: Mon November 14th, 2011, 18:23 GMT 
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It's a great song... in my opinion, a masterpiece of poetic writing... a tapestry of interwoven lyrics knitted together in an up tempo beat, turning this song into a magical road-trip journey through the heart and soul of Americana.

The simplicty of the lyrical writing belies the complexity of the lyric... characters, known and unknown, glide in and out of the song... arriving and then leaving, per se... coming, and then... avec toot... going, turns this song into a frenetic, boucing tale of 'life'... but life as viewed through the eyes of a world-weary narrator... tired with all the shallow, conceited and masked bit-part players... tired of their games... their pomposity... their leech-like, parasitic, ugly, naked greed!

The song screams to the listener that the narrator is not impressed by this act called life, yet, each verse, line... even word, is heavy with pathos... heavy with irony... and draws obvious comparisons to the work of Chaucer, Homer... and, yes, to an extent Shakespeare... in many ways 'Dignity' is the song that Shakespeare never wrote... and I cannot give this Americana masterpiece any higher an accolade than that.

Quite possibly Dylan's great lyric... certainly amongst his top five.


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PostPosted: Mon November 14th, 2011, 19:17 GMT 
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Pure gold. Especially The Unplugged version.


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