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PostPosted: Thu October 10th, 2013, 02:26 GMT 

Joined: Wed April 11th, 2007, 04:15 GMT
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Location: City of Angels
Doctor, doctor tell me the time of day!
Another bottle's empty, another penny spent.
He turned around and he slowly walked away.
They shot him in the back and down he went.

Shine your light
Movin' on
You burned so bright
Roll on, John

From the Liverpool docks to the red-light Hamburg streets,
Down in the quarry with the Quarrymen
Playing to the big crowds, playing to the cheap seats.
Another day in the life on your way to your journey's end.

Shine your light,
Movin' on
You burned so bright
Roll on, John

Sailin' through the trade winds bound for the South
Rags on your back just like any other slave.
They tied your hands and they clamped your mouth.
Wasn't no way out of that deep dark cave.

Shine your light
Movin' on
You burned so bright
Roll on, John

I heard the news today, oh boy
They hauled your ship up on the shore
Now the city gone dark, there is no more joy.
They tore the heart right out and cut him to the core.

Shine your light
Movin' on
You burned so bright
Roll on, John

Put on your bags and get 'em packed.
Leave right now, you won't be far from wrong.
The sooner you go the quicker you'll be back.
You've been cooped up on an island far too long.

Shine your light
Movin' on
You burned so bright
Roll on, John

Slow down you're moving way too fast,
Come together right now over me.
Your bones are weary, you're about to breathe your last.
Lord, you know how hard it can be!

Shine your light
Movin' on
You burned so bright
Roll on, John

Roll on, John, roll through the rain and snow.
Take the right-hand road and go where the buffalos roam.
They'll trap you in an ambush before you know.
Too late now to sail back home.

Shine your light
Movin' on
You burned so bright
Roll on, John

Tyger, tyger, burnin' bright
I pray the Lord my soul to keep
In the forest of the night
Cover him over and let him sleep.

Shine your light
Movin' on
You burned so bright
Roll on, John

The closing song on Tempest & the song that eventually drew me back into the album. Upon first listening, I was most moved by this song having been pretty disinterested up to that point with some exceptions. This song immediately drew chills upon its opening line...and still does. And as we move throughout Bob's interpretation of the journey of this John, we find deep moments of empathy and ethereal moments of wisdom. And for me, the song speaks volumes in its many silences, what happens between the lines...it's as if the song is breathing. The song is a quiet storm of emotion leading us quietly out from the harsh world of these songs to the harsh world of reality again....
Then I started the album again to see how he brings us to Roll On John again....It's a gorgeous end to an incredible album.

http://youtu.be/jQnymE9bm3M


What say ye one year later on this last song of Tempest my friends???...


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PostPosted: Thu October 10th, 2013, 04:49 GMT 
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It took me a few times to get into it but I find it indispensible to the Tempest experience now. I think a live performance in Europe this fall is in order, hopefully in Great Britain... maybe he could have Julian on stage and join him.

There appears to be some interplay with the character(s)... John Lennon and John the Revelator... or is Lennon perhaps a modern day Revelator. Well written and intriguing, Roll On John deserves recognition for its beauty and the fact its a tribute to another great artist.


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PostPosted: Thu October 10th, 2013, 06:52 GMT 

Joined: Fri July 18th, 2008, 16:22 GMT
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Didn't do much for me initially but has grown on me hugely to the point where I now regard it as a wonderfully sincere and fitting coda to his strongest 21st century work.


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PostPosted: Thu October 10th, 2013, 08:56 GMT 
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Didn't like it at first, but it has grown on me. the chorus is great, but I still have my doubts about the verse melody. A live debut would be welcome.


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PostPosted: Thu October 10th, 2013, 09:14 GMT 
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It's a dirge [in every sense].


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PostPosted: Thu October 10th, 2013, 19:35 GMT 

Joined: Mon June 15th, 2009, 02:35 GMT
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The song seems to come from a point after an inevitable death, a sort of afterlife song. And it somehow deals with that death and folds it away so that we come to accept it. Yes, a dirge. May angels carry you to your rest, kind of thing. It is weighted with grief, but accepting of it. Somehow it seems to make the afterlife feel present, or maybe to give the present a glimpse of the afterlife.


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PostPosted: Fri October 11th, 2013, 05:19 GMT 

Joined: Thu December 9th, 2004, 16:38 GMT
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A plodding, egregious blemish on an otherwise splendid album, its principal merit being its place in the sequence: as the final number, it's painlessly skipped. Now I'll concede that the nautical and outlaw themes are strong; Bob being Bob, he could not but come up with some powerful raw materials. But the song passes beyond redemption with its laughably ham-fisted Beatles lyric and song-title quotations and - above all - by the utterly inexcusable analogy it tries to draw between pop stardom and slavery. One would expect Dylan to know better. Regrettable that "Lenny Bruce" has now been surpassed as the definitive instance of a mawkishly gruesome "tribute" in Bob's canon.


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PostPosted: Fri October 11th, 2013, 05:58 GMT 
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Lone Pilgrim wrote:
Regrettable that "Lenny Bruce" has now been surpassed as the definitive instance of a mawkishly gruesome "tribute" in Bob's canon.

:lol:

I disagree but I love the way you said it!


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PostPosted: Fri October 11th, 2013, 10:28 GMT 

Joined: Fri July 18th, 2008, 16:22 GMT
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theunwavedhand wrote:
The song seems to come from a point after an inevitable death, a sort of afterlife song. And it somehow deals with that death and folds it away so that we come to accept it. Yes, a dirge. May angels carry you to your rest, kind of thing. It is weighted with grief, but accepting of it. Somehow it seems to make the afterlife feel present, or maybe to give the present a glimpse of the afterlife.




Very nicely put.


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PostPosted: Fri October 11th, 2013, 20:37 GMT 

Joined: Fri July 8th, 2011, 16:13 GMT
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The song is very moving for me. John and Bob are two of the most important musicians in my life.
I think it's brilliant, and beautiful from start to finish. It's Bob through and through.
It took more than the first initial listen for me to really hear the song, it grew on me.
It surprised and amazed me when the pre release buzz started about a John Lennon tribute type song...
I mean had he written one for George Harrison I would've understood it more.


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PostPosted: Sat October 12th, 2013, 00:53 GMT 

Joined: Wed June 25th, 2008, 22:49 GMT
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Singing is terrible on it.. almost painful.. other than that.. a nice tribute.


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PostPosted: Sat October 12th, 2013, 09:33 GMT 
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It name checks the Liverpool Docks, so for that alone it gets an A* from me :wink:

x


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PostPosted: Sat October 12th, 2013, 19:46 GMT 

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Lone Pilgrim wrote:
But the song passes beyond redemption with its laughably ham-fisted Beatles lyric and song-title quotations

Speaking of which, those lines from old songs sit like the flowers shaped like skittles at the funeral of a ten-pin bowling enthusiast. A very moving and evocative tribute. They bring Lennon's spirit back into the songs in such a way that when he speaks later of "they'll trap you in an ambush before you know" and "too late now to go back home" he can address that spirit as if it was still alive even as it moves through the afterlife, the act of murder already committed in the opening verse.


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PostPosted: Sat October 12th, 2013, 20:21 GMT 

Joined: Wed April 11th, 2007, 04:15 GMT
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Location: City of Angels
^^This^^
A+


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PostPosted: Mon November 25th, 2013, 00:19 GMT 
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Glad to see that this one made it's stage debut tonight!
Sounds very nice...sweet.


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PostPosted: Mon November 25th, 2013, 00:49 GMT 

Joined: Tue October 22nd, 2013, 10:03 GMT
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A very good track musically, marred by lazily referential and mawkish lyrics, which smack of Noel Gallagher Beatles pastiche:

Slow down you're moving way too fast,
Come together right now over me.
Your bones are weary, you're about to breathe your last.
Lord, you know how hard it can be!

Etcetera. A decent way to end the album, but he could have done better, surely, with the words, which throw in William Blake for good measure for no real reason, and a lot of the time don't make much sense.


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PostPosted: Mon November 25th, 2013, 01:11 GMT 
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The Killer Snark wrote:
A very good track musically, marred by lazily referential and mawkish lyrics, which smack of Noel Gallagher Beatles pastiche:

Slow down you're moving way too fast,
Come together right now over me.
Your bones are weary, you're about to breathe your last.
Lord, you know how hard it can be!

Etcetera. A decent way to end the album, but he could have done better, surely, with the words, which throw in William Blake for good measure for no real reason, and a lot of the time don't make much sense.


Sometimes the Beatles' lyrics make me cringe a little. I think the Blake reference wonderfully wraps up the song and album though--Blake's central poem from Songs of Experience asking about how God can allow such evil in the world (and standing in counterpoint to the Songs of Innocence--"Did he who made the Lamb make thee?). The same can be said for Tempest and Roll on John. Maybe it's a little forced, I don't know. But again, it's a reference that for me calls up the whole of Blake's I & E and I begin to connect that work to all of these songs. I think it's a lovely way to end all of this darkness, as the soul shines on despite all the brutality. We'll see if, like so many other Dylan records, this final song points toward a next record.


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PostPosted: Mon November 25th, 2013, 01:24 GMT 

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He could have referred to a different Blake poem, however. Tyger is so well known that the reference smacks of cliche.


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PostPosted: Mon November 25th, 2013, 02:59 GMT 
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theunwavedhand wrote:
Lone Pilgrim wrote:
But the song passes beyond redemption with its laughably ham-fisted Beatles lyric and song-title quotations

Speaking of which, those lines from old songs sit like the flowers shaped like skittles at the funeral of a ten-pin bowling enthusiast. A very moving and evocative tribute. They bring Lennon's spirit back into the songs in such a way that when he speaks later of "they'll trap you in an ambush before you know" and "too late now to go back home" he can address that spirit as if it was still alive even as it moves through the afterlife, the act of murder already committed in the opening verse.


Lennon's spirit wouldn't have nothing to do with that. Mawkish is the word and shall remain the word.


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PostPosted: Mon November 25th, 2013, 03:41 GMT 

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The Killer Snark wrote:
A decent way to end the album, but he could have done better, surely, with the words, which throw in William Blake for good measure for no real reason, and a lot of the time don't make much sense.

I agree that the song is rather maudlin, but I think the significance of the Blake quotation lies in this anecdote, related by Marianne Faithfull in her autobiography and also by Allen Ginsberg in No Direction Home, about an early (the first?) meeting between Bob and The Beatles. Check it out. Many other lines that seem at first cryptic non sequiturs yield allusions and references of their own as well.


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PostPosted: Mon November 25th, 2013, 04:19 GMT 
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I like the song, to be sure, but it seems out of place in the context of this album. I'm wiling to be proven wrong, though . . .


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PostPosted: Mon November 25th, 2013, 07:03 GMT 
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I teared up the first time I heard it, when he sang "From the Liverpool docks to the red light Hamberg streets/ Down in the quarry with the Quarrymen;" he's thinking back so long with a voice now soo old.

And whoever that was a number of posts ago who figures that show business isn't like a prison for some has no idea what they're talking about, IMO.

I'm looking forward to hearing a live version if there's a tape. I'm so glad he played it.


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PostPosted: Mon November 25th, 2013, 08:57 GMT 
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It never really takes off for me. The biographical references and twisty embeds of the Beatles song lyrics do nothing to make John Lennon - or Dylan's feelings for him - vivid to me. Does anyone really have a sense of John Lennon in this song? I think if the song wasn't about John Lennon, it would have been little noticed. There's a way to write about death without literally explaining who the person was and how they died, although I don't think that's the only reason the song fails in it's ponderousness.

I thought about "Roll On John" in relation to two of Lennon's own songs, both of which reference the dead. Look at what Lennon himself accomplished:

"Julia"

Ostensibly a tribute to the mother Lennon lost in a car accident when Lennon was 17, "Julia" is small and gentle and seems to attempt very little but has enormous emotional impact. It's ambiguity adds to it's weight and mystery - it's unclear if Lennon is singing about his mother or if he is directly addressing her to tell her about Yoko Ono, who is referenced as "ocean child." The description of the eyes and hair could easily be about Yoko or Julia. The 'song of love for Julia' can be read in several ways and is as spare as haiku.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIf4_KgBcfM


"A Day In The Life"

Written with Paul McCartney and often chosen as the greatest Beatles song, it's weighty where "Julia" is deft and light It was inspired by the death of their friend 21 year old Tara Browne, an heir to the Guinness fortune who died in a car accident in London in 1966. According to legend, Lennon read an article in the Daily Mail about the coroner's report on Browne's death and then spied an article on the same page about a surveyor's report on how many potholes there were in Blackburn the previous year. Lennon's lyrics are remote and eerie, simultaneously grisly and seeming to laughingly mock death. In the middle of the song is the jaunty music hall-like interlude by McCartney on the banality of the dailyness of life, then Lennon returns to note the inanity of counting all the holes, although all of them must receive attention, perhaps like endless graves. Lennon refers to the horrific car crash photo, the world war, the rubbernecking of the famous even in death and the inescapability of the burden of celebrity in a tone close to boredom. "A Day In The Life" is ultimately opaque, yet it mysteriously achieves the feeling of epic. That final chord is a killer.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-Q9D4dcYng


Last edited by the_revelator on Mon November 25th, 2013, 09:00 GMT, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon November 25th, 2013, 08:59 GMT 
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one of the 5 greats out of tempest, together with the title track, wasted years, midnight and pay in blood.

had he only sung the refrain an octave higher......as he basically did last night....at least for the first lines....


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PostPosted: Mon November 25th, 2013, 10:26 GMT 

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I find the song simultaneously moving, intriguing, layered, fascinating . . . and perhaps flawed, a bit of a rough diamond. I love the layers--the composite Johns--and the themes that reverberate with the rest of Tempest.


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