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What's the Worst Rhyme in a Bob Dylan Song?
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Author:  stephenoxford [ Tue November 5th, 2013, 12:55 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: What's the Worst Rhyme in a Bob Dylan Song?

Already the fiesta has begun
The face of God will appear
With His serpent eyes of obsidian

Author:  Brian Hamilton-Smith [ Tue November 5th, 2013, 13:04 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: What's the Worst Rhyme in a Bob Dylan Song?

You came, you saw, just like the law
You married young, just like your ma



Now, really...does 'law' rhyme with 'ma'?

Author:  AndoDoug [ Tue November 5th, 2013, 15:36 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: What's the Worst Rhyme in a Bob Dylan Song?

Brian Hamilton-Smith wrote:
You came, you saw, just like the law
You married young, just like your ma
Now, really...does 'law' rhyme with 'ma'?

? In American English it's the same vowel sound (and the same one used in both caught and cot). U.K. Eng. has a few more vowel sounds. I think it's the furthest low back vowel that is one of the distinguishing characteristics of your most excellent brand of the language.

Author:  The Killer Snark [ Tue November 5th, 2013, 23:03 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: What's the Worst Rhyme in a Bob Dylan Song?

I'm Scottish, so it doesn't sound weird to my ears. Ma is usually pronounced maw.

Author:  hollowhorn [ Wed November 6th, 2013, 09:08 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: What's the Worst Rhyme in a Bob Dylan Song?

I'm with fellow countryman T.K. MacSnark on this one.

Author:  Giuseppe Gazerro [ Sun November 10th, 2013, 19:03 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: What's the Worst Rhyme in a Bob Dylan Song?

Alouette wrote:
Of great interest:
'Street Legal' is Dylan's last album prior to recording 3 born again Christian albums.



...meaning?....

Author:  Lone Pilgrim [ Sun November 10th, 2013, 21:35 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: What's the Worst Rhyme in a Bob Dylan Song?

I haven't closely read the whole, long thread, but a scan reveals it to be a mishmash of genuinely objectionable rhymes (e.g., "kelp/help" - an OK rhyme as such, but my laws, nobody should be allowed to write "the beach is deserted except for some kelp" :lol:; "can you cook and sew/make flowers grow" etc.) and then some that are really rather charming.

It beats me how anyone can slag the last verse of "Spirit on the Water," for instance. Or, "a gal named Honey/took my money/she was passin' by" - sure, the money/honey rhyme is hackneyed, but the net effect of the verse is a marvelously compact depiction of the classic dilemma: boy meets girl, boy spends money on girl, girl buggers off. :wink: That's neatly done, especially when matched with Bob's inimitiable delivery.

Then there's a bundle of outrageous rhymes. E.g., "outrageous/contagious," "January/Buenos Aires," "sons of bitches/orphanages," "subpoena/Angelina," etc., etc.. One part of Bob's toolkit is this willingness to bolt together two words that nobody else would dare to. There's a sly humour to such rhymes, and calling them "bad" strikes me as a bit ungenerous. "Fun" might be closer to the mark.

Conversely, the sort of thing that bugs me is ponderous rhymes. For instance, "breath" and "death" are a hard combo to get away with ("sleep is like a temporary death" being a rare weak link in that otherwise wonderful song). "I dreamt of my future wife" is a great line, but its partner - "this version of death called life" - is one wince-inducing renegade that almost kiboshes the whole tune. "Strife/life" is another pair of evil fraternal twins, inflicting harm on "When the Deal Goes Down" and "Red River Shore;" whether the context is adequate to save these songs from the resulting carnage is for each listener to judge.

But basically, I'm surprised by some of the candidates offered in this thread, as their nomination seems to show a distaste for some of Bob's most characteristic moments as an artist.

Author:  Laura [ Sun November 10th, 2013, 23:55 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: What's the Worst Rhyme in a Bob Dylan Song?

a lot of lines from the song, really, but mainly:

'You been hurt so many times
And I know what you’re thinking of
Well, I don’t have to be no doctor, babe
To see that you’re madly in love'

I cringe.

But then, I find bad Dylan lyrics, especially the cringeworthy ones really amusing, so I don't mind too much.

Author:  Grumpy-the-Buick [ Mon November 11th, 2013, 02:33 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: What's the Worst Rhyme in a Bob Dylan Song?

Laura wrote:
But then, I find bad Dylan lyrics,
especially the cringeworthy ones
really amusing, so I don't mind too much.

.. And that is a really important aspect
- that separates Bob from the others.. 8)
.. Not to say he is the only one to
display that particular credit..

Author:  gibsona07 [ Mon November 11th, 2013, 02:55 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: What's the Worst Rhyme in a Bob Dylan Song?

Laura wrote:
But then, I find bad Dylan lyrics, especially the cringeworthy ones really amusing, so I don't mind too much.


I think Dylan himself knows when his lyrics are bad... you almost get the picture of Dylan cracking up himself when he sings them. There's nothing worse that a singer who sings bad lyrics with utter sincerity.

Author:  Grumpy-the-Buick [ Mon November 11th, 2013, 03:14 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: What's the Worst Rhyme in a Bob Dylan Song?

gibsona07 wrote:
Laura wrote:
But then, I find bad Dylan lyrics, especially the cringeworthy ones
really amusing, so I don't mind too much.

I think Dylan himself knows when his lyrics are bad... you almost
get the picture of Dylan cracking up himself when he sings them.
There's nothing worse that a singer who sings bad lyrics
with utter sincerity.

:D .. 'Hi Bob. How would like those Lyrics tonight?'
----> 'Dry .. Very DRY... Maybe a little twist of lemon.' .. 8)

Author:  gerardv [ Sun December 17th, 2017, 13:07 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: What's the Worst Rhyme in a Bob Dylan Song?

How bout this from the otherwise brilliant Tangled?
(courtesy of slimtimslide who brought this to attention)

..was to keep on keeping on, like a bird that flew
Tangled up in blue

Author:  mjmooney [ Sun December 17th, 2017, 14:25 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: What's the Worst Rhyme in a Bob Dylan Song?

Kelp. Kelp. Bloody kelp. I hate that rhyme (and therefore the whole song) so much. Awful.

Author:  wormington [ Sun December 17th, 2017, 14:39 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: What's the Worst Rhyme in a Bob Dylan Song?

The winner has to be Honolula/Ashtabula, from You're gonna make me lonesome when you go. Case closed. *Bangs hammer*

Author:  Giuseppe Gazerro [ Sun December 17th, 2017, 15:01 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: What's the Worst Rhyme in a Bob Dylan Song?

Has *Coca-Cola / Gondola* already been said?

It's wrong, to boot.
Gondola stresses the first syllable, not the second; so it doesn't rhyme at all.

Author:  saniette [ Sun December 17th, 2017, 15:04 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: What's the Worst Rhyme in a Bob Dylan Song?

I think this must be one of the worst, from 'As I Went Out One Morning'. So cringe-worthy, it's actually kind of funny.

Depart from me this moment
I told her with my voice
Said she, but I don't wish to
Said I, But you have no choice

In fact, as much as I love JWH, the album has a few issues in this department. 'The Ballad of Frankie Lee' almost seems like an experiment to see how absurd a story he can create from just following the rhyme scheme: ice/paradise, deceased/Priest.

Author:  Alouette [ Sun December 17th, 2017, 15:44 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: What's the Worst Rhyme in a Bob Dylan Song?

they let him out in '71 he'd lost a little weight
But he dressed like Jimmy Cagney and I swear he did look great


maybe Jacques Levy wrote

Author:  mojofilter [ Sun December 17th, 2017, 15:55 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: What's the Worst Rhyme in a Bob Dylan Song?

wormington wrote:
The winner has to be Honolula/Ashtabula, from You're gonna make me lonesome when you go. Case closed. *Bangs hammer*


It's funny. And it's meant to be funny. Come on now.

Giuseppe Gazerro wrote:
Has *Coca-Cola / Gondola* already been said?

It's wrong, to boot.
Gondola stresses the first syllable, not the second; so it doesn't rhyme at all.


That's true in Italian, and generally in English. But Bob's pronunciation is actually fairly common in the U.S. It's one of those words where if enough people say it that way, it's kind of pointless to call it a mistake.

Author:  Giuseppe Gazerro [ Sun December 17th, 2017, 16:02 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: What's the Worst Rhyme in a Bob Dylan Song?

mojofilter wrote:

Giuseppe Gazerro wrote:
Has *Coca-Cola / Gondola* already been said?

It's wrong, to boot.
Gondola stresses the first syllable, not the second; so it doesn't rhyme at all.


That's true in Italian, and generally in English. But Bob's pronunciation is actually fairly common in the U.S. It's one of those words where if enough people say it that way, it's kind of pointless to call it a mistake.



...alright, alright.
I wasn't pointing at the *mistake*, as I said.

It's an awful rhyme regardless of the sound.

Author:  Alouette [ Sun December 17th, 2017, 16:11 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: What's the Worst Rhyme in a Bob Dylan Song?

I think coca cola / gondola is excellent rhyme !! :D

song is a masterpiece, perfect or close to it

Author:  yopietro [ Sun December 17th, 2017, 17:11 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: What's the Worst Rhyme in a Bob Dylan Song?

"purple" and "nipple"

Author:  mjmooney [ Sun December 17th, 2017, 17:32 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: What's the Worst Rhyme in a Bob Dylan Song?

Honolula/Ashtabula, voice/choice, Gondola/Coca Cola, all fine. I actually like them all.

But come on. Kelp/help? It's beyond awful.

Author:  tyke [ Sun December 17th, 2017, 18:26 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: What's the Worst Rhyme in a Bob Dylan Song?

mjmooney wrote:
Honolula/Ashtabula, voice/choice, Gondola/Coca Cola, all fine. I actually like them all.

But come on. Kelp/help? It's beyond awful.


I suppose seaweed would have been better.

But it's not just the rhyme is it. Assuming the aim is to describe some kind of emptiness to contrast with the beach scene in verse one, deserted except for, well pretty much anything, just doesn't do it. So unusual with Bob, it just doesn't work.

And yet I still love the yearning and pathos in the song. Plenty of people have got that t-shirt.

I love some of those internal rhyme schemes

Then the crowd began to stamp their feet and the houselights did dim
And in the darkness of the room there was only Jim and him
Starin' at the butterfly who just drew the Jack of Hearts

Author:  mjmooney [ Sun December 17th, 2017, 18:56 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: What's the Worst Rhyme in a Bob Dylan Song?

tyke wrote:
mjmooney wrote:
Honolula/Ashtabula, voice/choice, Gondola/Coca Cola, all fine. I actually like them all.

But come on. Kelp/help? It's beyond awful.


I suppose seaweed would have been better.

But it's not just the rhyme is it. Assuming the aim is to describe some kind of emptiness to contrast with the beach scene in verse one, deserted except for, well pretty much anything, just doesn't do it. So unusual with Bob, it just doesn't work.

And yet I still love the yearning and pathos in the song. Plenty of people have got that t-shirt.

I love some of those internal rhyme schemes

Then the crowd began to stamp their feet and the houselights did dim
And in the darkness of the room there was only Jim and him
Starin' at the butterfly who just drew the Jack of Hearts


tyke wrote:
mjmooney wrote:
Honolula/Ashtabula, voice/choice, Gondola/Coca Cola, all fine. I actually like them all.

But come on. Kelp/help? It's beyond awful.


I suppose seaweed would have been better.

But it's not just the rhyme is it. Assuming the aim is to describe some kind of emptiness to contrast with the beach scene in verse one, deserted except for, well pretty much anything, just doesn't do it. So unusual with Bob, it just doesn't work.

Exactly. The beach WAS deserted. Except for... absolutely nothing.

I would have grudgingly accepted "The beach was deserted, and covered with kelp" - from a sense point of view. But it would still be a horrible, clunky word, just for the sake of an easy rhyme. And there are so many ways to avoid it, say...

The beach was deserted, all the way to the sea
A piece of an old ship, it lay on the shore
When I needed your help, well you came through for me
You gave me a map, and a key to your door

The 1966 Bob would have worked harder on it, and come up with something better than my effort - but he wouldn't have settled for effin' 'kelp'. It was the start of a period where sloppiness began to creep more and more into his songwriting.

The rest of the song is decent (although I've always found it a little trite tbh). But... kelp. Just... no.

Author:  Still Go Barefoot [ Sun December 17th, 2017, 19:14 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: What's the Worst Rhyme in a Bob Dylan Song?

Nah...somehow it’s being looked at a bit too complex.
It’s actually exquisite perfection in action just the way it is.

We get by with a little Kelp from our friends.

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