Expecting Rain
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Bob and Depression
https://www.expectingrain.com/discussions/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=93230
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Author:  BuhByeAngelina [ Sun March 4th, 2018, 02:10 GMT ]
Post subject:  Bob and Depression

As someone who has my own issues with depression, I would love to talk about Bob's ability to speak to the depressive types without ever pandering.

Whatever your thought or anecdote may be I'd love to hear it. Whether you have depression yourself or if you can recall the way Bob's work resonated with you in your low times or even how he has elevated your outlook on life, I want to hear how he's affected you on this level.

I realized how naturally Bob connected with my own depression was listening to songs like Ballad of Hollis Brown, Desolation Row, the whole John Wesley Harding album, Farewell Angelina, Bob Dylan's Dream, basically all of his output starting with Time Out Of Mind, Mississippi, North Country Blues, Restless Farewell, Changing Of the Guards, etc... What I love about him is that he is able to pierce the most guarded part of my psyche without courting it outright. Bands like Joy Division get there quickly with their sound and their overtly dark lyrics, but Bob gets there with cowboy chords and lyrics that are (on their face) benign of any intention to emotionally affect the listener; as though he just happens to be recounting true details whose essential nature speaks directly to the anguish of the person whose thoughts betray them.

For me, Bob is equally depressing as he is able to relieve the depressive cycle. Sorta like he shows you what youre really looking at so that you can calm down. sorta like "ya, things suck and good things fade but at least that's all it is". Hollis Brown made me chuckle at the end of it the first time i listened, not because the story is funny but because I sort of understood Bob's inclination to force such a decimating perspective on his audience. It's like he's always asking happy people "what are you smiling about" and sad people "what's so bad" with the answer being the same.

Sorry if this is a bummer of a topic but I would love to hear what you all have to say.

Thanks and have a great weekend!

Author:  BuhByeAngelina [ Sun March 4th, 2018, 02:41 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Bob and Depression

I forgot to mention Dark Eyes. Dark Eyes is the most simultaneously depressing and beautiful song in his repertoire in my opinion.

Author:  Cold Irons Bound [ Sun March 4th, 2018, 03:17 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Bob and Depression

I have long dealt with pretty severe depression and completely agree Bob can be both depressing and able to relieve it. Most of Blood on the Tracks has both qualities to me, Tangled Up in Blue being a perfect example. This afternoon I was actually having a drink in a bar and Pay in Blood came on the jukebox and I was like, damn is this song dark.

Author:  BuhByeAngelina [ Sun March 4th, 2018, 03:56 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Bob and Depression

Right?! it's almost like he's preaching appreciation of the depressive state rather than trying to give people a 'more positive outlook'. I think that's what makes him so great. "You are what you are, it is what it is, so what're you gonna do about it?" that's how most of his work feels to me.

Sometimes when I listen to Bob I get the image of a down and out man acknowledging the desperate state that he is in while also beautifying the world in the process.

Cold Irons Bound, I'm so glad to hear from someone like you! You seem to get exactly what I was trying to say. Do you ever feel like Bob would have made a fantastic career as a comedian turning the worlds misery into smiles? Either way, you're an awesome person and I hope you appreciate and properly wield the strength within you. Also, I wanna visit whatever bar is playing Bobs' Frank years on the jukebox. Sounds like the sorta dark, divey place I'd love to sauce up in.

Author:  Cold Irons Bound [ Sun March 4th, 2018, 07:30 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Bob and Depression

BuhByeAngelina wrote:
Right?! it's almost like he's preaching appreciation of the depressive state rather than trying to give people a 'more positive outlook'.


I have always felt Bob personifies the Zen/Buddhism attitude of accepting the essential negativity/emptiness of life and people and then just moving on from it, as we have to do.

BuhByeAngelina wrote:
Also, I wanna visit whatever bar is playing Bobs' Frank years on the jukebox. Sounds like the sorta dark, divey place I'd love to sauce up in.


If you are ever at the 500 Club in San Francisco I will buy you a drink. ;)

Author:  Peggy Night [ Sun March 4th, 2018, 07:51 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Bob and Depression

I love how honest Mr. Dylan is in his song writing. Time Out of Mind is to my ear his most honest exploration and elucidation of personal depression, with Not Dark Yet being the most naked revelation of that emotional depth. Like a true Gemini, he is equally able to take to the heights and celebrate life's joys with us. Songs from Nashville Skyline are some of his greatest examples of that end of the heart's spectrum.

Most of us are so caught up in the effort of merely panting through life's ups and downs. Mr. Dylan has a gift from God to chronicle them. His body of work is an amazing testimony to a life lived to the full.

"It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men, and the living should take this to heart." ~Ecclesiastes 7:2

Author:  TimEdgeworth1 [ Sun March 4th, 2018, 07:57 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Bob and Depression

I think depression is often a hard thing to explain to other people, but on Time Out of Mind Bob explained it perfectly. For that reason I find the album quite uplifting!

Author:  Mickvet [ Sun March 4th, 2018, 09:21 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Bob and Depression

Peggy Night wrote:
I love how honest Mr. Dylan is in his song writing. Time Out of Mind is to my ear his most honest exploration and elucidation of personal depression, with Not Dark Yet being the most naked revelation of that emotional depth. Like a true Gemini, he is equally able to take to the heights and celebrate life's joys with us. Songs from Nashville Skyline are some of his greatest examples of that end of the heart's spectrum.

Most of us are so caught up in the effort of merely panting through life's ups and downs. Mr. Dylan has a gift from God to chronicle them. His body of work is an amazing testimony to a life lived to the full.

"It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men, and the living should take this to heart." ~Ecclesiastes 7:2


A T Bradford's book, 'Yonder Comes Sin', while also an excellent research into Dylan's Christian songs, deals well with the subject of depression, most particularly in the case of Time Out of Mind.

Author:  mjmooney [ Sun March 4th, 2018, 09:27 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Bob and Depression

Life is sad, life is a bust
All you can do is do what you must.

Author:  planetwave [ Sun March 4th, 2018, 12:50 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Bob and Depression

Objectifying your troubles is the medicine of the blues!

Author:  Peggy Night [ Sun March 4th, 2018, 19:02 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Bob and Depression

Mickvet wrote:

A T Bradford's book, 'Yonder Comes Sin', while also an excellent research into Dylan's Christian songs, deals well with the subject of depression, most particularly in the case of Time Out of Mind.

Hey thanks for that, Mickvet, I will certainly check it out.

Author:  paid in blood [ Mon March 5th, 2018, 03:54 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Bob and Depression

Don’t have ‘em, man.

Author:  gerardv [ Mon March 5th, 2018, 11:29 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Bob and Depression

mjmooney wrote:
Life is sad, life is a bust
All you can do is do what you must.

When I was in misery (Missouri)
They would not let me be

Dylan has spoken eloquently of depression in every phase of his career.
It's always been a part of Dylan vernacular, but the particulars have changed.
It's moved from a young young man's heartbreak (Tomorrow is a long
time) to the boredom of predictability (Time passes slowly) to post break-up
despair (If you see her, say hello) to mid-life angst (Where are you tonight?)
to reflections on mortality (Not dark yet).

Author:  onlysmiledonce [ Mon March 5th, 2018, 15:48 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Bob and Depression

In moments of despair, Bob is a kindred spirit whose eloquence and melodies bring light into a darkened cave.

He almost provokes a wry smile.

Author:  bella [ Mon March 5th, 2018, 16:30 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Bob and Depression

Hey if you weren’t depressed before listening to Dylan, you for sure will be after, haha. IJK

Author:  slimtimslide [ Mon March 5th, 2018, 17:53 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Bob and Depression

gerardv wrote:
Dylan has spoken eloquently of depression in every phase of his career.
It's always been a part of Dylan vernacular, but the particulars have changed.
It's moved from a young young man's heartbreak (Tomorrow is a long
time) to the boredom of predictability (Time passes slowly) to post break-up
despair
(If you see her, say hello) to mid-life angst (Where are you tonight?)
to reflections on mortality (Not dark yet).


While all of these things might be depressing none of them add up to depression. There is a world of difference between feeling depressed about something and actually suffering from depression. I thought this thread was about the latter - a clinical condition that may have no relation whatsoever to outside circumstances.

I'm not convinced that Dylan does tackle the issue of depression anyway, but I am convinced that the factors listed above, while they are enough to make anyone feel a bit depressed, are not necessarily linked to the mental illness of depression, and to try and make them so demeans and misunderstands people who suffer from depression. It is perfectly possible to be heartbroken, bored, in despair, lost, and wondering about futility without actually suffering from depression - it is also possible to have everything one could apparently want in life, and for things to seem perfect from the outside, yet to be a black hole of inescapable meaninglessness and negativity on the inside.

Being depressed about something does not equal 'depression'.

Author:  Queen Anne Lace [ Mon March 5th, 2018, 19:28 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Bob and Depression

slimtimslide wrote:

While all of these things might be depressing none of them add up to depression. There is a world of difference between feeling depressed about something and actually suffering from depression. I thought this thread was about the latter - a clinical condition that may have no relation whatsoever to outside circumstances.

I'm not convinced that Dylan does tackle the issue of depression anyway, but I am convinced that the factors listed above, while they are enough to make anyone feel a bit depressed, are not necessarily linked to the mental illness of depression.


Glad I'm not the only one! I've been listening to Bob forever, but never once considered any
of his songs as talking about depression. This thread shocked me.

Bob writes about broken hearts, loss, unrequited love...sad events in our lives.
But not the same as depression.

Author:  gibsona07 [ Mon March 5th, 2018, 19:35 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Bob and Depression

Did you ever lay awake at night, your face turned to the wall,
Drowning in your thoughtlessness, and cut off from it all?

Author:  Mutabor [ Mon March 5th, 2018, 19:45 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Bob and Depression

gibsona07 wrote:
Did you ever lay awake at night, your face turned to the wall,
Drowning in your thoughtlessness, and cut off from it all?


Does lying on your back and wondering why the bed and floor under you does not cave in under you count? Instead of turning your face to the wall I mean?

Author:  Mutabor [ Mon March 5th, 2018, 19:47 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Bob and Depression

Queen Anne Lace wrote:

Bob writes about broken hearts, loss, unrequited love...sad events in our lives.
But not the same as depression.


What sad event is "Not Dark Yet" about? I think you're right though. All the sad events listed above are just that - sad events. They cannot be compared with depression.

Author:  BuhByeAngelina [ Mon March 5th, 2018, 22:31 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Bob and Depression

Oh goodness, I'd like to clarify.
slimtimslide wrote:
gerardv wrote:
Dylan has spoken eloquently of depression in every phase of his career.
It's always been a part of Dylan vernacular, but the particulars have changed.
It's moved from a young young man's heartbreak (Tomorrow is a long
time) to the boredom of predictability (Time passes slowly) to post break-up
despair
(If you see her, say hello) to mid-life angst (Where are you tonight?)
to reflections on mortality (Not dark yet).


While all of these things might be depressing none of them add up to depression. There is a world of difference between feeling depressed about something and actually suffering from depression. I thought this thread was about the latter - a clinical condition that may have no relation whatsoever to outside circumstances.

I'm not convinced that Dylan does tackle the issue of depression anyway, but I am convinced that the factors listed above, while they are enough to make anyone feel a bit depressed, are not necessarily linked to the mental illness of depression, and to try and make them so demeans and misunderstands people who suffer from depression. It is perfectly possible to be heartbroken, bored, in despair, lost, and wondering about futility without actually suffering from depression - it is also possible to have everything one could apparently want in life, and for things to seem perfect from the outside, yet to be a black hole of inescapable meaninglessness and negativity on the inside.

Being depressed about something does not equal 'depression'.


and
Queen Anne Lace wrote:
slimtimslide wrote:

While all of these things might be depressing none of them add up to depression. There is a world of difference between feeling depressed about something and actually suffering from depression. I thought this thread was about the latter - a clinical condition that may have no relation whatsoever to outside circumstances.

I'm not convinced that Dylan does tackle the issue of depression anyway, but I am convinced that the factors listed above, while they are enough to make anyone feel a bit depressed, are not necessarily linked to the mental illness of depression.


Glad I'm not the only one! I've been listening to Bob forever, but never once considered any
of his songs as talking about depression. This thread shocked me.

Bob writes about broken hearts, loss, unrequited love...sad events in our lives.
But not the same as depression.


The last thing I wanted to do with this thread is to try to diagnose or label Bob or his body of work (I know by now not to do that to Bob (or anyone). Also, in regard to discussing depression, I don't want to make it a pissing contest on what 'is' depression and what 'isn't' or what the nature of Depression is. I believe everyone feels depression at one point or another in their life (maybe some people manage to finish the race without it but most if not all people in my life have hit that wall and either come out of it or succumb to it. It need not be clinical because I've seen first hand how circumstance is able to devastate the body and mind.).

I just wanted this to be a thread where we could discuss and appreciate Bob's work in relation to the depressive episodes in our own lives. Whether it's how he makes you feel better while you're still in it, or (and this is true for me) how he reminds you of that time in your life making you appreciate or rethink the state that you're in.

onlysmiledonce wrote:
In moments of despair, Bob is a kindred spirit whose eloquence and melodies bring light into a darkened cave.

He almost provokes a wry smile.


Onlysmiledonce, I think you hear what I hear. I'm one of those impish jokers who get's a kick out of grim reality because of how I always feel out of the loop with people who are permanently cheerful and positive. I love to see people be put off by what I see as truth (I know, it's something I need to work on). That "wry smile" you spoke of comes to my face every time I finish Hollis Brown. It's sort of like messing with people to entertain yourself and make yourself feel better (which I believe we have record of Bob doing).

Peggy Night wrote:
I love how honest Mr. Dylan is in his song writing. Time Out of Mind is to my ear his most honest exploration and elucidation of personal depression, with Not Dark Yet being the most naked revelation of that emotional depth. Like a true Gemini, he is equally able to take to the heights and celebrate life's joys with us. Songs from Nashville Skyline are some of his greatest examples of that end of the heart's spectrum.

Most of us are so caught up in the effort of merely panting through life's ups and downs. Mr. Dylan has a gift from God to chronicle them. His body of work is an amazing testimony to a life lived to the full.

"It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men, and the living should take this to heart." ~Ecclesiastes 7:2


Peggy, I've had very similar feelings listening to his later (90's on) albums. Sometimes I feel like those albums hit so hard because it feels like Bob is taking the role of someone who you personally know and respect sitting down next to you and laying bare his most dark and desolate thoughts and feelings. It makes you feel not so alone knowing someone like Bob is able to put those feelings into stark images that come from the gut of one feeling them.

I know this is a bummer of a subject, but it doesn't have to be. Thank you everyone for contributing!

Author:  Huck27 [ Tue March 6th, 2018, 05:15 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Bob and Depression

A lot of humour lies hidden within - I didn't know whether to duck or run, so I ran..

You can find dry, funny lines in some of his most serious songs. He is pretty good at laughing at himself.

Author:  BillieBang [ Tue March 6th, 2018, 16:45 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Bob and Depression

He seemed depressed in the sixty minutes interview (on a side note ... His hair looked good).

Author:  foxy [ Tue March 6th, 2018, 23:05 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Bob and Depression

I like going for some of Dylan's most critically panned albums when I'm feeling down. I think part of the reason these albums are often hated is precisely because they're not very dark and they're extremely silly in places, it's just not what most people are looking for with Dylan. Self-Portrait and Under the Red Sky especially always make me laugh out loud, from the former In Search for Little Sadie and the energetic and sloppy live version of Quinn the Eskimo are my favourite tracks and I find both hilarious. Under the Red Sky especially is great when you're in a terrible mood, it has a few dark lines completely offset by the ultra cheesy sound and nonsense lyrics. I think despite his claims to the contrary Dylan might have known what he was doing with that album, maybe I'm wrong but I love it either way.

Huck27 wrote:
A lot of humour lies hidden within - I didn't know whether to duck or run, so I ran..

You can find dry, funny lines in some of his most serious songs. He is pretty good at laughing at himself.


These lines from When the Deal Goes Down cracked me up:

In this earthly domain, full of disappointment and pain
You'll never see me frown

Definitely not taking himself too seriously there.

Author:  AndoDoug [ Fri March 9th, 2018, 03:53 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Bob and Depression

Peggy Night wrote:
Like a true Gemini, he is equally able to take to the heights and celebrate life's joys with us.
Gemini sun sign reference 1, credibility no score

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