Tags

, , , , , , ,

(Do not adjust your computers.  There is an audio problem about 8 seconds in, but by 15 seconds all is well and beautiful)

This is one of my favorite Bob Dylan tunes, and with the exception of Billie Holiday’s Strange Fruit, it is the most powerful song about the old south I’ve ever heard.  The mindscape Dylan paints is a dark one, occupied by ghosts of slavery ships, cracking whips, and burning plantations.   Yet, at the conclusion of each uncomfortable stanza, he offers a small degree of redemption: “But I know no one can sing the blues like Blind Willie McTell!”

God is in his heaven
We all want what’s His
But power and greed
and corruptible seed
Seem to be all that there is.
I’m gazing out the window
Of the old St. James Hotel…

…then humanity asserts itself one last time:

“And I know no one can sing the blues like Blind Willie McTell!”

Advertisements