T for Tom

Day 1 – Bob Dylan – 1962

Posted in A Dylan A Day, Uncategorized by johnsontoms on June 22, 2016

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This is the first in what will be a daily entry for a series I’m calling A Dylan A Day, where I’ll be listening to each of Bob Dylan’s studio albums and major releases in sequence. I’m unsure what I’ll learn, but it very possibly might be a discovery about myself. Maybe that’s what I’m hoping.

In My Time of Dying appears quickly, violently early on the eponymous debut of Robert Zimmerman, Bob Dylan. I came into this with early notion of Dylan as poet, author, and storyteller, though gifted already with a guitar, he, as we perceive him, was first a bard. With the fact that he did first appear at the Witmark Studio to record and sell music, songs, tunes, I can’t completely dispel the idea that he never intended to be remembered foremost as a musician. What I do know after a full listen of the first release is that he was a man full of fear.

Half originals, half traditionals, the selection all full of death and dying – Man of Constant Sorrow, In My Time of Dying, House of the Rising Sun, finishing with Be Sure that My Grave Is Kept Clean. He speaks often like Whitman of America, Colorado via train and the mountains. I’m unsure if he had ever seen them before these songs made the record, and surely New York Livin’ is closest to his life at the time. But I could be wrong.

He could actually have always had a heart for the frontier. More though I think the frontier was the fever dream that is shared by many of our greatest artists, dreamt up while filling with the fear of dying young in a dark concrete world of sadness. Whatever he was trying to say though, it seems not enough were listening.


Song: Baby, Let Me Follow You Down

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2 Responses

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  1. Steve said, on June 22, 2016 at 11:51 pm

    “Dillon a day”.
    What a great idea !
    Sounds like a book/movie script in the making, a la “Julia, Julia”.

    • johnsontoms said, on June 27, 2016 at 5:41 am

      Thank you! I’m using this as a practice, a tool to get back into writing and thinking daily. It’s working so far, and I hope I’ll discover something.

      The thought I use and the answer I give to people who ask is, we are in a time of turmoil. Maybe we’re looking at the wrong people for the answers to our questions, so I personally hope that maybe Dylan who saw it coming 50 years ago, knew something we didn’t. It’s a discovery.


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