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PostPosted: Fri April 3rd, 2009, 11:18 GMT 

Joined: Sat December 29th, 2007, 21:38 GMT
Posts: 12
For the record, and for those who listen for echoes of the great tradition, a couple of hints:

1)
Paul Laurence Dunbar (1874–1906) (see e.g. http://www.dunbarsite.org) has a poem called FROM THE PORCH AT RUNNYMEDE (the Dylan-line in bold type):

I stand above the city’s rush and din,
And gaze far down with calm and undimmed eyes,
To where the misty smoke wreath grey and dim
Above the myriad roofs and spires rise;
Still is my heart and vacant is my breath—
This lovely view is breath and life to me,
Why I could charm the icy soul of death
With such a sight as this I stand and see.
I hear no sound of labor's din or stir,
I feel no weight of worldly cares or fears,
Sweet song of birds, of wings the soothing whirr,
These sounds alone assail my listening ears.
Unwhipt of conscience here I stand alone,
The breezes humbly kiss my garment's hem;
I am a king—the whole world is my throne,
The blue grey sky my royal diadem.

The Complete Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar are available at the Gutenberg project. Dunbar himself (and thus Dylan) is echoing the Bible and other words of course.

2
There is an old nursery rhyme, which in one of its versions, dating back to 1783, goes like this:

Up and down street
Each window’s made of glass

If you go to Tom Tickler’s house
You’ll find a pretty lass
Hug her and kiss her
And take her on your knee
And whisper very close
Darling girl, do you love me?

Larry Yudelson (March 31 #7) already pointed out that the title is from (“is” “from”) Ovid’s Exile Poems (thus adding to the 35+ Ovid tags on Modern Times, documented and discussed in this journal (“Dylan at the Black Sea”): http://www.bokkilden.no/SamboWeb/produk ... d=2682016T) - and as lines like “Oh well, I love you pretty baby”, “You’re the only love I’ve ever known”, “Just as long as you stay with me” and so on are, among other things, old blues-jazz tags and titles, the L&T technique is obviously - and fortunately - at work.

There is more for the record already, but I leave it at that (and for Scott Warmuth...) for now. As always, “Some secrets lie beyond conjecture’s reach” (Henry Timrod)

AOB


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PostPosted: Fri April 3rd, 2009, 11:25 GMT 

Joined: Sat December 29th, 2007, 21:38 GMT
Posts: 12
The link to Agora: Dylan (contains the full Ovid-list and much else, some of it in Norwegian, but the keepers are all in English) here:

http://www.bokkilden.no/SamboWeb/produk ... Id=2682016

aob


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PostPosted: Fri April 3rd, 2009, 12:05 GMT 

Joined: Thu August 30th, 2007, 22:44 GMT
Posts: 3978
I knew that window line was from SOMEWHERE. Thanks.


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PostPosted: Fri April 3rd, 2009, 12:09 GMT 
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Joined: Fri March 11th, 2005, 14:15 GMT
Posts: 598
Location: Albuquerque
AOB wrote:
There is more for the record already, but I leave it at that (and for Scott Warmuth...) for now.


Thanks for tossing me a bone. I had mentioned "Tommy Tickler's house" over on the "Beyond Here Lies Nothin' - WHAT DO YOU THINK?" thread back on Monday.

I am especially fascinated by Dylan's use of nursery rhymes. Christopher Ricks wrote that two of the nursery rhymes that are incorporated into "Handy Dandy" appear on facing pages in The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes, that certainly drew my attention and Michael Gray's writing on that song cracked that egg right open.

I've been reading the David Wright translation of The Canterbury Tales over the past two weeks, with the notion that when I do get to hear Together Through Life a line may jump out at me because I would have recently read it. Some of the word choices in this translation are a little coarser than the one I read in college. A book full of coarse fart jokes and sluts is fine with me.

I considered that perhaps the "young lazy slut" from Modern Times might be in The Canterbury Tales, but she is not, at least as far as I could find.

I thought about how Dylan had transposed words from a nursery rhyme from "fountain crystal-clear" to "clear crystal fountain" for use in "Handy Dandy" and wondered if we might be dealing with a transposed slut.

I came across a "lazy young slut" in a nonsense verse from English essayist and poet Charles Lamb from the 19th century that has appeared in dozens of books. There aren't many other lazy young sluts out there. Could this be our girl? -

Lazy-bones, lazy-bones, wake up and peep!
The cat's in the cupboard, your mother's asleep.
There you sit snoring, forgetting her ills;
Who is to give her her Bolus and Pills?
Twenty fine Angels must come into town,
All for to help you to make your new gown:
Dainty aerial Spinsters and Singers;
Aren't you ashamed to employ such white fingers?
Delicate hands, unaccustom'd to reels,
To set 'em working a poor body's wheels?
Why they came down is to me all a riddle,
And left Hallelujah broke off in the middle:
Jove's Court, and the Presence angelical, cut--
To eke out the work of a lazy young slut.
Angel-duck, Angel-duck, winged and silly,
Pouring a watering-pot over a lily,
Gardener gratuitous, careless of pelf,
Leave her to water her lily herself,
Or to neglect it to death if she chuse it:
Remember the loss is her own if she lose it.


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PostPosted: Fri April 3rd, 2009, 14:24 GMT 

Joined: Thu September 25th, 2008, 13:21 GMT
Posts: 896
i was thinking about donig the same thing, but i was thinking about listening to the album for a month or two before reading the book. the lines in songs will be much easier for me to remember when reading the book than vice-versa.

-justin


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PostPosted: Fri April 3rd, 2009, 15:33 GMT 
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Joined: Fri March 11th, 2005, 14:15 GMT
Posts: 598
Location: Albuquerque
notdarkyet2 wrote:
i was thinking about donig the same thing, but i was thinking about listening to the album for a month or two before reading the book. the lines in songs will be much easier for me to remember when reading the book than vice-versa.


That would work too. A number of lines from the book show up in Modern Times songs as well, if you read it now there might be other Modern Times lines might reveal themselves to you. Can't hurt to read The Canterbury Tales twice.

Dylan sings that he's been reading James Joyce on the new record. Can't hurt to brush up on the Joyce too. I suspect that the Joyce that Dylan may favor could be his letters, especially his pleading love letters to Nora.

The letters include things like, "Do not ever lose the love I have for you now, Nora. If we could go on together through life in that way how happy we should be. Let me love you, Nora. Do not kill my love."

Dylan said, "These new songs have more of a romantic edge" and the romantic writings of Joyce might have appealed to him.


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