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 Post subject: Track Talk 292 Up To Me
PostPosted: Wed February 22nd, 2012, 21:06 GMT 

Joined: Wed April 11th, 2007, 04:15 GMT
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Location: City of Angels
Upon randomly putting on Biograph Disc 3 this morning, I put this song on repeat a few times.....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXbls8ad0Kg


Everything went from bad to worse, money never changed a thing,
Death kept followin', trackin' us down, at least I heard your bluebird sing.
Now somebody's got to show their hand, time is an enemy,
I know you're long gone,
I guess it must be up to me.

If I'd thought about it I never would've done it, I guess I would've let it slide,
If I'd paid attention to what others were thinkin', the heart inside me would've died.
I was just too stubborn to ever be governed by enforced insanity,
Someone had to reach for the risin' star,
I guess it was up to me.

Oh, the Union Central is pullin' out, the orchids are in bloom,
I've only got me one good shirt left and it smells of stale perfume.
In fourteen months I've only smiled once and I didn't do it consciously,
Somebody's got to find your trail,
I guess it's gonna be up to me.

It was like a revelation when you betrayed me with your touch,
I'd just about convinced myself nothin' had changed that much.
The old Rounder in the iron mask, he slipped me the master key,
Somebody had to unlock your heart,
He said it was up to me.

Well, I watched you slowly disappear down into the officers' club,
I would've followed you in the door but I didn't have a ticket stub.
So I waited all night 'til the break of day, hopin' one of us could get free,
When the dawn came over the river bridge,
I knew it was up to me.

Oh, the only decent thing I did when I worked as a postal clerk
Was to haul your picture down off the wall near the cage where I used to work.
Was I a fool or not to protect your real identity?
You looked a little burned out, my friend,
I thought it might be up to me.

I met somebody face to face, I had to remove my hat.
She's everything I need and love but I can't be swayed by that.
It frightens me, the awful truth, of how sweet life can be.
But she ain't gonna make a move,
I guess it must be up to me.

Now we heard the Sermon on the Mount and I knew it was too complex,
It didn't amount to anything more than what the broken glass reflects.
When you bite off more than you can chew you gotta pay the penalty,
Somebody's got to tell the tale,
I guess it must be up to me.

Dupree came in pimpin' tonight to the Thunderbird Cafe,
Crystal wanted to talk to him, I had to look the other way.
Now I just can't rest without your love, I need your company.
You ain't gonna cross the line,
I guess it must be up to me.

There's a note left in the bottle, you can give it to Estelle,
She's the one you been wond'rin' about, but there's really nothin' much to tell.
We both heard voices for a while, now the rest is history,
Somebody's got to cry some tears,
I guess it must be up to me.

So go on, boys, play your hands, life is a pantomime,
The ringleaders from the county seat say you don't have all that much time.
And the girl with me behind the shades, she ain't my property,
One of us has got to hit the road,
I guess it must be up to me.

If we never meet again, baby, remember me,
How my lone guitar played sweet for you that old-time melody.
And the harmonica around my neck, I blew it for you, free,
No one else could play that tune,
You know it was up to me.

Strangely, when I pulled up the front page of ER, this was one of the featured articles and it said perfectly what I had been thinking all morning at work...

'Ah yes, acoustic guitar and bass, the arrangement so nice, Dylan used it twice. During the making of Blood On The Tracks, this song lost out to the similar “Shelter From The Storm” when Bob chose the pecking order. The album turned out OK, I guess: It’s generally regarded as one of Dylan’s finest which, by definition, puts it among the finest albums in rock-era music history.
But I’ll play the contrarian and say that I prefer “Up To Me.” It digs just a little deeper, comes across with a few more memorable lines. It seems to be about the responsibility that both parties must take on to sustain a relationship, and the fallout when those responsibilities are abandoned. Dylan’s narrator is defending himself, the battles he fought, the lines he crossed, in an ultimately futile effort to keep things alive.
This guy owns up to the fact that his own notion of how life must be lived probably presented some problems, but that was the only way he knew.
“If I’d lived my life by what others were thinkin’, the heart inside me would’ve died/I was just too stubborn to ever be governed by enforced insanity,” he sings, lines likely to ring true with iconoclasts everywhere.
From there, he reflects upon the various incarnations these two souls have taken, rearranging their faces and giving them other names, so to speak, all as a way of recounting the little injuries and perceived slights that have taken the toll on their love. Later on, the narrator admits to seeking out new companions as a way of dealing with the pain of her absence, but it’s all in vain.
The final verse is one of the finest closing scenes Dylan has ever given us, as the narrator, hopeless now of her returning, asks if she will at least yield him some nostalgia.
He begins, “And if we never meet again, baby, remember me/How my lone guitar played sweet for you that old-time melody.” You can imagine the tears welling up in both their eyes as he continues, “And the harmonica around my neck, I blew it for you, free/No one else could play that tune, you know it was up to me.”
Of course, the temptation is to immediately to read autobiography into these final lines, and Dylan certainly had to have been aware of this. But the guitar and harmonica could really be equivalent to any gesture made by someone in the thrall of a passionate relationship, before its purity is stained by pettiness and frailty. “Up To Me” is masterful at capturing both the wonder of love and the anguish of its unraveling.'

Really just a quiet masterpiece left off of Blood On The Tracks and pushed the sentiments of the songs into the others on the album. But all in all, this song just bites hard. It's a song of desperate courage sung with utmost sincerity by a guy in his musical prime and in personal hell at the same time.

What do you al think of this one????


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PostPosted: Wed February 22nd, 2012, 21:45 GMT 
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This is a very big favorite, although I can't begrudge the selection of Shelter for the record. Too bad two of his finer lyrics ended up sharing chords. Kind of BoTT's Abandoned Love, too dangerous to release at the time. Certainly one of Dylan finest vocals to my ears, what seems a very heartfelt performance. But Shelter as plea/alibi/apology to wrap up perhaps his best record is just about impossible to better.


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PostPosted: Wed February 22nd, 2012, 22:16 GMT 

Joined: Mon February 13th, 2006, 11:15 GMT
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Location: East London, UK
I think this is a lovely song, and it has as much of those attempts at dissembling and distancing from the personal as any song on BOT. My favourite verse is

Oh, the Union Central is pullin’ out and the orchids are in bloom
I’ve only got me one good shirt left and it smells of stale perfume
In fourteen months I’ve only smiled once and I didn’t do it consciously
Somebody’s got to find your trail, I guess it must be up to me

and this is like something from before the war, or from film noir, highly evocative. I think that it is mostly free of the Christ identifications that are commonplace in BOT songs, apart from the reference to betrayal. On that basis I guess it is a song apart from that collection, but it is a pity that its arrival is delayed and that it stands alone. I think that it is well-realised and very successful.


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PostPosted: Wed February 22nd, 2012, 23:50 GMT 

Joined: Wed June 25th, 2008, 22:49 GMT
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Location: Joliet, IL, USA
Good song.. nothing great.


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PostPosted: Thu February 23rd, 2012, 15:47 GMT 

Joined: Sat August 16th, 2008, 21:48 GMT
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Location: Wallingford, Connecticut
MEZ really loves this track. It gets spun regularly in my rotations. A gem! MEZ


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PostPosted: Fri February 24th, 2012, 00:51 GMT 
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Had to be kept off to shelter Shelter.
Glad it made it out eventually.
What a phase!


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PostPosted: Fri February 24th, 2012, 22:30 GMT 

Joined: Thu December 9th, 2004, 16:38 GMT
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Neat lyric. Nothing much going on musically. It's analogous to 'Foot of Pride' in that respect.


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PostPosted: Sat February 25th, 2012, 12:07 GMT 
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I'd like to ask American Rain Expecters - What does pantomime mean to you? Is it a common word in America?


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PostPosted: Sat February 25th, 2012, 12:11 GMT 
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Trev wrote:
I'd like to ask American Rain Expecters - What does pantomime mean to you?


Oh no you don't!


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PostPosted: Sat February 25th, 2012, 12:16 GMT 
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Oh yes I do!


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PostPosted: Sat February 25th, 2012, 12:17 GMT 
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Oh no you don't!


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PostPosted: Sat February 25th, 2012, 12:23 GMT 
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Oh no I don't!


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PostPosted: Sat February 25th, 2012, 17:39 GMT 
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Oh yes you do!... ... ... ... ... bugger!... I see what you did there!


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PostPosted: Sat February 25th, 2012, 19:28 GMT 
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Look out, he's behind you!


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PostPosted: Tue February 4th, 2014, 05:04 GMT 
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Been listening to Biograph and I cannot get this song out of my mind...
I've lost track of how many times I've listened to it on 'repeat' lately.

What a beautiful song! It's surely one of Bob's perfect songs...the lyrics, his voice,
his phrasing, the guitar....it doesn't get any better than this.
When i hear Up to Me it reminds me of why I love Dylan so much.
.....when he's at his best, nobody can touch him. 8)

http://grooveshark.com/#!/s/Up+To+Me/ypMov?src=5


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PostPosted: Tue February 4th, 2014, 05:22 GMT 

Joined: Tue September 25th, 2012, 19:13 GMT
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I guess I never found Up to Me all that similar to Shelter from the Storm. Especially if they were to appear on an album that nearly uses the same chords and tuning throughout anyway.


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PostPosted: Tue February 4th, 2014, 07:49 GMT 
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One of my all-time favourite songs.
"In fourteen months I've only smiled once
and I didn't do it consciously"...this line means a lot to me.

I also like the "harmonica round my neck"-image at the end.


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PostPosted: Tue February 4th, 2014, 18:00 GMT 
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Love it


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PostPosted: Tue February 4th, 2014, 22:52 GMT 

Joined: Fri January 5th, 2007, 23:38 GMT
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Queen Anne Lace wrote:
Been listening to Biograph and I cannot get this song out of my mind...
I've lost track of how many times I've listened to it on 'repeat' lately.

What a beautiful song! It's surely one of Bob's perfect songs...the lyrics, his voice,
his phrasing, the guitar....it doesn't get any better than this.
When i hear Up to Me it reminds me of why I love Dylan so much.
.....when he's at his best, nobody can touch him. 8)

http://grooveshark.com/#!/s/Up+To+Me/ypMov?src=5


So true. And so much of his oeuvre falls into this category. We are privileged.


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PostPosted: Wed February 5th, 2014, 01:44 GMT 

Joined: Tue September 25th, 2012, 19:13 GMT
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Location: In a haze of substance abuse.
'If I'd thought about it I never would've done it, I guess I would've let it slide,
If I'd paid attention to what others were thinkin', the heart inside me would've died.
I was just too stubborn to ever be governed by enforced insanity,
Someone had to reach for the risin' star,
I guess it was up to me.'

One of my favorite stanzas ever, right there. To me, it encompasses in a few wonderfully crafted lines everything that Dylan is 'about'.


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PostPosted: Wed February 5th, 2014, 01:48 GMT 
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I haven't listened to this in a few weeks and after seeing it on the active topics, it's been on repeat for quite a long time today. I really do love this song. So powerful and addictive.


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PostPosted: Wed February 5th, 2014, 02:31 GMT 

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Solid song. If it were up to me I would have chosen it over Shelter From The Storm for the album.


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PostPosted: Wed February 5th, 2014, 03:03 GMT 
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I probably would too even though I adore Shelter From The Storm, both the studio version and especially the Hard Rain version.


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