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(need the previous posts, too)

Date:    Wed, 10 Jan 1996 04:28:32 -0500
From:    bezukhov (bezukhov@NANDO.NET)
Subject: Re: Thoughts on Angelina

On Fri, 5 Jan 1996, Rob Zorn (04)564-8552 wrote:

> Way back on Wed 27 December, Jennifer 
> replied to my posting about Sweetheart Like You and wrote:
> >any thoughts on "Angelina"?

> I speculate that the song is about Dylan contemplating a
> relationship with a woman with a new age/mystical/
> spiritualist/witchcraft background, and deciding it's not to
> be, considering his Christian background.  Ridiculous you
> reckon?  Hear me out.

I think "Need A Woman," just before "Angelina" on the Bootleg Series,
describes the right kind of woman.

I do not see Angelina as a literal woman at all, but a symbol of something
else, a dominion gone astray, whose best friend and Dylan's worst enemy
(Satan) are one and the same.

Here are some unconnected thoughts on some other lines in the song:

**His eyes were two slits, make any snake proud, With a face that any
painter would paint as he walked through the crowd,**

Ezekiel 28:17 (addressed to the serpent, Lucifer, Satan, the devil,
etc.): "Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast
corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness."

**There's a black mercedes rolling through the combat zone, Your servants
are half-dead, you're down to the bone,**

This is addressed to the Tall Man, God, of the next line. His servants are
half-dead, and His Truth is down to the bone for a time yet. Compare with
the line from "Ring Them Bells," "Oh the shepherd is asleep, where the
willows weep, and the mountains are filled with lost sheep."

**Tell me, Tall Man, where would you like to be overthrown, In Jerusalem,
or Argentina?**

Two places of many trying to overthrow God.

**I see pieces of men marching, trying to take heaven by force,**

Matthew 11:11: "And from the days of John the Baptist until now,
the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it
by force."

**I can see the unknown rider, I can see the pale white horse,**

Revelation 6:2: "And I saw, and behold, a white horse; and he that sat on
him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth
conquering, and to conquer." This horse is a paler shade of white and its
rider is unknown to most. Compare to the white horse and its rider of
Revelation 19:11: "And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse; and
He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He
doth judge and make war."

**Beat a path of retreat up them spiral staircases**

The winding stairs in the Temple in I Kings 6:8

**Past the tree of smoke**,

The tree of smoke who will occupy the Temple. Ezekiel 28:18; The tree that
has been sentenced to death. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil who
stood in the garden.

Ezekiel 3:8: "Then said He unto me, "Son of man, lift up thine eyes now
the way toward the north." So I lifted up mine eyes the way toward the
north, and behold northward at the gate of the altar this image of
jealousy in the entry."

**past the angel with four faces,**

The cherubim of Ezekiel, chapters 1 & 10, Revelation 4:6-11. Their
likenesses were in the Temple.

**Begging God for mercy and weeping in unholy places, Angelina, Oh
Angelina, Oh Angelina, Oh Angelina.**

Revelation 6:12-17; Ezekiel 8.


Date: Thu, 11 Jan 1996 12:51:21 EWT From: MCLENDIN@ESOC.ESA.DE Subject: Re: Thoughts on Angelina Well..... one of the attractions of Dylan's songs is that they conjure up image s and moods which vary from person to person, but.... When I first heard 'Angelina' it evoked divorce and divorce courts - A few prompts: The obvious 'The judge sent me down the road with your subpeona' also 'she's wearing a blindfold' - justice (at least in Britain) is represented at the law courts by a statue of a blindfolded woman (is this so in the states?) also 'Black Mercedes rolling through the combat zone' - now who arrives at a 'combat zone' in a black mercedes? Maybe divorce lawyers? also More tenuous now, the odd rhyming triplet ............Force ............Horse Tell me what you want and you'll have it of course - now what could 'Angelina' want that rhymes with Force,Horse..? I must admit the reference to Jerusalem and Argentina has me stumped, but see 'Groom' below. Putting 'Angelina' into (composing) context, it appeared around the same time as 'lets keep it between us' which is surely a plea for one more try before falling into the clutches of the divorse lawyers? see 'Theres some things not fit for human ears Somethings don't need to be discussed Oh darling can we keep it between us They tell you one thing and me another Till we don't know who to trust' At the same time appeared 'Grooms still waiting at the altar' - a song of disaffected love (?) which mentions 'West of the Jordan' (Jerusalem?) and Buenos Aires (Argentina) Some dates: Dylan's divorce was initiated 1. March 77 but court proceedings (re the children) continued at least to Dec 77 (ref Heylin, 'stolen moments') 'Angelina' was recorded 4 May 81 (ref Krogsgaard) I suppose it could have taken 4 years before Bob could put the experience into words? Mike C
Date: Sat, 13 Jan 1996 04:13:00 +1100 From: Patricia Jungwirth (tricia.j@AARDVARK.APANA.ORG.AU) Subject: Re: Thoughts on Angelina >Thu, 11 Jan 1996 12:51:21 EWT >MCLENDIN@ESOC.ESA.DE >When I first heard 'Angelina' it evoked divorce and divorce courts - >A few prompts: >also 'Black Mercedes rolling through the combat zone' - now who arrives > at a 'combat zone' in a black mercedes? Maybe divorce lawyers? Maybe, but isn't the 'combat zone' also a term for the 'red-light district'? > Putting 'Angelina' into (composing) context, it appeared around the same time > as 'lets keep it between us' which is surely a plea for one more try before > falling into the clutches of the divorse lawyers? Or just about people trying to stick their noses in your affairs... which is what we seem to be doing here. Maybe this was more to do with those nosy Vineyard people (trying to 'storm heaven by force'?), just like the 'old lady judges watching people in pairs, limitating sex, they dare to push fake morals, insult and stare'. Plus ca change... see 'Theres some things not fit for human ears... Tricia J
Date: Sat, 10 Feb 1996 23:20:31 +1100 From: "J.McBride" Subject: Re: Angelina, puppets and rocks On Sat, 10 Feb 1996, Rob Zorn (04)564-8552 wrote: > > Someone recently posted (forgive my memory) something about Angelina and > concluded with the words, "I've been dodging puppets ever since." I think it > was Jennifer Bezukhov (forgive me Jennifer if my memory's failed again) who > wrote that she would love to hear that person elaborate. > > I haven't seen an explanation yet; maybe they sorted it out email. Still, it's > interesting. I believe the original poster was referring to the earlier song > _Farewell Angelina_ > I too am surprised that no-one answered on the meaning of Angelina; so I'll give it a quick burl. I am typing this out at work, so I can't actually listen to the song again before typing this; but I had a quick look at the lyrics (web page -- The naked emotion that comes through in Bob's singing of this song makes it fairly obviously about his relationship with a woman, or perhaps with women in general. I feel in the first couple of verseds he is tallking about himself: his life to that stage (1981) and where he goes from here. What better description has he ever given us of how he moves through life than: "It's always been my nature to take chances My right hand draws back while my left advances Where the current is strong and the monkey advances To the tune of a concertina" ? He continues singing about his life, and how it has revolved emotionally about women, all of whom become one particular woman in this song, Angelina. The God he worshipped was apaprently "woman": "Worshipping a god with the body of a woman" " and the head of a hyena" He worshipped these women, and he thought they were women/people/friends; but he (in his mind) had been turned against by them and hurt by them, hence the "head of a hyena". "The valley of the giants where the stars and stripes explode" is where he has spent his recent life, among the corporations, and the big buildings and the non-stop pressures on him. The short-term rewards of money and good life were there (the peaches they were sweet and the honey flowed"; and so he had followed the current and continued along that path towards his emotional destruction: "I've tried my best to love you but I cannot play this game Your best friend and my worst enemy is one and the same" His marriage is over, as is a phase of his life. He has been dragged through the courts, and set upon by his record companies and even by his public (this was around the time of his third religious LP); and they, the lawyers etc with their black mmercedes, are going to destroy him "Tell me, tall man, where would you like to be overthrown" In his quest for the next step following the strong current, he had turned to religion. Hence the references to the Book of the Apocalypse with the pale white horse, God's staircase, etc. But in his current religious state, he is still thinking of women, and the one woman (Sara) and perhaps the current woman ("whatever it could be makeds you think you've seen me before"), and he is still crying out to women: "o-o oh, Angelina!" The first verse was revealing. This song was recorded during the sessions for Shot of Love, his third and last religious LP. In the first verse he seems to be telling us he is about to move out of that period on to another stage of life where once again he will dance to the tune of the concertina. Similarly the last verse could be interpreted as saying that the religious experience had been his form of retreat from the broken marriage, from the Rolling Thunder tour, from the worshipping fans, and from that phase of his life, a retreat to religion: "Beat a path of retreat up them spiral staircases Pass the tree of smoke, pass the angel with four faces Begging God for mercy and weepin in holy places Angelina Oh, Angelina, Oh Angelina" The context of the song seems to relate his journey through life to his relationships with women. At this stage, it is causing him pain and bewilderment. He was hurt by his marriage, and is unsettled by new emotional relationships; but despite that, it is time to move on. As I said at the start, I haven't listened to the song for a while. In my mind, I can hear him singing it; I can remember that strong emotions come through. But without another listen, I don't remember whether it is the emotion of pain or of intense love. Maybe they are related? Anyhow, this is no attempt at a definite explanation. Look upon it as simply a few ideas to promote discussion and to get people thinking about this song. It is a good song ----- but then again, they are ALL good songs. McBride ------------------------------

See also The two Angelinas

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