Bob Dylan is simply one of the greatest songwriters in the history of music. I used to sing “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” to Gwen when she was a baby ( she loves Dylan’s words but hates his voice- she’s consistent on the nasal voice thing. She hates listening to Springsteen, too). But this song, from the incredible Blood on the Tracks, is and for forever will be the single greatest thing Bob Dylan ever wrote.
The album itself is about the break up of his marriage ( “Idiot Wind” is priceless in its acidity). But this song, its tale of a free-spirited red-head and the man obsessed with her, just feels comfortable and hopeful. Soul mates, they could never get it together enough to work, but he, the wayward troubadour, keeps hoping, even as he wanders from place to place, looking for whatever it is she means to him. Or at least, that’s what I get from it. It’s Dylan, he could have written about how much he loved pastrami on rye.
I love political Dylan, the early Dylan who wrote “Masters of War” and “Maggie’s Farm”, the one who changed the way folk music was perceived forever. I also love the plugged in Byronesque poet who loves words and loves love. Dylan is a complex and creative force of nature. How can one not love him?