Profound, Poetic Rock and Roll by Bob Dylan

Decent Essays

While it is widely rumored that many of Bob Dylan’s songs were written while he was under the influence of various drugs, I’m not so sure that those rumors are accurate. Following a 1991 interview conducted by Paul Zollo with Bob Dylan, Zollo stated that “There’s an unmistakable elegance in Dylan’s words, an almost biblical beauty” and that “Dylan’s answers give you a lot to think about while not necessarily revealing much about the man”. (Zollo 2) The same can be said with regard to many of the lyrics of Dylan’s songs. The lyrics to “Mr. Tambourine Man”, for example, are wildly descriptive and sometimes confusing and can leave a listener (or a reader) open to many different interpretations, some more complex than others, with no real meaning ever being clearly stated.

From the first chorus where the singer is speaking to a “Tambourine Man” telling him that he’s “not sleepy and there is no place he’s going to”, but in the “jingle jangle” morning he’ll “come following you” (lines 1-4), there is confusion. Some guess that the “Tambourine Man” is a drug dealer, who Dylan “follows” to get his fix. Others say that he is a musician who played the tambourine during a music session with Dylan at one time. Some speculate that the “Tambourine Man” is a fictional character who was created by Dylan after attending a Mardi Gras celebration, which, incidentally is when the song is said to have been written.

While there are many lines in the song/poem that could easily be viewed

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