Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Bob Dylan: Like A Rolling Stone

Here is Like A  Rolling Stone.

Written by: Bob Dylan
Recorded: June 15-16, 1965: Columbia Studio A, 799 Seventh Avenue, New York City
Released:July 20, 1965
Album: Highway 61 Revisited
Label: Columbia

Bob Dylan played this song, a few days after it was released to the general public, on July 25, 1965, at the Newport Folk Festival in Newport, Rhode Island. On that live performance, which is not this one, some people were booing Bob Dylan, the festival's main attraction, during his first live plugged-in performance of his career.

The electrified performance explains some discontented voices in the crowd, who might have objected to the plugged-in performance, an anathema to folk purists. He played and sang with the backing of Mike Bloomfield on guitar and others from an electric blues/rock and roll band, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band.

The song survived this difficult performance. Like a Rolling Stone is one of the songs that defined the 1960s generation. Rolling Stone magazine has ranked it as the No. 1 rock song of all time in 2004. The song's meaning has been discussed and debated. It might be one of those songs with multiple meanings. In one sense, it is about you and me, everybody, including Dylan himself, who experience a loss of innocence in search for freedom and individual dignity. Its central essence, Wikipedia says, might be as follows:
Dylan biographer Robert Shelton summed up the song's meaning as: "A song that seems to hail the dropout life for those who can take it segues into compassion for those who have dropped out of bourgeois surroundings. 'Rolling Stone' is about the loss of innocence and the harshness of experience. Myths, props, and old beliefs fall away to reveal a very taxing reality."[42]
Like A Rolling Stone

By Bob Dylan

Once upon a time you dressed so fine
Threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn't you ?
People'd call, say, "Beware doll, you're bound to fall"
You thought they were all kiddin' you
You used to laugh about
Everybody that was hangin' out
Now you don't talk so loud
Now you don't seem so proud
About having to be scrounging for your next meal.

How does it feel
How does it feel
To be without a home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?

You've gone to the finest school all right, Miss Lonely
But you know you only used to get juiced in it
Nobody has ever taught you how to live on the street
And now you're gonna have to get used to it
You said you'd never compromise
With the mystery tramp, but now you realize
He's not selling any alibis
As you stare into the vacuum of his eyes
And say do you want to make a deal?

How does it feel
How does it feel
To be on your own
With no direction home
A complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?

Ah! you never turned around to see the frowns on the jugglers and the clowns
When they all come down and did tricks for you
You never understood that it ain't no good
You shouldn't let other people get your kicks for you
You used to ride on the chrome horse with your diplomat
Who carried on his shoulder a Siamese cat
Ain't it hard when you discover that
He really wasn't where it's at
After he took from you everything he could steal.

How does it feel
How does it feel
To be on your own
With no direction home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?

Princess on the steeple and all the pretty people
They're all drinkin', thinkin' that they got it made
Exchanging all precious gifts
But you'd better take your diamond ring, you'd better pawn it babe
You used to be so amused
At Napoleon in rags and the language that he used
Go to him now, he calls you, you can't refuse
When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose
You're invisible now, you got no secrets to conceal.

How does it feel
How does it feel
To be on your own
With no direction home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?