Metaphors With Multiple Meanings

Santa came last night and there were “little elves on the rooftops” helping him deliver the presents to all the good little boys and girls.  Like usual I got a lump of coal and an onion and Santa knows that I despise onions.  Today I have a dirge which was written by Bob Dylan and this is a somber song or a lament that expresses mourning or grief, and it might be appropriate to be played at a funeral.  Being a Dylan song and the fact that Dylan was a master of the abstract expressionist movement in folk music, ‘Farewell Angelina’ is very difficult to interpret and it may be best described as the process of love disintegrating between two people and the lunacy that exists in their world.  This guy keeps telling Angelina that he is leaving and he comes up with all of these wild and crazy excuses that end up with the world falling apart and somehow relate back to the sky being abnormal.

Dylan wrote ‘Farewell Angelina’ in the mid-1960s.  Only one recording of the song, as sung by Dylan, was ever made, during the first session for 1965’s Bringing It All Back Home; however, Joan Baez recorded the tune and made it the title track of her own 1965 album.  The song became a live staple for Baez, and appears on her Live Europe ‘83 album.  This is a goodbye song to a girl that is filled with piles of images that dance in your head.  Dylan includes dancing elves, King Kong, cross-eyed pirates, 52 gypsies, bandits who steal the bells on a crown, fiends who nail time bombs to the hands of the clocks, all while the sky is on fire, the sky is trembling, the sky is changing color, the sky is embarrassed and the sky is erupting.

As a songwriter and musician, Dylan has sold more than 100 million records and received numerous awards over the years including Grammy, Golden Globe, and Academy Awards; he has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Minnesota Music Hall of Fame, Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and Songwriters Hall of Fame.  The Pulitzer Prize jury
in 2008 awarded him a special citation for “his profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power.”  In May 2012, Dylan received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama.

Why is it so hard to get good videos of Bob Dylan songs?

Farewell, Angelina, the bells of the crown
Are being stolen by bandits, I must follow the sound
The triangle tingles and the trumpets play slow
Farewell, Angelina, the sky is on fire and I must go

There’s no need for anger, there’s no need for blame
There’s nothing to prove, everything’s still the same
Just a table standing empty by the edge of the sea
Means farewell, Angelina, the sky is trembling and I must leave

The jacks and queens have forsaked the courtyard
Fifty-two gypsies, now file past the guards
In the space where the deuce and the ace once ran wild
Farewell, Angelina, the sky is changing color, I’ll see you in a while

See the cross-eyed pirates sitting perched in the sun
Shooting tin cans with a sawed-off shotgun
And the neighbors they clap and they cheer with each blast
But farewell, Angelina, the sky’s changing color and I must leave fast

King Kong, little elves on the rooftops they dance
Valentino-type tangos while the make-up man’s hands
Shut the eyes of the dead not to embarrass anyone
But farewell, Angelina, the sky is embarrassed and I must be gone

The machine guns are roaring, the puppets heave rocks
The fiends nail time bombs to the hands of the clocks
Call me any name you like, I will never deny it
But farewell, Angelina, the sky is erupting, I must go where it’s quiet

10 thoughts on “Metaphors With Multiple Meanings

  1. Beautiful song. The 2nd video doesn’t sound like him singing. Nobody can beat his storytelling lyrics. This one ended on a weak lyric which isn’t like him. He’s written at least a few dirges. One of them is actually called, “Dirge”, on Planet Waves, my favorite Dylan album.

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