I got my back to the sun ’cause the light is too intense
I can see what everybody in the world is up against
You can’t turn back—you can’t come back, sometimes we push too far
One day you’ll open up your eyes and you’ll see where we are
4 May 2002
Bob Dylan (vocal & guitar)
Charlie Sexton (guitar)
Larry Campbell (guitar, mandolin, pedal steel guitar & electric slide guitar)
He [Willie Nelson] takes whatever thing he’s singing and makes it his. There’s not many people who can do that. Even something like an Elvis tune. You know, once Elvis done a tune, it’s pretty much done. But Willie is the only one in my recollection that has even taken something associated with Elvis and made it his. He just puts his sorta trip on it…
~Bob Dylan (28 April 1993)
From the filming of Willie Nelson 60th birthday party.
Jesse H. Jones Communication Center Building B
The University of Texas At Austin
28 April 1993
…Sure, I try to stick to the rules. Sometimes I might shift paradigms within the same song, but then that structure also has its own rules. And I combine them both, see what works and what doesn’t. My range is limited. Some formulas are too complex and I don’t want anything to do with them.
~Bob Dylan (to Bill Flanagan, in 2009)
“Dylan, who turns 68 in May, has never sounded as ravaged, pissed off and lusty”
~David Fricke (rollingstone.com)
Together Through Life is an album that gets its hooks in early and refuses to let go. It’s dark yet comforting, with a big tough sound, booming slightly like a band grooving at a soundcheck in an empty theatre. And at its heart there is a haunting refrain. Because above everything this is a record about love, its absence and its remembrance.
~Danny Eccleston (mojo4music.com)
Beyond Here Lies Nothin’
I’m listening to Billy Joe Shaver And I’m reading James Joyce Some people they tell me I got the blood of the land in my voice
~Bob Dylan (I Feel A Change Comin’ On)
What do you think Mozart would say to you if you ever come up to him and ask him the questions that you’ve been asking, you know? What kind of questions would you ask him, you know, ‘Tell me, Mr. Mozart… ‘
~Bob Dylan (to Klas Burling, April 28, 1966)
Immediately after the official press conference at the Hotel Flamingo at Stockholm, Dylan was interviewed for Swedish Radio 3: Stockholm: Radiohuset by Sweden’s first disc jockey, Klas Burling. Burling asked all the questions that Dylan had clearly grown sick and tired of hearing and got a really hard time as a result. You have to give poor Burling credit for lasting the distance and carrying the interview through to the end. (Every Mind Polluting Word)
”Memories linger, sad yet sweet/And I think of the souls in heaven who we’ll meet”
‘Cross the Green Mountain was written for the soundtrack of Gods and Generals, a Civil War TV series, in this very well constructed ballad Dylan puts himself in the mind of a Civil War soldier (a dying man). I’m not sure that it was written specifically for the movie or if Dylan had written it earlier and found use for it now, it’s hard to say. The mood is strikingly brought forward by his band, rolling along like in so many of his long and significant tunes. It is a major work of art, it deserved a better fate than to be tucked away on the bootleg series or on a TV-soundtrack!
I do not pretend to have the complete meaning to the song or found all the references Bob Dylan has used, so please enlighten me in the comments section. When I get enough new information I will update the post.