... favourite Dylan songs? Tardy I know but how hard is it to choose? Like excerpting from the soundtrack of our unconscious, we of a certain age. Earlier (much earlier I recall nominating Blind Willie McTell as perhaps his greatest song. But favourite ... ? I've played Time out of Mind so many times the sprockets have all fallen out of the inside of the CD case. Other favourite albums ... World Gone Wrong, Oh Mercy, Blood on the Tracks, Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid, John Wesley Harding, Highway 61 Revisited. Like a Rolling Stone is the greatest whatever of all time I read the other day. Maybe it is a song off that record, maybe It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry, not just for the title, for the groove. And the words ... well, perhaps not. Boots of Spanish Leather? Visions of Joanna? Shelter from the Storm? How's about ... hell, I don't know. So many of his songs recall other songs, so many of his lines are actually from other songs, that's probably why we feel like they're common property.
Anyway, tonight, when I'm feeling melancholy and it's VE day, my parents' wedding anniversary, and the Salvation Army Band is playing down at the Summer Hill shops, it's this I remember:
He hears the ticking of the clocks
Walks along with a parrot that talks
Hunts her down by the waterfront docks
Where the sailors all come in
Maybe she'll pick him out again
How long must he wait
Once more for a simple twist of fate ...