But, is chaos a good thing? Bob Dylan - Subterranean Homesick Blues Lyrics. Lyrics submitted by Subterranean Homesick Blues. This ironic gesture by Dylan reveals the incompatibility between Dylan's belief in the chaos of the age and expectations of him to act as a kind of leader. It's something along those lines but maybe its that he is actually sick of the subterranean culture, homesick for a normal life, if he was playing it straight he wouldn't have to be thinking of the government comin to get him,"man in a coonskin cap in a pig pen" has to go score drugs from this greasy bastard who lives in a pig pen like a slob and its just a pain in the ass cause the guy wants 11 dollars bills but hes only got ten. Dylan may be being somewhat autobiographical, metaphorically describing his dizzying ascent to the pinnacle of American pop culture. For the best experience on our site, be sure to turn on Javascript in your browser. The song is, in the end, a hodgepodge of cultural context, but none of it really coheres into a solid narrative. Langhorne was the inspiration for the title character in Dylan's legendary song "Mr. Tambourine Man." ?". The song seems to have been inspired by events in Dylan’s life – the circumstances of his first marriage and its break-up. Dylan isn't interested in the narrative here, so much as the feeling—again, what the song evokes. ", © 2020 Shmoop University Inc | All Rights Reserved | Privacy | Legal. Kitten_61, edited by luisjavier, perry10153, "Subterranean Homesick Blues" as written by Bob Dylan. "Subterranean Homesick Blues" is a song by Bob Dylan, recorded on January 14, 1965, and released as a single by Columbia Records, catalogue number 43242, on March 8. The poem expresses a distinct Victorian feeling that Dylan shares. The underlined words are those with multiple meanings. Andrew Bird) (originally by Bob Dylan) Johnny's in the basement Mixing up the medicine I'm on the pavement Thinking about the government The man in a trench coat Badge out, laid off Says he's got a bad cough Wants to get it paid off Look out, kid It’s super easy, we promise! Maybe beauty is chaos." The entire "What ? Log in now to tell us what you think this song means. What meaning is hiding behind Dylan's placid expression? Langhorne was the inspiration for the title character in Dylan's legendary song "Mr. Tambourine Man." Information and translations of subterranean in the most comprehensive dictionary definitions resource on the web. Dylan tells the kid, whoever he may be, to "get hid," to "jump down a manhole." Shmoop guide to Subterranean Homesick Blues lyrics. And that evocation is chaos. Kitten_61, edited by luisjavier, perry10153, "Subterranean Homesick Blues" as written by Bob Dylan. Non-lyrical content copyright 1999-2020 SongMeanings, Javascript must be enabled for the correct page display, Subterranean Homesick Blues song meanings. Get "Subterranean Homesick Blues" on MP3: Get MP3 from iTunes. ... 'Subterranean Homesick Blues' is certainly a major, major song but not in the same league as 'The Times They Are A-Changin'. The upbeat tempo, electric instruments, and ‘stream of consciousness’ lyrical styling used throughout this song is a far cry from Dylan’s previous works. And is that Allen Ginsberg, the legendary Beat poet, standing over there in the background? From the opening sequence of Dylan holding up words to the soundtrack’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues,” Dylan is … It was Dylan's first Top 40 hit in the United States, peaking at number 39 on the Billboard Hot 100. My InterpretationOne of the first noticeable steps into Dylan's electric instability is the first song off his first '65 album Bringing It All Back Home, “Subterranean Homesick Blues”.This album was about when Dylan's stability began to deteriorate. For those who want concrete answers, the problem with chaos is that it evokes more than it reveals. JavaScript seems to be disabled in your browser. "Subterranean Homesick Blues" is a song by Bob Dylan, originally released on the album Bringing It All Back Home in March 1965. By the time you get to the end of Dylan's rapid-fire lyrical delivery, your reaction may well be exactly what Dylan holds up on his last cue card: "What ? The fractured narrative of the song evokes many possible things, from Dylan's own commentary on his fame to more abstract concepts such as metaphorical birth. Subterranean är ett musikalbum av melodisk death metal-gruppen In Flames från Göteborg.Det släpptes 1994 av skivbolaget Wrong Again Records. It begins "in the basement," and then we find our hero emerged "on the pavement," and ends with the Dylan suggesting we jump back into the "subterranean" through a manhole. "Subterranean Homesick Blues" has no answers. At times, Dylan seems to have trouble keeping up with the pace of the song, as the lyrics whiz by at the point of incomprehensibility. It is the transformation that counts. But how is anyone supposed to be the voice of his entire generation? Meaning of subterranean. Bob Dylan: Subterranean Homesick Blues Meaning. Required fields are marked *, The meaning behind the music and words of Bob Dylan. Tagged: No tags, suggest one. ? The music video is evocative, yet perplexing. The Beat connection might be important. But that's what people heard in songs like "The Times They Are A-Changin'," and soon Dylan did find himself sitting up there on that pedestal, whether he wanted to be there or not. The final stanza of Browning's poem contains the lines: Look, two and two go the priests, then the monks with cowls and sandals, And the penitents dressed in white shirts a-holding the yellow candles, One, he carries a flag up straight, and another a cross with handles, And the Duke's guard brings up the rear for the better prevention of scandals. The speaker stops discussing the rebellious lifestyle tied to the “hip” drug culture, and cynically addresses the “square”; also known as the “working stiff” or “straight laced” member of society. Whatever they mean to you, the lyrics to "Subterranean Homesick Blues" rely partially on their cultural/societal context for meaning. By entering your email address you agree to receive emails from Shmoop and verify that you are over the age of 13. Other times, Dylan uses the cards for comic purposes, with intentional mistakes and misspellings. attitude of "Subterranean Homesick Blues" might best sum up Dylan's reaction to his emerging stardom. Perhaps because “Tangled Up in Blue” seems decipherable (as opposed to “Subterranean Homesick Blues” and “Lily, Rosemary, and the Jack of Hearts,” which are willingly and cheerfully incomprehensible), I have long been fixated on figuring out what exactly is going on in the song. Brainstorm every possible meaning of these words and write them in the middle column before formulating your interpretation of each section of lyrics. Without thinking of Dylan's personal life, the lyrics seem to evoke a life journey, with an awakening at the beginning, all the elements of "square" life filling up the middle of the song, and a longing for a return to this "sub-" state at the end. Introduction This is an extraordinary song – a surface simplicity disguising a vast web of interconnections made possible by the extreme economy of language. That feeling might best be understood in Victorian author George Eliot's words, "aspiration without an object." If Bob Dylan is the voice of his generation, or is even (however reluctantly) "aspiring" to that level, he must comment on his age. This cast of characters take the kid through a fast-forwarded life, characterized only by the consistency of demands and the chaotic turn of events, from drug busts to wiretapping to the Civil Rights Movement to the day shift. Lines like, "Johnny's in the basement / Mixing up the medicine" obviously reference the LSD culture of the '60s, in which millions of tablets of "acid" were home-brewed in basements and laboratories, which resulted in fear and paranoia of government spying and crackdowns (which Dylan cleverly suggests entirely through metaphor—"heat" for the police, "plants" for microphones, "bed" for locations). Song Released: 1965. That return, and what exactly the underground is, is open to interpretation. D.A. If chaos is truth, and chaos is an indistinct, shapeless whirlpool, what is there to accomplish aside from becoming (to borrow another famous classic rock metaphor) another brick in the wall? Called the "voice of our generation" by fellow folk persona (and onetime lover) Joan Baez, Dylan found himself annointed a reluctant leader of the counterculture, at times even called a "prophet" or put up on a pedestal with poetic geniuses like T.S. ?" Chaos may or may not be truth and beauty, as Dylan said, but even if it is, is it a good thing? Or, as Dylan himself wrote on that famous cue card… "What ? The song is crammed full of zen phrases, hipsterisms, and koans to a chaotic degree. Whatever they mean to you, the lyrics to "Subterranean Homesick Blues" rely partially on their cultural/societal context for meaning. Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. 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