Thursday, March 05, 2009

Rock of Ages: Bob Dylan - "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" (1965)

Bob Dylan is a poet first and foremost. His words are where you see the genius. Many people harsh on his rough vocals that are very nasally and sometimes grating. However, on the greatest kiss-off song ever written, Dylan proves that his singing can take on a beautiful tone and one that really compliments the lyrics. "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" is a song that, unlike other songs about losing love, is about wanting love to go and needing it to realize that it's over. Instead of "crying" over lost love, Dylan is ready for it to go and wants to to go faster. Love isn't always something that ends in melancholy, but many times ends with the need for it to be over. In this case, "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" perfectly and poetically shows this emotion.

Dylan on the cusp of turning his back on traditional folk gives us his last greatest folk love song. I still consider this a love song even if he's telling you to walk out the door. Sometimes when you love someone, it ends and you need them to go. Cliche, yes. But true. All of the sagely advice that Dylan gives his lover as he's telling her to go shows that he still loves her and wants well for her, but it's all over. The track is pretty simple and straight forward. Dylan's classic guitar strumming with a quiet electric guitar picking out a melancholy tune and some classic Dylan harmonica. It's a sad song but it's also hopeful. You have to let go of someone sometimes so you might as well give them a tad of advice as they are getting thrown out.

To end this post, it would do justice to post these lyrics. Definitely my favorite Dylan outing.

You must leave now, take what you need, you think will last.
But whatever you wish to keep, you better grab it fast.
Yonder stands your orphan with his gun,
Crying like a fire in the sun.
Look out the saints are comin' through
And it's all over now, Baby Blue.

The highway is for gamblers, better use your sense.
Take what you have gathered from coincidence.
The empty-handed painter from your streets
Is drawing crazy patterns on your sheets.
This sky, too, is folding under you
And it's all over now, Baby Blue.

All your seasick sailors, they are rowing home.
All your reindeer armies, are all going home.
The lover who just walked out your door
Has taken all his blankets from the floor.
The carpet, too, is moving under you
And it's all over now, Baby Blue.

Leave your stepping stones behind, something calls for you.
Forget the dead you've left, they will not follow you.
The vagabond who's rapping at your door
Is standing in the clothes that you once wore.
Strike another match, go start anew
And it's all over now, Baby Blue.

Up Next: The next song makes me want to make out in the rain under the boardwalk


Mr. Dogg said...

Let me ask you this: In you esteem, what are some other great kiss-off rock songs? Let's see if we can't get a list going. Off the top of my head, I contribute this:

The Offspring - Spare me the Details (seriously.)

and, of course,

Violent Femmes - Kiss Off

Paul Tsikitas said...

Although it isn't a kiss off for a romantic relationship , John Lennon's "How Do You Sleep" is definitely a great kiss off to McCartney.