“It looks like it’s a-dyin’ an’ it’s hardly been born”

Hey, hey Woody Guthrie, I wrote you a song
‘Bout a funny ol’ world that’s a-comin’ along.
Seems sick an’ it’s hungry, it’s tired an’ it’s torn,
It looks like it’s a-dyin’ an’ it’s hardly been born.

I was watching part two of the new Dylan documentary by Martin Scorcese, No Direction Home, when Canoeman came to pick me up. It was a really great show, focusing on Dylan’s departure from the Iron Range, the path that brought him to Greenwich Village, and how he quickly became famous and fascinating.

But I turned it off and went to listen to a folk/blues musician from Duluth — Charlie Parr — at a bar in Dinkytown. Where we sat toward the back I couldn’t see very well; a support pillar stood between me and the singer, all I could see was his boot tapping on the stage and his fingers on the frets. It could have been Dylan up there, it could have been 1961.

But it wasn’t. It was 2005. 2005. A time when I don’t think we can describe where we’ve been lately any better than we can say where we’re going.

Anyway, I just thought that was kind of a funny set of circumstances.

I’m a-leaving’ tomorrow, but I could leave today,
Somewhere down the road someday.
The very last thing that I’d want to do
Is to say I’ve been hittin’ some hard travelin’ too.

~Bob Dylan, Song to Woody

2 thoughts on ““It looks like it’s a-dyin’ an’ it’s hardly been born”

  1. Deb

    I was watching a PBS documentary on the sixties last night, and thinking how outraged and passionate so many people were then, how they stood up and said “This just isn’t right!” I think our society is so different now, people are so influenced by commercialism, mass media, and the pursuit of self gratification, that I don’t know if we could ever have an era like that again. And there are a lot of Bob Dylans out there today, talented singer songwriters, but they’re too far from the mainstream now to ever become popular like Dylan did.

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