Baez and Dylan


From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Wed Mar 31, 2004 12:21 am
Subject: Baez and Dylan (was: sex)

At 03:58 31.03.2004, Bradford wrote:

Bob Dylan and Joen Baez had a stunning relationship in poetry and song... And their two personalities missed, just as Dylan in a rough world and Joan seemingly from a more sheltered world. Dylan insisting that it's rough. But Baez song is rich with insight as well.

(Words and Music by Joan Baez)

Well I'll be damned
Here comes your ghost again
But that's not unusual
It's just that the moon is full
And you happened to call
And here I sit
Hand on the telephone
Hearing a voice I'd known
A couple of light years ago
Heading straight for a fall

As I remember your eyes
Were bluer than robin's eggs
My poetry was lousy you said
Where are you calling from?
A booth in the midwest
Ten years ago
I bought you some cufflinks
You brought me something
We both know what memories can bring
They bring diamonds and rust

Well you burst on the scene
Already a legend
The unwashed phenomenon
The original vagabond
You strayed into my arms
And there you stayed
Temporarily lost at sea
The Madonna was yours for free
Yes the girl on the half-shell
Would keep you unharmed

Now I see you standing
With brown leaves falling around
And snow in your hair
Now you're smiling out the window
Of that crummy hotel
Over Washington Square
Our breath comes out white clouds
Mingles and hangs in the air
Speaking strictly for me
We both could have died then and there

Now you're telling me
You're not nostalgic
Then give me another word for it
You who are so good with words
And at keeping things vague
Because I need some of that vagueness now
It's all come back too clearly
Yes I loved you dearly
And if you're offering me diamonds and rust
I've already paid

Oh yes I remember that album, released by "America's most exciting folk singer" when the sixties were over. Dylan had recently released "Blood on the Tracks". Joan Baez' album "Diamonds and Rust" was obviously dedicated to Bob Dylan. They needed to talk, and this was her way of inviting him to a chat, so he called her up after this came out:

(Words and Music by Joan Baez)

The lady's adrift in a foreign land
Singing on issues both humble and grand
A decade flew past her and there on the page
She read that the prince had returned to the stage
Hovering near treacherous waters
A friend saw her drifting and caught her
Unguarded fantasies flying too far
Memories tumbling like sweets from a jar

And take me down to the harbor now
Grapes of the summer are low on the bough
Ghosts of my history will follow me there
And the winds of the old days will blow through my hair

Breath on an undying ember
It doesn't take much to remember
Those eloquent songs from the good old days
That set us to marching with banners ablaze
But reporters, there's no sense in prying
Our blue-eyed son's been denying
The truths that are wrapped in a mystery
The sixties are over so set him free

And take me down to the harbor now
Grapes of the summer are low on the bough
Ghosts of my history will follow me there
And the winds of the old days will blow through my hair

Why do I sit the autumnal judge
Years of self-righteousness will not budge
Singer or savior, it was his to choose
Which of us knows what was his to lose
Because idols are best when they're made of stone
A savior's a nuisance to live with at home
Stars often fall, heroes go unsung
And martyrs most certainly die too young

So thank you for writing the best songs
Thank you for righting a few wrongs
You're a savage gift on a wayward bus
But you stepped down and you sang to us

And get you down to the harbor now
Most of the sour grapes are gone from the bough
Ghosts of Johanna will visit you there
And the winds of the old days will blow through your hair

© 1975 Chandos Music (ASCAP)

BD hadn't been very nice to JB. From the beginning of his career, he had this "dumb Mexican girl with an angelic voice" as she called herself later, following in his heels everywhere with her guitar, singing his songs and talking about him. And he obviously didn't treat her that nice. Later on in the sixties, when the media pestered BD about his relationship to JB and if he'd seen her lately, he confided: "Last time I saw her, she was rolling around on the floor, tripping on acid. She used to enjoy wiping herself with the American flag after doing it."

About the last part: Perhaps Joan regarded sex as a patriotic duty :)




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