Saturday, 9 May 2009

Does Bob Dylan have 'the blood of the lamb' in his voice?

Slowly but surely the official lyrics from Together Through Life are being released. There's been nothing printed on the CD sleeves so most reviewers and commentators have had to use their ears - not as simple as it sounds when Bob's voice is so ragged. I noticed today that one or two of the song lyrics had been put up on BobDylan.com but not the one that has caused some discussion. In the song I Feel a Change Coming On Bob sings: 'I've got the blood of the land in my voice'. Or does he? Some very reputable music critics claim to hear 'I've got the blood of the lamb in my voice.' Not sure what I was hearing myself I started a discussion on Expecting Rain - the ultimate Bob fan site. 53 replies later and no-one's the wiser. I think we're going to have to wait until it gets put up on the offical site. Listen to it yourself below - 4mins 9 secs.

Does it really matter, though? Well, for the hard-core dylanologists it does because they hang on to their prophet's every word. As someone pointed out on Expecting Rain - perhaps both versions are correct - after all in Bob's own analysis of songwriting there is no complete perfect song - it's an organic and developing process which can change with every performance.

So even if we assume that when the lyrics finally are published it'll be 'blood of the land' (I personally think I hear a 'd' sound at the end of the word!), does this mean that Bob hasn't got the 'blood of the lamb' in his voice? Absolutely not - you just have to listen to his songs since he began and the voice of God shines through time and again. I don't need Bob to confirm this in a lyric, it's there for all to hear - well if you have ears to hear that is.

11 comments:

Snot Head said...

This is quite off topic and has much to do with my multi-faceted brain waves (some might prefer to call it ADD ;o)). I haven't read any of your blogs about Kylie Minogue, but I was glad to see her name on here somewhere. You see, I was named after her, and not because my mother was a die hard Kylie fanatic, either. She simply liked the name. I am sad to say that the woman whose name I know possess I have not listened to much and know little about. Maybe this is my chance to learn. :) I'm at work now, so I can't give you my opinion of the lyrics. I will when I get the chance, though. Thanks for educating me yet again!

Cosmo said...

Nick, I was listening somewhat hoping that it would be 'lamb', but it is definately 'land' - in my opinion. He takes the d from the end of the word and sticks it to the front of the next one: "hear the blood of the lan din my voice".

Snot Head, you might be in for a suprise if you do a little research for Kylie Minougue. Her early stuff is,um...well I'll let you discover. (Although I must confess I did like 'can't get you out of my head')

Ace said...

Given Bob's apparent religious feelings: "Commander in Chief", 1978-1981, and on and on. It is hardly likely that he would even allude to others suggesting that he is somehow speaking on behalf of all that.

How Newsweek could actually print that in their review really shows the sad state that print journalism has been reduced to. "Snoozeweek" anyone?

Whilst "land" was never in doubt, Bagby and Lamar from If You Ever Go to Houston took longer to figure out.

http://www.mapquest.com/maps/map.adp?address=1010%20Lamar%20St&city=Houston&state=TX&zipcode=77002-6311&country=US&geodiff=1

kitty kombahtey said...

". . . blood of the lamb" makes much more sense than "blood of the lamb" in this case.

Nick Coke said...

Snothead - don't let Cosmo put you off about Kylie, check out her duets with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.

Ace - if you worked out those places from 'If you ever go to Houston' then hats off to you! Notice that in Dublin be changed the reference from Dallas to Dublin, so your work might not be done with a busy summer tour ahead.

Cosmo said...

I'm talking about songs like her early duet with Jason Donovan! Didn't Cave and Minogue do a Dylan cover?

Nick Coke said...

Well Cosmo, everyone's allowed a little indulgence in their earliest phase - even Dylan... ;)

Not sure how we've got to Jason Donovan! But yes you're right, Kylie and Cave sing 'Death is Not the End' a Dylan song. I think I put a post up about it a while back.

Snot Head said...

You know, I will check her out at some point. I hear her newer song a few years ago, which is what I think Cosmo was talking about with "Can't get you outta my head." I had a tape of her songs when I was younger, but I don't know what ever happened to it. I believe she sang the "locomotion" song in the 80s. If I remember right, that was the song my mom heard on the radio when she decided she liked the name so much.

joshua said...

at least he listening to billy jo schaffer , i wonder if he is still thinking about alicia keys?

RJ said...

god knows I AM still thinking about alicia keys... we used that tune for my installation worship when I came to the Berkshires. And I like blood of the lamb even if that isn't what he says... how did someone put it: the consolation of the imaginary isn't imaginary consolation? keep on rockin' my man!

Bruce said...

I found this blog when I was searching for the song, and it's pretty clear to me. He sings that SOMEONE SAYS 'I have the blood of the lamb in my voice.' He's talking in the same song about a friend of his who did or will or needs to "pray the sinner's prayer." I know, for me, for my feelings, that Bob speaks in a way that help me to see God in my times, in my life, in my generation. He's not preaching. He's just living his life.