Friday, August 15, 2008

The Ghost Of Electricity Howls In The Bones Of These Answers

You know, I could have made this a lot more difficult than it was. As prolific as Bob Dylan is, I could have picked eleven really obscure tracks -- hell, I could have just taken all the tracks from one of his lesser-known albums -- and said, here, deal.

But I didn't. And I'm happy to see that most of these songs were recognized. To my way of thinking, Mr. Zimmerman is the premier lyricist of the 20th century (and he's still no slouch here in the first decade of the 21st). You may not like his voice, but goddamn, can that man write songs. And that's what this weekly test is all about: lyrics.

See, this whole quiz thing started as a result of something Tom Hilton said in one of his Friday Random 10 posts. It was a tongue-in-cheek comment, something along the lines of "lyrics don't matter," which I naturally took offense to, and so I've been posting these opening lines every week to show that yes, they do. Or at least they do to me. Your mileage may vary.

Anyway, here are the answers, along with the albums you'll find these songs on. Next week we'll try to mix it up a little more.

1. What’s the matter with me? I don’t have much to say. Watching the River Flow; Greatest Hits Vol. 2

2. My love, she speaks like silence, without ideals or violence. Love Minus Zero / No Limit; Bringing It All Back Home

3. Cloud so swift, the rain fallin’ in, gonna see a movie called Gunga Din. You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere; Greatest Hits Vol. 2 (Another version with slightly different lyrics, one that is covered by The Byrds and the The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, can be found on The Basement Tapes.)

4. There’s a long-distance train, rollin’ through the rain, tears on the letter I write. Where Are You Tonight (Journey Through Dark Heat); Street Legal

5. Well, the comic book and me, just us, we caught the bus. The poor little chauffeur, though, she was back in bed. Yea! Heavy And A Bottle Of Bread; The Basement Tapes

6. Crimson flames tied through my ears, rollin’ high and mighty traps. My Back Pages; Another Side Of Bob Dylan

7. Just like old Saxophone Joe when he’s got the hogshead up on his toe, oh me, oh my… Country Pie; Nashville Skyline

8. Man came to the door, I say, “For whom were you lookin’?” Says, “your wife,” I say, “She’s busy in the kitchen cookin’.” Po’ Boy; Love And Theft

9. Far between sundown’s finish and midnight’s broken toll, we ducked inside the doorway, thunder crashing. Chimes Of Freedom; Another Side Of Bob Dylan

10. They say everything can be replaced, they say every distance is not near. I Shall Be Released; Greatest Hits Vol. 2

**Bonus** Oh, the benches were stained with tears and perspiration, the birdies were flying from tree to tree. Day Of The Locusts; New Morning
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