159. one more cup of coffee

One More Cup of Coffee is the Dylan track I tend to dig out when somebody feels compelled to tell me he can’t sing. Really? I’d like hear you or anybody you know do what he does in this one, the way he waivers just so, like something out of lost centuries, forgotten languages. The arrangement helps, of course, that wandering fiddle, the whip sharpness of the drums. And what’s the song about beyond a visit to the local Starbucks? The stuff of those lost centuries, I suppose, by way of his then current marital woes, reflections of self seen in distorted mirrors … and hearts like oceans, mysterious and dark. And then there’s my Motron’s theory that it concerns the Jason Robards character from Sergio Leone’s Once Upon A Time In The West. Because you may be gut shot, dying, bound for hell, but there’s always time for one more cup of coffee.” (Philip Random)

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496. Isis

Isis is one of the songs that forever ensnared me in the mystique of the guy known as Bob Dylan, starting with radio late at night in my teen years, floating strangely past as I slipped into dreams, doing its bit to inform them. And like those dreams, I still couldn’t tell you what it’s about. A journey, I guess, but to where? Maybe that’s the point. It’s about infinity, eternity, the stories found within stories found within stories, snakes eating their tales, a goddess called Isis … and the falling out of love. The live version from the Rolling Thunder era is pretty damned strong, but I prefer the more restrained original, found on Desire. It just seems to go further.” (Philip Random)

827. Mozambique

Sometimes the true genius of Bob Dylan is revealed not via some high reaching paradox infused poetry of chaos and apocalypse (or whatever), but when he’s just casually tossing something off, like this little ditty about grooving away in exotic Mozambique, found on 1976’s Desire, his last truly necessary album of the decade, unless you had a hunger for fire and brimstone and long trains slowly coming.

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