Bob Dylan's Jokerman

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by onlyconnect, Nov 6, 2017.

  1. csqmnem89

    csqmnem89 Active Member

    Location:
    morganville, nj
    Love the song and it is one of my favorites from Dylan. Always thought the "jokerman" could be "insert any politician's name here"
     
  2. That's funny: I always assumed he was referring to Prince William! The song was written about the time William was born!
     
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  3. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    I always thought it was a protest song about the overuse of this font.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
  4. MagicAlex

    MagicAlex Gort Emeritus

    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    I think Dylan was into Kabbalah fairly heavily at one point. Not sure if it was Christian Cabala or Jewish Kabbalah. The alternate lyrics may even point out this more clearly.

    "with a small dog licking your feet."

    I am reminded of the lyrics in 'I and I' where it seems to me he is referring to following the right hand path (untrodden path) of the Sephirot and having a 'stranger' to teach him the (swift) way of the left hand path.

    "Took an untrodden path once, where the swift don’t win the race
    It goes to the worthy, who can divide the word of truth
    Took a stranger to teach me, to look into justice’s beautiful face
    And to see an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth"
     
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  5. There's certainly plenty of that sentiment expressed on "Slow Train Coming" and "Saved", and it reappears in "Foot of Pride".
     
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  6. redsock

    redsock Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Isn't it "divine the word of truth"?
     
  7. lschwart

    lschwart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    From a post I sent to the earlier thread on "I&I:"

    2 Timothy 2:15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

    The meaning of “divide” here is an obsolete one that dates back to the 16th Century. It means “to determine” or “decide” or “make distinctions” in regard to something (distinguishing, for example, truth from falsehood or one essential part of a thing from another). It’s connected to what in modern terms we might call, “breaking things down” for someone, explaining something complex, part by part.

    L.
     
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  8. Perhaps we've discussed this already somewhere else, but would you say that "Breaking down the distance between right and wrong" refers to differentiating the two, or blurring the lines between the two?
     
  9. posnera

    posnera Forum Resident

    Leviticus and Deuteronomy are from Jokerman.

    I got Exodus pretty quickly, can’t think of the other two off the top of my head.

    Talking John Birch Society Blues - “I know for sure he hates Commies ‘cause he picketed the movie Exodus.”
     
  10. You got 4 out of 5. The 5th is hiding in a bit of a strange place. :)
     
  11. lschwart

    lschwart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    In the context of that song, in which the singer is calling out for the bells to ring against a series of spiritual and ethical crises, I think blurring the lines makes more sense.

    L.
     
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  12. Sorry, my math was really bad! I double-credited you for "Exodus". For the other two one is hiding in an odd place (a song that's been released for better than 40 years) and one is in a song finally just released Friday.
     
  13. lschwart

    lschwart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    I'm stumped on the other two, except that:

    The Hebrew title for Genesis is "B'resheet," which means "in the beginning" (in fact the Hebrew titles of all of the books of the Torah are merely their first key words). The Hebrew title of Numbers is "B'minbar" ("in the wilderness"). So for the one we have "Man Gave Names to all the Animals/ In the beginning, in the beginning," and for the other we have, from the "The Ballad of Hollis Brown:" "Way out in the wilderness/ A cold coyote calls."

    By the way: I think it's hysterical that the forum software asterisked out the last 4 letters of the usual way to transliterate the last syllable of "b're****." I had to edit that to use a double "ee." I haven't thought about that juvenile pun since I was a kid giggling over it with my friends in Hebrew School!


    L.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
  14. If this were a game show I'd definitely give you credit for those answers (and throw in a "home game" to boot), which are far beyond my knowledge of the Torah. :) But the other two are out there in English. Perhaps the clue above will help. The question was answered over in the "Trouble No More" thread, so you should avoid that thread if you'd like to continue to puzzle it out.
     
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  15. lschwart

    lschwart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    I'll keep puzzling about the older one, but I still don't have my box, so I've been only glaring at that thread from time to time.....

    I'll let the answer surprise me when I get the box!

    L.
     
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  16. lschwart

    lschwart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    Alright, I gave up and used some digital aids to find the answers. Very clever, Ray! It actually turns out that there are two uses of "numbers," by the way!

    L.
     
  17. Wow, now I'VE got one to puzzle on! Don't tell me. :)
     
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  18. posnera

    posnera Forum Resident

    Looked it up. Way more fitting than “Joey”
     
  19. I convinced myself that the word "numbers" was in the song "Tempest" somewhere, but I was wrong (there is A number in there, of course - 1600). So I gave up and looked it up. I think I need to call semi-foul on this one, since the lyric as listed on bobdylan.com doesn't appear in either released version of the song. Or am I missing something?
     
  20. lschwart

    lschwart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    I used the search engine at dylanchords.com and came up with two, one of which posnera mentions. The other is more recent, but not as recent at "Tempest."

    L.
     
  21. We are talking about "Series of Dreams"? The line in the lyrics on bobdylan.com "numbers were burning" is replaced by "the surface was frozen" in both the BS1-3 version and the Tell Tale Signs version. I have a vague recollection of a circulating tape of "Series" outtakes but I think they were just mix and edit variations. It was a long time ago (the cassette era), I don't recall the details well. My advancing age is just another sign that my days are numbered. (and so are mine :))
     
  22. lschwart

    lschwart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    Yes. And you're right! The line with "numbers" seems to only exist in the official lyric and not on either of those released versions.

    L.
     
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  23. redsock

    redsock Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Interesting. .... Howbeit I'm deceived?
     
  24. segue

    segue Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hawai'i
    I've always thought Infidels was one of Dylan's best albums. The band is amazing. That little Mick Taylor guitar part at end of Sweetheart Like You is worth the price of the album. The out-takes were really good too. I like challenging, biting lyrics and I think this album is up there with Elvis Costello's "Armed Forces" in that regard. Bruce Cockburn is another artist who has incendiary political/religious lyrics and amazing guitar playing.
     
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  25. lschwart

    lschwart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    I know not how!

    L.
     

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