Soon After Midnight - Bob Dylan

from the album Tempest (2012)

Have you ever found it difficult to express your love for someone in writing?  Why is it so hard?  It doesn't matter if its a love letter, a poem, or a note in a greeting card, but when you sit down to compose the right words to describe your most heartfelt feelings, the results make you realize just how inarticulate you are.

Bob Dylan is arguably the greatest living lyricist in western music. Even he finds it difficult, as he infers in the first verse of Soon After Midnight from his new album:

I'm searching of phrases
To sing your praises
I need to tell someone
It's soon after midnight
And my day has just begun

So rather than charge straight up the hill, Bob decides to show the many textures of love by singing about various partners like Holly who took his money, Charlotte the Harlot who dresses in scarlet, and Mary who dresses in mink.  In the end, he circles back to the song's recipient with:

It's now or never
More than ever
When I met you, I didn't think you'd do
It's soon after midnight
And I don't want nobody but you

No doubt I will be listening to this song for years to come.  Inside the lyrics, I will continue find undiscovered truths that bring context to life.  That is what makes it a Dylan song.

Comments

  1. The true trouble with expressing, or trying to express love for someone does not necessarily leave one inarticulate, but that the ability to encompass the fully experienced emotion within words has become such a lost art. One of the best examples was from Shakespeare - For where thou art, there is the world itself, and where thou art not, desolation. Simple, inverse cyclic, expressive - such as a tune for one that is loved.

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  2. I'm glad bob is in love. when it eds, the real poetry begins

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  3. So true Anonymous, as long as you are talking about the love (and not his life).

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