Part 2: Reviewing the Carefree Period


For a review of "part 1" of Dylan's carefree period, click here.

PART II

4. "I Shall be Released"
A true Dylan classic that is also covered by the Band, but the version released on Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits Volume II is the real keeper. Under the guise of writing about a prisoner trapped in jail, Bob makes an argument for a sort of pessimistic optimism over a clear spread of acoustic guitars. It's sort of a wandering lullaby, a sing along song from the woods, as you wander around the corner and see that "light come shining".

5. "You Ain't Going Nowhere"
Much like "I Shall be Released", this song was composed with the Band and represents yet another great collaborative sing-along penned by Dylan. The song's title aptly describes the music, here, as it meanders slowly, never veering off track from its sweet melody. It's a lazy, content song, basking in the sunshine of the countryside. Dylan's lyric, "we'll climb that bridge after it's gone/ after we're way past it" (on the superior version of the song released on The Essential Bob Dylan) is about as metaphysical as it gets, presenting a nonlinear structure of time and a firm belief in the futility of progress as assessed by earthly standards.

6. "Father of Night"
Rumored to be a based off a Jewish prayer, "Father of Night" features Bob playing a repetitive piano, belting out a tune concerning, not surprisingly, nature. Here, it's almost as if Bob attempted to combine Wordsworth with theology, This song ultimately sees God as the action that propels time forward, thus Dylan elects to mention that God is the "father of minutes, father of days" at the end of the song. This song represents a much different form of spiritual reflection than Bob has had before or since.

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