In Praise of "Shooting Star"
"Shooting Star", the last track off Bob Dylan's brilliant album Oh Mercy, is one of the finest, most beautiful songs the he has ever wrote. It's a simply delivered tune, never losing it's fluidity. Bob, here, is full of reflective emotion, directness, and contemplation. Not a word is wasted. It feels like the song could cut through the haze of a smoky bar, right through the confusion and straight to the heart of the matter. It is, in equal parts, a last dance with a lover and a profound moment of graceful clarity. In it you will find no malice, just a clear heart and a few genius turns of phrase ("seen a shooting star tonight/ and I thought of you", and "seen a shooting star tonight/ and I thought of me").
The shooting star-a moment of natural wonder- is the impetus here for thoughts about past loves, oneself, and the world at large. Here, Bob documents a moment of time and space, nature, love, and personal confession. After all, he said himself that he is a confessional, not a professional songwriter.
Whatever type of writer he is, this song proves his wonders, and his unique ability to write a tune that reaches out to the great beyond while still looking inward.
Listen below for a short song that perhaps is the most underrated tune in Bob Dylan's catalogue. It's simply beautiful, and perfect: