Monday, March 25, 2013

The Bard: Stuck Inside of Mobile


Having moved to a bi-weekly theme format, this means we have the extended time-frame to post more than once during the window.
In the world of popular music, I suspect that for most of us, “the bard” equates to Bob Dylan;  in fact, a number of Dylan’s works include  Shakespearean references – some more direct than others. The Shakespeare reference in “Stuck Inside of Mobile …” is a straightforward in-your-face naming of the Bard:

Well, Shakespeare, he’s in the alley
With his pointed shoes and his bells
Speaking to some French girl
Who says she knows me well
So … tell me … “Shakespeare’s in the alley, with his pointed shoes and bells”… Picture this scene with me for a minute. An alley in 1600 or so. London? Pointed shoes and bells. So far, so good: I can see the scene. Probably kind of muddy. Uneven cobblestones most likely. A French girl? Possibly. Knows me well? Mmmm. Poetic license, I guess. Maybe had to have been there to know the rest of the story. But there’s so much more to the lyrics: this is just the part that has the direct reference to “the Bard”. How about “.. built a fire on Main Street and shot it full of holes”?
I got my prompt for selecting this song from a site that has many, many more Dylan/Shakespeare links that could be worth your time to explore if you are interested in the theme.
The musician performing the above-linked version – Owen Scott III – confesses that he wishes he had had more time to perfect his recording: it is yet another Soundcloud free download:  and a very decent rendition at that. In places his vocals ring like Johnny Cash – in others, more like John Prine, and hey: he’s generously giving it away. The ‘net says he is “psychologist by day, novelist and electric guitar playerby night.” From Baton Rouge.
Dylan’s Stuck Inside of Mobile appeared first on Blonde on Blonde – 1966 – and on some others after that (Greatest Hits …) Another of my favorite bands – the Dead – performed the song periodically in the 80s and 90s and there is a free live version of that here

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