Highway 61 Revisited by Bob Dylan

Page 13 of 19   -   1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19   Purchase full notes for £6.95 (aprox $10.84)

‘How does it feel?’ has echoed around concert halls and stadiums for decades now, and it always seems to apply to everyone in the audience and not just to Miss Lonely. It apparently refers to Bob Dylan himself as well, as concert goers invariably sing it back to him with great gusto. Our own individual ‘fall’ into the liminal may be something that is delayed or put off until the time is ripe, but it cannot be escaped forever. Someday we too will know ‘how it feels’, if we don’t know already. It is notable that seemingly every character in ‘Like a Rolling Stone’ lives a life close to this threshold and its dangers. Life for those who have possessions and apparent security is presented as being just as precarious and illusory as it once was for Miss Lonely:

Princess on the steeple
And all the pretty people
That they got it made

Dylan’s ‘Princess on the steeple’ is clearly teetering on the brink of the same fall that has already changed the life of Miss Lonely, who was first ‘juiced’ by her ‘finest school’, and then by her ‘diplomat’ fiancé. There seems to be no happy-ever-after in the song for those on either side of the dividing line, and some sort of ‘fall’ into having ‘no direction home’ seems inevitable for these other characters. They may be ‘Thinkin’/ that they got it made’, but they’re sadly deceived.

That they might one day share in the experiences of Miss Lonely is not necessarily a bad thing. The railing, prophetic, nature of ‘Like a Rolling Stone’ implies that living through such a ‘fall’ may be the only way in which a true sense of one’s own existence can be attained, and the burden of that existence accepted and shouldered: Miss Lonely, for one, has certainly started discovering things the ‘finest school’ could never teach her. There, with all her privilege and status, she would never have been called by that name, but in her old life, with her fiancé and ‘pretty people’ friends, she was not actually living – at least not in the full existentialist sense – but searching for ‘alibis’ for not living, and for other people she could pay to ‘get [her] kicks for [her].’ There comes a point in the story of her life when she has to confront something real.

previous     next
Purchase full notes for £6.95 (aprox $10.84)

download  Highway 61 Revisited
the Unkindness of Ravens If you have found our critical notes helpful, why not try the first Tower Notes novel, a historical fantasy set in the time of the Anglo-Saxon invasions.

Available HERE where you can read the opening chapters.

The Unkindness of Ravens by Anthony Paul