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Desolation Row


They're selling postcards of the hanging, they're painting the passports brown

The beauty parlor is filled with sailors, the circus is in town

Here comes the blind commissioner, they've got him in a trance

One hand is tied to the tight-rope walker, the other is in his pants

And the riot squad they're restless, they need somewhere to go

As Lady and I look out tonight, from Desolation Row


Cinderella, she seems so easy, "It takes one to know one, " she smiles

And puts her hands in her back pockets Bette Davis style

And in comes Romeo, he's moaning. "You Belong to Me I Believe"

And someone says, "You're in the wrong place, my friend, you'd better leave"

And the only sound that's left after the ambulances go

Is Cinderella sweeping up on Desolation Row


Now the moon is almost hidden, the stars are beginning to hide

The fortune telling lady has even taken all her things inside

All except for Cain and Abel and the hunchback of Notre Dame

Everybody is making love or else expecting rain

And the Good Samaritan, he's dressing, he's getting ready for the show

He's going to the carnival tonight on Desolation Row


Ophelia, she's 'neath the window for her I feel so afraid

On her twenty-second birthday she already is an old maid

To her, death is quite romantic she wears an iron vest

Her profession's her religion, her sin is her lifelessness

And though her eyes are fixed upon Noah's great rainbow

She spends her time peeking into Desolation Row


Einstein, disguised as Robin Hood with his memories in a trunk

Passed this way an hour ago with his friend, a jealous monk

Now he looked so immaculately frightful as he bummed a cigarette

And he when off sniffing drainpipes and reciting the alphabet

You would not think to look at him, but he was famous long ago

For playing the electric violin on Desolation Row


Dr. Filth, he keeps his world inside of a leather cup

But all his sexless patients, they're trying to blow it up

Now his nurse, some local loser, she's in charge of the cyanide hole

And she also keeps the cards that read, "Have Mercy on His Soul"

They all play on the penny whistles, you can hear them blow

If you lean your head out far enough from Desolation Row


Across the street they've nailed the curtains, they're getting ready for the feast

The Phantom of the Opera in a perfect image of a priest

They are spoon feeding Casanova to get him to feel more assured

Then they'll kill him with self-confidence after poisoning him with words

And the Phantom's shouting to skinny girls, "Get outta here if you don't know"

Casanova is just being punished for going to Desolation Row"


At midnight all the agents and the superhuman crew

Come out and round up everyone that knows more than they do

Then they bring them to the factory where the heart-attack machine

Is strapped across their shoulders and then the kerosene

Is brought down from the castles by insurance men who go

Check to see that nobody is escaping to Desolation Row


Praise be to Nero's Neptune, the Titanic sails at dawn

Everybody's shouting, "Which side are you on?!"

And Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot fighting in the captain's tower

While calypso singers laugh at them and fishermen hold flowers

Between the windows of the sea where lovely mermaids flow

And nobody has to think too much about Desolation Row


Yes, I received your letter yesterday, about the time the doorknob broke

When you asked me how I was doing, was that some kind of joke

All these people that you mention, yes, I know them, they're quite lame

I had to rearrange their faces and give them all another name

Right now, I can't read too good, don't send me no more letters no

Not unless you mail them from Desolation Row


Bob Dylan, 1965

Autoria e outros dados (tags, etc)

publicado às 22:12

Este domingo aproveita-se a oportunidade da atribuição do Nobel da Literatura a Bob Dylan para sete postados dedicar a sete músicos cuja obra literária atinge igual cume: José Afonso, Chico Buarque, Georges Brassens, Jacques Brell, Leo Ferré, Leonard Cohen e o Nobel deste ano.

Autoria e outros dados (tags, etc)

publicado às 22:49

Para os distraídos

por Tempos Modernos, em 15.10.16

Caso não se tenha reparado, além de um projecto frustrado, Tempos Modernos é o nome de um filme de Charles Chaplin, de uma revista de Jean-Paul Sartre e de um álbum de Bob Dylan.

Autoria e outros dados (tags, etc)

publicado às 14:09

Abusos semânticos

por Tempos Modernos, em 15.10.16

O termo cantautor é um neologismo horroroso e, por estes dias, lá se teve de levar com ele por causa de Bob Dylan. Nos anos em que editei textos de lazer e cultura, limpei-o sempre que me apareceu à frente.


É uma salganhada semântica importada e soa mal como o raio. Um por outro ainda podia passar, mas não havia edição nenhuma em que não se acumulassem cantautores, exposições patentes e subidas ao palco.


Ainda por cima anda aí um anúncio de concerto onde se chama cantautor a um produto de pimbo-pop adolescente chamado Shawn Mendes. Com Dylan na ribalta, usar o termo onde se torna impossível aplicá-lo é mesmo não ter qualquer respeito pelo ouvido das pessoas.


Autoria e outros dados (tags, etc)

publicado às 10:21

Dylan e Buarque

por Tempos Modernos, em 13.10.16

Agora que deram o Nobel da Literatura a um cantor, será que lhes ocorre dar o Camões a Chico Buarque?

Autoria e outros dados (tags, etc)

publicado às 12:22

Público errava esta manhã ao dizer que nenhum escritor masculino norte-americano vencia o Nobel da Literatura desde John Steinbeck, em 1962. Apenas se lembrariam de Toni Morrison, uma mulher negra.


Agora, com a há muito anunciada vitória de Bob Dylan podem fazer antes outra estatística. Para os Estados Unidos, desde que John Steinbeck venceu o Nobel da Literatura em 1962, o prémio foi entregue quatro vezes a autores homens de origem judaica (Saul Bellow, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Josip Brodsky, Dylan) e a uma mulher de origem africana.





Autoria e outros dados (tags, etc)

publicado às 12:12

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