Saturday, August 09, 2008

Like A Hymn


Lay Down Your Weary Tune

Lay down your weary tune, lay down,
Lay down the song you strum,
And rest yourself 'neath the strength of strings
No voice can hope to hum.

Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
Lay down your weary tune, lay down,
Lay down the song you strum,
And rest yourself 'neath the strength of strings
No voice can hope to hum.

The ocean wild like an organ played,
The seaweed's wove its strands.
The crashin' waves like cymbals clashed
Against the rocks and sands.
Lay down your weary tune, lay down,
Lay down the song you strum,
And rest yourself 'neath the strength of strings
No voice can hope to hum.

I stood unwound beneath the skies
And clouds unbound by laws.
The cryin' rain like a trumpet sang
And asked for no applause.
Lay down your weary tune, lay down,
Lay down the song you strum,
And rest yourself 'neath the strength of strings
No voice can hope to hum.

The last of leaves fell from the trees
And clung to a new love's breast.
The branches bare like a banjo played
To the winds that listened best.

I gazed down in the river's mirror
And watched its winding strum.
The water smooth ran like a hymn
And like a harp did hum.
Lay down your weary tune, lay down,
Lay down the song you strum,
And rest yourself 'neath the strength of strings
No voice can hope to hum.


Poetry often bores me. I don't know, but it takes a lot for it to hold my interest. The metaphors in this song are against the usual cliche. Most contemporary lyrics aren't like this. Most are fairly predictable, and don't make the audience's minds get into motion. In other words, you don't have to actually listen. However, with Dylan, if you do, there is usually some kind of payoff.

Here, in this song, Dylan's voice is sweet and smooth and the delivery is, as always, heart felt. This song is a kind of window into how he sees music, that it is everywhere and that all creation contains music within it, songs that make his tunes seem weary and inferior, that in the overwhelming majesty of the sun, trees, river and ocean, he has no choice but be humble and lay it down. And this is a sort of puzzle for me, how the guy who could write "Like a Rolling Stone" and the "Ballad of a Thin Man" also wrote something amazingly, wrenchingly beautiful like this.

And the question that this song makes me ask, is Who put the music into creation? How did it get there?



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