Sunday, January 18, 2009


"Ballad of Hollis Brown", a song by Bob Dylan that I've only heard on my stereo, but quite something to see him, at barely 20 years old, perform. It was a television show "Folk and More Folk" on March 1963, with cardboard props and all, yet Dylan tells the tragic story so compellingly that it doesn't just draw us in-- by the end of the song, we are in Hollis' shoes. Feel that chill go down your spine? That is what set Bob Dylan apart from everyone else in the genre. He sings the song with such restraint that the lyrics come alive.

I wouldn't know how to do this, telling a story in such a way that would affect an audience to not applaude, but be hushed in reverence, like a lamentation deserves.

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