Do you suffer from travel sickness? I think Bob Dylan does, but he likes it, the druggist. Or maybe not - those were the old days, before he chilled out. I've come to the conclusion from a cursory examination of his song Mr. Tambourine Man, and we will now examine it to test my hypothesis.
First he asks Mr. Tambourine Man to play him a song, because he's not sleepy and he's not going anywhere. Mentioning sleepiness suggests that it's late and he should be sleepy, so why doesn't he go for a walk to tire himself out? Perhaps the weather is bad. Or perhaps it's not late, but he's been prone to sleepiness, and he's happy that he isn't at the moment so he'd like a song.
We should address the issue of Mr. Tambourine Man himself. Is he a tambourine player? His name would suggest that he is, but tambourine players do not usually play songs, as such. Either he isn't a tambourine player, but he has the name for some other reason, perhaps he professionally plays tambourine for Bob but he also plays his own stuff on guitar or piano or something, and Bob's inviting him to do that. He says that he'll follow him in the jingle jangle morning, suggesting, although incoherently, that he's a guitarist, and that Bob will join in.
Bob then says that he knows that evening's empire has returned into sand, vanished from his hand, left him blindly there to stand but still not sleeping. I'm getting the sense here that Bob is full of it, that he is sleepy really, but he's claiming otherwise. Perhaps it's some sort of machismo thing, like "I can take any drugs, they don't affect me, I'm strong as an ox that's used to drugs." The only way I can interpret the thing about evening's empire returning into sand and vanishing from his hand is that it's late and most people have gone home, but he's all drugged and tired and babbling, and he can't say it normally.
He then says that his weariness amazes him and he's branded on his feet and he has no-one to meet and the ancient empty street's too dead for dreaming. This is probably like "wow, I'm tired, I never get tired, how extraordinary, I think I'll sit here and you can play a song, I've nothing else to do, I could go for a walk," here, with his druggy babbling he's unable to keep his story about whether he's tired or not straight, "but it will be all squares out there, or at least people less groovy than me, so I can't dig that." Him being 'branded on his feet', even more than the skedaddling empire of the evening leaving him blindly there to stand, is just nonsense.
Then he asks him to play for him again, he probably doesn't remember that he already asked him, and he also repeats his claim to not be sleepy and his offer to accompany him.
Then we get to the bit that gave me the travel sickness idea, which I've since gone off a bit, as it's not supported by anything else so far, not that he seems incapable of suddenly changing the subject. He asks him to take him on a trip upon his magic swirlin' ship. Maybe there's a druggist angle to the word 'ship'. Or maybe it is indeed that Bob likes a sickening sail. He then says that his senses have been stripped, his hands can't feel to grip, his toes are too numb to step and that they wait only for his boot heels to be wandering. This could be either that he's already very travel sick, perhaps the tale has jumped forward in time and cut to the voyage, or it could even more easily just be that he's drugged and tired. Whichever it is, he can't really handle it.
Then he says that he's ready to go anywhere (unless it's full of squares, like the street, he seems to have forgotten, I get the impression that if he ended up on the street he'd be completely oblivious to the concerns he expressed earlier). He then says he's ready to fade into his own parade, and asks Mr. Tambourine Man to cast his dancing spell his way, and promises to go under it. It sounds like he's not ready to go anywhere at all. It also sounds like he isn't going to be joining in. I don't think he's even going to be dancing to Mr. Tambourine Man's 'dancing spell'. What seems to be in Bob's mind right that second is that Mr. Tambourine Man should start playing a song on his guitar and Bob will fall asleep in less than a minute. But Bob, who as well as being druggy might be very drunk, as I don't know what drug has that effect, repeats for a third time his request that Mr. Tambourine Man play him a song and also his claim that he isn't sleepy and that he will join in.
We're only halfway through the song, so we should continue this tomorrow. But so far it's looking like my hypothesis was wrong, and that it's not really about travel sickness. It's looking more like it's a tale of being drunk and talking a load of nonsense and annoying one of his band. Tomorrow we will have a better idea if this is borne out or not. Can you wait? Well, you'll have to, give me a break. Jeez.
that's all from me for now
see you around
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