Pod Dylan #193 – One More Cup of Coffee (Valley Below)


Rob welcomes Bobcat Jesse Scott to discuss "One More Cup of Coffee (Valley Below)", from 1976's DESIRE.

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One response to “Pod Dylan #193 – One More Cup of Coffee (Valley Below)

  1. I listened to this episode specifically because I was familiar with the White Stripes cover and wanted some “company” while working on projects. Before today, I hadn’t bothered with the Dylan original, but was intrigued when Rob said he didn’t like it. I confess that I stopped regularly listening to the show when it became clear that it didn’t need any help with growing an audience, and because my enjoyment of Dylan is comparatively shallow. I acknowledge that he’s one of the greatest singer-songwriters, and could make for a killer multi-album “best of” retrospective or covers collection, but I frankly get tired of hearing the man himself– especially on deeper cuts. It also bugged me that the podcast would usually wait until the end to play a clip of a song I likely had either never heard or couldn’t easily recall, and that was before the Spotify pall dropped those types of clips from most shows. Since I often listen to podcasts while driving, it just didn’t make much sense to listen to people talking about songs I lacked any prior investment or context regarding. So of course when I come back, it’s for a song I do know while sitting at a computer that allowed for ready recall of the number. I did Google the original, and I quite like the arrangement, but I can barely understand a word Dylan sings on the damned thing. Since the instrumentation is quite nice, I assume that’s Rob’s disconnect? Anyway, I knew the words well enough from Jack White’s stripped down arrangement, which is certainly more rustic and mournful. It seems to me to be another short story portion in song, not necessarily requiring meaning beyond the painting of mental pictures. Fantasy literature was in vogue at the time, so I wonder if Dylan was inspired to dally about in that matter without going full “The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins” about it. Very tasteful approach, if so. I do think the valley is in the shadow of death, and after trying a sampling of covers online, still find the Stripes best reflects that interpretation.


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