Pod Dylan #100 – Tangled Up in Blue


Episode 100 - Tangled Up in Blue

For this special 100th episode, Rob welcomes back the host of DEFINITELY DYLAN, Laura Tenschert, to discuss the multiple versions of one of Bob Dylan's greatest works, the epic "Tangled Up in Blue", the opening song to 1975's BLOOD ON THE TRACKS.

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3 responses to “Pod Dylan #100 – Tangled Up in Blue

  1. Terrific episode. Surprised that you picked such an average song for your 100th but I think you guys made the most of it!! Love definitelydylan so the combo here between you was great. My 2 cents worth is that somewhere in the “slaves’ metaphor is a reference to the effects of addiction on someone. I know the interpretation doesn’t make complete sense but the language of “dealing” and freezing up inside, of “selling everything she owned” and “withdrawn” all suck me into that image. It fits into the idea of the sixties and Dylan emerging intact from a scene that destroyed a few people. One day we will find out it was about an ice cream parlor on the corner and Bob had to get out of there before he put on weight!!

  2. Fantastic episode from two great minds on the topic. You dwelled a lot on the dancer as if she was one of the focal points. Just before that stanza, he writes ‘I seen a lot of women . . .’ and then proceeds to give an example of one. The dancer only serves to make the point that he ‘studied the side of her face’ because his heart is elsewhere. Even when she invites him back to her place and creates an intimate moment (well put, Laura), the poetry catches fire with memories of the heroin-like rush to the heart that his true love had brought him. ‘She just reminded me you were the one.’ The dancer is only relevant for a moment. What matters is what’s in his heart.

  3. Another captivating discussion! I am not a dedicated Dylan fan, per se, but this is one of my favorite songs, and I greatly enjoyed reading the book “A Simple Twist of Fate.” I have some observations about this dialogue. Even though I just wrote that I am not a Dylan “fan” I do appreciate excellent literary analysis! I like Laura’s interpretations, but I am of the opinion that the single feminine pronoun in the song always refers to the same person. The story I’ve constructed is: the singer meets the woman and her husband, and ends up living with them. As their relationship ends, the singer “keeps on keeping on” and convinces the woman to come with him, (perhaps with a little too much force, but she was frozen up inside and may have needed the extra encouragement). Her parents, already disappointed by the failure of her marriage, and perhaps finding divorce distasteful, are not excited about this new man in her life. They travel together, but eventually split up, re-unite, and mysteriously split up again, yet he feels that she is the one for him and he’s got to get to her somehow.
    Like Rob, I prefer to hear that they “split up on the docks that night.” It make it feel like they drove all the way across the country, and when they ran out of road, they ran out of time.
    Finally, after all the discussion about the alternate lyrics, and different performances of it, it struck me that you never discussed the title! Why “Blue?” It’s not “the blues,” it’s JUST “Blue.” I’d love to hear Laura’s take on that!
    Also lastly, after Rob talked with Joan Osbourne about this song, I got the idea that I’d like to interpret it, or hear someone interpret it, by changing the key every time the lyric changes in time. For instance, the first two lines are happening right now. The next verse happens some time in the past, so that would be in a different key. The next two verses, the reunion, are later than the previous verse, but still before the first. So that’s another key. Then we go back further in time, to Montague Street, so that’s yet another key change! One of these days I’ll get around to it.

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