Pod Dylan #58 – Sweetheart Like You

POD DYLAN

Episode 58 – Sweetheart Like You

Rob welcomes Bruce Carlson (MY HISTORY CAN BEAT UP YOUR POLITICS) to discuss “Sweetheart Like You”, the second track from 1983’s INFIDELS.

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6 responses to “Pod Dylan #58 – Sweetheart Like You

  1. I’ll preface this by saying 1) the only exposure I’ve had to this song is from this episode, and 2) this is my first attempt at the art of Dylan interpretation. That being said, the image that springs to my mind, listening to you go over the lyrics, is of a father “welcoming” his newborn daughter to the world, and explaining to her what kind of a place this is. In which case, the woman he once knew, that she reminds him of, would be her mother, who is no longer in the picture, for whatever reason.

    One thing I’ve learned to appreciate about Dylan, from this podcast, is that he gives his listeners plenty of space to bring their own meaning to his songs.

    Thanks you for another insightful and enjoyable episode.

  2. Yes!! I have been waiting for Pod Dylan to do a show on either Sweetheart Like You or In The Summertime – one down, one to go!

    Loved the discussion historical context and the acknowledgement of the range of potential interpretations.

    My two cents worth – i heat it as poem about Jesus, the “man of constant sorrow”, who, for just a time left his Father’s mansion to live in a dump like this, before heading north for a while.

    Yes…just for a while, because “He’s got plan of his own to set up his throne when He returns.”

    Great show once again. Thanks Pod Dylan and thanks Bob.

  3. I can’t add anything as, other than “Jokerman”, I don’t think I’ve listened to the songs on INFIDELS more than once. This song, though, is better than I remember, so thanks for revisiting it on the show.

    And Bruce was a terrific guest. Great conversation. Hope he comes back for future episodes.

  4. Sweetheart was a clerk in a builder’s supply company
    She cut keys, wrote fishing licenses, waited on electricians plumbers, landlords, old ladies looking for vacuum cleaner bags
    Before the big box chain stores arrived, you could walk in and buy one screw
    Some of the stock was as old as the owner
    Not much of it was packaged; it was bought and sold in bulk
    And everybody wanted to know
    Can you get it for me wholesale / hosale
    We used to call it Hong Kong Hardware
    It was like entering another country
    On those mornings she would trot through the front door and step into a stall
    Tip toe for a pull string and start the silver fluorescent day
    There were deep wooden drawers she could pull open halfway & sit with coffee
    Before it all came across the counter
    From duct tape to chalk line
    Rope, tools, chain, saws
    Paint, wrenches, hot water tanks
    Furnaces, fittings, extension ladders
    Copper, black iron, galvanized
    Pvc, abs, cpvc
    Pipe, boilers
    Nuts, bolts, nails
    Bits, wrenches, Ridgid tool calendars, welding hat liners
    Hole saws, circular saws, Sawzall’s,
    Blades, hacksaws, coping saws, caulking guns
    Rope, solder, cement mix
    The building had an ancient freight elevator
    By pulling on a rope, the wooden door closed like a guillotine
    You could drive a car into it
    Old timers remembered coming here to buy Pontiacs
    Sweetheart took a few rides with construction workers
    The third floor was hot, dirty, and, noisy
    It reminded her of a blacksmith shop
    A machine was fixed to the floor like a giant spider
    It cut and threaded depending on the application and the utility black iron and galvanized pipe
    The older guys did this messy job
    They looked like mechanics that just rolled out from under a car, rags hanging out of their pockets and when the order came through the register, it was oily

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