Pod Dylan #87 – She Belongs To Me

POD DYLAN

Episode 87 – She Belongs To Me

Rob welcomes fellow BobCat and blogger Elizabeth Sutton to discuss “She Belongs To Me”, the second song from 1965’s BRINGING IT ALL BACK HOME.

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4 responses to “Pod Dylan #87 – She Belongs To Me

  1. Thanks Elizabeth and Rob. I have to disagree (and I promise I haven’t recently been dumped by anyone, not even my wife after 106 listens to MYBOMM!!) and admit that I am in the camp that this is not a straight forward love song. I think its got too many ambiguities, bowing and peeking and saluting and being a walking antique to be read as a homage. I hear you both that it could be that but seems Love Minus Zero does that job on the album. Enjoyed the discussion and it made me think about how this might be just one dimensional but I couldn’t quite get there! That’s the great thing about Dylan songs; they lend themselves often to different kinds of opposing reads while having a foot in each of many possible interpretations.

  2. Great episode!

    This is a beautiful song that for whatever reason I always forget about or neglect, so I appreciate the reminder. I’ve been listening to it a lot since this episode.

  3. I do not recall just how this thread went, but the song She
    Belongs To Me was written in 1965, the year Bob Dylan
    married Shirley Noznisky [aka Sara Lowndes] the Playboy
    bunny. He adopted her [and Victor Lowndes’] three year old
    daughter Maria in 1965. Now the weak point of Kent Crispin’s
    theory is that the song predates the marriage and adoption,
    but it could have been written when both were being
    planned…

    She belongs to me in the sense that she is my child by adoption.

    I believe EDLIS lists it as:

    She Belongs To Me
    / Bob Dylan
    [Bringing It All Back Home – 1965]
    [For: Maria Lowndes [later: Dylan] aged 3]

    From: ke…@phoenix.ocf.llnl.gov (Kent J Crispin)
    Subject: Re: She Belongs To Me
    Date: 5 Jun 92 20:20:12 GMT
    Organization: Lawrence Livermore Nat’l Lab.

    …also the lyrics had “I’ll bow down to her on Sunday”, etc. it’s more
    like Dylan is addressing somebody else who acts like her pet dog.
    this song doesn’t paint either of them very positively, in my opinion,
    but it doesn’t particularly attack her either.

    Hmm. It’s just how you look at it, I guess. I always thought that this
    was a song about an infant daughter (he did have a daughter, didn’t
    he?), and, with that interpretation, I find it rather beautiful and
    touching:

    She’s got everything she needs she’s an artist she don’t look back
    She’s got everything she needs she’s an artist she don’t look back
    She can take the dark out of the nighttime and paint the daytime black.
    [a tiny child with a vivid imagination, and living within her imaginary
    world…]

    You will start out standing, proud to steal her anything she sees
    You will start out standing, proud to steal her anything she sees
    But you will wind up peeking through a keyhole down upon your knees.
    [you are very proud of her, but she has her own child’s agenda, and your
    pride is really immaterial…]

    She never stumbles she’s got no place to fall
    She never stumbles she’s got no place to fall
    She is nobody’s child, [the] law can’t touch her at all.
    [She isn’t old enough to be embarrassed, etc. And of course, the law doesn’t
    hold 3 year old children responsible for anything…]

    She wears an Egyptian ring that sparkles before she speaks
    She wears an Egyptian ring that sparkles before she speaks
    She’s a hypnotist collector, you are a [her] walking antique.
    [I have this image of a little girl holding her sparkling toy ring in your
    face, because she is caught up in the magic of sparkles…and of course a
    walking antique is what every parent is…]

    Bow to her on Sunday, salute her when her birthday comes
    Bow to her on Sunday, salute her when her birthday comes
    For Halloween buy her a trumpet and for Christmas give her a [big] drum.

    Of course, I don’t know what Dylan “really” meant by this song. But this
    is an interpretation that fits for me.

    Kent

    Kent Crispin

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