Black and White and Technicolor: An Interpretation of, “Desolation Row”
Bob Dylan is an artist whose impact was so great, that it still seems as though his music was just released; but, in fact, it is safe to say some people may have lived and died since the release of the song, “Desolation Row”. He is widely considered to be one of the, if not the greatest poet of the twentieth century. It is for this reason that scholars and fans alike are (even today) still examining and interpreting, “Desolation Row”. The audience can infer that “Desolation Row” is a place, but where exactly is not certain. Perhaps it is a state-of-mind or the world in general. The excellence of this particular work is that it is so extremely open to interpretation even over different cultures and generations – a quality that all great works of music and lyrics include. Excellent music is music that is relatable by many, but more importantly, that one is able to find a personal significance with it. When many people can achieve this level of oneness with a work, the work can then be considered a work of genius (in the literal sense of the word). Some possible reasons why this work is so incorrigible will be examined. For the sake of simplicity and time, every instance there is an example of a highly relatable notion, it will be marked with an asterisk.*
References to the music industry seem to be a common theme throughout the first part of the song. This is one of the very greatest qualities of Bob Dylan’s songwriting – he is able to step outside the box and examine himself as a musician as well as the music business for faults and hypocrisy which helps progress the industry as well as captivate the audience. The inclusiveness of the fairy tale figure, Cinderella is possibly important because she is a well-known character who started with nothing and in the blink of an eye was given everything. This isn’t uncommon in the music business. In fact, it is the most common scenario for a...
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