Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream

Guitar strumming, then I was riding on the Mayflower when I thought I spied some land—abruptly, laughter, and a voice cuts in: “Wait a minute; wait a minute.” Then, hysterical laughter all around.

Guitar again. This time, it takes off.

One beat before the vocal starts, Robbie Robertson bends root and fifth way up the neck of his Strat and Bob Dylan launches into the psychedelic story of his 115th dream.

Probably not possible to determine whether he really had this dream, or if he did, how much it was edited before becoming a song. Heisenberg probably doesn’t think we can translate our dreams into words anyway, so we do what we can.

During the next 6 minutes we meet:

  • Captain Arab (pronounced, very exaggeratedly, AY rab)
  • a cop who disapproves of selling harpoons
  • a Guernsey cow (takes a midwest boy to choose a Guernsey over a Jersey)
  • a handsome waitress (he’s wearing a powder blue cape)
  • an order of Suzette (could you please make that crepe?)
  • a girl from France
  • her angry boyfriend
  • an Englishman saying “Fab!”
  • a mortician (I repeated that my friends were all in jail, with a sigh. He handed me his card. He said “Call me if they die.”)
  • a foot in a phone booth
  • the Coast Guard
  • an emissary of the Pope of Eruke
  • the deputy sherrif
  • and some guy named Columbus

Y’know how in your dreams there always seems to be some meaning, something important, just beyond reach? While this has all Mother Goose’s signals and triggers, the social commentary and historical satire never quite surface.

It just seems to be goofy for the sake of goofy. Set to fun music, played well. Good enough for me.

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