Tuesday, October 30, 2007

When The Ship Comes In

"Then they'll raise their hands
Sayin' we'll meet all your demands
But we'll shout from the bow your days are numbered!"
~ Bob Dylan

Today was a beautiful Indian Summer day. The sun was shining, and the air had that slightly cold crisp feeling that signals us that Autumn has come and Winter is not far away.

I was grocery shopping, exited the store, and as I walked to my car with my groceries, this song popped into my head. I don't know why. It has no special significance that I know of, and I don't remember seeing or hearing anything that reminded me of it, and yet, bits and pieces of the song came back to me as if I heard it for the first time yesterday. I hadn't heard it or even thought of it in years:

Bob Dylan is apolitical, meaning he doesn't make his political views public. He may be a Democrat, or he might not be. This song can be considered political by people who perceive special messages in music, but I prefer to just enjoy the music.

Here are the lyrics:

Oh the time will come up
When the winds will stop
And the breeze will cease to be breathin'
Like the stillness in the wind
'Fore the hurricane begins
The hours when the ship comes in.

And the seas will split
And the ship will hit
And the sands on the shoreline will be shaking
Then the tide will sound
And the wind will pound
And the morning will be breaking.

Oh the fishes will laugh
As they swim out of the path
And the seagulls they'll be smiling
And the rocks on the sand
Will proudly stand
The hour that the ship comes in.

And the words that are used
For to get the ship confused
Will not be understood as they're spoken
For the chains of the sea
Will have busted in the night
And will be buried at the bottom of the ocean.

A song will lift
As the mainsail shifts
And the boat drifts on to the shoreline
And the sun will respect
Every face on the deck
The hour that the ship comes in.

Then the sands will roll
Out a carpet of gold
For your weary toes to be a-touchin'
And the ship's wise men
Will remind you once again
That the whole wide world is watchin'.

Oh the foes will rise
With the sleep still in their eyes
And they'll jerk from their beds and think they're dreamin'
But they'll pinch themselves and squeal
And they'll know that it's for real
The hour that the ship comes in.

Then they'll raise their hands
Sayin' we'll meet all your demands
But we'll shout from the bow your days are numbered
And like Pharaoh's tribe
They'll be drownded in the tide
And like Goliath, they'll be conquered


Dan Trabue said...

I've never heard Dylan described as apolitical.

Mark said...

Well, Dan, maybe he isn't. I just remember he avoids talking about politics as often as possible. Many people say there are strong political messages in his music, but his lyrics are so ambiguous, it's hard to tell. I prefer to just enjoy the song rather than try to figure out what it's supposed to mean.

Dan Trabue said...

No, you're absolutely right. Dylan DOES avoid talking about politics and he often refuses to be put in a box.

But, as you note, his music is often quite political.

Thanks for introducing me to this song, I was unfamiliar with it. Good one.

I don't know what it means, either.

Lone Ranger said...

I've never gotten this guy. There are a lot of people who say Dylan changed their life. ??? I've had a lot of life-changing experiences, but listening to a singer has never been one of them.

Trader Rick said...

He departs from the written lyrics in at least four instances in this performance, but none is more significant than in the second stanza where the written lyrics read "and the wind will pound" but he sings "and the WAVES will pound", which indeed makes more sense, and if you give it some thought, really changes the whole direction of what he's trying to convey here...

Mark said...

Actually, I remembered the song as it was sung by Peter, Paul, and Mary, but the only video I found of their version was inadequate for two reasons. First, it was incomplete. The song stopped halfway through with the creator's disclaimer that he hadn't finished it yet. Second, the creator used images of George W Bush in unfavorable poses.

Unbelievable how prevalent BDS has become in this country.

The song was written long before Bush became president, so it certainly has nothing to do with him.

Mark said...

Didn't change my life either, LR. I just enjoy the music.

mudkitty said...

The times are indeed a changin.

Believe me, guys, don't kid yourselves. Robert is as liberal as they come.