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Top Five Bob Dylan Song Characters Who Would Make For Great Comic Books

With the recent announcement that there is going to be a comic book based on the songs of Tori Amos, I figured it made some sense to revisit this top five, for those who missed it the first time around last year. – BC

Bob Dylan’s songs have tons of interesting characters in them, and here are the top five who would best make the transition from song form to their own comic book!

Enjoy!

Honorable Mentions

Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum (from the song “Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum”)

These guys remind me a lot of Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s Good Ol’ Boys, Jody and TC, from Preacher.

The problem being, of course, while they might make for good comic book CHARACTERS, they wouldn’t exactly be able to carry their own comic book.

But still,

Tweedle-dee Dum and Tweedle-dee Dee
They’re throwing knives into the tree
Two big bags of dead man’s bones
Got their noses to the grindstones

and

Tweedle-dee Dee is a lowdown, sorry old man
Tweedle-dee Dum, he’ll stab you where you stand
“I’ve had too much of your company,”
Says, Tweedle-dee Dum to Tweedle-dee Dee

That’s pretty badass.

The Narrator (from “She’s Your Lover Now”)

This one would be a very different than normal book, something I think Andi Watson could probably handle well.

Here, we have a guy who is broken up with his girlfriend, but her current boyfriend is coming to him for help – isn’t that an interesting set-up for a series?

A woman in trouble, her lover wants to help her, but he can’t, so he is forced to turn to the one man he would never want to go to – her former boyfriend, who meanwhile is forced into a strange position, he loves her enough to want to help her, but the pain is rough.

There could be many a heartfelt issue of a series exploring these characters’ interactions.

Just check out the first verse, and see how the narrator interacts with both the girlfriend (who he has a good deal of history with) and the new boyfriend…

The pawnbroker roared
Also, so, so did the landlord
The scene was so crazy, wasn’t it?
Both were so glad
To watch me destroy what I had
Pain sure brings out the best in people, doesn’t it?
Why didn’t you just leave me if you didn’t want to stay?
Why’d you have to treat me so bad?
Did it have to be that way?
Now you stand here expectin’ me to remember somethin’ you forgot to say
Yes, and you, I see you’re still with her, well
That’s fine ’cause she’s comin’ on so strange, can’t you tell?
Somebody had better explain
She’s got her iron chain
I’d do it, but I, I just can’t remember how
You talk to her
She’s your lover now.

That’s some drama right there!!

5. (tie) The Narrator (from “Up to Me”) and The Narrator (from “Tangled Up In Blue”)

In both cases, the narrators are resolute gentlemen who are willing to “keep on keepin’ on,” no matter how perilous the journey may be, while they differ slightly in the fact that the nomad of “Up To Me” does not seem to have the same definitive goal of the traveler of “Tangled Up In Blue,” who is determined to get back to the his red-haired girl.

In either event, each character seems like they could get a good Jonah Hex-esque book going, where they travel from town to town, getting into various and sundry bits of trouble.

I guess, if I had to choose, the fact that the “Tangled Up in Blue” guy has a more definitive goal, he probably would get the nod as the better idea for a book.

Still, look at some of the “Up To Me” guy’s story…

Oh, the Union Central is pullin’ out and the orchids are in bloom,
I’ve only got me one good shirt left and it smells of stale perfume.
In fourteen months I’ve only smiled once and I didn’t do it consciously,
Somebody’s got to find your trail,
I guess it must be up to me.

Now THAT’s a character, eh?

Still, the set-up for the “Tangled Up In Blue” plot IS pretty tight…

She was married when we first met
Soon to be divorced
I helped her out of a jam, I guess,
But I used a little too much force.
We drove that car as far as we could
Abandoned it out West
Split up on a dark sad night
Both agreeing it was best.
She turned around to look at me
As I was walkin’ away
I heard her say over my shoulder,
“We’ll meet again someday on the avenue,”
Tangled up in blue.

Hard to match such a simple, yet forceful set-up.

4. The Narrator (from “When I Paint My Masterpiece”)

The Narrator from “When I Paint My Masterpiece” is a nomad, just like the fellows from the above ranking, but he is less of an obsessed nomad, and more of a guy just making his way around the world biding his time until he paints his masterpiece – and just having fun in the meantime.

It reminds me of Jack of Fables a lot.

Listen to this guy’s lot in life…

Oh, the hours I’ve spent inside the Coliseum,
Dodging lions and wastin’ time.
Oh, those mighty kings of the jungle, I could hardly stand to see ‘em,
Yes, it sure has been a long, hard climb.
Train wheels runnin’ through the back of my memory,
When I ran on the hilltop following a pack of wild geese.
Someday, everything is gonna be smooth like a rhapsody
When I paint my masterpiece.

Doesn’t that sound like a fun comic book?

3. The Narrator (from “Brownsville Girl”)

This song, Dylan co-wrote with the playwright Sam Shepard, so it should come as no surprise that it has a great narrative sense to it.

Set in Texas (duh, it IS Shepard he was working with!), the song is filled with a tale of corrupt backwater towns (“Even the swap meets around here are getting pretty corrupt.”), and a bunch of lowlifes finding each other. It is all wrapped up in a great framing device, the narrator keeps coming back to the Gregory Peck film, The Gunslinger.

Here’s some of the scenes where the narrator finds love…

Well, you saw my picture in the Corpus Christi Tribune. Underneath it, it said, “A man with no alibi.”
You went out on a limb to testify for me, you said I was with you.
Then when I saw you break down in front of the judge and cry real tears,
It was the best acting I saw anybody do.

Now I’ve always been the kind of person that doesn’t like to trespass but sometimes you just find yourself over the line.
Oh if there’s an original thought out there, I could use it right now.
You know, I feel pretty good, but that ain’t sayin’ much. I could feel a whole lot better,
If you were just here by my side to show me how.

It reminds me a lot of Jason Aaron’s Scalped.

A lot of literary gold to be mined in the backroads of Texas.

2. The Denizens of Desolation Row (from “Desolation Row”)

Desolation Row is a lot like Fabletown, so I think you could easily make a good comic just exploring the depths of Desolation Row, all across the backdrop of the narrator of the song, who is trying to get his love to move to Desolation Row with him. Maybe that could be the start of the series? Her moving to Desolation Row, and trying to adjust to it.

Then again, with the last words we see him send to her in the song, maybe their love would be more interesting if they stayed apart?

Yes, I received your letter yesterday
(About the time the door knob broke)
When you asked how I was doing
Was that some kind of joke?
All these people that you mention
Yes, I know them, they’re quite lame
I had to rearrange their faces
And give them all another name
Right now I can’t read too good
Don’t send me no more letters no
Not unless you mail them
From Desolation Row

The Narrator would make for a great lead, wouldn’t he?

1. The Jack of Hearts (from “Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts”)

This is almost a bit unfair, as even Dylan recognized that the Jack of Hearts was one of the best characters he ever created, at least in terms of adapting, as Dylan himself commissioned a screenplay featuring the character.

The Jack of Hearts is a con man and a thief in the Old West, and he gets caught up in a game of revenge by a diamond mine owner, his wife and his mistress.

It’s quite a fun song, and one of Dylan’s best story songs, and MAN, is Jack of Hearts cool.

After the Jack of Hearts enters the gambling room, stopping play for a moment…

He moved across the mirrored room, “Set it up for everyone,” he said,
Then everyone commenced to do what they were doin’ before he turned their heads.
Then he walked up to a stranger and he asked him with a grin,
“Could you kindly tell me, friend, what time the show begins?”
Then he moved into the corner, face down like the Jack of Hearts.

So smooth.

But the clincher is this verse…

Lily’s arms were locked around the man that she dearly loved to touch,
She forgot all about the man she couldn’t stand who hounded her so much.
“I’ve missed you so,” she said to him, and he felt she was sincere,
But just beyond the door he felt jealousy and fear.
Just another night in the life of the Jack of Hearts.

“Just another night in the life of the Jack of Hearts.”

If so, then that’s quite a life – and one I’d sure like to read a comic book about.

Okay, that’s my top five! Agree? Disagree? Let me know!

57 Comments

I think that you’ve written a hell of an article here. They do sound like great concepts for books. I wish more people knew about comics as a medium for stories like this. I actually sent this article to my girlfriend who loves Bob Dylan. I’m in the process of trying to get her to understand comics and I think this will help her get the potential of comics for great stories.

And Dylan’s Jack of Hearts is much more of a bad ass than that horrible exploding Avengers character.

Maybe it’s just because they’re the only two songs on the list I know, but I agree that “Tangled Up in Blue” and “Desolation Row” would make awesome comics.

I also think Grant Morrison could spin a freaky-as-hell mini series out of “Ballad of a Thin Man.”

SEAN

But.. but.. capes.

I think it’s funny that you quote the one verse of ‘Lily, Rosemary, and the Jack of Hearts’ the Dylan doesn’t actually sing in the song.

Also, the piano-demo version of ‘She’s Your Lover Now’ is better, and actually complete (though some of the lyrics are different).

Tweeter and the Monkey Man (v. similar in some ways to Lily R & J). Ballad in Plain D. Bob’s 119th dream (that *must* be an issue of Zap or something)

Didn’t Morrison use “Ballad of a Thin Man” in Doom Patrol?
“You know something is happening,
but you don’t know what it is…
do you, Mr. Jones?”

I seem to remember a friend of mine back in college had a graphic novel which featured a bunch of grateful dead songs done up as comics. Unfortunately I don’t have any clear recollection on who did the art.

I think Sondheim musicals should be made into comics books…

…oh wait, “Fables”…hmm.

What?!?!?

No honorable mention to the Joker and the Thief?

I mean, I know that song is over-expossed; but dammit, every line is a classic! Fine, no reason to get excited. After that whole Robin-List fiasco there are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke.

Now, if only I could find some way out of here!

Lily, Rosemary, and the Jack of Hearts and Desolation Row would’ve been on my list too, great article!

My Picks, featuring two Jaques Levy collaborations and three western-themed tunes:
Tryin’ To Get To Heaven
It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)
Idiot Wind
Isis
Romance in Durango
Senor (Tales of Yankee Power)

Black Lutefisk

May 3, 2007 at 11:12 am

I read this entire list expecting Ballad of the Thin Man to be there. Wow.

Someone could have some metaphor fun with Maggie’s Farm also….

Quinn the Eskimo

The Narrator from “Isis”

The narrator of “If you see her, say hello” would be a great Vertigo character. Come to think of it, so would the narrator of “Idiot Wind” and the characters in “A Simple Twist of Fate.” That’s it: the whole Blood on the Tracks album could spawn an entire line.

Not often that I get to read about two great loves, comics and Dylan songs, in one place. I’m going to reread some Griel Marcus tonight, with this in mind.

=Heh= How about Elvis Costello songs next week?

Don’t forget Frankie Lee and Judas Priest. I also think the narrator from “Idiot Wind” would make a good EC or Spectre type character– giving women their “just desserts”, at least as he sees it.

I think it’s funny that you quote the one verse of ‘Lily, Rosemary, and the Jack of Hearts’ the Dylan doesn’t actually sing in the song.

He sings it in the original version of the song! :)

And I dig the incomplete “rock” version of “She’s Your Lover Now” more than the piano one, but I like both of them!!

I guess I should have spent some time on the characters I chose, for whatever reason, NOT to use.

Joey from “Joey,” I omitted because it’s not exactly a Dylan character, right? It’s a real dude that Dylan just wrote a song about (same deal for John Wesley Harding).

Mr. Jones from “Ballad of a Thin Man,” I left off because I just don’t see the guy sustaining his own series. I mean, he’s not exactly a Spider Jerusalem. The point of the song is that Mr. Jones is totally lame, right?

The Narrator from “Isis,” yeah, that’s probably a good call. He could fit in well with the Narrators from “Up To Me” and “Tangled Up In Blue.”

I didn’t even consider Travelin Wilburys songs, but yeah, Tweeter and the Monkey Man would work well.

Did you know that “Ballad in Plain D” is the one song Dylan says he is sorry he wrote? He was cruel in there to Suze Rotolo’s sister, Carla, leading to Dylan saying in the Biograph interviews, “I must have been a real schmuck to write that.” Beyond that, though, I don’t see the “Ballad in Plain D” characters as maintaining a sustainable narrative. What do you think, Mike?

And yeah, I suppose any of Dylan’s wacky “Dream” songs could sustain at least a mini-series.

I dunno, Red Rickey, I don’t see the guys from “All Along the Watchtower” carrying their own series, but I could be wrong there.

I considered “Maggie’s Farm,” and almost had it as an honorable mention (but I hate clogging up these things with tons of honorable mentions).

Dan, when I first thought of this, Quinn the Eskimo was totally on the list, but re-reading the lyrics, there is just not as much there to really sustain a character the same way these other songs do. But yeah, I COULD see him as a sort of “Archie” character.

Good call, Mikesensei, about how practically the entire Blood on the Tracks ALBUM would make for a series of good characters. Wasn’t “Up To Me” also left off that album? Imagine if that was there, too!!

Frankie Lee and Judas Priest stand out as characters, I just couldn’t think of anything to do with them.

Brilliant. Just…brilliant.

Please do more like these.

How about the narrator from “One More Cup of Coffee (Valley Bellow)?” He seems like a classic lone rider type.

Better yet, how about the clairvoyant-savant intended from the same song, and her whole strange family:

“Your daddy he’s an outlaw
And a wanderer by trade
He’ll teach you how to pick and choose
And how to throw the blade.
He oversees his kingdom
So no stranger does intrude
His voice it trembles as he calls out
For another plate of food.”

Good stuff.

Or hey, how about “Hurricane?” It’s almost as though it were based on a true story…

“All Along the Watchtower” and “Shelter From the Storm” have always reminded me of Barry Smith Conan comics.

I dunno, Red Rickey, I don’t see the guys from “All Along the Watchtower” carrying their own series, but I could be wrong there.

Mmmm… in my mind, the song brings forth memories of Jimmy Hendrix’s music, mixed in with Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven storyline and told by Newman and Redford’s Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

So sure, it’s been done before; and been done great. But when I think of the Joker and Thief bringing their own kind of justice to the Princes; I think Butch and Sundance. And who wouldn’t buy that.

Then again, it’s a Dylan song, so maybe I misunderstood it. (Kinda like that time I misunderstood Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s “Relax”)

Dan (other Dan)

May 3, 2007 at 3:12 pm

Subterranean Homesick Blues would make for a good plot, as would John Brown. How about the Drifter from Drifter’s Escape–legal intrigue, allies and enemies, judge and jury at odds, and the wrath of God to top it off.

Up to Me and Shelter from the Storm I always considered to be a sort of continuous story, seeing as the music is very close and the latter replaced the former on the finished album; I think together they would work better. Up to Me fills in the “Now there’s a wall between us, somethin’ there’s been lost/I took too much for granted, got my signals crossed” verse.

I once hallucinated part of Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again, so I’ll vouch for that working in a visual medium.

This post got me super excited–way to go!

Dan (other Dan)

May 3, 2007 at 3:19 pm

If poster #1 is gone I’m going to go back to being just “Dan” now!

“Please do more like these.”
-T.

I nominate Pink Floyd. Very few bands have had such a twisted menagerie of characters feature into their highly theatrical and story-oriented music (OK, The Who).

Plus, I want to see Garth Ennis or Warren Ellis write the CORPORAL CLEGG ongoing monthly. Seriously.

As for Dylan, that guy is everwhere. Not only is now appearing in hypothetical comic books, but he WROTE EVERY SONG IN THE LAST 40 YEARS.

Honestly, all of them.

http://www.cinefilevideo.com/2007/01/24/bob-dylan-wrote-every-song-ever-made/

That guy is a genius.

“If poster #1 is gone I’m going to go back to being just “Dan” now!”

Is there anyone on this board who isn’t called Dan?

I’ve read your site for over a year now and this is the first time I’ve felt the need to post. I thought I was the only one who dreamed of Bob Dylan’s Jack of Hearts as a comic character! I have the same reactions to good movies or tv shows. I recall watching Children of Men last month and dreaming about it as a Vertigo book by Vaughn and Maleev.

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!

What a great post.

The idea of a comic based on “Desolation Row” has, idly crossed my mind before.

You should, like, write some “Dylanverse” scripts and submit them to Image or something.

Few more… Jokerman has a way better name than “Narrator,” and he was born with a snake in both of his fists.

And Dylan covered “Froggy went a courtin'” back in the early 90s. I’m not sure if it counts, but Froggy’s a neat protaganist fo’ sho’.

Brian Cronin

May 3, 2007 at 9:44 pm

Oh, if we count Dylan COVER songs, then that does give us a ton more cool protagonists. Them old folk songs sure had a lot of cool protagonists!!!

Oooh. That’s probably true. But “Froggy” was on an official studio album, (What was the name of it?) so I thought that gave it more weight.

And you REALLY should do a script for a Dylan-verse comic. :)

Yeah, Dylan did two all-cover albums in the early 90s.

I actually like the second one he did a lot better than the first, but the first has some good stuff on it, including “Froggy.”

But all the songs are super famous already, so I don’t think it’d be fair to give Dylan credit for them.

For some reason I’ve always seen a lot of parallels between “The Changing of the Guards” and “V For Vendetta”. Probably the head-shaving bit, I’d imagine. Great song.

Dan (other Dan)

May 4, 2007 at 12:22 am

Froggy Went A-Courtin’ was on Good As I Been to You. World Gone Wrong, the other cover album has Stack A Lee (ie, Stagger Lee); a version of the historical event that the folk song recounts was made into a comic from Image last year. I’ve been meaning to check it out

Brian
Didn’t know that about Plain D but I guess he’s matured since then (best thing about Scorsese film was Bob and Joan mocking their earnest younger selves). Some of the images–“are birds free in the chains of the skyways”–are a gift, and a challenge to do other than literally.
“When the night comes falling from the sky”, anyone?

stuck inside a comic with the fable blues again. now that is a song with a ton of characters for all events…20 pounds of headlines stapled to his chest.

tea preacher

May 4, 2007 at 5:57 am

Regarding the verse you quote from the New York session of “Jack of Hearts” you should note that those lyrics never appear in the released version (a smart move by Bob, I think) and are only available on the bootleg. Otherwise it seems like you are trying to show off your Bob knowledge and leave the neophytes scratching their heads as they will not hear those lyrics on the official BOTT release. Worst example of this was an old post on the EDLIS message board where some jerk referred to Dylan’s officially released catalog as “the beginner samplers.”

When speaking of character’s in Dylan songs I don’t think of the narrator as a character. To me, the narrator is Bob. When I think of characters I think of the many folks other than the narrator who populate his songs – Turtle with his cheeks all gorged; the Wicked Messenger, the man standing next to Bob whose head was exploding, Tiny Montgomery, Dr. Filth, Genghis Khan, etc.

I dunno, I may love “When I Paint My Masterpiece” but I’d hate to have to come up with a story about the narrator every week. Ditto “She’s Your Lover Now”. That story would resolve itself in three issues, tops, right? Brian’s list would produces some pretty emo comics!

I picture the Dylanverse as a gothic horror Vertigo sub-imprint:

5. The Nomadic Sailor from “Pretty Peggy-O” “House Carpenter” “Simple Twist of Fate”, “Isis”, “Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream”, many others:
TNS cursed to ride nothing but doomed ships, always as the lone survivor, like
Ishmael before him. Lots of great supernatural adventure to be had, both at sea and at their ports of call!

4. Mr. Jones
Mr. Jones, once comfortable in his suburban conformity, wakes up in a nightmarish pschedelic horror show. Will he ever make it home? More importantly, will his all-American values survive the tempations of this devillish new world?

3. Hollis Brown
Curse to wander the new West, shotgun in hand, dispensing justice, unforgiving to evildoers and unforgiven himself for euthenizing his own starving family with the same shotgun. He could of couse deal our justice to the characters featured in “Hattie Carroll” “Talking Bear Mountain Picnic Blues” “Who Killed Davey Moore” and many others.

2. The Jack of Hearts
Hell Yeah! I’d buy it.

1. Old Blind Willie McTell/ The Man in the Long Black Coat
Souther Gothic Anthology Series! Various characters find themselves trapped in moss-drooped nightmares, alternatively drawn to the spirit of good (Willy) and the spirit of Evil (TMITLBC).

Brian Cronin

May 4, 2007 at 9:43 am

Regarding the verse you quote from the New York session of “Jack of Hearts” you should note that those lyrics never appear in the released version (a smart move by Bob, I think) and are only available on the bootleg. Otherwise it seems like you are trying to show off your Bob knowledge and leave the neophytes scratching their heads as they will not hear those lyrics on the official BOTT release.

The original verses, though, are the ones that are posted on Dylan’s website, under the lyrics for “Jack of Hearts”. :)

So while I completely understand where you’re coming from, if it’s what the official Dylan website offers up as the lyrics of the song, I figure it can’t be that off-putting, no?

How can you leave out “Man in the Long Black Coat”?!

“Man in the Long Black Coat” was one of my early choices, but upon re-reading the lyrics, it just left me a bit cold, to be honest. I don’t see how it would sustain a narrative for too long, except as a Man-Thing type book, and I never liked comics like that – where the main character is this silent “out there” character.

In regards to the “Song in Plain D” story, from what I’ve read and seen, Dylan was a major prick in his day. From dumping Ramblin’ Jack Elliot to insulting a reporter from Time Magazine for asking him questions, he spread the jerkiness all around.

Fantastic music, though.

Couldn’t you do Desolation Row as a letter from Bob to the girlfriend, with her trying to imagine what exactly is going on with her boy friend.

Isis would be incredible, and Clothesline Saga would be great as well.

They could all be in a collection called “The Comic Book in Me”

I just ran across this by accident, so it’s a little late.

Lots of good choices.

IMO Man in a Long Black Coat is a great mysterious, Western type character.

My choices are…

Man in the Long Black Coat
Silvio
Jack of Hearts
Wanted Man
Rambling Gambling Willie
Man of Peace
Isis
Gypsy Lou

Man of Peace is a good one I didn’t think of. Did I think of Willie? I forget – I think he was on an earlier version of the list.

Derek B. Haas

April 7, 2008 at 5:05 am

My immediate thought when I read the title of this entry was “Quinn the Eskimo”, although I have a lingering suspicion the song was originally released by Manfred Mann.

The Manfred Mann version of “Quinn” might have been released first, but Dylan did write it.

@Paul King: Kitchen Sink put out a series of Grateful Dead Comix, adaptation of Dead lyrics by various artists, which were later collected. The trade’s out of print, I think. Tim Truman did some of the artwork; he’s apparently a huge Deadhead, and later did an original book with Dead lyricist Robert Hunter. Dog Moon, I think it was called.

Tori Amos? Sweet Jesus, why?

They should do a series of comics based on Kinks songs- Superman, Plastic Man, Johnny Thunder, Powerman…

Great article! Well done!

I eagerly await the “Top Five Limp Bizkit Song Characters Who Would Make For Great Comic Books” article.

Wait, wasn’t Neil Gaiman’s Sandman already based on Tori Amos songs, and vice versa?

The Orphan (AKA Mr. Sensitive) from X-Force/X-Statix always reminded me of It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue:

Yonder stands your Orphan with his gun
Crying like a fire in the sun

Isn’t Quinn just about Anthony Quinn playing an eskimo in some movie though?

Jack of Hearts is a character in my Bunny Oakley comics- one of the past ‘legends’ that’ll crop up in flashback stories. But nobody reads that, so yeah.

-R

I’m with you all the way. In fact, I wrote a novel based on this very concept. It’s called, BLOOD ON THE TRACKS, and I think you and your readers will enjoy it.

It’s a murder-mystery. But not just any rock superstar is knocking on heaven’s door. The murdered rock legend is none other than Bob Dorian, an enigmatic, obtuse, inscrutable, well, you get the picture…

Suspects? Tons of them. The only problem is they’re all characters in Bob’s songs.

You can get a copy on Amazon.com or go “behind the tracks” at http://www.bloodonthetracksnovel.com to learn more about the book.

I’ve always thought Jack of Hearts would make a fantastic animation or comic. Has anyone taken the bait and explored actually doing any of these projects?

A lot of good choices here, displaying the depth and richness of a long brilliant career. But, nobody has mentioned one of the greatest story songs of Bob’s – although others have mentioned songs from the same album, Desire – Black Diamond Bay. If you don’t know it, check it out. A coherent, multi layered story line with many characters intriguing pieces that comes around to a removed first person. Moves me every time.

I LOVE Black Diamond Bay, but it is a bit of a limited story, ya know?

They all die pretty soon after the story begins.

But yeah, Black Diamond Bay is a great story. I love it a lot. One of my favorite Dylan songs.

My top five:

1. Ballad of a Thin Man
2. Spanish Harlem Incident
3. The Ugliest Girl in the World
4. Wiggle Wiggle
5. Country Pie

What’s this a list of again?

Ballad of a Thin Man and 115th Dream would be the best in my opinion

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