Anonymous asked in Entertainment & MusicMusicLyrics · 10 years ago

What do you think the meaning is behind the lyrics to the Bob Dylan song "My Back Pages"...?

...made popular by The Byrds?

This song has always haunted me (in a good way) and Dylan's stuff can be rather obscure and poetic all at once. What do you think it is about?

I will post lyrics in the DB. Thanks to all who give it the old college try.

14 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    If this isn't a thought provoking question, I don't know what is! I am giving you my interpretation, but, there are no guarantees with Dylan! I tend to believe a lot of people over interpreted a lot of his stuff because he was so well read. He used complex wording and phrasing to express simple ideas. But, who cares, what's not to love about Bob Dylan?

    So, here goes:

    *Crimson flames tied through my ears, rolling HIGH AND MIGHTY TRAPS, : All fired up with visions and ideals that inspire such passion that you get catch up in their traps, they snare you, ’possess you’ if you will...compel you to take up their cause. Causes that roll through your mind like flames, ensaring you.

    *Bounced with fire on flaming roads, using ideas as my maps: causes creating a direction, a course of action. Feelings of passion directed by the formation of ideas as to how to achieve these passions, goals, ideals.

    *We’ll meet on the edges, soon, I said Proud beneath heated brow: Taking these ideals to their limit and pushing the envelope of the status quo, walking the edge where new thought dismantles what came before. Proudly, impassioned, going forward. Protest of the old as the new charges in, creating a new edge to be walked consisting of the old and new, known, and unknown.

    *Ah, but I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now: Irony at it’s finest. The power of the unabashed, newfound sense of authority one feels in youth, compared to the openness, surrender, wisdom, receptivity one feels after living more of life, becoming more flexible in one’s perception of right and wrong...good and bad, learning how to chose your battles more wisely.

    *Half-wracked prejudice leaped forth. "Rip down all that hate, I screamed, lies that life is black and white spoke from my skull: A voice inside his mind screaming to the world to stop the debilitating prejudice of racial ignorance, hate separating people and creating wars. It’s a lie that life is black and white. Life is something much deeper containing black and white. He questions concepts of duality as evidenced in his next line:

    *I dreamed romantic facts of musketeers foundation deep somehow: One for all, and all for one. A notion that comes from a very deep understanding of life. The soul of unity. Everyone fighting for the rights of one another. Romanticising ideals that arise from a deep foundation within humanity.

    *Ah, but I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now: Ideals he worshipped, as his life has moved on are changing. As he has experiences the hard knocks of the world, he questions whether these earlier ideals can actually be reached. Or, if they can be reached, maybe it's not in the way he originally thought they could. He’s not even so sure it can happen now. Perhaps he was naive. More irony. When I was busy being a grown-up, I was really immmature in my ability to comprehend the changes needed then.

    *Girls faces formed the forward path, from phony jealousy to memorizing politics of ancient history, flung down by corpse evangelists unthought of though, somehow: He was very influenced by women and at first, relationships were catching a great deal of his attention, as well as ’The corpse evangelists’ (steeped in tradition, dead to new thought) who "flung down facts about politics, history, and reality that they did not give ’deep thought to’ (unthought of though, somehow) who tried to mold people’s perception of reality and right and wrong. A time in his life.

    *But I was so much....etc...: He’s saying, he was too old to challenge that nonsense because he thought he was being grown up, mature, but, he’s younger than that now...more flexible, open, he sees beyond the limitations and superficial allure that caught him up before.

    In the next stanza, he questions what he ’learned’ equality was by the self proclaimed authority figures. He found their definitions falling way short, as this definition was not being enacted in the real world. The word was precious to him, and stoked feelings of devotion, but as he became older, and experienced the ignorance in the world still prevalent, he began to wonder at how feasible that word really was.

    *In a soldiers stance....etc etc. He is talking about a fervent, almost disciplined, skilled criticism towards those who taught what life was supposed to be like, rather than honoring individual perception, original thought. They were the enemy. He didn't’t fear then, that the minute he himself began ’preaching’ his own ideals, he would be just like, the enemy. Now he is questioning himself and his motivation.

    His path then, became confusing for him, a push pull, as he began to challenge his own prior thoughts about life.

    *Yes, my guard stood hard when abstract threats, too noble to neglect, deceived me into thinking I had something to protect

    • Kelvin4 years agoReport

      Possible a fair description can one trust anybody who can t even punctuate ITS ? (I’m younger than that now: Irony at it’s finest.)

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  • ?
    Lv 4
    10 years ago

    We grabbed a Byrds disc and played the song for the entire drive, singing and reminiscing. I think the lyrics allude to the clear-cut, black-and-white thinking that often accompanies youth. It was all so simple then, wasn't it? What was right, what was wrong, who was bad and good, etc. There's also the suggestion of disillusionment, but mostly I see looking back and seeing shades of gray where one once had all the answers.

    For a great version of the song, check out:

    It's from the fall of 1992 at a concert celebrating Dylan's 30th Anniversary in music, I think. It features Bobby D, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Tom Petty, and an unbelievable guitar solo by Neil Young.

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  • puzo
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    My Back Pages Lyrics

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  • 4 years ago

    Well Mack the finger said to Louie the King I got forty red white and blue shoe strings And a thousand telephones that don't ring Do you know where I can get ride of these things And Louie the King said let me think for a minute son And he said yes I think it can be easily done Just take everything down to Highway 61.

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  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    just tell her how it is. like im a girl. and if my ex boyfriend was to do this to me. i guess i would actually think about the whole situation and give u a straight answer. Read here

    the reason she prob doesnt respond to ur aim is either her new bf is there.. or she is just playing hard to get. all of these things is what i did to my ex boyfriend. and they work lol. he was chasing after me for 5 months (but we werent dating and we hadnt dated before) and then i played cold and yeah it got his attention. i think u should just say to her that she either loves u or she doesnt.

    Give her the ultimateum...basically that u have been offered a job, but you would think it would be great to spend time with someone that u care about alot and just want to end things fun and happy.

    During that time make it so unbelievable she wont want it to end.

    Tell her that if she loves you that she has to break up with her boyfriend, because u cant keep going like this anymore. Just say that it is unfair on the new boyfriend, and if really did like the new boyfriend that she still wouldnt be saying that to u. Or play cold with her all the time.. dont care.. dont act like u do any way... dont respond to her things... and let her wonder what u are doing the whole summer without giving her one hint..

    i say def go for the first one.. cuz the second option is just a 50/50 suicidal mission because with the first she at least gets ur aggressive i dont care side with strong points but also letting her know that u care and just want to be with her..

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  • 10 years ago

    Sometimes we think we know it all but through life's experiences we learn that we don't know as much as we thought we did. Some times in our teenage years we may make statements like “our parents are so square” or “they don’t know what’s up” but then when we look back we see that actually they were trying to save us a lot of aggravation. There are a lot of gifted young people out there who have their own thoughts and ideas on how they see things but as they get older they realize that maybe they weren’t as smart as they thought they were.

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  • 4 years ago

    For the best answers, search on this site

    "Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves Let me forget about today until tomorrow" From Mr. Tambourine Man.

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  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    I had a broken heart for almost two months. I couldn't eat properly and my life was just going straight to the drain... but as soon as I applied this strategies, my ex came running back to me in a matter of weeks. I can’t even thank you enough for this

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  • 4 years ago

    it just seems dylan not only repudiates his former ideals (masters of war, etc) he trivializes them. he thinks advocacy politics is just a way of shifting blame and blowing smoke. dylan is a shape shifting genius, and maybe for reasons of self preservation i. e. john lennon, a sell out.

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  • 4 years ago

    That's wrong

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  • 3 years ago

    Most sufferers of premature ejaculation do not realize that they can do something to overcome this condition. Read here

    Premature ejaculation problems in a young man are usually due to stress or fatigue, and rarely if ever a reflection on the partner. So you need to take yourself out of the problem part of the equation. It's also not a trick pony that performs on command, despite what some folks think. And anxiety will only provoke the problem more. You two could certainly use some help, as far as what you center your attention on. Sex is more than bumping the uglies, and there is more to the act than that. Faking orgasm was your first mistake, and the next one is blaming his failure to hang in there long enough. Once you get into the blame game, it just makes things worse.

    For starters, you might consider taking your time and setting the stage a little longer. Stop focusing all the attention on penetration and performance, and even if you reach the goal line or not. Consider a few other things, like manual or oral stimulation. And if you want to introduce a toy, put it in his hands to use on you. That way, he's still got the job of pleasing you. Take the pressure off the man to perform, and you might have more luck. Also consider what else may be going on in his life right now. If he's stressed at work or school, works long hours, or is otherwise stressed and tired- well, tired affects the whole body.

    The two of you need to talk a little more openly and frankly as well. His "failure" in the bedroom is not a reflection on you, and you shouldn't take it that way either. It's not a reflection on his manliness either, but if you let it get that way, it becomes a self fulfilling prophesy of failure each time. Set the stage, take some time, and stop focusing on the final goal line. You might just surprise one another.

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