Thursday, September 29, 2011
If Cliff somes into the bedroom, you can bet Bob Dylan will start singing, or somebody else who sounds a lot like Bob Dylan. Weird.
Cliff hates Bob Dylan.
Evidently, in fiddling with the buttons and knobs on the radio, I must sometimes set the wake alarm accidentally. Because we'll be going about the usual routines of the morning and suddenly folk music wafts from the bedroom. I go turn it off; in five or ten minutes, it turns on again... snooze alarm, maybe? And this scenario will repeat itself two or three times. Weird.
Whatever it is, I don't deliberately set any sort of alarm to wake me. We're retired, and anyhow I'm doing well to sleep past five A.M.
If Cliff goes into the bedroom when the radio is freakishly playing, chances are Bob Dylan will be singing. Once in awhile it's John Prine; Cliff isn't fond of him, either. It's all "caterwauling" to him. This morning Bob was singing "Oxford Town", which tells the true story of a college that wouldn't admit black people. That's what I love about folk music: the stories.
Now, out of this very clear (to my mind) set of words Bob was singing, all Cliff picked up was, "What do you think about that, my friend?"
And Cliff assumed Bob was asking him how he felt about his singing, and laughed uproariously. I went in and quoted the whole verse to him and explained what it was about. I think he was surprised that Bob Dylan was actually singing some words that made sense, because I'm the first to admit that not all of his songs do.
Oxford Town, Oxford Town
Ev'rybody's got their hats bowed down
The sun don't shine above the ground
Ain't a-goin' down to Oxford Town.
He went down to Oxford Town
Guns and clubs followed him down
All because his face was brown
Better get away from Oxford Town.
Oxford Town around the bend
He comes to the door, he couldn't get in
All because of the color of his skin
What do you think about that, my frien' ?
Me and my gal, my gal's son
We got met with a tear gas bomb
I don't even know why we come
Goin' back where we come from.
Oxford Town in the afternoon
Ev'rybody singin' a sorrowful tune
Two men died 'neath the Mississippi moon
Somebody better investigate soon.
Maybe if these folks had been singing the song Bob wrote, Cliff would have enjoyed it more.