For Bob Dylan chords and lyrics, CLICK HERE!
By Chris Moore:
It was definitely one of those “clouds parting” kind of Chris Moore Mondays for me.
First of all, I should clarify that “Chris Moore Mondays” is the title we use around here to remind you all that it’s my job to post a great cover song music video for you each and every Monday evening. Next, I should explain the “clouds parting” aspect. Well, I woke up around 5:30 this morning and was having serious difficulty getting myself out of bed. Then, I noticed I had an email from bobdylan.com.
Long story short, I had woken up to find the link to a free download of the new, unreleased Bob Dylan track “Beyond Here Lies Nothin.'” It will be track one on his upcoming album, Together Through Life, to be released on Tuesday, April 28th. Sorry, Jim — this means that your birthday the following day is going to be something of an anti-climax. 😉
In all seriousness, this is an exciting bit of New Music Tuesday news. After all, there were five years of separation between 2001’s Love and Theft and 2006’s Modern Times. Now, it’s been less than three years and there’s a new release. Based on the first track alone, I couldn’t be more excited. It’s a pretty simple song — only three chords and a basic verse, chorus, repeat structure with a few instrumental breaks thrown in and a classic Dylan chorus style in which the lines in each chorus are slightly different. I wasn’t sure what to think of the lyrics at first, but they’ve really grown on me today as I’ve listened to the song repeatedly and learned to play it. I’m still not sure what to think of lines like “The whole world is my throne” or “And every window’s made of glass.”
The conclusion I’ve come to is that this is a deceptively simple song. In the beginning of the song, Dylan sings of a lover in terms that express fairly standard love-song mentalities. Still, by the end of the track, he compares himself to a ship in harbor with the sails up. This implies that the ship is about to leave harbor, or perhaps that he is ready to move on to something — or someone — new. And yet he goes on to tell his lover that she should lay her hand upon his head. In typical Dylan fashion, even a love song has darker overtones, as played out in the chorus lines. The choral sections really are my favorite lines. “Beyond here lies nothin,'” he sings, “But the mountains of the past” or “Nothin’ done and nothin’ said.” There is simply nowhere else he would rather be than where he is, as he acknowledges that there is nothing “beyond here.” The questions, of course, are 1) where is “here”? and 2) does he really want to be “here” or are there simply no better options?
As I mentioned, it’s a fairly simple song. Even I was able to figure it out in short order. It’s three chords — Am, Dm, and E — easily within my register with an uptempo beat. It’s actually caused a bit of a debate among Dylan fans who have disagreed over the use of accordion in the song and the state of Dylan’s vocal abilities. As far as I’m concerned, the instrumentation is excellent, raw and loose but very intentional and fitting, accordion or no accordion. As for Dylan’s voice, I read one user’s take on the fansite expectingrain.com. He essentially said that Dylan’s vocals have deteriorated even more than they had on Modern Times. My reaction is simple:
I mean, if you’ve followed Dylan over the past decade and enjoyed Time Out of Mind or the aforementioned two albums, then you know that his gritty vocals are fitting. He may not stand a chance on American Idol, but I’m not so sure that’s a bad thing! Another post that I read made a great deal of sense. This user basically argued that Dylan’s vocals on studio recordings and during live performances should be weighed separately. I agree with this — while his vocals may be a bit difficult to understand and follow in concerts at times, his studio recordings haven’t failed to impress me — including vocals, instruments, etc.
Needless to say, I hope you enjoy my take on this brand new Dylan song. If you’re a guitarist, you should check out my chords and lyrics (see the link above) and have fun playing it yourself. And, without further ado, I wish you a good night and a great week…
See you next session!