View Full Version : Bob Dylan read Guattari and Deleuze!

07-22-2010, 09:11 PM
Not many people are aware of Dylan's relationship to critical theory but it can be heard here in these previously undiscovered verses from Gotta Serve Somebody
As it says under the video:
"In the early 80's, a few years after the release of Saved, Bob Dylan spent a term at the North London Polytechnic were he did an Introduction to Modern Philosophy course under the tutelage of "Red" Reg Birk. It was this experience that moved him away from his Christian phase. This is a rendition of 4 previously unknown verses from Gotta Serve Somebody written during Dylan's time at North London Poly. It clearly demonstrates his transition from Christianity to evangelical post-structuarlism. The words were preserved by Red Reg and are here performed by his son Vladimir Birk, founder of the Enfield Naturist Railway Workers Association."

Here is a transcript of the words;

You might be reading the bible, you might be reading Hegel.

You might like to eat a savaloy, you may prefer a bagel.

You might be a master, you might be a slave

There maybe some other dialectic that you crave

You might be pre-socratic or just a metaphysician

Or hold another philosophically untenable position

You might be Platonically in pursuit of the truth

Or you might be like Plato in pursuit of a youth

Your mustard might be Djon, Your sausage from Toulouse

You might put them both together like Guattari and Deleuze

Ontological dereliction might be your existential load

As you’re schlepping on your bike down the Holloway road.

You might be a queen living in a palace

You might be a king who claims to possess the phallus

You might not be either a borrower or a lender

Performatively problematising our notions of gender

07-23-2010, 06:57 PM
I think his lyrics always tended toward blowing up language. Regarding deep meaning (consider Desolation Row), there's a very old Doonesbury strip in which Dylan says he "was just trying to make it rhyme" with his lyrics. "Now he tells us," says the Doonesbury character to himself.

Still, I've been a Dylan lover, through all his ups and downs, since the time my college roommate's sister handed me a freshly-pressed vinyl of Freewheelin' Bob Dylan.