“The Harrow and the Harvest”: Dylan in the Doorway Cryin’

J.L. Wall

J.L. Wall is a native Kentuckian in self-imposed exile to the Midwest, where he teaches writing to college students and over-analyzes Leonard Cohen lyrics.

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5 Responses

  1. RTod says:

    More posts like this please.


  2. Michael Hansen says:

    Thanks for writing this…I was immediately struck by the comparison myself. Last year I had the chance to see Gillian & Dave at a small venue in North Carolina…they did two one off shows and I had the chance to hear some of their new material (much of which didn’t make the album, which makes me even madder that I didn’t tape record that show). After the show I hung out with them a bit and I talked to Dave about who he likes to steal from…at first he talked about his lead guitar influences…including Bill Monroe and Jerry Garcia…but he said when it comes to lyrics he steals from Dylan the most…

    You quote the line:

    “You were trying to tell me something with your thumb”

    Which echos Dylan’s “Wicked Messenger” (from John Wesley Harding)

    “When questioned who had sent for him
    He answered with his thumb”

    During “The Way The Whole Thing Ends” Gillian also asks:

    “What’s a sweetheart like you doing with a bloody nose?”

    That echos Dylan’s own “Sweetheart like You”:
    “What’s a sweetheart like you doin’ in a dump like this?”

    They really are uber Dylan fans…in fact they used to have a band that played only Bob Dylan covers…they would bring the Dylan song book with them and let audience members shout requests and they would open to that page and play that song…Report

    • J.L. Wall in reply to Michael Hansen says:

      Thanks for this — I might wind up going back through their previous albums and snooping around for Dylan references now, just for fun. Also, I’m quite jealous: you got to talk with them about Bob Dylan (or even just their music!).Report