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Monday, March 31, 2008

Jimmie Rodgers - Blue Yodel No 1 (T For Texas)

As we work on Episode 53 - Will There Be Yodeling in Heaven?

This clip is from the 19 and 29 (or 19 and 30, see below) short, The Singing Brakeman, which can be found - reportedly in its entirety - on the DVD compilation "Times Ain't Like They Used to Be: Early Rural & Popular American Music"

According to its IMDB entry, The Singing Brakeman was Rodgers only appearance on film and, interestingly, someone notes on the IMDB that were two different versions of the film released. Apparently the 1929 release credits a Jasper Ewing Brady as director, while the 1930 version credits a Basil Smith.

"Say shant do's a" "Saint-Saëns soo say," or "Sensation in San Jose"?

Dreamtime pal Jennifer stopped by at what's becoming the one-stop shop of Theme Time Radio Hour interpretation to ask...

" does Bob Dylan introduce the Rolling Stones song Play with Fire [ in the "Heat" episode] -- is he saying something in French?"
In his intro to the song, Mr. D. says, "At least once during the show, I like to play a musical version of a [unintelligible], and here's this week's opportunity. It's by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards..."

The unintelligible phrase sounded as if were two or three words, and I agreed with Jennifer, it sounded as if it might be French. But, even after repeated listening, I couldn't make it out. I suspected the first word was "chanson," but my French doesn't extend much past the pen of my aunt.

I finally turned the question over to the international community at the Expecting Rain Theme Time Radio Hour forums, and quickly got the answer from two regular participants: clarx and Picasso. Our Host is saying...
"At least once during the show, I like to play a musical version of a [chanson osée], and here's this week's opportunity..."
Translated literally the phrase means "daring song," and colloquially refers to a song with risqué or suggestive lyrics. Dinah Washington's hommage to the trombone - Big Long Slidin' Thing - played in the Musical Instruments show would be a perfect example.

The Dreamtime blog and podcast, your home for translations, exculpations, and determinations.


Friday, March 28, 2008

More on the unedited version of Chronicles: Volume One

The saga of the unedited version of Chronicles: Volume One continues with Mike Hobo posting a video interview with Zainab McCoy, the lady offering what is apparently an early uncorrected galleys/authors proof copy of the book.

As our friends over at RightWingBob correctly point out, referring to it as a "manuscript" isn't entirely accurate, but if the one page that Ms. McCoy has released is any indication, it could be a fascinating document. In an email to RightWingBob, Ms. McCoy (who also sent a note to Dreamtime on our posting about that excerpt) noted,

"...If you think that page had a spectacular error you’d die laughing at the rest. I’ve come to believe that the rest of the deleted text could be source material for writing a psychoanalytical novel about the man himself..."
The video doesn't add any extra information, although it's always nice to have a face to go with the name. As I said before, I hope Ms. McCoy's copy ends up with someone - or at someplace - where the material can be made available to researchers.

Based on my experience, that also won't be the only copy of the uncorrected galleys - I suspect there are several more out there.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Email, Haikus, Magoo & Food

A couple of recent emails from Dreamtime listeners...

"Who is the 'Bishop' referred to on this week's [Heat] show [when the caller reads his 'favorite poem']?"
I had to listen to that segment several times and eventually Googled the haiku's (as Our Host correctly points out) opening lines as I couldn't make out the poet's name myself. It does sound a lot like Bishop. We need better enunciation, please, Theme Time callers!

The haiku is:

heat waves shimmering/ one or two inches/ above the dead grass

and the poet is Matsuo Bashō (松尾 芭蕉) the most famous poet of the Edo period in Japan, according to his Wikipedia entry. During his lifetime, Bashō was renowned for his works in the collaborative haikai no renga form; today, he is recognized as a master of brief and clear haiku. His most famous poem is generally considered to be...

old pond / a frog jumps / the sound of water

Another longtime listener goes all the way back to November 15, 2006 and the Food episode of TTRH to ask if I have any clue as to what is playing during the opening sequence, which features a couple laughing and reciting these lines as a small group plays in the background...

Ooh we're gonna have fun
It's a cozy table, isn't it?
And champagne my dear, heh-heh
Mmmmmm delicious, ha-ha
It's an an excerpt from a novelty number released by Jim Backus (he of Mr. Magoo, Gilligan's Isle, and Rebel Without a Cause among other things) "& Friend" in 19 and 58 on the Jubilee label titled "Delicious!" The song, believe it or not, actually broke into the U.S. Top 40 that year (1958 must have been a very slow year for music). The backing is provided by "Appleknocker & His Group," probably a pickup name for a studio group, as "Delicious!" and the B-side "I Need a Vacation," seem to be the only two pieces they ever recorded under that name.

The identity of the "& Friend" is unknown, although various claims have been made for Phyllis Diller (which it probably isn't, since the laugh is totally different from Diller's trademark bray) and Hermione Gingold(!). Here's the text from the original press release that accompanied the 45...
Jim Backus, the voice of Magoo is aided by a fem friend on this zany novelty. It involves a couple getting inebriated over champagne and working into a laughing jag. It's a very amusing item that should pull plenty of jockey play. There's already action on the side in several areas. Flip, "I need a vacation", is also a novelty type.
The cut is the lead track for the Dr. Demento 20th Anniversary Collection: The Greatest Novelty Records of All Time CD compliation, if for some reason, you feel moved to own it. And for reasons known only to Dreamtime, I'll even provide you, O Gentle Correspondent, with a video featuring the cut...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Sirius Buyout of Rival XM Approved

via Jailbait Jones, who walked into the house last night and said, "Who woulda thunk that Bob Dylan would ever share the same airwaves as Howard Stern?":

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department has approved the $5 billion buyout of XM Satellite Radio by a rival, Sirius Satellite Radio, saying the deal was unlikely to hurt competition or consumers.

The merger was approved without conditions despite opposition from consumer groups and an intense lobbying campaign by the land-based radio industry.

The combination still requires approval from the Federal Communications Commission, which prohibited a merger when it granted satellite radio operating licenses in 1997.

The Justice Department, in a lengthy statement explaining its decision, said the two companies compete not just with each other but also with other forms of radio and entertainment. Customers must buy equipment that is exclusive to either XM or Sirius, and subscribers rarely switch providers.

“People just don’t do that,” an assistant attorney general, Thomas O. Barnett, said in a conference call with reporters.

The government also appeared to endorse the argument of the companies that they compete with other forms of audio entertainment, including “high-definition” radio, Internet-based radio stations and even devices like Apple’s iPod.

The buyout received shareholder approval in November. The companies said the merger would save hundreds of millions of dollars in operating costs — savings that will ultimately benefit their customers.

“The likely evolution of technology in the future, including the expected introduction in the next several years of mobile broadband Internet devices, made it even more unlikely that the transaction would harm consumers in the longer term,” the Justice Department said. “Accordingly, the division has closed its investigation of the proposed merger.”

The F.C.C. had no comment on the decision Monday. In the past, the agency’s chairman Kevin Martin said any approval faced a “high hurdle.”

Mr. Martin said last week that agency staff was “drafting various options” in preparation for a final recommendation. The five-member commission could vote against the deal, approve it or approve it with conditions. The agency could require the companies to freeze prices or make part of their satellite spectrum available for public-interest obligations.

Both XM and Sirius declined to comment n on Monday.

Senator Herb Kohl, Democrat of Wisconsin and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on antitrust, said in a statement that the merger would create a satellite radio monopoly and asked the F.C.C. to block it.

“We are particularly disturbed by this decision, given the Justice Department’s record in recent years of failing to oppose numerous mergers which reduced competition in key industries, resulting in the Justice Department not bringing a single contested merger case in nearly four years,” Mr. Kohl said.

The companies have pledged that the combined firm will offer listeners more pricing options and greater choice and flexibility in the channel lineups they receive. If the deal is approved, the companies have said they would offer pricing plans ranging from $6.99 a month, for 50 channels offered by one service, up to $16.99 a month, where subscribers would keep their existing service plus choose channels offered by the other service.

Despite the consumer-friendly promises, most consumer groups have opposed the proposed merger.

“If this is what our competition cops do, we might as well close shop and save taxpayers a few hundred million dollars because they’re not doing their jobs,” said Gene Kimmelman, the Washington lobbyist for Consumers Union, nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports magazine.

XM Satellite shares rose 15 percent while Sirius was up 8.6 percent.
For those interested, the DOJ statement on its decision can be read here.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Yes Sir, Mr. Bones

Regular readers of Dreamtime know my love of Emmett Miller, and my interest in the old time minstrel shows and the very strange - and very racially insensitive, it should be noted - art of blackface. From the emails I've received, I know several readers/listeners share my interest and may also be interested in Yes Sir, Mr. Bones, a 54-minute movie from 19 and 51, which contains the only known footage of Miller in action.

The movie is available as 1/2 of Showtime USA, a DVD that also contains Square Dance Jubilee, featuring Spade Cooley, and thus giving us even more of a TTRH connection. As a commenter noted on the Amazon page, Yes Sir, Mr. Bones is probably as close as we're likely to get to a reconstruction of an actual minstrel show, from the opening "end man" comedy routines, featuring Miller, to the "olio" including sentimental ballads performed by an "Irish Thrush" to an amazing softshoe on sand routine to the closing burlesque numbers. The movie supposedly takes place in a show biz retirement home; a young boy wanders in and the residents - thanks to the magic of imagination - recreate a minstrel show.

If you're offended by blackface material - some of it very crude, by the way - you don't want to watch this movie, as one of the audio commentaries puts it right at the beginning. If you're interested in it as a historical document - especially of Emmett Miller - you do. At its current price of $12.99, it's a steal.

Frustratingly, Miller does not sing, although we get a hint of his trademark yodel in his first routine. Even better, we get to see him out of blackface during the framing opening and closing segments.

The movie also features a young Scatman Crothers - misnamed in the movie credits as Scatman Corothers - in his first movie appearance, as well as several other African-American performers, who, happily, do not perform in blackface. It's interesting to note that Crothers and partner perform a vintage minstrel routine that would later be recreated - almost word-for-word - in Spike Lee's great movie, Bamboozled.

The DVD reproduction of Yes Sir, Mr. Bones is extremely clean, looking as if it came from an original 35mm print. There's some noticeable edits, probably because the original had been spliced. The sound is excellent, contrary to what one reviewer has to say.

If you're buying the DVD for the Miller material, the second feature, the 80-minute Square Dance Jubilee, will be just an added bonus. It's a weird, little cross between a cowboy song movie and a kiddie Saturday matinée. Since I know his history - I still need to do a show on him - watching Spade Cooley is a somewhat surreal experience. He looks weird, probably just nervousness, but he has this enormous false grin plastered on his face throughout his entire performance. He waves his tempo hand at band and singers as if he's going to beat them at any moment, and he generally looks like a guy teetering on the edge...

... which, come to think of it, he was.


Friday, March 21, 2008

Theme Time Radio Hour Book Coming in October

From the Simon and Schuster site:

Theme Time Radio Hour Compendium
Themes, Dreams, Schemes
By Bob Dylan

Simon & Schuster, October 2008
Hardcover, 176 pages
ISBN-10: 1-4165-9270-9
ISBN-13: 978-1-4165-9270-9

Also available for pre-order at Amazon.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Episode 52 - Poetry Readings with Your Host, Bob Dylan

"Oh, this is a long poem." - Bob Dylan, midway through his reading of "Annabel Lee."

Direct link to mp3.

Subscribe to the Dreamtime podcast

Listen now with the Dreamtime Player

I had originally decided to do a Dylanesque potpourri of Season 1 poetry readings when I came down with the flu last week, and since I wasn't up to heavy mental - or vocal - lifting, figured it would be an easy thing to do. I soon found that going through 52-odd hours of TTRH episodes, some segmented, some not, some with easily found readings, some not, was a more daunting task than I had planned, and took much longer than I had wanted.

But I did my best, and here we have some 30+ - not 20+ as I say in the podcast - minutes of selected Theme Time Radio Hour poetry readings from Your Host, Bob Dylan, stretching from Weather to Spring Cleaning.

Some credits, notes, caveats, and disclaimers. I couldn't have produced this one without the invaluable "Annotated Theme Time" pages at the (unofficial) Bob Dylan Fan Club site. However, any errors and omissions are more likely to be mine than theirs. And speaking of which, I'm certain I've missed one or two poems from Season 1. As I said, I was skimming through 52 hours + 17 minutes of material. Think of it as an exercise for you, the True TTRH Fan to point out to me what I've missed, and I'll eventually do an addendum.

For those interested in trivia, the Flowers episode from Season 1 appears to lead in poetry readings with four separate poems from authors ranging from Christopher Marlowe to Anon. For "most quoted" in Season 1, Willy the Shake wins hands down, with Dylan reading selections from Shakespeare at least four times. "The kid is good," as Mr. D. says.

Emily Dickinson comes in at second, with Our Host reading three of her poems. Stephen Crane, Rainer Maria Rilke, and Dylan Thomas tie for third, with two readings respectively each.

For aesthetic purposes I've rearranged the order of a few of the readings, and added some music, TTRH jingles and so on between segments.


"Many a man curses the rain that falls upon his head, and knows not that it brings abundance to drive away the hunger." - Saint Basil



“A cup of coffee - real coffee - home-browned, home ground, home made, that comes to you dark as a hazel-eye, but changes to a golden bronze as you temper it with cream that never cheated, but was real cream from its birth, thick, tenderly yellow, perfectly sweet, neither lumpy nor frothing on the Java: such a cup of coffee is a match for twenty blue devils and will exorcise them all.” - Henry Ward Beecher



"Nor stony tower, nor walls of beaten brass,
Nor airless dungeon, nor strong links of iron,
Can be retentive to the strength of spirit;
But life, being weary of these worldly bars,
Never lacks power to dismiss itself." - "The Life and Death of Julius Caesar," ACT I, Scene 3. Wm. Shakespeare



Come live with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove,
That valleys, groves, hills, and fields,
Woods, or steepy mountain yields.

And we will sit upon the rocks,
Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks,
By shallow rivers, to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.

And I will make thee beds of roses,
And a thousand fragrant posies,
A cap of flowers and a kirtle
Embroider'd all with leaves of myrtle: - "The Passionate Shepard to His Love" (excerpt), Christopher Marlowe


The rose is a rose,
And was always a rose.
But now the theory goes
That the apple's a rose,
And the pear is, and so's
The plum, I suppose.
The dear only knows
What will next prove a rose.
You, of course, are a rose
But were always a rose. - "The Rose Family," Robert Frost


Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose. “Sacred Emily,” (Geography and Plays), Gertrude Stein


Roses are red,
Violets are blue.
Some poems rhyme,
This one doesn't. -Anonymous



To see the Summer Sky
Is Poetry, though never in a Book it lie—
True Poems flee— "To see the Summer Sky," Emily Dickinson


In winter I get up at night
And dress by yellow candle-light.
In summer quite the other way,
I have to go to bed by day. - "Bed in Summer" (excerpt) (A Child's Garden of Verses), Robert Louis Stevenson


"If her Daddy's rich take her out for a meal, If her Daddy's poor just do what you feel." - "In the Summertime" (excerpt), Ray Dorset (Mungo Jerry)



Incarnate devil in a talking snake,
The central plains of Asia in his garden,
In shaping-time the circle stung awake,
In shapes of sin forked out the bearded apple,
And God walked there who was a fiddling warden
And played down pardon from the heavens' hill. - "Incarnate Devil" (excerpt), Dylan Thomas



You little box, held to me escaping
So that your valves should not break
Carried from house to house to ship from sail to train,
So that my enemies might go on talking to me,
Near my bed, to my pain
The last thing at night, the first thing in the morning,
Of their victories and of my cares,
Promise me not to go silent all of a sudden. - "Radio Poem," Bertolt Brecht


it was on the 2nd floor on Coronado Street
I used to get drunk
and throw the radio through the window
while it was playing, and, of course,
it would break the glass in the window
and the radio would sit there on the roof
still playing
and I'd tell my woman,
"Ah, what a marvelous radio!" - "A Radio With Guts" (excerpt), Charles Bukowski




We real cool. We
Left school. We

Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We

Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We

Jazz June. We
Die soon. - "We Real Cool," Gwendolyn Brooks



Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.

[And the Albatross begins to be avenged.]

Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink ;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink. - "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," (excerpt) Samuel Taylor Coleridge



To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow; a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing. - "Macbeth," (Act V Scene 5), Wm. Shakespeare


Why do you strive for greatness, fool?
Go pluck a bough and wear it.
It is as sufficing.

My Lord, there are certain barbarians
Who tilt their noses
As if the stars were flowers,
And Thy servant is lost among their shoe-buckles.
Fain would I have mine eyes even with their eyes.

Fool, go pluck a bough and wear it. - "Why do you strive for greatness, fool?," Stephen Crane



1. The Cowboy must never shoot first, hit a smaller man, or take unfair advantage.

2. He must never go back on his word, or a trust confided in him.

3. He must always tell the truth.

4. He must be gentle with children, the elderly, and animals.

5. He must not advocate or possess racially or religiously intolerant ideas.

6. He must help people in distress.

7. He must be a good worker.

8. He must keep himself clean in thought, speech, action, and personal habits.

9. He must respect women, parents, and his nation's laws.

10. The Cowboy is a patriot. - "The Cowboy Code," Gene Autry



Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg, and howlet's wing,--
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire, burn; and caldron, bubble. "Macbeth," Act IV, Scene 1, Wm. Shakespeare



There was a girl
who danced in the city that night,
that April 22nd,
all along the Charles River.
It was as if one hundred men were watching
or do I mean the one hundred eyes of God?
The yellow patches in the sycamores
glowed like miniature flashlights.
The shadows, the skin of them
were ice cubes that flashed
from the red dress to the roof.
Mile by mile along the Charles she danced
past the benches of lovers,
past the dogs pissing on the benches.
She had on a red, red dress
and there was a small rain
and she lifted her face to it
and thought it part of the river.
And cars and trucks went by
on Memorial Drive.
And the Harvard students in the brick
hallowed houses studied Sappho in cement rooms.
And this Sappho danced on the grass.
and danced and danced and danced.
It was a death dance.
The Larz Anderson bridge wore its lights
and many cars went by,
and a few students strolling under
their Coop umbrellas.
And a black man who asked this Sappho the time,
the time, as if her watch spoke.
Words were turning into grease,
and she said, "Why do you lie to me?"
And the waters of the Charles were beautiful,
sticking out in many colored tongues
and this strange Sappho knew she would enter the lights
and be lit by them and sink into them.
And how the end would come -
it had been foretold to her -
she would aspirate swallowing a fish,
going down with God's first creature
dancing all the way. - "The Red Dance," Anne Sexton



SLEEP now, O sleep now,
O you unquiet heart!
A voice crying “Sleep now”
Is heard in my heart.

The voice of the winter
Is heard at the door.
O sleep, for the winter
Is crying “Sleep no more.”

My kiss will give peace now
And quiet to your heart—
Sleep on in peace now,
O you unquiet heart! "Chamber Music, XXXIV," James Joyce


To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, "Hamlet" Act III, Scene 1, Wm. Shakespeare


I would like to sing someone to sleep,
have someone to sit by and be with.
I would like to cradle you and softly sing,
be your companion while you sleep or wake.
I would like to be the only person
in the house who knew: the night outside was cold.
And would like to listen to you
and outside to the world and to the woods.

The clocks are striking, calling to each other,
and one can see right to the edge of time.
Outside the house a strange man is afoot
and a strange dog barks, wakened from his sleep.
Beyond that there is silence.

My eyes rest upon your face wide-open;
and they hold you gently, letting you go
when something in the dark begins to move. "To Say Before Going To Sleep," Rainer Maria Rilke



I saw you, Walt Whitman, childless, lonely old grubber,
poking among the meats in the refrigerator and eyeing the grocery
I heard you asking questions of each: Who killed the
pork chops? What price bananas? Are you my Angel?
I wandered in and out of the brilliant stacks of cans
following you, and followed in my imagination by the store
We strode down the open corridors together in our
solitary fancy tasting artichokes, possessing every frozen
delicacy, and never passing the cashier.

Where are we going, Walt Whitman? The doors close in
an hour. Which way does your beard point tonight? - "A Supermarket in California," (excerpt) Allen Ginsberg



Oh Tennessee, My Tennessee
What Love and Pride I Feel for Thee.
You Proud Ole State, the Volunteer,
Your Proud Traditions I Hold Dear.

I Revere Your Heroes
Who Bravely Fought our Country's Foes.
Renowned Statesmen, so Wise and Strong,
Who Served our Country Well and Long.

I Thrill at Thought of Mountains Grand;
Rolling Green Hills and Fertile Farm Land;
Earth Rich with Stone, Mineral and Ore;
Forests Dense and Wild Flowers Galore;

Powerful Rivers that Bring us Light;
Deep Lakes with Fish and Fowl in Flight;
Thriving Cities and Industries;
Fine Schools and Universities;
Strong Folks of Pioneer Descent,
Simple, Honest, and Reverent.

Beauty and Hospitality
Are the Hallmarks of Tennessee.

And O'er the World as I May Roam,
No Place Exceeds my Boyhood Home.
And Oh How Much I Long to See
My Native Land, My Tennessee. "Oh Tennessee, My Tennessee," Naval Adm. William Porter Lawrence



Being apart and lonely is like rain.

It climbs toward evening from the ocean plains;
from flat places, rolling and remote, it climbs
to heaven, which is its old abode.
And only when leaving heaven drops upon the city.

It rains down on us in those twittering
hours when the streets turn their faces to the dawn,
and when two bodies who have found nothing,
disappointed and depressed, roll over;
and when two people who despise each other
have to sleep together in one bed-

that is when loneliness receives the rivers... - "Loneliness," Rainer Maria Rilke


And the seventh sorrow
Is the slow goodbye
Of the face with its wrinkles that looks through the window
As the year packs up
Like a tatty fairground
That came for the children. "The Seven Sorrows," (excerpt), Ted Hughes


Wine comes in at the mouth
And love comes in at the eye;
That's all we shall know for truth
Before we grow old and die.
I lift the glass to my mouth,
I look at you, and I sigh. - "A Drinking Song," William Butler Yeats

Christmas and New Year's

’Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that Saint Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her ’kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap;

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be Saint Nick.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and Saint Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney Saint Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes — how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!” - "A Visit from Saint Nicholas," Clement Clarke Moore


Women's Names

IT was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea,
But we loved with a love that was more than love,
I and my Annabel Lee;
With a love that the wingèd seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsmen came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
Went envying her and me;
Yes! that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we,
Of many far wiser than we;
And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee:

For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling—my darling—my life and my bride,
In her sepulchre there by the sea,
In her tomb by the sounding sea. - "Annabel Lee," Edgar Allan Poe



Luck is not chance --
It's Toil --
Fortune's expensive smile
Is earned --
The Father of the Mine
Is that old-fashioned Coin
We spurned -- - "Luck is not chance," Emily Dickinson


THOUGH fickle Fortune has deceived me,
She pormis’d fair and perform’d but ill;
Of mistress, friends, and wealth bereav’d me,
Yet I bear a heart shall support me still.

I’ll act with prudence as far ’s I’m able,
But if success I must never find,
Then come misfortune, I bid thee welcome,
I’ll meet thee with an undaunted mind. - "Fickle Fortune: A Fragment," Robert Burns



A slash of Blue—
A sweep of Gray—
Some scarlet patches on the way,
Compose an Evening Sky—
A little purple—slipped between—
Some Ruby Trousers hurried on—
A Wave of Gold—
A Bank of Day—
This just makes out the Morning Sky. -"A slash of Blue," Emily Dickinson

New York

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" - "The New Colossus," Emma Lazarus


Spring Cleaning

My thoughts are crabbed and sallow,
My tears like vinegar,
Or the bitter blinking yellow
Of an acetic star.

Tonight the caustic wind, love,
Gossips late and soon,
And I wear the wry-faced pucker of
The sour lemon moon.

While like an early summer plum,
Puny, green, and tart,
Droops upon its wizened stem
My lean, unripened heart. - "Jilted," Sylvia Plath


Many red devils ran from my heart
And out upon the page,
They were so tiny
The pen could mash them.
And many struggled in the ink.
It was strange
To write in this red muck
Of things from my heart. "Many red devils ran from my heart," Stephen Crane


Death and Taxes

Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren't lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live. "Résumé," Dorothy Parker


dying is fine)but Death


wouldn't like

Death if Death

when(instead of stopping to think)you

begin to feel of it,dying
's miraculous

cause dying is

perfectly natural;perfectly
it mildly lively(but


is strictly
& artificial &

evil & legal)

we thank thee
almighty for dying
(forgive us,o life!the sin of Death - "dying is fine)but Death," e.e. cummings


Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. "Do not go gentle into that good night," Dylan Thomas


You've been listening to the Dreamtime podcast – occasional commentary on Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour. Dreamtime is researched and written by Fred Bals and is a Not Associated With production. As the name says, we're not associated with XM Radio, Bob Dylan, or much of anything else.

Some of the music on Dreamtime is provided via the Podsafe Music Network. Check it out at

Remember that the Dreamtime team loves to get email. You can write us at

The Dreamtime top cats are Curly Lasagna and Shaggy Bear. Our announcers are the notorious honky-tonkin' sisters, Jailbait and Joyride.

Until next time, dream well.

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Monday, March 17, 2008

The First Chronicles Manuscript

Interesting story here, via Positively Bob Dylan. Hans Marius Stormoen was commissioned to translate Dylan’s Chronicles: Volume One into Norwegian, and was given what appears (from the page reproduced to your left) to be an author's proof copy of the manuscript for the job.

Prior to the book's publication, Dylan delivered a new - edited - version of the manuscript, which is the version that was eventually published. Stormoen's widow, Zainab McCoy, who is now offering the original manuscript for sale, notes:

" the first manuscript you can hear Dylan’s voice, his casual unedited way of speaking and writing. It even includes Bob’s personal note to the editor 'type written on the PC'".
The sample page, marked as "167" in the author's proof, parallels pages 165-166 in the published U.S. hardcover edition of Chronicles with some significant changes. In the published version, Dylan simply refers to a "heated presidential race underway and you couldn't avoid hearing about it" while writing about the genesis of his song Political World. In the original manuscript, Dylan writes:
"...I'd seen that the Governor of Massachusetts was running for President and his advisors had selected a woman running mate for him to ensure his defeat. Some advisors! I reasoned that this was a man who didn't like power to begin with and had agreed to run only if he could lose and something about this struck me funny..."
Outside of making you wonder what Dylan thinks of the current presidential race, I'd speculate that a fact checker - maybe from Simon and Schuster, maybe from Dylan's team - went through the proof copy and recommended some edits, including deleting Dylan's erroneous claim that a "Governor of Massachusetts'" had a female running mate selected to "ensure his defeat." Dylan seems to have conflated the 1984 elections - when Walter Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro were running mates - with the elections of 1988, which featured Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis and Texan Lloyd Bentsen as the Democratic candidates.

I'd love to get my hands on a copy of that original manuscript, but being a poor but honest writer, that's unlikely. Maybe some Dylan collector will purchase it and make it available to researchers.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

XM Radio on AOL Ending April 30, 2008

... which means no more Deep Tracks/TTRH available through AOL Radio. XM is making a "special offer" for XM Radio Online to transition people over. Details below.

Excerpted from the XM Radio FAQ/Press Release:

"... on April 30, 2008 the 10 AOL Radio channels on XM Radio Online will no longer be available...

XM has created a limited time offer on XM Radio Online for AOL radio listeners. XM Radio Online will be available at $2.99 plus a free 14-day trial for six months. After six months than the current monthly subscription rate for XM Radio Online will apply.The offer will only be available during the promotional period of 3.7.08 - 5.30.08. To be eligible for the promotional pricing you must sign up for the 14-day trial by 5.30.08 and activate your account at $2.99 by 6.13.08.

Signup link:"
Fwiw, I've been a subscriber to XM Radio Online at the standard monthly rate of $7.99 since TTRH went on the air in 2006. It's not a bad deal if you spend most of your day on the computer, as I do, and there are several channel/shows I listen to regularly besides Deep Tracks/TTRH. If you're in the U.S., I'd recommend the 14-day free trial. Listeners outside the U.S. are unfortunately going to need to explore other alternatives.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Flambée Montalbanaise - Wang Yi

Described as a "jeune chinoise" in the YouTube notes, Yi does a nice turn on Gus Viseur's signature song. Mr. D. includes Viseur's original on the Starbucks Artist's Choice selection, noting in part...

"Whenever I hear a song like this, it doesn't matter where I am or what the weather is like. Suddenly I'm on a rain-soaked street in France underneath an awning drinking an espresso noir with a beautiful raven-haired Parisian."
Gus Viseur was born in Belgium and became one of the emblematic players of musette accordion alongside Jo Privat, who Dylan also mentions in his notes. His Flambée Montalbanaise was inspired by the bombing and destruction of Montauban during World War II.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Stuff Smith - "Lullaby of Broadway"

Stuff Smith in a straighter mode than Mr. D. portrays him in the Artist's Choice CD liner notes,

"...Stuff was a wild character. He was a fiddle player who used to wear a stovepipe hat. He looked like a cross between Fagin and the Pied Piper of Hamlin..." - Bob Dylan
Artist's Choice uses Smith's (and His Onyx Club Boys) I'se a Muggin' (Part 1), apparently a long-time favorite of Our Host for all of his talk of "songs of the minute," as both Parts 1 and Parts 2 of I'se a Muggin' also are on the playlist of the infamous Lost Theme Time iPod.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Billie Holiday - I Hear Music (Remix version)

I'm not much of a fan of remixed music - especially of classics, but this version of Billie Holiday doing I Hear Music, remixed by Swingsett and Takuya, is an exception to the rule. A lot of my liking is due to Karina Correa's aka "SpecialK" (coincidentally one of Top Cat Curly Lasagna's nicknames) excellent and touching video work which somehow evokes both the `40s and these modern times simultaneously.

The remix album or individual songs can be picked up at Amazon as mp3s, and while you're at it, pick up the original - straight from the 78 - too as an mp3. Of the original, Mr. D. says on his Artist's Choice CD:

"You could throw a dart at a Billie Holiday record and put that song in this collection and it would sound sublime. I chose this one because it's a snapshot of that feeling you get early in the morning, when all things are possible and there's music everywhere..."

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Wanda Jackson - Cool Love

Mr. D. includes Wanda Jackson's I Gotta Know on his Artist's Choice CD. I had originally posted a better-quality version of that clip back in 2007, but it's been removed, and the only version of I Gotta Know currently on YouTube has distracting flanging on the audio. So I've substituted Cool Love, also from Tex Ritter's 19 and 58 Ranch Party TV show. As with I Gotta Know, Cool Love shows Wanda with feet firmly in both country and rockabilly, as Our Host notes in the Artist's Choice liner notes. Joe Maphis also provides backing guitar on his double-neck Mosrite in this clip.

"...She was an atomic bomb in lipstick. She was the queen of rockabilly. I like to think of rockabilly as country music with the beat of the big bands. Here Wanda has a foot in both worlds, switching back and forth between straight country and rockabilly, helped out more than a little by Joe Maphis, whose guitar solo sends this song into the stratosphere." - Bob Dylan

Monday, March 03, 2008

Ray Price - I'll Be There (If You Ever Want Me)

Haven't done a video in a bit, and given that we've been talking about the Artist's Choice CD, I thought I'd feature some of its music as I find it. First up is Ray Price and his I'll Be There (If You Ever Want Me). Originally released in 19 and 54, the clip is from 1957.

"Ray Price and the Cherokee Cowboys were the first band I ever saw in Nashville... A lot of great musicians came in and out of the Cherokee Cowboys-Roger Miller, Willie Nelson, Johnny Bush, Buddy Emmons and Johnny Paycheck. Just like Ray got a lot from Hank Williams, the next generation would get an awful lot from Ray Price." - Bob Dylan

Dylan Artist's Choice CD Available Through Amazon

... through resellers at prices ranging from $14.97 to $27.99(!), plus $2.98 shipping. The price at a U.S. Starbucks shop for the CD is $15.99, and it can also be ordered online (by U.S. residents) at that price plus shipping at

As I noted in the Expecting Rain TTRH forums, the music on the CD is a bit of a mixed bag, kind of like TTRH itself, and I can't wholeheartedly recommend it at a pricey $15.99, which works out to .99 cents a track.

The liner notes add some value - for instance, Dylan
knows a guy named Harold who usually shows up when he plays Fort Worth, and always gives him a bag of unlabeled CDs - but it's really a caveat emptor sort of thing. If you're a True Fan and not entirely rational - which pretty well describes me - you'll probably pick up the CD no matter what. If you're on the fence about it, I'd go check iTunes /Amazon for some of the cuts first.