Wednesday, March 23, 2011

T.S. Eliot and Bob Dylan Ring the Bells

An excerpt from  “The Dry Salvages,” (from Four Quartets by T.S. Eliot):

 And under the oppression of the silent fog
The tolling bell
Measures time not our time, rung by the unhurried
Ground swell, a time
Older than the time of chronometers, older
Than time counted by anxious worried women
Lying awake, calculating the future,
Trying to unweave, unwind, unravel
And piece together the past and the future,
Between midnight and dawn, when the past is all deception,
The future futureless, before the morning watch
When time stops and time is never ending;
And the ground swell, that is and was from the beginning,
Clangs
The bell.


"Ring Them Bells" is one of my favorite tracks from Bob Dylan's 1989 album, Oh Mercy. There is also a live performance by Dylan "Live from the Supper Club" in 1993 that can be seen here.






Ring Them Bells
By Bob Dylan

Ring them bells ye heathen from the city that dreams
Ring them bells from the sanctuaries cross the valleys and streams
For they're deep and they're wide
And the world on its side
And time is running backwards
And so is the bride.

Ring them bells Saint Peter where the four winds blow
Ring them bells with an iron hand
So the people will know
Oh it's rush hour now
On the wheel and the plow
And the sun is going down upon the sacred cow.

Ring them bells Sweet Martha for the poor man's son
Ring them bells so the world will know that God is one
Oh the shepherd is asleep
Where the willows weep
And the mountains are filled with lost sheep.

Ring them bells for the blind and the deaf
Ring them bells for all of us who are left
Ring them bells for the chosen few
Who will judge the many when the game is through
Ring them bells for the time that flies
For the child that cries
When innocence dies.

Ring them bells Saint Catherine from the top of the room
Ring them from the fortress for the lilies that bloom
Oh the lines are long and the fighting is strong
And they're breaking down the distance between right and wrong.



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