Here’s something to check out if you’re interested in serious analysis of Bob Dylan’s work. In fact it’s worth listening to anyway, as an excellent example of literary analysis. And it’s free on the iTunes music store – if you have iTunes on your PC or Mac, click on ‘launch application’ when prompted and it will go straight to the iTunes music store page for the audio file, where you can download it for free. If this doesn’t work for some reason, launch iTunes, go to the Music Store and search for ‘Cambridge Forum Bob Dylan’ and you should get straight there.
This is a free downloadable audio file of a lecture given by Christopher Ricks, who teaches Humanities at Boston University. He has authored or edited over 30 books during his career, and is a general editor for Penguin books of critical anthologies and their series of English poets and poets in translation. Here he provides a superb analysis of the Dylan song ‘The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll’, and on the way touches on the whole issue of song lyrics and their relationship to poetry. It’s a fascinating discussion – stick it on your iPod and give it a whirl.