I just finished reading Bob Dylan’s The Philosophy of Modern Song. There is no philosophy in it but plenty about song. He clearly has never read any philosophy of music, or perhaps any philosophy at all (bit of Nietzsche maybe). I don’t know what he means by “Modern Song”: certainly there is nothing classical in it, though it ranges from 1849 onwards. Folk, rock, blues, Broadway, country–it’s all there. For me the biggest takeaway was the song “Nellie was a Lady”, which I had never even heard of before. Written by a white man about a freed slave’s dead wife, it is as sad as songs get (as Dylan points out), but with a beautiful melody. The lyrics are problematic and could not be sung today without an uproar (modern renditions update them completely), but it is a great song. Thanks, Bob.
0 0 Colin McGinn Colin McGinn2023-07-18 15:59:382023-07-18 15:59:38Bob Dylan’s Philosophy