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BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN BOB DYLAN AND HIV/AIDS
DYLAN AT ELTON JOHN’S AIDS RESEARCH BENEFIT
Gray morning light spits through the shade Another day older, closer to the grave Closer to the grave and come the dawn I woke up this morning shackled and drawn Gray morning light spits A slender, pointed rod on which meat is impaled for broiling. Dylan in the Disease of Conceit “it will turn you into a piece of meat” another day older and closer to the grave another day with HIV and closer to death Closer to the grave “grave” fraught with danger or harm: a grave wound and come the dawn and with age something is beginning to be perceived or understood: Realization of the inevitability of death soon dawned on Zimmerman I woke up this morning Bob Dylan was brought into a state of awareness or alertness: suddenly woke to the danger he was in shackled chained restrained or confined as if with chains: gays who were chained to a life of being HIV positive and drawn Haggard, as from fatigue or ill health: a wan, drawn face due to disseminated histoplasmosis.
Shackled and drawn, shackled and drawn Pick up the rock son, carry it on What’s a poor boy to do in a world gone wrong I woke up this morning shackled and drawn Shackled and drawn, shackled and drawn ⁄ Pick up the rock son, carry it on this is a reference to the Myth of Sisyphus where Sis rolls a rock up a hill but when he gets to the top the rock rolls back down and again and Sis has to start from scratch. Judging from the fact Dylan “picked up a nail” (as Hickey recalled in his soliloquy in The Iceman Cometh) by not using a condom Dylan believed in The Myth Of Syphilis not Sisyphus What’s a poor boy this is the first clue and a give-a-way that tells you the song is about Dylan. Dylan calls himself a poor boy in Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You, “If there’s a poor boy” if there’s another folksinger on McDougall Street “then let him have my seat” then let him have my position of prominence cause tonight I’ll be staying here with [the best horse money can buy] you. The second clue is to do in a world gone wrong World Gone Wrong is a CD by Dylan in which he first sings about what it is like to have HIV. A swear by Allah his whole world went wrong when he picked up that motherfucker. I woke up this morning shackled and drawn I’m trudging walking heavily and firmly, as when weary, or through mud through the dark in a world gone wrong Once again World Gone Wrong was a CD by Bob Dylan in which he first revealed he was HIV Positive I woke up this morning shackled and drawn Freedom son’s a dirty shirt The sun on my face and my shovel in the dirt A shovel in the dirt keeps the devil gone I woke up this morning shackled and drawn Freedom son’s a dirty shirt “shirt” as “word” in Springsteen’s The Line “as we drove her brother’s shirt slipped open” “Shirt” as word in Lost in the Flood “Eighth Avenue sailors in satin shirts whisper in the air” The sun in the sun In the public eye on my face “face” as “race” as in The Hour that the Ship Comes In “the sun will respect every face on the deck the hour that the ship comes in” and my shovel spoon used to snort coke or heroin in the dirt moral corruption. A shovel in the dirt keeps the devil gone a snort of smack keeps the withdrawal symptoms at bay bedevil To torment mercilessly; plague. I woke up this morning shackled and drawn I was once shackled to heroin and depleted of moral strength. The boss don’t use horse. Gambling man rolls the dice, workingman pays the bill It’s still fat and easy up on banker’s hill Up on banker’s hill, the party’s going strong
Down here below we’re shackled and drawn Gambling man rolls the dice “gamble” to engage in reckless or hazardous behavior: You are gambling with your health by continuing to to engage in anal intercourse with hookers workingman pays the bill Dylan who is widely regarded as a Leftist bears the expense Up on banker’s hill, the party’s going strong for the record companies Dylan’s Leftist songs are still bringing in dough Man At The Top by Springsteen “Here comes a banker, here comes a businessman Here comes a kid with a guitar in his hand / Dreaming of his record in number-one spot /Everybody wants to be the man at the top” Down here below we’re shackled and drawn…Shackled and drawn, shackled and drawn ⁄ Pick up the rock son, carry it on…We’re trudging through the dark in a world gone wrong I always loved the feel of sweat on my shirt Stand back son and let a man work Let a man work, is that so wrong I woke up this morning shackled and drawn I always loved the feel of sweat Informal To fret or worry. Born to Run “In the day we sweat it out on the streets of a runaway American dream” on my shirt about the words to my song poems Let a man work, let a man enchant artfully, especially for the purpose of influencing: The politician worked the crowd at the Obama benefit is that so wrong ⁄ I woke up this morning shackled and drawn Shackled and drawn, shackled and drawn ⁄ Pick up the rock son, carry it on…What’s a poor boy Again: Dylan describes himself as a poor boy during his folk period. In Poor Boy Blues Dylan wrote “Hey, stop you ol’ train / Let a poor boy ride / Cain’t ya hear me cryin’? / Hm, hm, hm” to do in a world gone wrong what’s some who was once a wholesome folk singer to do in a world of HIV? I woke up this morning shackled and drawn… Shackled and drawn, shackled and drawn Pick up the rock son, carry it on What’s a poor boy to do but keep singing his song I woke up this morning shackled and drawn The song ends with gospel singers saying “Stand up and be counted.” Springsteen is wasting his breath with Dylan.