Mudcat Café message #2894140 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #129008   Message #2894140
Posted By: Little Hawk
25-Apr-10 - 04:17 PM
Thread Name: Joni Mitchell -Dylan is 'a plagiarist'
Subject: RE: Joni Mitchell -Dylan is 'a plagiarist'
I have nothing against Dominic Behan at all, Jim. My knowledge of him is quite limited. He came from an earlier era and from different cultural origins than the folk musicians my main interest was in, who all came in the following era, so to speak, from about 1959 on...and who were almost all from North America (Canada and the USA).

The Irish Troubles are an interesting subject, no doubt, but not a subject I had any personal stake in or any reason to take sides in. I understand it was important to Behan...and rightly so...but it wasn't to me. What Dylan wrote about in his adaptation of that tune struck me as quite important, on the other hand, because I did have a personal stake in that. I lived through the Vietnam years and I was very much affected by issues commented on in the Dylan song. If you have lived in the USA, as I have, you would know how deeply the notion that "God is on our side" is knit into the American psyche, and how much it has been used to justify a whole series of quasi-colonial wars (wars fought for profit and national gain) in the last couple of centuries. Such dangerously tacit assumptions as the one that "God is on our side" should be vigorously questioned at all times, and Bob Dylan did question them most effectively in his song.

What I was mainly talking about in my previous post, though, was why people object so much to Bob Dylan doing what thousands of others have done every since folk music began...borrowing from and building upon the past tradition. They object because he succeeded so well at it.

I'm not getting upset in the least by any of this talk here. I'm not fighting with you, I'm just discussing something. And I'm enjoying it. It's an interesting subject, don't you think?

Yeah, the young Bob Dylan did have a big chip on his shoulder. Absolutely. ;-) Did I ever say he did not? I've seldom seen anyone with a bigger chip on their shoulder than Bob was carrying in around 1965-66 when he did the 3 "electrical albums". The song "Positively Fourth Street" is the ultimate example of that.