Bob Dylan: She Belongs to Me Meaning
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She Belongs to Me Lyrics
She's an artist, she don't look back
She's got everything she needs
She's an artist, she don't look back
She can take the dark out of nighttime
And paint the daytime black.
You will start out standing
she belongs to me is about the late suze rotolo, bob' girlfriend at the time . she is on the cover of freewheeling bob dylan. most of the songs on the album are about her or her sister carla who thinks dylan is just freeloading a place to stay. ( he was). just like a woman is about his wife sara, as is -sad eyed lady of the lowlands- idiot wind- sara- and many more songs
anonymous Dec 26th, 2011 12:54pm report
I was listening to this song today -not She Belongs To Me, but Love Minus Zero- because I just looove to listen to music!!! I could go on... and on... about how much I love music however, no I just won't. I'll only submit this rofllmfao lol comment as I was in the mood to pump Sara up because I think she deserves some praise and I also wanted to express my fecundity :) for Dylan. No need to dissss me as I am simple housedweller who is also a demented strumpet with one eye and no limbs. Tread lightly you mean bastards and please just burn after reading....
Love Minus Zero
My love she speaks like silence
Without ideals or violence
She doesn't have to say she's faithful
Yet she's true like ice like fire
I've read that this song was written by Dylan as a tribute to his future wife Sara. The words, "My love she speaks like silence" is perfection. Silence is so revealing. It can be true poetic beauty and it always speaks louder than any words. Have you ever walked outside on a clear, crisp day and marveled at the lack of sound? (Yes.) Have you ever asked someone a question and you were desperate to know the truth and they never answered you with words but with silence? (Yes.) Have you ever been around a bunch of dullards who never speak? (No.) These things are experienced as shock. Silence can be enlightening in ways that feels inspiring, boring and/or hurtful. I read the words of someone who once fought in a brutal war and he said that while in combat the sudden sound of silence is "the voice of god speaking". The one Dylan loves has at times "spoken" by remaining silent. Her silence was deafening and was a statement against war, perhaps. She didn't speak with ideals, as in = I am better than Tom, or with violence, such as = I have hatred for Tom. (I'm just using the name Tom as an example as I have no plausible clue as to who Tom might be.) Instead she remained silent after she was pummeled and/or almost murdered. She never had to tell Dylan of her faithfulness and devotion to him because he knew. She is true to him like ice and fire meaning (and maybe a nod to Robert Frost) = it won't work to melt her love for him with fire (you can't burn a glacier) and the torch she carries for Dylan won't be bothered by arctic temps or icicles. Her love for him can survive war, ice, fire, famine and all of what have you. In Wiki it said that Dylan had to deal with a lot of inauthentic chaos in the outside world and Sara's "zen-like calm" brought strength to him and was a refuge for him. My guess is that Sara went through hell in her life and anytime someone goes through hardship they have two choices; shrivel up and die or evolve. "Zen-like calm" isn't the state of mind in which we arrive on this planet. Zen-like calm is a process and it is created or born through suffering. My guess is that Sara went through some very difficult experiences (the playboy bunny phase, perhaps) and became stronger because of them. The traumas and hardships she endured helped to develop her character. Dylan is a smart man for admiring her for this.
People carry roses
Make promises by the hours
My love she laughs like the flowers
Valentines can't buy her
People carry roses to show their love and most of us have made promises we can't keep. Dylan's love laughs at the absurdity of life. She isn't cynical, she is an optimist and a realist. She doesn't require roses and she knows all promises are compromised (or at the very least tested at times) and that life is not black and white it is grey. In real life forever turns into six weeks or a year or fifteen and in the end sometimes a promise isn't kept but still it was beautiful, interesting and/or worthwhile for much the time. She knows all of this. Loving Dylan is a risk for her, but her love is a risk worth taking. If a couple can love each other through a terrible war, long-distance, addictions, the music business, etc... the odds should be in their favour by the end of all of that turmoil. Their love should be as strong as titanium. "Valentines can't buy her" means Dylan recognizes that Sara isn't something to be purchased. A Valentine or a love letter or a song isn't going to "buy" her love. Her love is sacred as in not something to trade like a government might by bartering or haggling. Here Dylan is saying to Sara that her love is important to him. He knows he can't buy her with a box of chocolates but he must win her affections by being a loving man to her. Still, his writing songs for her is one of the most beautiful, poignant and meaningful ways for him to express his admiration and devotion and she is deeply moved by his tributes. I think Dylan is just trying to seem "normal" here by saying, yes I do write unbelievably thoughtful and gorgeous songs for my love but still it doesn't mean I "buy" her love. I win it. Sara's love for Dylan is so strong despite the fact that he gets pulled in all sorts of directions plus the added stress of having throngs of women throw themselves at his feet. She laughs like the flowers means = she remains steady throughout all of the chaos. She doesn't get bothered by all of the wackiness going on in their lives and he respects that quality. She has learned in her trials and ordeals how to become and remain tough, sane and healthy. She understands that in her life she will be tested with an incredible amount of chaos (she already has) and she will continue to adapt to the chaos and rise above it with humor and calm. Dylan is describing Sara's resiliency. He is tooting her horn, so to speak.
In the dime stores and bus stations
People talk of situations
Read books repeat quotations
Draw conclusions on the wall
I think this part is about the media and the outside world and how they perceive Dylan's relationship with Sara. "People talk of situations". They read books, repeat quotations, speculate and jump to conclusions. They write their assumptions in permanent ways, for example on walls inside bus stations, which is equivalent to tweeting or blogging in today's terms. In the Ben Franklin people are talking and others are listening and this kind of chatter can be so devastatingly destructive. Someone hears something and it is like Chicken Little and the world goes into an uproar when there was only just a teensy morsel of truth to the whopper of the story they were telling. This stanza is about detachment and/or adapting to chaos. Dylan and Sara know all of this too well... A. Don't ever care what people are saying in terms of gossip. B. Get to know the real person/situation and draw your own conclusions in your head not on the wall. C. Adapt to chaos. This is by far the most important thing we can do to take care of ourselves. We can adapt to chaos by detaching and/or integrating ourselves into the mad fray in our own unique and healthy manner. Dylan is proud of Sara for getting fit, phat and becoming robust. Sara is a badass. We all already know that Dylan stayed healthy by retreating at times, deflecting questions and praise, his witty irreverent style and of course reinventing himself.
Some speak of the future
My love she speaks softly
She knows there's no success like failure
And that failure's no success at all
Sometimes people talk about their future plans and his love wants to do that because she obviously loves Dylan immensely. She has learned to speak her mind when she pleases and be true to herself and be honest with her feelings. So, I think when he writes that Sara "speaks softly" he is just saying that she isn't loud and imposing with her thought and beliefs. She isn't in your face, telling others how to live their lives or that her way of life is "the way" or "right". Dylan is saying that she is of the "live and let live" mentality and she likes to listen to other people and try to grasp how they view the world. Obviously, Sara becomes inspired by people from all walks of life and from her broad experiences. "She knows there's no success like failure" means = what defines a person is how well they rise after falling. This means that true success is the ability to go through some serious shit and come out on the other side. Sara knows that the lessons learned in hell are invaluable and like nothing else in this world. She understands that this would not be viewed as "traditional" success. "And that failure's no success at all" means that to Sara, true failure is the inability to take risks. The greatest failure in life is to risk nothing. There is no art in the absence of risk. (So many great sayings to describe the point Dylan is trying to make in that sentence = LOVE IS A RISK WORTH TAKING.)
The cloak and dagger dangles
Madams light candles
In ceremonies of the horsemen
Even the pawn must hold a grudge
"Cloak and dagger" conjures up intrigue and espionage hence deception. Since it "dangles" this means whatever evil Bob and Sara have gone through is hanging by a thread. This sentence tells us that the truth will soon be revealed. The madams who light candles are prostitutes, women who have whored themselves to/for Dylan. I think their "lighting candles" does not mean "come by big boy and see me in my house of ill-repute" rather "I have hope for your life". They are of the mindset, "I'd rather light a candle than curse the darkness etc..." They are cheering Dylan on his path with Sara. The madmas are frowned upon by many but they are human beings inside. They are trying to be do-gooders in many ways. Ceremonies of the horsemen could refer to the KKK and those white sheets they wore to disguise themselves in order to trigger panic throughout the land. This sort of thing was EVIL indeed. Historically, the ceremonies the horsemen had were all about burning human beings. Burning hurts. But what is to bring light must endure burning! Change happens when people are torched. A pawn who was charred or who was simply used in a game would of course feel resentful/upset and most likely want revenge. But, must a pawn hold a grudge? Hmm. Perhaps not. All of these things Dylan mentions are considered the underbelly of society; deception, prostitution, burning people, grudges. Not "pleasant" stuff but there is a glimmer of hope in these lines. He is all about opposites in this song and I think he is telling us to find the baby in the manure. He is showing us his awareness of the way the world works and how hope and change occurs. I would be remiss in omitting that I suppose some would say this burning stanza could be all about The Illuminati. I've heard unsubstantiated rumors that these people are the modern day KKK and they burn people alive... But maybe they burn people in order to take risks, foster change and find the electric fetus in the feces.
Statues made of matchsticks
Crumble into one another
My love winks she does not bother
She knows too much to argue or to judge
Statues are normally made of cement or concrete. They most definitely do not have feelings and voices hence they are unable to tell the truth. These particular statues are made of matchsticks which means, unlike traditional statues, they are fragile. They could either blow or spontaneously combust or crumble like a house of cards and have a domino effect. These statues could create a gigantic fire soon.. (Remember: Fire can't melt a glacier.) His love isn't bothered by anything anyone does. She winks as if to signify, "Our secret. I get it. I won't be bothered by anyone else's actions and I will practice the theory of detachment. Keep on keeping on. No worries. It's All Good." This means that to love someone and I mean truly love someone we must detach from them as in never try to control them. Any attempts to control someone might have the best of intentions, but truthfully the person who is being manipulated or controlled is experiencing that as harm. We need to build each other up rather than tear each other down. We need to show our love and compassion for each other by supporting one another. Sara has been on a very long and emotionally depleting journey and she knows too much to argue with people (she can respectfully disagree or remain silent) and she most certainly won't judge them for their actions. We can see Dylan is urging us to think outside the box here. Or actually, I think he is saying take a look deep inside of her = what you see is what you get but you also get so much more. Sara is a woman who is filled with energy and spirit. She also believes in a very humanistic, almost Buddhist approach to life. Dylan appreciates her for the woman she is. He knows her love for him is reciprocated which is "Love Minus Zero".
The bridge at midnight trembles
The country doctor rambles
Banker's nieces seek perfection
Expecting all the gifts that wisemen bring
Midnight is the end of the day, the end of the game. The bridge is the connection which links the past with the present/future. It trembles because sometimes crossing from the past to the present is a shaky, scary process. It isn't like walking on solid ground because we are on uncharted territory. Dylan and Sara are forging and blazing new trails. He is saying, "When it comes to love, we are all renegades". There is always some degree of fear involved when we are doing something brand new. "The country doctor rambles" means that many people are in need of care and love/medicine/salve. Throughout the land people need assistance and The Doctor is rambling means he is a wanted man. The Doctor could be Dylan or maybe someone who is his friend.. Anyway, Dylan recognizes that so many of us need to be "fixed" because we are sad about the past or worried about the future or what have you. The country doctor is old-fashioned with his briefcasey thing full of tinctures, herbs and potions (and most definitely music) and he is hope for the people in the land. The citizens of the world need and want hope. "The banker's niece" is Sara and Dylan is nodding to the old saying that every one of us has a wealthy uncle. It is a stereotype and it isn't always true. Dylan is saying that his love seeks "perfection" in that love isn't about a bank. She expects and has already received some of the most beautiful gifts that wisemen bring; a great deal of knowledge and strength. Here Dylan is also referring to the traditional gifts wisemen bring which are of course, gold which is symbolic of Sara as his Queen, frankincense which represents a new phase in her spiritual life, and finally myrrh which is symbolic of her suffering and represents a rebirth.
The wind howls like a hammer
The night blows rainy
My love is like some raven
At my window with a broken wing
"The wind howls like a hammer" means the winds of change are blowing into the scene and something big is imminent. The night is darkness and a person's inability to see clearly. The rain is cleansing. All of this is Dylan recognizing the pain he and Sara have endured as a couple but like amazing grace they shall be released. We have all heard the saying "change is the only constant in life". But is it? I think Dylan is saying here that Love changes but that Love is the only constant in life. Love is the common denominator. Love minus zero is about resiliency. Is it about adapting to chaos. At times in our lives we veer away from hope, from light, from faith, from kindness but we should never veer away from Love. We can travel far from home and feel alone and desperate and feel like committing suicide and the only thing that keeps us alive is Love... Knowing that we have Love in our hearts to give.... Knowing that we have children to kiss and hug and raise and parents to learn from and help and friends to adore and maybe a person so incredibly amazing like a Bob Dylan out there to Love. So never give up on Love, Dylan is singing. "My love is like some raven at my window with a broken wing" sums up everything about their love. He recognizes that she is near him, calling out to him and there is only a thin sheet of glass between them. Her broken wing is her ability or inability to fly on her own. He knows that she probably could heal herself and that she could most likely fly away on her own. He knows how strong she is. Dylan is saying that Sara is wild and broken. At times in his life he has perceived to her to be "inaccessible", but now she is right there. She is vulnerable and (like him) she seeks her love to provide her shelter from the storm.
So there you have it. I'm sorry it is short and disjointed and horribly rude but I was in a big hurry to get back to listening to my music. Right now I am just sooo really into Diana Krall's Live in Paris CD. I like it a lot a lot a lot. It makes me feel like a sociopath or royalty. \IIII/
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