What does Diamonds and Rust mean?

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Joan Baez: Diamonds and Rust Meaning


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Song Released: 1975

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Diamonds and Rust Lyrics

I'll be damned, here comes your ghost again
But that's not unusual
It's just that the moon is full
And you decided to call

And here I sit, hand on the telephone
Hearing the voice I'd known
A couple of light years ago
Headed straight for...


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    Aug 27th, 2018 8:13pm report

    After 10 years of silence Dylan calls Baez to read her the lyrics to Lily, Rosemary... She had been his port in a storm years ago but he treated her badly and she is unnerved by the call, understanding he never loved her the way she loved him. But she found diamonds spring from cold ugly coal and saw shiny glitter deteriorate into rust. Legend has it that she sometimes sang an alternate ending. Instead of I've already paid she says I'll take the diamonds. I believe the line We both could have died then and there refers to a particularly romantic night they shared in that "crummy hotel over Washington Square."


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    Dec 10th, 2016 12:01pm report

    I believe "we both could have died then and there"means they both could have failed as musicians and remained starving in Grenwich .Village

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway


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    Jun 18th, 2016 6:41pm report

    Diamonds and rust is evocative of time and how time can bring back memories either beautiful or sad meaning the time when a rock becomes a diamond or weathers something to rust.


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    May 14th, 2012 5:17am report

    It's my favorite song by Joan baez and it's certainly was written for Bob Dylan, it speaks of a deep routed pain.


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    Apr 9th, 2012 4:45pm report

    This song (which, believe it or not, was covered by Judas Priest!) is about Joan Baez's strained relationship with her former love, Bob Dylan.

    They had some wonderful moments that Joan still treasures... but the relationship ended because (in Joan's view), Bob could never make up his mind what he wanted from his relationship with her. He was always "keeping things vague," acting one moment as if they were going to get married, then acting as if they were just pals.

    They split up, and Joan has spent years trying to move on and put him out of her mind... but from time to time, he calls her up out of the blue, and brings all her complicated emotions rushing out again.

    Part of her thinks it's wonderful to hear from him, but another part is angry and resentful, wondering "What the hell do you want? To reminisce about the good old days? Feeling nostalgic? I mean, you obviously didn't want me when you had me... why do you act as if you want me NOW?"

    Dylan's calls evoke both delightful memories (diamonds) AND awful ones (rust).

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