Monday, January 30, 2023

The Philosophy of Modern Song by Bob Dylan

 The Philosophy of Modern Song by Bob Dylan is a very unique,  cool collection of essays on various songs. He waxes poetically and creatively on sixty six songs from the 1920s to now. It's like a master class on songwriting - Stephen Foster to Elvis Costello, Hank Williams to Nina Simone. The photos that  accompany his words add to the project. It is absolutely fascinating.  

What was extra fun - I had my phone handy and brought up the songs on i-Tunes. I played the song and then read the essay. It added a lot of depth to songs I might take for granted. 

Here's a quick example - Tutti Frutti by Little  Richard  1955

Little Richard was speaking in tongues across the airwaves long before anybody knew what was happening. He is the master of the double  entendre. Little Richard was anything but little. He's saying  that something is happening. The world's gonna fall apart. He's a preacher. "Tutti Frutti" is sounding the alarm. 

Each little essay is a treat (even on artists/songs  I didn't know) - I chuckled, I nodded, and this book had me dig out some old CDs I hadn't listened to in awhile. 

Thanks Bob!


  1. That was the perfect way to do it -- play each song before reading about it. Dylan was a genius whose contributions keep making life more manageable.
    Have a great week, friend.

    1. Exactly. His poetic writing and humor make this book a gem

  2. Hi Joanne - I had a book by him/of him after the Nobel Literature Prize in 2016 ... but perhaps it got left in Canada - I was eliminating weight ... I knew in due time I'd catch it here. This looks fascinating - I'll have to get from the library ... cheers Hilary

    PS nearly gave him the Peace Prize? - glad I checked!

    1. Yes this book is worthy of a library wait. And frankly his music is Peace Prize notable too! What the heck.