BOB DYLAIN: SAVED BY LOVE
Updated: Jun 15
Next up in our series of AI-generated Bob Dylan lyrics is "Saved By Love." One fascinating aspect of this project is that our AI model is learning from the entire Dylan catalog at once, so all of his stylistic evolutions are influencing our output. So we might see some of the characteristically inscrutable and surreal writing from a song like "Ballad of a Thin Man" combined with more wistful, reflective territory of his later writing.
Update June 15 2022:
Listen to this recorded version by Untold Dylan's Tony Attwood:
If you're new to this exploration, here's a link to our first post explaining background and methodology.
Here's "Saved By Love:"
I had a long talk with your aunt In the churchyard, in the alley She told me all about your death I lay in bed and talked to myself But I didn’t know what to do Three bodies lyin’ there was nothin’ I could do to stop it Memory is like a rolling cloud Where the ancient light never fades I had a long talk with your uncle In the county jail He sat in a rocking chair He talked about the golden age When men, women, and children went free He said the darkest hour was still ahead When men, women, and children went free I had a right to be Saved by love, I had a right to be I had a long talk with your grandmother In the home of the living She talked about the trials and the tribulations She said you had a right to know What she knew about disease and about how it was to be killed How many people died from it, and what was left? How many more would be left to rot? When you died, your body was buried in the rocks In the gutter like a boiled fish I never saw my heart begin to bleed I never saw my whole being disappear I had a long talk with my brother In the cold dark of night He spoke of the great final struggle When all is lost and all is made of stone You and me we had completeness I gave you all of what you wanted I did it my way, you followed your own fancy I had a right to be Saved by love, I had a right to be
As I mentioned above, this feels like it spans a few styles of Dylan's output. I can hear him howling this tune as he did on his early electric recordings, but I can also hear later Dylan quietly croaking this out much like he might on something like "Love Sick."
But I didn’t know what to do Three bodies lyin’ there was nothin’ I could do to stop it Memory is like a rolling cloud Where the ancient light never fades
This above passage feels like a representative combination of early and later Dylan. To me, the first two lines evoke his early writing with direct descriptions of a disturbing scene, while the next two lines are more reflective of the writing of his later years. And then we also see something that is appearing somewhat regularly in this experiment: the call back. "When you died, your body was buried in the rocks," is obviously a reference to "Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again" but like I mentioned in an earlier post, this doesn't feel completely out of character for Dylan.
The overall feeling I get from this output is a feeling of loss and regret. The writer has lost someone they loved, and is struggling to make sense of this loss.
I had a right to be Saved by love, I had a right to be
The repeating structure of "I had a long talk with ..." also feels like something we might hear from Dylan, and while I'm not an expert this seems to harken back to the structure of the blues artists Dylan admires.