I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine

(Bob Dylan)

From the album: John Wesley Harding (1968)

 4.4/5 (105 votes)

6 comments

Speedy Thanks for the info and insight, Bill. I have no taste for religion, but this song makes me weep every time I hear it for its absolute seriousness and -- I don't know how else to say it -- truth. Mar 29, 2006
Bill Cohen St. Augustine of Hippo depicts the early life of Dylan. Augustine loved the girls, and was quite the philosopher. He was taught about christianity by people that he thought to be shallow. In his book, Confessions he talks about his conversion to Christianity and his Baptism. To the general Roman philosophers, christianity was a concept to be adhered to along with commerce and other superficial teachings. When Augustine became Bishop Of Hippo he spoke about pure Christianity, The City of God and the fact that sinners such as himself could repent and become good Christians. Many of his teachings were not popular at that time as they were not what some people could bear to hear. He taught about war, and the Just War, which had many components. In this lifetime, the Invasion of Iraq would not qualify as a Just War. No Martyr, is among you now that You can call your own was Augustine's argument regarding total adherence to the Holy Christ. His Doctrine was clear, and allowed no room for superficicial Christianity, such as we see today. He angered a lot of powerful people who planned to put him out to death. He was not killed, and died an old man in his bed. The current Pope considers St Augustine as his most important teacher, as the basic and fundamental rules of Roman Catholic believers are clear and plain. Dylan would have been one of the people who talked about Christ, but until his Conversion, as did Augustine, melted into a pool of tears when he talked about his conversion and baptism. He discusses this in his Song- Every Grain Of Sand. Dylan's confusion was clear in that he was a Jew, and a Christian at the same time. Although he has come back to Judiasm, I believe him, in his heart, to be a Messianic Jew. He sings the song in plantive agony and confusion and finally cries. Dylan is a brilliant man and avid reader. His songs are in many ways autobiographical. Mar 17, 2006
Debra its about Jesus inthe chuch ( st augustine) miserable ( he was crucified) Yet seearching for souls. encouraging us on ( come on ye gifte d kings and queens) you're not alone even the threee verses ( godly number relevant here because of the trinity) depicts in the finall verse that the holy spirit is alive with fiery breath (holy ghost) But filled with sorrow and fear he cried realising he was amongst the ones that put him to death Feb 24, 2006
Steve I have to agree, it's my favorite harmonica solo. Feb 14, 2006
Rick The harmonica at the end of the song ... wow. Goosebumps. Jun 18, 2005
Nina I am so very glad to see how many voters here ranked this an absolute masterpiece. The gravity and sorrow and wonder of the vocal, and those images that are such unforgettable glimpses, shards -- *tearing through these quarters in utmost misery." The song every time is so moving, such a thing of grace. May 13, 2005
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Related songs & albums

All songs on John Wesley Harding
Track Song
1 John Wesley Harding (Bob Dylan)
2 As I Went Out One Morning (Bob Dylan)
3 I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine (Bob Dylan)
4 All Along the Watchtower (Bob Dylan)
5 The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest (Bob Dylan)
6 Drifter's Escape (Bob Dylan)
7 Dear Landlord (Bob Dylan)
8 I Am a Lonesome Hobo (Bob Dylan)
9 I Pity the Poor Immigrant (Bob Dylan)
10 The Wicked Messenger (Bob Dylan)
11 Down Along the Cove (Bob Dylan)
12 I'll Be Your Baby Tonight (Bob Dylan)
I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine appears on these albums
Year Album
1968 John Wesley Harding
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