This song has been one which brought out extreme feelings in me. After my tour of duty in Korea,I was re-assigned to Fort. Lee Virginia. We used to love to go to country dances which were usually held on the outskirts of many little southern towns. The music makes me remember the south on hot summer nights at the local dances. Crickets, clothes hanging dry.
This is something a person who grew up in Brooklyn had never seen before and will never see again. It just made me feel awestruck I have seen girls, children and adults just leave and not say goodbye- never to be seen again . I saw it in the south and have seen it all my professional life as a Clinical Psychologist. People would leave with "the devil" and for no reason that anyone could determine. The girl asks him to dance. He was dirty, he quoted from the Bible She needed to leave with him. Why did she need to leave with this man?. Was he the devil? Did she need to be hurt ? Did she need to be abused? Had she been abused previously and that this was all she knew?
When we baptize a child we assume that we are washing away the evil that is in their heart at birth, and making them pure for future life. But with concept of "Free Will", we are responsible for our behavior, and it is up to us to control our vile and depraved nature. This is well understood.
Sigmund Freud held that there are no mistakes in life. That a person performs an act becuse they want to or need to based on conscious or unconscious ideation. Dylan understands that. " People don't live or die, people just float, and she left with this strange man. There is so much wisdom in this song, that for me, it just feels like a cold, sad reality. I think that Daniel Lanois brought out feelings in Dylan that were there, but created the music to make those songs real and intense. Two brilliant men working together to get the most out of each other. Dylan talks about it in his book, but one can feel it in this great song, and many of the other songs on the album. This girls motivation is so confusing, so sad, and it does "stick in the throat". One sees signs everywhere " Have you seen this child"? Jun 20, 2006