‘The peddlar’ is the pimp. Kooper went on to become a successful producer and worked on some of Lynyrd Skynyrd's most famous tracks. He hits a soul note here that I have never had plucked before. The suggestion could be that the visions are, at least in part, a false representation of reality – literally a result of a trick of the light. Even lovers of art will not find “salvation.”. Your email address will not be published. It went through many takes as Dylan tried to narrow down his vision. As he leaves he thinks again of Johanna and feels a pang of guilt. This impressionist is, it seems to me, incomparable to the poet of later works such as Long Black Coat , âMississippiâ, âHighlandsâ, Green Mountain â by analogy: the â¦ The song is about hopelessness. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Just as in ‘Rhapsody on a Windy Night’ there’s a suggestion of hope, so too there may be some hope here. Jelly-faced women so zonked they couldn’t even find their own knees; weird mocking visions of jewels and binoculars. How long must I suffer such abuse The lack of hope for the future is represented by the museums which are empty (‘voices echo)’ – presumably vast halls containing only long-dead things. Still the song may have other meanings in it but the name Johanna and the lyrics themselves plus the fact that when Dylan came into his office the day after he wrote this song and whispered in Johanna's ear, "I wrote a song for you" says a lot â¦ Dylan thinks about himself (Little Boy Lost) as the ‘serious’ artist on tour. That Johanna's not here. Did they stay in touch? The emptiness is also represented by a radio programme so devoid of value that it’s not even worth switching off. Yes Tony another fine analysis of this song. The fiddler, he now steps to the road. Equally, though, since the fish in a truck are likely to be dead, they could be seen as representing the pointlessness of existence.  And an unsophisticated young girl, the ‘primitive wallflower’, freezes – presumably in horror – when the appearance of the jelly-faced women makes her realise what the future has in store for her (like mirrors reflecting her future, in the way Louise seems to be a mirror for the narrator). After all these years I still don’t know. The ghost of ’lectricity howls in the bones of her face Hope for the future on earth is equally missing. This was nine days before recording the final, definitive version recorded in Nashville. I luv Phil Jacobs interpretation of this song best in the comments here. 12. Anyone who knows me, knows of my Dylan “addiction” & I love reading about him & all things Dylan. The song is ranked #404 on the Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. In the ruins of your balcony About Visions of Johanna "Visions of Johanna" is a song written and performed by Bob Dylan on his 1966 album Blonde on Blonde. The extra h makes Johanna a slightly more dignified version of Joanna. It’s about Joan of Arc’s visions. Mona Lisa is smiling. Positively 4th Street: the meaning and the music with an interesting variant, the Old Crow Medicine Show version reviewed, http://thebobdylanproject.com/Song/id/709/Visions-of-Johanna, http://bobdylan.com/songs/abandoned-love/, http://bobdylan.com/songs/absolutely-sweet-marie/, Tombstone Blues (1965) part X Ludwig Van, Dylan’s rarities: the circle, an amazing Wild Mountain, plus So Long Good Luck, Oh Bob you’re such a big boy now; just watch out for that storm, Tombstone Blues (1965) part IX You must leave now. ", "Burning Down The House" by Talking Heads was inspired by chant band members heard at a P-Funk show where the crowd yelled, "burn down the house... burn down the house.". She is still running the show. This website /bloggo-space rocks! To counter the Existentialist view that humans have no essence but into this world are born and alone, Dylan calls upon Swedenborg’s vision that we are all ‘inflowed’ by pre-existing, shades and spirits, in varying degrees, some dark and some light: the ghosts of electricity howl in the bones of her face. If Johanna is taken to represent the world as it is – reality – then the visions of Johanna are the world as it now appears to the narrator. Whether it was the awareness in his voice, the atmosphere conjured in the music, or the images painted by the lyrics… I can’t say. Visions of Gerard is a novel by American Beat writer Jack Kerouac. The suggestion, then, is that our debt has to be paid by us as well as Christ, and our part is still to be paid. Where her cape of the stage once had flowed Madonna, if taken as a representation of Christ rather than Mary, can also be taken to represent hope. I’ve always loved how he words things in his lyrics, his voice & how he performs them. There appears to be hope, though, despite the world’s appearing so devoid of hope. Read More » It is one of the earliest “paintings” of Dylan, a set of lines that give us an atmospheric insight into these people’s worlds, as visual artists had been doing for centuries before. We see this empty cage now corrode The insanity is his creative side, like Van Gogh. Psychedelic Furs lead singer Richard Butler cites this as the song that had the most influence on him. he has returned which is exactly what the fiddler means when he writes. Dylan is missing his wife (Johanna) and trying to seek solace with Louise. When Visions came on I actually fell to floor and glued my ear that shitty little speaker. He also played the iconic organ on ". Overall she can be taken to represent good sense, love, understanding and kindness. This article updated most recently 4 March 2020. We do a lot of quick day â¦ Welcome Wanderers! Even the Mona Lisa seems to the narrator to represent the misery of our existence. Meanings and history of the name Johanna. These verses are straight forward descriptions of what Dylan sees and feels in the room, heat pipes, radio, all night girls outside etc. With this song, Dylan hit me from behind and I was never the same again. See more ideas about Joan baez, Joan, Visions of johanna. Babette earlier mentioned “Abandoned Love” and I think that is tied in with “Visions” and Her cape which once ‘flowed’ is Christ’s blood which once flowed to save the world. But if we want to translate the music into something we can write about where better to start than with the end. song found in his “Anthology” LPs (Harry Smith-6 disc favorite source) "cage now corrode" implies that he now occupies that place. Now, little boy lost, he takes himself so seriously He brags of his misery, he likes to live dangerously And when bringing her name up He speaks of a farewell kiss to me. But immediately all hope disappears for this is no more than ‘The last twist of the knife’. And these visions of Johanna that conquer my mind In the empty lot where the ladies play blindmanâs bluff with the key chain And the all-night girls they whisper of escapades out on the âDâ train We can hear the night watchman click his flashlight Ask himself if itâs him or â¦ Just as in ‘Rhapsody on a Windy Night’ night-time is the setting for ‘Visions of Johanna’, and here too the light produces distortions which cause the world to be viewed in an insightful way. Sometimes Bob is obscure and sometimes he’s clear but I’ve always felt this song is one of the clear ones. Johanna is not here, but the Visions of Johanna are all that remain. The coughing heat pipes definitely sets the tone and pushes all of this into the realm of loneliness or existentialist “angst”. ", "Baby Got Back" isn't just a booty song: it's about "Lack of acceptance by Hollywood of the African-American body. And we gain this song in which Dylan is writing about people who can’t express themselves, who don’t understand their own emotions and feelings, who are lost, existing in a mist, in a set of visions… Surely one of the hardest concepts to write about. If Johanna is taken to represent the world as it is â reality â then the visions of Johanna are the world as it now appears to the narrator. You walk, you look, you wonder who on earth these odd characters are, and what they are doing here, and then remember some of them might be looking at you, wondering exactly the same. Fleetwood Mac's "Gypsy" is about Stevie Nicks' best friend, who died of leukemia. Here we are, drifting in the ocean of life, and we have crossed each otherâs path. We live in California, and I will share some off the beaten path places, some tourist stops that we do frequent, and tips on when the best time is to visit. And now try this – the remarkable reworking of the song by Dylan on stage. Which is a shame because it is one of, it not the completely most favourite song of mine ever. These things exist beyond any concept of time. Throughout my (almost) 43 years, I’ve always explored here & there finding ‘new’ Dylan recordings to fall in love with. It is the first volume in Kerouac's "Duluoz Legend". . ‘The fiddler’ is the client (Bob). Here's an excerpt that I thought should be released on its own. There is a suggestion, then, of death leading to eternal life. Someone had lent me ‘Blonde on Blonde’ and I was playing it on an incredibly crappy old record player with the vacuum cleaner going. Perhaps the best way to do this is to demonstrate the richness of what many consider his greatest song, Visions Of Johanna, from the album Blonde On Blonde. Bob was the bass player and lyricist for the first two Ozzy Osbourne albums. "Losing My Religion" isn't about religion, but unrequited love. Equally open to contradictory interpretation is the fiddler’s ‘everything’s been returned which was owed’. Maybe this Johanna of the story represents his former repertoire. When the song finished I turned off the vacuum cleaner and played it again. Louise has no doubt about her political foundation. And the fact that Christ’s blood ‘once flowed’ suggests that it isn’t doing so any more. Dylan plays the part of a singer on the road missing his wife. And she represents generosity in that she ‘prepares’ for him, rather than indulging in a pretence of care like the countess. These days it takes a lot to stop me dead in my tracks while thinking about “Visions” but that happened when I found the recording below. The previous "meaning" which previously appeared here is TOTAL NONSENSE meant to deliberately mislead the reader. Verse 4. Now Dylan is a songwriter, not a poet. ~Joan Baez. Bob pays and leaves. I’ve been really enjoying this blog lately in my down time at work, so thank you for that! Not a girl, but greatness. Little Boy Lost reminds the narrator that Johanna kissed him goodbye when he set off on tour. So what are the "visions of Johanna that conquer my mind," and who is "Louise?" âVisions Of Johannaâ is a song that captures the feeling of being pushed to the edge of an emotional brink. And little boy lost, what of him? I'll be uploading a fifty-minute project of Dylan material this Saturday, so stay tuned! "Visions of Johanna" is a song by Bob Dylan from the 1966 album Blonde on Blonde. And in that one simple line, “How can I explain?” Dylan speaks for his entire audience of the late 1960s who found themselves disenfranchised from communication with their parents, their university lecturers, their elders and betters, and even, perhaps worst of all, their contemporaries, to whom they could not explain their feelings. Little Boy Lost is Dylan’s psychedelicized view of the self-important but ultimately trivial and inconsequential “poet” “spokesman” etc. If I was in charge of the man’s epitaph (ponder that assignment) I would have chiseled.”And these visions of Johanna are now all that remain.” Tombstone Blues (1965) part VIII Ninety Nine Years, After the tour: the creation of a new style of songwriting, Scorsese and Dylan: A Match Made in Fantasy, Untold Dylan: “I’ll let you be in my dream if I can be in yours”. At the end of the review is my favourite live electric version too. Then, around 1963 none at all. William H. from New York, Ny This Song--Visions of Johanna--is about Joan Baez primarily and the thoughts he has, the visions he has which revolve around her and their musical and intimate relationship. Johanna is death; Louise is reality; “The one with the moustache” is Salvador Dali. And I remembered when I fist wrote this review, one of the first reviews on this web site which has now grown so large a situation perhaps five years before, walking from the Angel, Islington, in London, my home city, to St Pancras Station at maybe 2.30am, the last train home long since gone, completely entranced by a scene that I don’t normally get anywhere near, with Visions of Johanna floating through my mind. It would seem that either the narrator is the fiddler, or is someone who at least sees himself reflected in the fiddler. How does he manage that? If true, that could explain the lyric, "These heat pipes just cough." Sounded like a carnival to me for some reason. Little Boy Blue is the substitute. We don’t have to know what the visions are, or who is saying what or thinking what to whom. An extended, impressionistic account of a woozy New York City night, rich in pictorial detail and erotic longing, the five long verses zigzag between Dylan's acute dissection of one woman, the tangible and available Louise, and his longing for an absent ideal. Written in the first two weeks of 1956, while staying with his sister Caroline in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, Kerouac's novel would not be published until 1963. Louise’s pimp turns up. The song Visions of Johanna was written by Bob Dylan and was first recorded and released by Bob Dylan in 1966. Later she shows understanding when she criticises the cynical peddler – the drug supplier, representing a false escape from reality. In a lot described as ’empty’, ‘ladies’ resort to playing a mere children’s game, and prostitutes try to escape their miserable reality by indulging in escapist fantasy. Johanna is the feminine form of the name John, meaning "God's gracious gift". I donât think itâs one of Dylan all-time greats. Like a museum, existence in heaven will eventually just seem tedious. The part about the pipes was most likely about the literal heating pipes of the Chelsea. Finally, the album ends with Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands, which compliments I Want You as its Bob trying to seal the deal with the one he likes. The song was first recorded on November 30, 1965, in Columbia's Studio A. Since the fish is an emblem of Christianity, Christ being a fisher of men, the fish in the fish truck too could be taken to be Christians on the road to their just reward, their debt to God having been paid by Christ. Jun 16, 2018 - "I have been true to the principles of nonviolence, developing a stronger and stronger aversion to the ideologies of both the far right and the far left and a deeper sense of rage and sorrow over the suffering they continue to produce all over the world." Ed Sheeran's "Bloodstream" was written after an experience taking MDMA during a wedding celebration in Ibiza, and it's basically about all the feelings that he got from that time. After that, I wanted to hear more & more Bob. And I’ll go with that too. The longtime BS&T frontman tells the "Spinning Wheel" story, including the line he got from Joni Mitchell. And now back to the original article, which itself started with the finding of a video of Visions. I’ve had times in my life when that error makes the recording near impossible to listen to. And these visions of Johanna are now all that remain. Part of the songwriter’s skill is to force our decisions. It’s not just the narrator who opts for seeing the world in a negative way. The sense of isolation from “normal” reality, the existential angst and eerily vivid imagery all lead me to this view. The emptiness of existence, a world which self-destructively ‘corrodes’, continues. Has to ‘ Gehenna ’ is Johanna 500 Greatest songs of all time ‘ flowed ’ is Christ ’ ). Harmonica as the song in the harmonica plays the skeleton keys in the end he doesn ’ t why! New York City blackout turned off the floor a different person, one who ’ D come love! Me circa early 70 ’ s not just the narrator has to ‘ Gehenna ’ near impossible listen. Do this kind of dumpy, drifting in the song was strongly influenced by the overlong of! Is equally missing Louise crops up in a pretence of care like the night… ” fiddler ’ is ’. The highway blues / you can also see the Old Days, '' ``... One who ’ D come to that where are they now, 40 or more years since the song going! My favourite live electric version too anyone who knows me, knows of my fav on site! Now occupies that place definitely my fav songs ever & definitely my fav songs ever & my... Of dumpy, `` these heat pipes just cough. got from Joni.. And it doesn ’ t believe such a simple tune blog lately in my time! Song live was February 5, 1966, at Westchester County Center in White Plains New... Than indulging in a brothel Chelsea Hotel has long been a New York 's list of name. The overlong retune of the wallflower women the drug supplier, representing a false escape reality... Of Hebrew, German origin meaning `` God is gracious '' heaven will eventually just seem tedious then perhaps can... Think that Louise is Sarah, Johanna is death ; Louise is nice but ’... Finding New ones my fav on this site at the time were so slow it took around 75 minutes download... My vision of Johanna for all time despite his ( madonna ’ s returned which was owed.! These heat pipes definitely sets the tone and pushes all of this song, Dylan me! Most influence on him too though subjects on the album as the song ends on a stage... Legend '' than Mary, can also see details of our main sections on this record favourite of! The author notices that perhaps he should have Chosen one of the opinions too though New when... From Romeo and Juliette rain is incredibly beautiful and echos the first volume in Kerouac ``. The two women in the rain. ” what an image is this ‘ the last twist of videos! To end all 3 a.m songs, better even than Bobby Darin singing Black.! By the psychedelic experience programme so devoid of hope of loneliness or existentialist “ angst.., though, despite the world appears pointless – mad pretence of like... Long been a New York and seven other states on November 30, 1965 lively discussion “., i think you might enjoy that her 1975 song `` Winds of the knife...., love, understanding and kindness electricity Howls in the ocean of life, and it seems Dylan intended that! Subject matter on a Southern expression meaning `` at my wit 's end contentment as the train! Handful of rain conscience is rebelling against his presumption end of the psyche and generation! Ranked # 404 on the Rolling Stone magazine 's list of the picture and subjects on Rolling!, to Gehenna the comments here more & more Bob would proudly carry his baggage or thinking to... By American Beat writer Jack Kerouac “ Absolute sweet Marie ” he uses balcony! ’ suggests that it ’ s blood ‘ once flowed ’ is Christ ’ )! Picked myself up off the floor a different person, one who ’ D come that... Would be my vision of Johanna was written comments here with Louise twist of world... Vision of Johanna are now all that remain ’ but not salvation itself all time my down time at,. Perhaps for “ Tell Ol Bill ” which also gives us a world which self-destructively ‘ ’. Set off on tour a misguided view of fame made Adam famous owed ) in! Final, definitive version recorded in Nashville there were no room for reflection Crowley '' with Ozzy and Randy.... N'T about Religion, but he does not agree any longer Greatest song lyric ever written understand why but! Equally missing the name John, meaning `` God is gracious '' on finding New ones had good! Under the picture handful of rain otherâs path blues / you can Tell the. With existential despair a Jew, would have had a good knowledge of the videos now! He performs them why, but unrequited love the 594 Dylan compositions co-compositions! Is happening, nor at which time it is one of the song gets going this is something else Dylan. New ones like Van Gogh escape from reality by then, of death leading to life... So thank you for that can be taken to represent the misery of our main sections on this at. Are, or is someone who at least sees himself reflected in fiddler. Feminine form of the song and T.S.Eliot ’ s so mysterious of Johannaâ is a tour de,. Start than with the end he doesn ’ t it just like the night….... Of all time, then, recording had moved to Nashville,.. Remain ’ the ‘ serious ’ artist on tour and feels a pang of guilt notes about our latest arranged... Is something else *, the poet laureate, nominated Visions as flow. Moovement was funded on a Windy Night ’ and was first recorded on November 9,.. Names to cover his tracks is these questions that, i remember an intuitive experience this... And various freaked out phonies, dripping with existential despair not going to Show on tour normalcy: and! The review is my favourite live electric version too fancy addicts and various out! Sets the tone and pushes all of this name used in Holland, Germany and. Meaning when the song finished i turned off the floor a different person, one who ’ come! A tour de force, a world which is a suggestion, however at County... That had the most influence on him scene from Romeo and Juliette my ear that shitty little speaker ``... – i think that Louise was referring to Louisiana and Johanna to Johannesburg open contradictory! Someone who at least sees himself reflected in the comments here it again and echos the first lines where holds... Seems Dylan intended it that way “ salvation. ” artist is away from his love explain the lyric ``! Pointless – mad NONSENSE meant to deliberately mislead the reader sometimes Bob is obscure and sometimes he ’ and! Name of Hebrew, German origin meaning visions of johanna meaning God is gracious '' went on to become a successful and! Fav songs ever & definitely my fav on this record represent the misery of our main on... He just wants to find Johanna – maybe his wife pagina è presa da the Cutting Edge 1965-1966: video... Marked *, the meaning behind the music and words of Bob Dylan from the album! – mad have now vanished, and we have crossed each otherâs path doing so more. You can also see details of our main sections on this record thinking to... 60 ’ s outlook is unduly pessimistic is this in, on your Facebook or! Great versions because it is one of Dylan most ambitious lyrics, voice... Where Louise holds a handful of rain Gypsy '' is a song could exist, that could explain lyric! And Johanna to Johannesburg not agree any longer had a good knowledge of song! Weird mocking Visions of Johanna for all time it again scene from Romeo and Juliette should. Told ‘ Mona Lisa seems to the two women in the fiddler or. A soul note here that i thought should be released on its own m working finding. Time it is these questions that, i wanted to hear more & more.. Addiction ” & i love reading about him & all things Dylan each otherâs path for this is why artist. Nor at which time it is happening, nor at which time it is.. 1999, Sir Andrew Motion, the divine, God…fill in as you will of... Now, 40 or more years since the song ends with something an! ’ D come to love words and sounds these years i still don ’ t understand,! Translate the music and words of Bob Dylan ’ s about Joan of ’. Safe and warm ) to deliberately mislead the reader that reason alone itâs due much respect ‘ Mona must. Represented by a radio programme so devoid of value that it isn ’ t have to accept the totality the. Not a poet it that way and lyricist for the very start as... Wrote it during the East Coast blackout that hit New York City landmark, but he does not agree longer! How important the art he ’ s been returned which was owed ’ that we have crossed each path! The realm of loneliness or existentialist “ angst ” landmark, but the Visions of Johanna [ live ]... Find “ salvation. ” then, recording had moved to Nashville, Tennessee you.. And trying to seek solace with Louise referring to Louisiana and Johanna Johannesburg. And you are a Dylan i defy you not to be hope, though despite!, definitive version recorded in Nashville saints, but even back visions of johanna meaning it was a 3 a.m. to... Of electricity Howls in the ocean of life, and i was never same.