Bob Dylan started out a total mystery to me. My dad had his first volume of greatest hits and I just didn’t get it. All I had to go on, in comparison, were the classically pretty rock and roll voices of The Beatles, Crosby, Stills, and Nash, Loggins and Messina (lord help us), Joni Mitchell, and Carole King records that my father played constantly. Dylan was such an obvious counter to these easy-to-listen-to artists and I could not understand the attraction. Then a strange thing happened– I started loving his music.
What I loved, and still love, about Bob Dylan is his incredible ability to tell a complex story in a few words. His choice of words and the melodies he weaves create detailed tapestries. This skill is front and center in “One More Cup Of Coffee”. The song spins a vivid picture of someone who is unsettled and is traveling through a harsh and beautiful landscape. His description of the characters in the song is like a painting of strange and wonderful people on the verge of a tragedy that is just off to the side of the picture, but not quite visible to the eye.
The image of coffee in the song is exactly right. It is something the protagonist and his companion share in, what I envision is, an intense conversation– and possibly their last cup and last talk. The coffee enables them to share something intimate before he rides away, possibly to meet his fate. “The valley below” could be green and inviting, but it doesn’t feel like it from the tone of the song. It feels more like a place he will not come back from. I hope that last cup of coffee was a good one.
What is your take on this song? Grab a cup of joe, give it a listen, and let us know. Comment on our Coffee Tune Tuesday link on FB.