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What does Bob Dylan's song Visions of Johanna mean?

Michael Nuzum, Tuesday, 17 February 2004 16:23 (seventeen years ago) link

a) the grass is always greener on the other side of the septic tank
b) do your own damn homework, kid

jody (Jody Beth Rosen), Tuesday, 17 February 2004 16:24 (seventeen years ago) link

It's about sleeping on a loft floor in Greenwich Village with loads of other poets and really REALLY wanting to have a wank but being worried as to whether the arm movement will show through the sleeping bag.

Tico Tico (Tico Tico), Tuesday, 17 February 2004 16:25 (seventeen years ago) link


jeremy jordan (cruisy), Tuesday, 17 February 2004 16:26 (seventeen years ago) link

visions of johanna vs pictures of lily

amateur!st (amateurist), Tuesday, 17 February 2004 16:27 (seventeen years ago) link

Ain't it just like the night to play tricks when you're tryin' to
be so quiet?
We sit here stranded, though we're all doin' our best to deny it
And Louise holds a handful of rain, temptin' you to defy it
Lights flicker from the opposite loft
In this room the heat pipes just cough
The country music station plays soft
But there's nothing, really nothing to turn off
Just Louise and her lover so entwined
And these visions of Johanna that conquer my mind

In the empty lot where the ladies play blindman's bluff with the
key chain
And the all-night girls they whisper of escapades out on the "D"
We can hear the night watchman click his flashlight
Ask himself if it's him or them that's really insane
Louise, she's all right, she's just near
She's delicate and seems like the mirror
But she just makes it all too concise and too clear
That Johanna's not here
The ghost of 'lectricity howls in the bones of her face
Where these visions of Johanna have now taken my 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
He's sure got a lotta gall to be so useless and all
Muttering small talk at the wall while I'm in the hall
How can I explain?
Oh, it's so hard to get on
And these visions of Johanna, they kept me up past the dawn

Inside the museums, Infinity goes up on trial
Voices echo this is what salvation must be like after a while
But Mona Lisa musta had the highway blues
You can tell by the way she smiles
See the primitive wallflower freeze
When the jelly-faced women all sneeze
Hear the one with the mustache say, "Jeeze
I can't find my knees"
Oh, jewels and binoculars hang from the head of the mule
But these visions of Johanna, they make it all seem so cruel

The peddler now speaks to the countess who's pretending to care for
Sayin', "Name me someone that's not a parasite and I'll go out and
say a prayer for him"
But like Louise always says
"Ya can't look at much, can ya man?"
As she, herself, prepares for him
And Madonna, she still has not showed
We see this empty cage now corrode
Where her cape of the stage once had flowed
The fiddler, he now steps to the road
He writes ev'rything's been returned which was owed
On the back of the fish truck that loads
While my conscience explodes
The harmonicas play the skeleton keys and the rain
And these visions of Johanna are now all that remain

scott seward (scott seward), Tuesday, 17 February 2004 16:27 (seventeen years ago) link

vs. lord of the flies

My Huckleberry Friend (Horace Mann), Tuesday, 17 February 2004 16:27 (seventeen years ago) link

vs "sketches of winkle"

jodylicious (Jody Beth Rosen), Tuesday, 17 February 2004 16:27 (seventeen years ago) link

it's obvious, isn't it?

scott seward (scott seward), Tuesday, 17 February 2004 16:27 (seventeen years ago) link

Yeah the bit where his "conscience" "explodes" is key to my reading.

Tico Tico (Tico Tico), Tuesday, 17 February 2004 16:28 (seventeen years ago) link

Blimey, Tico, yer RIGHT!

mark grout (mark grout), Tuesday, 17 February 2004 16:29 (seventeen years ago) link

I always thought at went:

Louise, she's all right, she's just near
She's delicate and smells like veneer

Steve.n. (sjkirk), Tuesday, 17 February 2004 16:30 (seventeen years ago) link

"fish truck"

jody (Jody Beth Rosen), Tuesday, 17 February 2004 16:31 (seventeen years ago) link

Tico OTM. Whodathunk.

ENRQ (Enrique), Tuesday, 17 February 2004 16:32 (seventeen years ago) link

Topic within topic:
Which character is supposed to be Nico? Edie Sedgewick? Sara Lowndes?

Doobie Keebler (Charles McCain), Tuesday, 17 February 2004 16:33 (seventeen years ago) link

I cant believe someone couldnt understand what this song is about!! Nuzum, dont worry about paying attention to any lyrics anymore, okay?

wallace carothers, Saturday, 28 February 2004 04:15 (seventeen years ago) link

"Oh, it's so hard to get on
And these visions of Johanna, they kept me up past the dawn"

Sym (shmuel), Sunday, 29 February 2004 00:01 (seventeen years ago) link

four years pass...

I didn't know where to put this and this fucker certainly doesn't deserve his own thread but Zantzinger, don't RIP:


Kevin John Bozelka, Sunday, 11 January 2009 19:19 (twelve years ago) link

A lowlife to the end:

In 1991, The Maryland Independent disclosed that Mr. Zantzinger had been collecting rent from black families living in shanties that he no longer owned; Charles County, Md., had foreclosed on them for unpaid taxes. The shanties lacked running water, toilets or outhouses. Not only had Mr. Zantzinger collected rent for properties he did not own, he also went to court to demand past-due rent, and won.

He pleaded guilty to 50 misdemeanor counts of deceptive trade practices, paid $62,000 in penalties and, under an 18-month sentence, spent only nights in jail.

thirdalternative, Sunday, 11 January 2009 19:44 (twelve years ago) link

five years pass...

is Visions of Johanna seriously about having a hard on and wanting to wank in a room full of sleeping/fornicating people? damn

i also enjoy in line skateing (spazzmatazz), Tuesday, 23 September 2014 18:59 (six years ago) link

who knows?

u2 removal machine (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 23 September 2014 21:13 (six years ago) link


Οὖτις, Tuesday, 23 September 2014 21:15 (six years ago) link

we were one JBR xpost away from the greatest first response ever

Ѿ (imago), Tuesday, 23 September 2014 21:16 (six years ago) link

four years pass...

he he it is indeed

niels, Wednesday, 24 October 2018 08:03 (two years ago) link

two years pass...

Great interview with Larry Campbell about what it was like to tour/play with Dylan. As mentioned in the interview, the Larry Campbell/Charlie Sexton band (first with Kemper on drums, then Receli) is often considered the best band Dylan had on the NET, and I would agree.


birdistheword, Thursday, 1 April 2021 19:11 (two weeks ago) link

Thanks for posting this. I've been listening to a lot of 'Love and Theft' tour bootlegs lately. Such a great band. The Warren Zevon covers were so good.

BlackIronPrison, Friday, 2 April 2021 01:16 (one week ago) link

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