Dylan on the Economy: Some Insights
Last week I asked blog readers to suggest the Bob Dylan lyrics they would use to describe the economy — a task requiring both deep knowledge of Dylan’s music and of current economic conditions.
The intersection of economics and Dylan is bigger than you might think, and yields some terrific suggestions.
And judging by the lyrics suggested, the Dylan-o-meter suggests that economic conditions are pretty bleak.
I’ve listed my favorites below, along with the context that I think they really speak to. Beyond this shortlist, you might enjoy reading the full list of entries for some entertaining runners-up.
1. The tax rebate checks:
“Well, he hands you a nickel,
He hands you a dime,
He asks you with a grin
If you’re havin’ a good time.”
2. President Bush meeting with Treasury Secretary Paulson:
“‘There must be some way out of here,’ said the joker to the thief,
‘There’s too much confusion; I can’t get no relief.’”
3. The housing bubble:
“Now the bricks lay on Grand Street
Where the neon madmen climb.
They all fall there so perfectly,
It all seems so well timed.
An’ here I sit so patiently
Waiting to find out what price
You have to pay to get out of
Going through all these things twice.”
– From “Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again,” suggested by Jeff.
4. And a suggestion that sounds like Robert Shiller (but more poetic):
“And so it did happen like it could have been foreseen,
The timeless explosion of fantasy’s dream.”
Congrats to Dan, Lawrence, Jeff, and Andy. Your prizes are on their way.
Oh, and I saw Dylan on Friday in Philly — a terrific show.