Has a song ever hit you at just the right moment?

This morning I was driving into work for my 6:30 meeting and decided to start listening straight through Dylan's concert album, Hard Rain.

As the disk flipped over from "Maggie's Farm" to "One Too Many Mornings" I knew the song was hitting me at just the right moment, catching me at a point of profound sympathy with the artist.

"One too many mornings and a thousand miles behind ..."

Can anyone give an existential-Amen to that? At least some days? Certainly today began as a "one too many mornings and a thousand miles behind" day for me.

Then I realized moving from "One Too Many Mornings" to "Stuck Inside of Mobile, with the Memphis Blues Again" how carefully crafted the song-list for Hard Rain really is! Not only was the song that first grabbed me a perfect expression of my state of mind, the whole album is a careful working out of that state of mind: its reasons, roots, unfoldings and implications.

And ... maybe this is one of the real powers of art, something that Aristotle understood and tried to explain as "catharsis" ... listening to these songs, I no longer feel "one too many mornings and a thousand miles behind."


Jeff said...


It sounds like quite a profound chain of moments working forward and backward simultaneously, transcending and distorting time, literally.

I was thinking of all of these moments in the past that have slipped away un-shared, un-praised.
They are gone, cannot be recalled, but retaining a ghost like quality.

Like Achilles striding off proudly into the abyss of the underworld after hearing his son has won great glory, so too the many past existential musical epiphanies that have gone un-affirmed shout a faint and long overdue "Amen" to your post, then waltz off into the abyss of the subconscious grave yard of existential moments past.

It has taken me a long time to recognize that my attempts to accurately share these moments with others does not do them justice, but this does not diminish my desire to continue trying. Your post has confirmed the power and mystery of these moments.

I may not have been inside the particularities of your moment, this morning, but i know them...
I look forward to meeting them in the future. They are like an unexpected visit from a good friend, who drops in unexpectedly from mysterious and faraway lands...we shall visit again and explore the mysteries of being . . of self and others, time's transience and transcendence.



can i borrow that album?

Janine the Bean said...

I have felt this. Thanks for putting your feelings into words to share.

I can even remember the song and the moment I heard it.

Instead of the sad, empty feeling of loneliness that the song described, I felt a profound sense of joy.

Strange how this happens.

JPB said...

Wait ... same song, Janine?

Janine the Bean said...

No, I should clarify.

It wasn't the same song, though I do really enjoy that one.

What I meant is that I can remember listening to A song where I felt the way that you described.