Dirge

Album: Planet Waves (1974)
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  • I hate myself for lovin' you and the weakness that it showed
    You were just a painted face on a trip down Suicide Road.
    The stage was set, the lights went out all around the old hotel,
    I hate myself for lovin' you and I'm glad the curtain fell.

    I hate that foolish game we played and the need that was expressed
    And the mercy that you showed to me, who ever would have guessed?
    I went out on Lower Broadway and I felt that place within,
    That hollow place where martyrs weep and angels play with sin.

    Heard your songs of freedom and man forever stripped,
    Acting out his folly while his back is being whipped.
    Like a slave in orbit, he's beaten 'til he's tame,
    All for a moment's glory and it's a dirty, rotten shame.

    There are those who worship loneliness, I'm not one of them,
    In this age of fiberglass I'm searching for a gem.
    The crystal ball up on the wall hasn't shown me nothing yet,
    I've paid the price of solitude, but at last I'm out of debt.

    Can't recall a useful thing you ever did for me
    'Cept pat me on the back one time when I was on my knees.
    We stared into each other's eyes 'til one of us would break,
    No use to apologize, what diff'rence would it make?

    So sing your praise of progress and of the Doom Machine,
    The naked truth is still taboo whenever it can be seen.
    Lady Luck, who shines on me, will tell you where I'm at,
    I hate myself for lovin' you, but I should get over that. Writer/s: BOB DYLAN
    Publisher: Universal Music Publishing Group
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 3

  • Mat from Portland, OrI always thought this had something to do with Edie Sedgwick. This probably sounds like another cliche reference to her (I hate to associate them after that movie that was made about her), but it seems the song was written the year after her death. He talks about doom, the hotel (I'm thinking the Chelsea), and a painted face. It was a painted face that characterized her. Not necessarily literally, but in the fact that she was among a crowd of people who embraced facades. Suicide Road... well, not exactly sure about this, but it could just mean that the girl he's talking about lived a fast, dangerous lifestyle - like that of a drug user (especially a young one) - who still sees the romanticism of it. It sounds like something of a eulogy to me.
  • Chuck from Concord, NhUnfortunately, this Dylan album gets overlooked by most. It's always been one of my favorites. In the late 70's I heard The Wedding Song on the radio from this same LP and searched forever trying to find it as all I had were some of the lyrics, no title. I ended up buying several of Dylan's LP's in my search (oh, how easy it is NOW to identify songs via the internet!!). I'm not sorry that I basically built my Dylan LP collection in my search for that song, the process made me a Dylan fan forever as I discovered gem after gem. Give The Wedding Song a listen, it's a heartfelt, beautiful love song in drastic contrast to Dirge - which is also one of my favorites!
  • Ret from Bristol, United KingdomWhat better, more wretched way to down with a fight than to say "I hate myself for loving you". The wretchedness battered out on the obsessive piano riff and the tearing guitar lines. Can it be that no one out there knows about this song?
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