DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — On The Road With Bob Dylan

I recently took a solo two-way road trip from Bloomington, Minn., to Grand Forks, N.D. It’s 323 miles each way via Interstate 94 and I-29. I celebrated my daughter Kristi’s birthday one day and headed back the next.

To say this drive can be monotonous is a gross understatement.

So as usual, I brought along a handful of music CDs to ward off drowsiness, which next to crazy drivers is the greatest road risk for a slightly older guy like me.

Even with my new hearing aids, I play music turned up loud. REALLY LOUD. Should Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony performed by the Vienna Orchestra be heard in any other way?

But another CD I also listened to in both directions was one I had created myself via iTunes, eventually misplaced, and recently found. It consists of favorite Bob Dylan songs.

It begins with a song he covered in 1962 that he didn’t write, but which turned out to be his first hit: “House of the Rising Sun.”

Dorette Kerian rolls her eyes when I tell her “If not for you” is the theme song of our nearly 25-year relationship, especially the lines, “Without your love I’d be nowhere at all. I’d be lost if not for you.”

Three more of the songs are about love and family: “Lay, Lady, Lay,” “Forever Young” and “Sara” (reflections about his divorce).

Religious songs: “I Believe in You” and “I Shall Be Released.”

And perhaps most powerful, songs written about loss and death: “Things Have Changed,” and “Beyond Here Lies Nothin’.”

And especially the lyrics of the 2005 song “Not Dark Yet.”

“Sometimes my burden is more than I can bear. It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there.”


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